Varied names around the world for the same topic! A key starting point in looking at this though is probably Michael Fenton’s blog on the topic, in particular noting the way he talks about the indices as ‘number of factors of’. This idea is talked about further here on Sara’s site where she also includes some other ideas worth looking at. I found the factors idea particularly helpful when discussing fractional indices (it was one of three ways I looked at it – the other of the two ways I think students found helpful was just recognising, for example, how 9^1/2 x 9^1/2 = 9, therefore 9^1/2 must be 3).

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