# Mathematical term meaning to calculate the root of a number

Also, when we solve an equation, we are looking for the solutions that we know or assume to be "rooted" in the equation; each solution is called a root of the equation.

If a is negative and n is odd, the unique negative nth root of a is termed principal. Did it use to only apply to square roots, or is the origin of the word completely different?

The word root is also used in the mathematics of functions to indicate the value that will produce a zero a ground level number for the function. Where does the expression come from? This article was most recently revised and updated by William L.

For every integer n, the nth roots of unity can be determined in terms of the rational numbers by means of rational operations and radicals; but they can be constructed by ruler and compasses i.

### What does the small number on top of the square root symbol mean?

Math Home Search Dr. Hosch , Associate Editor. If the coefficients lie in the complex field, an equation of the nth degree has exactly n not necessarily distinct complex roots. These problems are more challenging, but you can learn to solve them based on the definition of i and the standard rules for roots. Remember that every number actually has two square roots. Updated May 22, By Lee Johnson Square roots are often found in math and science problems, and any student needs to pick up the basics of square roots to tackle these questions. For example, the principal cube root of —27 is —3. But in any case, both uses in math come from that same "root" idea, that of the source from which something grows, whether the number that was squared to produce a given number, or the number that makes a given equation true. As a Latin scholar, I am interested in the origin of words. Incidentally I disagree with both you and the quotation above as to the use of "root" to mean "a value that produces zero. But an equation does not always have a root in its coefficient field. Hi Evan - thanks for writing to Dr. Thus, 5 has no rational square root because 22 is less than 5 and 32 is greater than 5.

Simplifying Square Roots One of the most challenging tasks you may have to perform with square roots is simplifying large square roots, but you just need to follow some simple rules to tackle these questions. The square root of 12 Using the same approach, try to work out the square root of

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