# Definition:Exponential Function/Real

## Definition

For all definitions of the real exponential function:

The domain of $\exp$ is $\R$
The codomain of $\exp$ is $\R_{>0}$

For $x \in \R$, the real number $\exp x$ is called the exponential of $x$.

### As a Power Series Expansion

The exponential function can be defined as a power series:

$\exp x := \ds \sum_{n \mathop = 0}^\infty \frac {x^n} {n!}$

### As a Limit of a Sequence

The exponential function can be defined as the following limit of a sequence:

$\exp x := \ds \lim_{n \mathop \to +\infty} \paren {1 + \frac x n}^n$

### As an Extension of the Rational Exponential

Let $e$ denote Euler's number.

Let $f: \Q \to \R$ denote the real-valued function defined as:

$\map f x = e^x$

That is, let $\map f x$ denote $e$ to the power of $x$, for rational $x$.

Then $\exp : \R \to \R$ is defined to be the unique continuous extension of $f$ to $\R$.

$\map \exp x$ is called the exponential of $x$.

### As the Inverse to the Natural Logarithm

Consider the natural logarithm $\ln x$, which is defined on the open interval $\openint 0 {+\infty}$.

$\ln x$ is strictly increasing.
the inverse of $\ln x$ always exists.

The inverse of the natural logarithm function is called the exponential function, which is denoted as $\exp$.

Thus for $x \in \R$, we have:

$y = \exp x \iff x = \ln y$

### As the Solution of a Differential Equation

The exponential function can be defined as the unique solution $y = \map f x$ to the first order ODE:

$\dfrac {\d y} {\d x} = y$

satisfying the initial condition $\map f 0 = 1$.

## Notation

The exponential of $x$ is written as either $\exp x$ or $e^x$.

## Also see

• Results about the exponential function can be found here.