## Tuesday, January 3, 2012

### Power to the People!

Happy New Year, Everyone! Being the first week of the year, we are going back to some basics with a look at using the Power and Square Root Functions in Excel. These functions can be found in the Math & Trig grouping on your Excel 2007 or 2010 ribbons.

Power Function
Although you can use the caret symbol (^) to raise a value to a power, the Power Function adds an alternative and a bit more flexibility.

The syntax of the Power function is uncomplicated. If you wish to raise 25 to the third power (resulting in 15,625), you would use the following:

=POWER( 25, 3 )

The POWER function also allows you to raise a value to a Fractional power. Let’s say you with to raise 25 to the power of 1/3:

=POWER( 25, 1/3 ) This would give you a result of roughly 2.92

Square Roots
The syntax of the Square Root function is equally uncomplicated. If you wish to find the square root of 25, you would use the following:

=SQRT( 25 ) This, of course, produces a value of 5.

Since SQRT cannot handle negative numbers, you can work around that annoyance by using the Absolute function as follows:

=SQRT( ABS( -25 )) Once again, the result is a value of 5.

The functions of Power and Square Root; Definitely not for Squares, as they give Power to the People!