# How do you simplify a * a?

Jul 26, 2016

${a}^{2}$

#### Explanation:

We don't know what $a$ is, so we can find another way to rewrite the expression.

Anything multiplied by itself can be written as itself "squared", or to the second power. For example:

$x \cdot x = {x}^{2}$

The same concept can be applied to variables multiplied by themselves three, four, five, or more times.

$x \cdot x \cdot x \cdot x = {x}^{4}$

The number which is written above the bigger number is known as the exponent. This lets you know how many times to multiply this number by itself. The bigger number is the base; the number that is multiplied by itself a number of times.

$a \cdot a = {a}^{2}$