# 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:

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

### 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:

- $f \left({ x }\right) = e^x$

That is, let $f \left({ x }\right)$ 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 $\R$.

$\exp \left({ x }\right)$ 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 $\openint 0 {+\infty}$.

From Logarithm is Strictly Increasing:

- $\ln x$ is strictly increasing.

From Inverse of Strictly Monotone Function:

- 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 $x$**, $\exp x$, is frequently written as $e^x$. The consistency of this power notation is demonstrated in Equivalence of Definitions of Real Exponential Function.

## Also see

- Results about
**the exponential function**can be found here.

## Sources

- 1965: J.A. Green:
*Sets and Groups*... (previous) ... (next): $\S 3.1$. Mappings: Example $45$