XL2000: Incorrect Result Raising 10 to Very Large/Very Small Power

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SYMPTOMS

In Microsoft Excel 2000, if you type a formula in which the value of 10 is raised to a very large power or a very small power, the formula may return an incorrect result:
   10 Raised to       Expected Result   Actual Result
   -------------------------------------------------------------------

   very large power   #NUM! error       0, 0.1

   very small power   0                 #DIV/0! error, 10^<some value>
				
NOTE: These problems do not occur in earlier versions of Microsoft Excel. Also, the problem does not occur when you raise a value other than 10 to a very large power or a very small power; for example: =9^2345678901 correctly returns a #NUM! error.

CAUSE

These problems occur when you type a formula in which the value of 10 is raised to a power in one of the following ranges:
  • Greater than or equal to 2^31 (2,147,483,648).
    -and-
  • Less than or equal to 10^308 (1 followed by 308 zeros).
-or-
  • Less than or equal to -(2^31) (-2,147,483,648).
    -and-
  • Greater than or equal to -(10^308) (-1 followed by 308 zeroes).

For example:
   Formula you type          Value returned
   ----------------------------------------

   =10^2147483648            0
				
This formula should return a #NUM! error, because the largest positive number allowed in Microsoft Excel is 9.99999999999999E+307, which is just less than 10^308.

Or:
   Formula you type          Value returned
   ----------------------------------------

   =10^-2147483648           #DIV/0!
   =10^-4294966989           1E+307
				
These formulas should all return the value 0, because the smallest positive number allowed in Microsoft Excel is 9.99999999999999E-307, which is just higher than 0 (zero).

WORKAROUND

To prevent this problem from occurring, make sure that formulas in your workbooks do not raise the value of 10 to a power larger than 308 or smaller than -308.

MORE INFORMATION

Microsoft Excel supports positive values almost as large as 10^308 (a one followed by 308 zeros) and almost as small as 10^-308 (a decimal point, followed by 308 zeroes and a one). Similar negative values are also supported. Smaller values are rounded to 0 (zero), and larger values are converted into a #NUM! error value.

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Article ID: 214373 - Last Review: October 14, 2013 - Revision: 3.0
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Excel 2000 Standard Edition
Keywords: 
kbnosurvey kbarchive kbprb KB214373

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