The Math Forum

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

Square Root Symbol

Date: 04/29/2002 at 14:08:55
From: Jason
Subject: Radicals

Why is there a 2 in the index of a radical? I have searched many 
books but none of them explain it so I can understand it.

Date: 04/29/2002 at 14:30:18
From: Doctor Ian
Subject: Re: Radicals

Hi Jason,

Do you mean the little two in the crook of the symbol? 

 \ |  8

The two indicates a square root; a three would indicate a cube root, 

 \ |  8

and in general, 

  n|            (1/n)
 \ |  x      = x

Note that if n isn't specified, a default value of 2 is assumed.

If you're not familiar with the connection between roots and 
exponents, take a look at
   Properties of Exponents 
Does this help? 

- Doctor Ian, The Math Forum 
Associated Topics:
High School Square & Cube Roots
Middle School Square Roots

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- The Math Forum at NCTM. All rights reserved.