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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 x2+x-12=0, because (3)2+(3)-12=0 and (-4)2+(-4)-12=0. In the special case where f(x)=xn-a for some number a, a root of f is called an nth root of a, denoted by na or a1/n. For example, 2 is the third, or cube, root of 8 (38=2), since it satisfies the equation x3-8=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 4x 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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