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

This article was previously published under Q214373
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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: =9^2345678901correctly returns a #NUM! error.
CAUSE
These problems occur when you type a formula in which the value of 10 israised 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 smallestpositive 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 yourworkbooks 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 (aone followed by 308 zeros) and almost as small as 10^-308 (a decimalpoint, followed by 308 zeroes and a one). Similar negative values arealso supported. Smaller values are rounded to 0 (zero), and larger values are converted into a #NUM! error value.
googol googolplex mantissa exponent XL2000
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Article ID: 214373 - Last Review: 10/14/2013 15:31:14 - Revision: 3.0

  • Microsoft Excel 2000 Standard Edition
  • kbnosurvey kbarchive kbprb KB214373
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