Drexel dragonThe Math ForumDonate to the Math Forum

Ask Dr. Math - Questions and Answers from our Archives
_____________________________________________
Associated Topics || Dr. Math Home || Search Dr. Math
_____________________________________________

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

Search the Dr. Math Library:


Find items containing (put spaces between keywords):
 
Click only once for faster results:

[ Choose "whole words" when searching for a word like age.]

all keywords, in any order at least one, that exact phrase
parts of words whole words

Submit your own question to Dr. Math

[Privacy Policy] [Terms of Use]

_____________________________________
Math Forum Home || Math Library || Quick Reference || Math Forum Search
_____________________________________

Ask Dr. MathTM
© 1994-2013 The Math Forum
http://mathforum.org/dr.math/