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Square root.

The first use of a capital R with a diagonal line was in 1220 by Leonardo of Pisa in Practica geometriae,
where the symbol meant "square root" (Cajori vol. 1, page 90)

The radical symbol first appeared in 1525 in Die Coss by Christoff Rudolff (1499-1545). He used the symbol alt text
(without the vinculum) for square roots. He did not use indices to indicate higher roots, but instead modified the
appearance of the radical symbol for higher roots.

It is often suggested that the origin of the modern radical symbol is that it is an altered letter r, the first letter in the
word radix. This is the opinion of Leonhard Euler in his Institutiones calculi differentialis (1775). However, Florian Cajori,
author of A History of Mathematical Notations, argues against this theory.

In 1637 Rene Descartes used alt text, adding the vinculum to the radical symbol La Geometrie (Cajori vol. 1, page 375)

The Arabic letter jeem ‫ ج‬which is the first letter in the Arabic Jathr ‫ جذر‬meaning root, Algebra on the other hand was
invented by a muslim scholar which is Arabic word for al-jabr "restoration"


The Yale Babylonian Collection YBC 7289 clay tablet was created between 1800 BC and 1600 C, showing √2 and √2/2 =
1/√2 as 1;24,51,10 and 0;42,25,35 base 60 numbers on a square crossed by two diagonals.[3]

The Rhind Mathematical Papyrus is a copy from 1650 BC of an earlier Berlin Papyrus and other texts – possibly the
Kahun Papyrus – that shows how the Egyptians extracted square roots by an inverse proportion method.[4]

In Ancient India, the knowledge of theoretical and applied aspects of square and square root was at least as old as the
Sulba Sutras, dated around 800–500 BC (possibly much earlier).[citation needed] A method for finding very good
approximations to the square roots of 2 and 3 are given in the Baudhayana Sulba Sutra.[5] Aryabhata in the Aryabhatiya
(section 2.4), has given a method for finding the square root of numbers having many digits.

It was known to the ancient Greeks that 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.[6] The particular case √2 is assumed to date back earlier to the Pythagoreans and is traditionally attributed to
Hippasus.[citation needed] It is exactly the length of the diagonal of a square with side length 1.

In the Chinese mathematical work Writings on Reckoning, written between 202 BC and 186 BC during the early Han
Dynasty, the square root is approximated by using an "excess and deficiency" method, which says to "...combine the
excess and deficiency as the divisor; (taking) the deficiency numerator multiplied by the excess denominator and the
excess numerator times the deficiency denominator, combine them as the dividend."[7]

A symbol for square roots, written as an elaborate R, was invented by Regiomontanus (1436–1476). An R was also used
for Radix to indicate square roots in Gerolamo Cardano's Ars Magna.[8]

According to historian of mathematics D.E. Smith, Aryabhata's method for finding the square root was first introduced in
Europe by Cataneo in 1546.

According to Jeffrey A. Oaks, Arabs used the letter jīm/ĝīm (‫)ج‬, the first letter of the word “‫( ”جذر‬variously transliterated
as jaḏr, jiḏr, ǧaḏr or ǧiḏr, “root”), placed in its initial form (‫ )ج‬over a number to indicate its square root. The letter jīm
resembles the present square root shape. Its usage goes as far as the end of the twelfth century in the works of the
Moroccan mathematician Ibn al-Yasamin.[9]

The symbol '√' for the square root was first used in print in 1525 in Christoph Rudolff's Coss.[10]

This use of the word "root" originates with al-Khwarizmi, the Arabic mathematician who wrote the first algebra book
(coining our word "algebra" in the process, and giving us the word "algorithm" from his name). He saw the variable as
the root out of which an equation grows; solving the equation is finding ("extracting") the root. This was more
specifically applied to the equation x^n = k, from which we get the idea of the nth root, and the square root in particular.
So both uses of "root" in math come from the same "root" idea, that of the hidden source of a plant.

I've had trouble in the past looking for confirmation of the fact that both uses of root originated there; it's hidden in a
footnote Smith's History of Mathematics (Vol. 2, p. 393). But here is a quote from Ball, A Short Account of the History of
Mathematics, p. 157, referring to the book Al-jabr:

The unknown quantity is termed either "the thing" or "the root" (that is, of a plant), and from the latter phrase our use
of the word root as applied to the solution of an equation is derived. The square of the unknown is called "the power".

Buckyballs are defined as “Compounds composed solely of an even number of carbon atoms, which form a cage-like
fused-ring polycyclic system with twelve five-membered rings and the rest six-membered rings. The archetypal example
is C60 fullerene, where the atoms and bonds delineate a truncated icosahedron. The term has been broadened to
include any closed cage structure consisting entirely of three-coordinate carbon atoms.”


Buckminsterfullerene was discovered by Sir Harry Kroto of the University of Sussex and Richard Smalley and Bob Curl of
Rice University in 1985 during a joint research project. Their discovery lead to a Nobel Prize in 1996.

The serendipitous discovery took place during experiments involving a cluster beam which uses a laser to vaporise a
graphite rod in a helium atmosphere to produce carbon plasmas. The research was aimed at characterizing unidentified
interstellar matter. Mass spectrometry evidence from these experiments indicated that carbon molecules with C60
atoms were forming, with a spheroidal geometry being most likely.

In 1989 work by Krätschmer, Fostiropoulos and Huffman later produced C60 by arcing carbon rods in an inert
atmosphere. Production efficiencies were claimed to me much higher then those produced using the cluster beam. Their
finding were confirmed by IR and UV measurements

The structure was named after the architect Richard Buckminster Fuller’s geodesic dome structure which bore a
resemblance to the structure of the C60 Buckminsterfullerene structure. These same structures are also known as
Buckyballs or fullerenes.

Buckminsterfullerene is the third allotrope of carbon along with graphite and diamond.

Since their discovery, Buckyballs have become such a hot topic of research that they have spawned their own branch of
chemistry. So much so that the journal “Fullerene Science and Technology” dedicated to fullerenes was launched in


The basic C60 structure consists of 60 carbon atoms that link together to form a hollow cage-like structure. The structure
consists of 32 faces of which 20 are hexagons and 12 are pentagons. Of these, no two pentagons share a vertex. A
similar structure has been used to make soccer balls, in particular the Telstar supplied by Adidas and used in the 1970
and 1974 World Cups.

They are closely related to carbon nanotubes or buckytubes which have a cylindrical structure.

Other similar structures have since been discovered that have more then 60 carbon atoms. Some of the more popular
ones include C70 and C76, although many contain as few as 28 and as many as 600 carbon atoms.


Although fullerenes have been found in seemingly simple things as candle soot, the most common technique for the
production of fullerenes involves establishment of an electric arc between two carbon electrodes. Under these
conditions, the energy from the arc is dissipated by breaking carbon from the surface. The carbon cools in the inert
atmosphere and forms buckyballs. This technique however, is not scalable to be able to produce commercial quantities.

The first commercial production technique was the Kratschmer-Huffman arc discharge technique, from 1990 which used
graphite electrodes. This technique primarily produces C60 and C70 but could be modified to produce larger fullerenes.

Shortly afterwards in 1991 a research group at MIT lead by Jack Howard in 1991 reported another technique based on a
1st generation combustion synthesis process.


The C60 molecule is extremely stable, being able to withstand high temperatures and pressures. The exposed surface of
the structure is able react with other species while maintaining the spherical geometry.

The hollow structure is also able to entrap other smaller species such as helium, while at the same time not reacting
with the fullerene molecule. In fact the interior of most buckyballs is so spacious, they can encase any element from the
periodic table.

Buckyballs do not bond to one another. They do however, stick together via Van der Waals forces.

By doping fullerenes, they can be electrically insulating, conducting, semiconducting or even superconducting.

Some potential applications for fullerenes include:

• Superconductors

• Lubricants

• Catalysts due to their high reactivity

• Drug delivery systems, pharmaceuticals and targeted cancer therapies.

• Hydrogen storage as almost every carbon atom in C60 can absorb a hydrogen atom without disrupting the
buckyball structure, making it more effective than metal hydrides. This could lead to applications in fuel cells.

• Optical devices

• Chemical sensors

• Photovoltaics

• Polymer electronics such as Organic Field Effect Transistors (OFETS)

• Antioxidants

• Polymer additives

• Cosmetics, where they “mop up” free radicals.

• Diamonds, fullerenes have been used as precursors to produce diamond films