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# Square root

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Square root
In mathematics, a square root of a number a is a number y such that y2 = a, or, in other words, a number y whose square (the result of multiplying the number by itself, or y€•€y) is a.[1] For example, 4 is a square root of 16 because 42 = 16. Every non-negative real number a has a unique non-negative square root, called the principal square root, which is denoted by , where € is called the radical sign or radix. For example, the principal square root of 9 is 3, denoted , because 32 = 3 • 3 = 9 and 3 is non-negative. The term whose root is being considered is known as the radicand. The radicand is the number or expression underneath the radical sign, in this example 9.
Measured fall time of a small steel sphere falling from various heights. The data is in good agreement with the predicted fall time of , where h is the height and g is the acceleration of gravity.

Every positive number a has two square roots: two roots are denoted

, which is positive, and

, which is negative. Together, these

(see ‚ shorthand). Although the principal square root of a positive number is only one of

its two square roots, the designation "the square root" is often used to refer to the principal square root. For positive a, the principal square root can also be written in exponent notation, as a1/2.[2] Square roots of negative numbers can be discussed within the framework of complex numbers. More generally, square roots can be considered in any context in which a notion of "squaring" of some mathematical objects is defined (including algebras of matrices, endomorphism rings, etc.) Square roots of positive whole numbers that are not perfect squares are always irrational numbers: numbers not expressible as a ratio of two integers (that is to say they cannot be written exactly as m/n, where m and n are integers). This is the theorem Euclid X, 9 almost certainly due to Theaetetus dating back to circa 380 BC.[3] The particular case is assumed to date back earlier to the Pythagoreans and is traditionally attributed to Hippasus. It is exactly the length of the diagonal of a square with side length 1.

Pocket calculators typically implement efficient routines to compute the exponential function and the natural logarithm or common logarithm.[4] The method uses the same iterative scheme as the Newton‚Raphson method yields when applied to the function . Computation Most pocket calculators have a square root key. and quadratic irrational for a proof for all non-square natural numbers. If f denotes the square-root function. (See square root of 2 for directrix.) The square root function maps rational numbers into algebraic numbers (a superset of the rational numbers). and The square root function is continuous for all non-negative x and differentiable for all positive x. who first described it. The square root of x is rational if and only if x is a rational number that can be represented as a ratio of two perfect The graph of the function . In geometrical terms. the square root function maps the area of a square to its side length. and use them to compute the square root of a positive real number a using the identity or The same identity is exploited when computing square roots with logarithm tables or slide rules. its derivative is given by: The Taylor series of €1 + x about x = 0 converges for |x| • 1 and is given by which is a special case of a binomial series. Computer spreadsheets and other software are also frequently used to calculate square roots. For all real numbers x €€€€(see absolute value) For all non-negative real numbers x and y.Square root 2 Properties The principal square root function (usually just referred to as the "square root function") is a function that maps the set of non-negative real numbers onto itself. proofs that this is an irrational number. The most common iterative method of square root calculation by hand is known as the "Babylonian method" or "Heron's method" after the first-century Greek philosopher Heron of Alexandria. made up of half a parabola with a vertical squares.

The time complexity for computing a square root with n digits of precision is equivalent to that of multiplying two n-digit numbers.[5] It involves a sim which results in a number closer to the actual square root each time it is repeated. the convergence is "quadratic. Repeat step 2 until x and a/x are as close as desired. the number of correct digits roughly doubles in each next iteration. Replace x by the average between x and a/x. (It is sufficient to take an approximate value of the average to ensure convergence) 1. using the fact that its slope at any point is 3 . representing the Newton‚Raphson method resulting in . Using the identity the computation of the square root of a positive number can be reduced to that of a number in the range [1. but predates it by many centuries. The basic idea is that if x is an overestimate to the square root of a non-negative real number a then will be an underestimate and so the average of these two numbers may reasonably be expected to provide a better approximation (though the formal proof of that assertion depends on the inequality of arithmetic and geometric means that shows this average is always an overestimate of the square root. Start with an arbitrary positive start value x (the closer to the square root of a. the convergence is only linear. Another useful method for calculating the square root is the Shifting nth root algorithm. To find x : 1. the fewer iterations will be needed to achieve the desired precision). that is: . thus assuring convergence). applied for . If a = 0. 4). If a is positive." which means that in approaching the limit. 2. for which a polynomial or piecewise-linear approximation can be used. This simplifies finding a start value for the iterative method that is close to the square root.Square root . as noted below. Square roots of negative and complex numbers First leaf of the complex square root Second leaf of the complex square root .

Therefore. and the square of 0 is 0. However. denoted by i (sometimes j. especially in the context of electricity where "i" traditionally represents electric current) and called the imaginary unit. Using this notation. the principal square root of ‚1 is i. if x is any positive number. Square root of an imaginary number The square root of i is given by This result can be obtained algebraically by finding a and b such that or equivalently This gives the two simultaneous equations The square roots of i in the complex plane with solutions The choice of the principal root then gives The result can also be obtained by using de Moivre's formula and setting . since For every non-zero complex number z there exist precisely two numbers w such that w2€=€z: the principal square root of z (defined below). then the principal square root of ‚x is The right side (as well as its negative) is indeed a square root of ‚x. but notice that we also have (‚i)2€=€i2€=€‚1 and so ‚i is also a square root of ‚1. we can think of i as the square root of ‚1. or more generally. By convention. no negative number can have a real square root. one can see how the two leaves fit together The square of any positive or negative number is positive. and its negative. it is possible to work with a more inclusive set of numbers. This is done by introducing a new number.Square root 4 Using the Riemann surface of the square root. which is defined such that i2€=€‚1. that does contain solutions to the square root of a negative number. called the complex numbers.

we start by observing that any complex number x + iy can be viewed as a point in the plane. y). The other square root is simply ‚1 times the principal square root. ƒ). the two square roots of a number sum to 0. If then we define the principal square root of z as follows: The principal square root function is thus defined using the nonpositive real axis as a branch cut. .Square root 5 which produces Principal square root of a complex number To find a definition for the square root that allows us to consistently choose a single value. and ƒ is the angle that the line from the origin to the point makes with the positive real (x) axis. called the principal value. The same point may be reinterpreted using polar coordinates as the pair (r. The principal square root function is holomorphic everywhere except on the set of non-positive real numbers (on strictly negative reals it isn't even continuous). this value is conventionally written r ei€. The above Taylor series for €1 + x remains valid for complex numbers x with |x|€<€1. expressed using Cartesian coordinates. In complex analysis. and the sign of the imaginary part of the root is taken to be same as the sign of the imaginary part of the original number. in other words. The above can also be expressed in terms of trigonometric functions: Algebraic formula When the number is expressed using Cartesian coordinates the following formula can be used for the principal square root:[6][7] where is the absolute value or modulus of the original number. The real part of the principal value is always non-negative. where r ƒ 0 is the distance of the point from the origin. (x.

then there exists precisely one positive definite matrix or operator B with B2 = A. It can be made to hold by changing the meaning of € so that this no longer represents the principal square root (see above) but selects a branch for the square root that contains (€‚1)„(€‚1). in fact. Here. so b2 = a. consider the ring from modular arithmetic. In an integral domain. the set of square roots of „1 is exactly Hence this set is exactly the same size and shape as the (surface of the) unit sphere in 3-space. is therefore unique up to a sign. So x2 ‚ b2 = 0. (Equivalently. €1 = ‚1. if it exists. ‚j. by commutativity. we then define A1/2 = €A = B. in integral domains. (x + b)(x ‚ b) = 0. The square root of a.) Wrongly assuming this law underlies several faulty "proofs". See also the article quadratic residue for details. for instance the following one showing that ‚1€=€1: The third equality cannot be justified (see invalid proof). suppose the element a has some square root b. Then this square root is not necessarily unique. leading to the equality's failure.Square root 6 Notes Because of the discontinuous nature of the square root function in the complex plane. Square roots of matrices and operators If A is a positive-definite matrix or operator. namely ‚1 and ‚3. In general matrices may have multiple square roots or even an infinitude of them. we conclude that one factor is zero. the problem occurs because of the freedom in the choice of branch. or. In fact. then x2 = a = b2. . To see that the square root need not be unique up to sign in a general ring. but it is "almost unique" in the following sense: If x too is a square root of a. while the right-hand side becomes where the last equality. the element 1 has four distinct square roots. and x = ‚b. The chosen branch may or may not yield the equality. the choice of branch for the square root need not contain the value of €z€w at all. The left-hand side becomes either if the branch includes +i or if the branch includes ‚i. the law €zw = €z€w is in general not true.[8] Uniqueness of square roots in general rings In a ring we call an element b a square root of a iff b2 = a. is a consequence of the choice of branch in the redefinition of €. Another example is provided by the quaternions in which the element „1 has an infinitude of square roots including ‚i. On the other hand. A similar problem appears with the complex logarithm and the relation log z + log w = log(zw). and ‚k. the element 2 has no square root. For example the 2•2 identity matrix has an infinity of square roots. Because there are no zero divisors in the integral domain.

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] [4] [4. 2... 1. 1. 2.. That is. 3. 8.] [3. 6.. . 8. 6. 1. a certain pattern of partial denominators repeats indefinitely in the continued fraction.. 6.. 4.. . .. 1. 2. 2. 4. 1.] [3.] [4. 1. 8. 6. 1. 6. 1. 1. 4. 6.. 1.. 2. . 16. 2...] [3] [3. 6. 1.] [4.] [2. . 3. 2.) are integers. 2. 1.. 1. 1.] ‚ looks like this: . 3. As periodic continued fractions One of the most intriguing results from the study of irrational numbers as continued fractions was obtained by Joseph Louis Lagrange circa 1780. Lagrange found that the representation of the square root of any non-square positive integer as a continued fraction is periodic.. . 4. 2..] [3. In all other cases. . 2. 1. 4. 4. 6. 1. 2.. .. 2. 6. because they can be represented with a simple repeating pattern of integers. 6.. 6. the square roots are irrational numbers.. 2. 9. . 2. 1. 1. 4.Square root 8 As expansions in other numeral systems The square roots of the perfect squares (1. . . 4. 6.] [2. . 8.] [3. 4.. and therefore their representations in any standard positional notation system are non-repeating. 3. 1. 1. . In a sense these square roots are the very simplest irrational numbers.] The square bracket notation used above is a sort of mathematical shorthand to conserve space. 6. . . 1... 1. 2..] [2. 1. 2.] [1.. 8.. 6. 8. 8.] [3. 4. 1.. Written in more traditional notation the simple continued fraction for the square root of 11 ‚ [3.. 3. . . [1. 1.] [2] [2. 3. The square roots of small integers are used in both the SHA-1 and SHA-2 hash function designs to provide nothing up my sleeve numbers.. etc. 4... 1. 8.... 1. 1.] [4..

The Spiral for its legs has a hypotenuse of History The Yale Babylonian Collection YBC 7289 clay tablet was created between 1800 BC and 1600 BC.e. Let AHB be a line segment of length a + b with AH = a and HB = b. 300 BC) gave the construction of the geometric mean of two quantities in two different places: Proposition II. though we don't need that but it is the essence of the proof of Pythagoras' theorem) so that AH:CH is as HC:HB i.e. Descartes Euclid's second proof in Book VI depends on the theory of similar triangles.[23] In Ancient India. the knowledge of theoretical and applied aspects of square and square root was at least as old as the Sulba Sutras. Construct the circle with AB as diameter and let C be one of the two intersections of the perpendicular chord at H with the circle and denote the length CH as h. dated around 800‚500 BC (possibly much earlier).[24] Aryabhata in the Aryabhatiya (section 2. (taking) the deficiency numerator multiplied by the excess denominator and the excess numerator times the deficiency denominator. 6} repeats over and over and over again in the partial denominators. of course.[22] The Rhind Mathematical Papyrus is a copy from 1650 BC of an even earlier work and shows how the Egyptians extracted square roots.. In his Elements. the right triangle with 1 and of Theodorus is constructed using successive square roots in this manner.14 [19] and Proposition VI.13 [20]. from which we conclude by cross-multiplication that and finally that . has given a method for finding the square root of numbers having many digits. In the Chinese mathematical work Writings on Reckoning. (with equality when and only when a = b).10 and 42.Square root where the two-digit pattern {3. A method for finding very good approximations to the square roots of 2 and 3 are given in the Baudhayana Sulba Sutra. [21] . which is the arithmetic‚geometric mean inequality for two variables and.25. Note further that if you were to mark the midpoint O of the line segment AB and draw the radius OC of length then clearly OC > CH i. can. Another method of geometric construction uses right triangles and induction: once has been constructed.combine the excess and deficiency as the divisor. using Thales' theorem and as in the proof of Pythagoras' theorem by similar triangles. The construction is also given by Descartes in his La G•om•trie. Since the geometric mean of a and b is . [26] .4). be constructed. An R was also used for Radix to indicate square roots in Giralamo Cardano's Ars Magna. and . the above is also identical to the following generalized continued fractions: 9 Geometric construction of the square root A square root can be constructed with a compass and straightedge. which says to ". combine them as the dividend. triangle AHC is similar to triangle CHB (as indeed both are to triangle ACB. as noted above. written as an elaborate R. is the basis of the Ancient Greek understanding of "Heron's method". was invented by Regiomontanus (1436 . written between 202 BC and 186 BC during the early Han Dynasty.35 base 60 numbers on a square crossed by two diagonals.1476). However. showing and as 1.. Euclid (fl. Then. Since 11 = 32+2. one can construct simply by taking b = 1.51. the square root is approximated by using an "excess and deficiency" method.24."[25] A symbol for square roots. see figure 2 on page 2 made no claim to originality and his audience would have been quite familiar with Euclid.