In Ruby, "
**" represents the exponentiation operator, which returns the result of raising the first operand to the power of the second operand.
For example, the mathematical expression
2 ^ 5 (i.e. two raised to the power of five) can be expressed using the exponentiation operator in the following way:
puts 2 ** 5 #=> 32
In this case,
2 is the base and
5 is the exponent.
This is the same as using the
puts 2.pow(5) #=> 32
Using either, the exponential operator (
**) or the
Integer#pow method, is merely a shorter form of multiplying the base number as many times to itself as denoted by the exponent. For example, consider the following, which is equivalent to the examples above:
puts 2 * 2 * 2 * 2 * 2 #=> 32
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