# Square root

In mathematics, the **principal square root** of a non-negative real number **Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle x\,\!}**
is denoted **Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle \sqrt x}**
and represents the non-negative real number whose *square* (the result of multiplying the number by itself) is **Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle x\,\!}**
.

For example, **Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle \sqrt 9 = 3}**
since **Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle 3^2 = 3\times3 = 9.}**

This example suggests how square roots can arise when solving quadratic equations such as **Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle x^2=9 \,}**
or, more generally

**Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle ax^2+bx+c=0. \,}**

There are two solutions to the square root of a non-zero number. For a positive real number, the two square roots are the principle square root and the negative square root. For negative real numbers, the concept of imaginary and complex numbers has been developed to provide a mathematical framework to deal with the results.

Square roots of positive integers are often *irrational numbers*, i.e., numbers not expressible as a quotient of two integers. For example, **Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle \sqrt 2}**
cannot be written exactly as *m*/*n*, where *n* and *m* are integers. Nonetheless, it is exactly the length of the diagonal of a square with side length 1.

The discovery that **Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle \sqrt 2}**
is irrational is attributed to Hippasus, a disciple of Pythagoras.

The square root symbol (√) was first used during the 16th century. It has been suggested that it originated as an altered form of lowercase r, representing the Latin *radix* (meaning "root").

## Contents

## Properties

- The
**principal square root**function**Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle \sqrt{x}}**is a function which maps the non-negative real domain**Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle \mathbb{R}^+ \cup \{0\} }**into the non-negative real codomain**Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle \mathbb{R}^+ \cup \{0\} }**.

- The principal square root function
**Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle \sqrt{x}}**always returns a single unique value.

- There are only two solutions to the equation
**Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle x = \sqrt{x}}**The solution set is { 0,1 }.

- To obtain both roots of a positive number, take the value given by the principal square root function as the first root (root
_{1}) and obtain the second root (root_{2}) by subtracting the first root from zero (ie root_{2}= 0 - root_{1}).

- The following important properties of the square root functions are valid for all positive real numbers
**Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle x}**and**Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle y}**:

**Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle \sqrt{xy} = \sqrt x \sqrt y \qquad \Rightarrow \qquad \sqrt{\left( 100y \right) } \, = \, 10 \cdot \sqrt y }****Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle \sqrt{\frac{x}{y}} = \frac{\sqrt{x}}{\sqrt{y}} \qquad \Rightarrow \qquad \sqrt{\left ( \frac{x}{100}\right ) } = \frac{\sqrt{x}}{10} }****Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle \sqrt{x^2} = \left|x\right|}**for every real number**Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle x}**(see absolute value)**Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle \sqrt x = x^{1/2} }**

- The square root function generally maps rational numbers to algebraic numbers;
**Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle \sqrt x}**is rational if and only if**Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle x}**is a rational number which, after cancelling, is a ratio of two perfect squares. In particular,**Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle \sqrt 2}**is irrational.

- In geometrical terms, the square root function maps the area of a square to its side length.

- Suppose that
**Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle a}**are reals, and that**Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle x^2 = a \,}**, and we want to find**Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle x = \sqrt a}**. This is incorrect, because the**principal square root**of**Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle x^2}**is not**Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle \left| x \right|}**, one of our above rules. Thus, all we can conclude is that**Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle \left| x \right| = \sqrt a}**, or equivalently**Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle x = \pm\sqrt a}**.

- In calculus, for instance when proving that the square root function is continuous or differentiable or when computing certain limits, the following identity often comes handy:

**Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle \sqrt x - \sqrt y = \frac{x-y}{\sqrt x + \sqrt y}}**

- It is valid for all non-negative numbers
**Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle y}**which are not both zero.

- The function
**Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle f(x) = \sqrt x}**has the following graph, made up of half a parabola lying on its side:

- The function is continuous for all non-negative
**Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle x=0}**since the slope of the tangent there is ∞). Its derivative is given by

**Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle f'(x) = \frac{1}{2\sqrt x}}**

- Its Taylor series about
**Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle x=0}**can be found using the binomial theorem:

**Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle \sqrt{x+1}=1 + \sum_{n=1}^\infty { (-1)^{n+1} (2n-2)! \over n! (n-1)! 2^{2n-1} }x^n}**

**Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle = 1 + \frac{1}{2}x - \frac{1}{8}x^2 + \frac{1}{16} x^3 - \frac{5}{128} x^4 + \dots}**

- for
**Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle \left| x \right| < 1}**.

## Computation

Pocket calculators typically implement good routines to compute the exponential function and the natural logarithm, and then compute the square root of

**Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle \sqrt{x} = e^{\frac{1}{2}\ln x}}**

The same identity is exploited when computing square roots with logarithm tables or slide rules.

There are numerous methods to compute square roots. See Methods of computing square roots.

## Square roots of complex numbers

To every non-zero complex number *z* there exist precisely two numbers *w* such that *w*^{2} = *z*. The usual definition of √*z* is as follows: if *z* = *r* exp(*i*φ) is represented in polar coordinates with -π < φ ≤ π, then we set √*z* = √*r* exp(*i*φ/2). Thus defined, the square root function is holomorphic everywhere except on the non-positive real numbers (where it isn't even continuous). The above Taylor series for √(1+*x*) remains valid for complex numbers *x* with |*x*| < 1.

When the number is in rectangular form the following formula can be used:

**Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle \sqrt{x+iy} = \sqrt{\frac{\left|x+iy\right| + x}{2}} \pm i \sqrt{\frac{\left|x+iy\right| - x}{2}}}**

where the sign of the imaginary part of the root is the same as the sign of the imaginary part of the original number.

Note that because of the discontinuous nature of the square root function in the complex plane, the law √(*zw*) = √(*z*)√(*w*) is in general **not true**. Wrongly assuming this law underlies several faulty "proofs", for instance the following one showing that -1 = 1:

**Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle -1 = i \times i = \sqrt{-1} \times \sqrt{-1} = \sqrt{-1 \times -1} = \sqrt{1} = 1}**

The third equality cannot be justified. (See invalid proof.)

However the law can only be wrong by a factor -1 (it is right up to a factor -1), √(*zw*) = ±√(*z*)√(*w*), is true for either ± as + or as - (but not both at the same time). Note that √(*c*^{2}) = ±*c*, therefore √(*a*^{2}*b*^{2}) = ±*ab* and therefore √(*zw*) = ±√(*z*)√(*w*), using *a* = √(*z*) and *b* = √(*w*).

## Square roots of matrices and operators

If *A* is a positive definite matrix or operator, then there exists precisely one positive definite matrix or operator *B* with *B*^{2} = *A*; we then define √*A* = *B*.

More generally, to every normal matrix or operator *A* there exist normal operators *B* such that *B*^{2} = *A*. In general, there are several such operators *B* for every *A* and the square root function cannot be defined for normal operators in a satisfactory manner. Positive definite operators are akin to positive real numbers, and normal operators are akin to complex numbers.

## Infinitely nested square roots

Under certain conditions infinitely nested radicals such as

**Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle x = \sqrt{2+\sqrt{2+\sqrt{2+\sqrt{2+\cdots}}}} }**

represent rational numbers. This rational number can be found by realizing that *x* also appears under the radical sign, which gives the equation

**Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle x = \sqrt{2+x}. }**

If we solve this equation, we find that *x* = 2. More generally, we find that

**Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle \sqrt{n+\sqrt{n+\sqrt{n+\sqrt{n+\cdots}}}} = \frac{1 + \sqrt {1+4n}}{2}. }**

Beware, however, of the discontinuity for n=0. The infinitely nested square root for n=0 does not equal one, as the "general" solution would indicate. Rather, it is (obviously) zero.

The same procedure also works to get

**Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle \sqrt{n-\sqrt{n-\sqrt{n-\sqrt{n-\cdots}}}} = \frac{-1 + \sqrt {1+4n}}{2}. }**

This method will give a rational **Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle x }**
value for all values of **Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle n }**
such that

**Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle {n} = {x^2} + {x}. }**

## Square roots of the first 20 positive integers

√Template:Overline = 1

√Template:Overline ≈ 1.4142135623 7309504880 1688724209 6980785696 7187537694 8073176679 7379907324 78462

√Template:Overline ≈ 1.7320508075 6887729352 7446341505 8723669428 0525381038 0628055806 9794519330 16909

√Template:Overline = 2

√Template:Overline ≈ 2.2360679774 9978969640 9173668731 2762354406 1835961152 5724270897 2454105209 25638

√Template:Overline ≈ 2.4494897427 8317809819 7284074705 8913919659 4748065667 0128432692 5672509603 77457

√Template:Overline ≈ 2.6457513110 6459059050 1615753639 2604257102 5918308245 0180368334 4592010688 23230

√Template:Overline ≈ 2.8284271247 4619009760 3377448419 3961571393 4375075389 6146353359 4759814649 56924

√Template:Overline = 3

√Template:Overline ≈ 3.1622776601 6837933199 8893544432 7185337195 5513932521 6826857504 8527925944 38639

√Template:Overline ≈ 3.3166247903 5539984911 4932736670 6866839270 8854558935 3597058682 1461164846 42609

√Template:Overline ≈ 3.4641016151 3775458705 4892683011 7447338856 1050762076 1256111613 9589038660 33818

√Template:Overline ≈ 3.6055512754 6398929311 9221267470 4959462512 9657384524 6212710453 0562271669 48293

√Template:Overline ≈ 3.7416573867 7394138558 3748732316 5493017560 1980777872 6946303745 4673200351 56307

√Template:Overline ≈ 3.8729833462 0741688517 9265399782 3996108329 2170529159 0826587573 7661134830 91937

√Template:Overline = 4

√Template:Overline ≈ 4.1231056256 1766054982 1409855974 0770251471 9922537362 0434398633 5730949543 46338

√Template:Overline ≈ 4.2426406871 1928514640 5066172629 0942357090 1562613084 4219530039 2139721974 35386

√Template:Overline ≈ 4.3588989435 4067355223 6981983859 6156591370 0392523244 4936890344 1381595573 28203

√Template:Overline ≈ 4.4721359549 9957939281 8347337462 5524708812 3671922305 1448541794 4908210418 51276

## See also

- Quadratic residue
- Radical (mathematics)
- Cube root
- Integer square root
- Root of unity
- Methods of computing square roots
- Square root of a matrix

## External links

- Japanese soroban techniques - Professor Fukutaro Kato's method
- Japanese soroban techniques - Takashi Kojima's method
- Algorithms, implementations, and more - Paul Hsieh's square roots webpage
- Square root of positive real numbers with implementation in Rexx.

ca:Funció arrel da:Kvadratrod de:Quadratwurzel es:Raíz cuadrada fr:Racine carrée gl:Raíz cadrada is:Ferningsrót it:Radice quadrata nl:Vierkantswortel ja:平方根 no:Kvadratrot pl:Pierwiastek kwadratowy pt:Raiz quadrada su:Akar kuadrat fi:Neliöjuuri sv:Kvadratrot zh:平方根