root (in mathematics)
root, in mathematics, number or quantity r for which an equation f(r)=0 holds true, where f is some function. If f is a polynomial, r is called a root of f; for example, r=3 and r=4 are roots of the equation x^{2}+x12=0, because (3)^{2}+(3)12=0 and (4)^{2}+(4)12=0. In the special case where f(x)=x^{n}a for some number a, a root of f is called an nth root of a, denoted by na or a^{1/n}. For example, 2 is the third, or cube, root of 8 (38=2), since it satisfies the equation x^{3}8=0. Every number has n different (real or complex) nth roots; e.g., there are two square roots of 9 (3 and 3) since (3)(3)=9 and (3)(3)=9.
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root
root In mathematics, fractional power of a number. The square root of a number, x, is written as either √x or x½. The fourth root of x may be written in radical form as ^{4}√x or in power form as x√. The fourth root of 16, for example, is 2 since 2 × 2 × 2 × 2 = 16.
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