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Engineering LibreTexts

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.

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