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Q: Answering square roots ( Answered,   0 Comments )
Subject: Answering square roots
Category: Reference, Education and News > Education
Asked by: hookem03-ga
List Price: $5.50
Posted: 19 Oct 2006 20:21 PDT
Expires: 18 Nov 2006 19:21 PST
Question ID: 775230
What is the square root of 25?  The answer should obviously be 5,
since 5*5=25.  But could -5 work as well such as, -5 * -5 = 25.  If
the latter is true, what would be the answer to negative of a square
root of 25 (-(v25))?  Would it still be positive and negative 5?
Subject: Re: Answering square roots
Answered By: efn-ga on 19 Oct 2006 20:49 PDT
Hi hookem03,

Like other positive real numbers, 25 has two square roots, 5 and -5. 
As you guessed, the negative of the square root of 25 is the same two
numbers, since the 5 becomes -5 when negated, and similarly, the -5
becomes 5.

The positive square root is called the "principal square root," and in
some contexts, that may be what is meant by a reference to the square
root of a number.  But both the positive and negative square roots
really are square roots.

Additional Links

Wikipedia on square roots

Square root article on Wolfram MathWorld

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