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Mathematical Meaning of Root

March 19th Fact-of-the-Day

Lack of knowledge of the simple meanings of common technical terms can make relatively simple ideas difficult or impossible to understand. The term 'root' is used frequently in mathematical papers having to do with almost any subject. Mathematicians use the term frequently in discussions with each other. Scientists and engineers use it almost as often. Considering how much the term is used, it is surprising how many people don't know what it means. In mathematics, the root of an equation is the same as the solution to the equation. Because a quadratic equation has two solutions, it has two roots. In addition to that meaning, there is a process of taking the root of a number, which is the opposite of the process of raising the number to a power. ©2005 Martek International All rights reserved.

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