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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? 

    _____
  2|
 \ |  8
  \|


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

    _____
  3|
 \ |  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
   http://mathforum.org/library/drmath/view/57293.html 
  
Does this help? 

- Doctor Ian, The Math Forum
  http://mathforum.org/dr.math/ 
Associated Topics:
High School Square & Cube Roots
Middle School Square Roots

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