# 1.4: Arithmetic operators

- Page ID
- 40776

After “Hello, World”, the next step is arithmetic. Python provides **operators**, which are special symbols that represent computations like addition and multiplication.

The operators +, -, and * perform addition, subtraction, and multiplication, as in the following examples:

>>> 40 + 2 42 >>> 43 - 1 42 >>> 6 * 7 42

The operator / performs division:

>>> 84 / 2 42.0

You might wonder why the result is `42.0`

instead of `42`

. I’ll explain in the next section.

Finally, the operator `**`

performs exponentiation; that is, it raises a number to a power:

>>> 6**2 + 6 42

In some other languages, `^`

is used for exponentiation, but in Python it is a bitwise operator called XOR. If you are not familiar with bitwise operators, the result will surprise you:

>>> 6 ^ 2 4

I won’t cover bitwise operators in this book, but you can read about them at http://wiki.python.org/moin/BitwiseOperators.