Exponential Functions: Introduction
Exponential functions look somewhat similar to functions you have seen before, in that they involve exponents, but there is a big difference, in that the variable is now the power, rather than the base. Previously, you have dealt with such functions as f(x) = x2, where the variable x was the base and the number 2 was the power. In the case of exponentials, however, you will be dealing with functions such as g(x) = 2x, where the base is the fixed number, and the power is the variable.
Let's look more closely at the function g(x) = 2x. To evaluate this function, we operate as usual, picking values of x, plugging them in, and simplifying for the answers. But to evaluate 2x, we need to remember how exponents work. In particular, we need to remember that negative exponents mean "put the base on the other side of the fraction line".