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.