If you’re familiar with the TI-84 graphing calculator, very large and very small results are often automatically put into scientific notation; that’s not necessarily true, however, when using TI-Nspire.

Take, for example, the calculation


(five-halves raised to the 74th power). The first screen shows the exact result as a stacked fraction in excruciating detail! This result is roughly equivalent to 2.8 x 1029.


Now try evaluating two-fifths raised to the 74th power. Press


This extremely small result, approximately equal to 3.57 x 1030, also displays as a stacked fraction in all its glory. See the second screen.

Very large or very small results often don’t fit on a single screen. To view an entire result, press


once to highlight the answer. Press [ENTER] and then use the


keys to scroll through and view the entire answer.

So just how large an exponent can you raise five-halves? Try raising this number to the 1419th power. TI-Nspire displays the answer as a stacked fraction.

Now try an exponent of 1420. This time, the result displays in scientific notation. Now try raising five-halves to the 2513th power. TI-Nspire can’t handle this calculation and displays an Error Overflow message. (See the third screen.)