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Quadratic Equations

Date: 12/3/95 at 9:6:9
From: Anonymous
Subject: Quadratic terminology

My students want to know why an equation of the second degree is 
referred to as a quadratic equation.  What does the prefix quad have to 
do with second degree equations??

Date: 12/3/95 at 10:52:36
From: Doctor Sarah
Subject: Re: Quadratic terminology

Hello there -

Webster says 'quadratic' means 'of, pertaining to, or resembling 
a quadrate or square' - or just 'square'.  In algebra, then, quadratic 
means something marked by terms of second degrees as the highest, so 
that a quadratic equation is one in which the highest power of the 
unknown quantity is a square.

Sometimes it's surprising what a good dictionary can tell 
you, but you will need one of the really comprehensive ones with 
very thin pages or very small print - or both - for math terms.

-Doctor Sarah, The Geometry Forum

Associated Topics:
High School Definitions
High School Linear Equations
High School Polynomials
Middle School Definitions
Middle School Equations

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