In mathematics, a square root of a number a is a number y such that y2 = a, in other words, a number y whose square (the result of multiplying the number by itself, or y × y) is a. For example, 4 and −4 are square roots of 16 because 42 = (−4)2 = 16.
Every non-negative real number a has a unique non-negative square root, called the principal square root, which is denoted by √, where √ is called the radical sign or radix. For example, the principal square root of 9 is 3, denoted √ = 3, because 32 = 3 × 3 = 9 and 3 is non-negative. The term whose root is being considered is known as the radicand. The radicand is the number or expression underneath the radical sign, in this example 9.
Elementary algebra encompasses some of the basic concepts of algebra, one of the main branches of mathematics. It is typically taught to secondary school students and builds on their understanding of arithmetic. Whereas arithmetic deals with specified numbers, algebra introduces quantities without fixed values, known as variables. This use of variables entails a use of algebraic notation and an understanding of the general rules of the operators introduced in arithmetic. Unlike abstract algebra, elementary algebra is not concerned with algebraic structures outside the realm of real and complex numbers.
The use of variables to denote quantities allows general relationships between quantities to be formally and concisely expressed, and thus enables solving a broader scope of problems. Most quantitative results in science and mathematics are expressed as algebraic equations.
Number theory (or arithmetic) is a branch of pure mathematics devoted primarily to the study of the integers, sometimes called "The Queen of Mathematics" because of its foundational place in the discipline. Number theorists study prime numbers as well as the properties of objects made out of integers (e.g., rational numbers) or defined as generalizations of the integers (e.g., algebraic integers).
Integers can be considered either in themselves or as solutions to equations (Diophantine geometry). Questions in number theory are often best understood through the study of analytical objects (e.g., the Riemann zeta function) that encode properties of the integers, primes or other number-theoretic objects in some fashion (analytic number theory). One may also study real numbers in relation to rational numbers, e.g., as approximated by the latter (Diophantine approximation).
In mathematics, an algebraic number is a number that is a root of a non-zero polynomial in one variable with rational coefficients (or equivalently—by clearing denominators—with integer coefficients). Numbers such as π that are not algebraic are said to be transcendental; almost all real and complex numbers are transcendental. (Here "almost all" has the sense "all but a countable set"; see Properties below.)
The sum, difference, product and quotient of two algebraic numbers is again algebraic (this fact can be demonstrated using the resultant), and the algebraic numbers therefore form a field, sometimes denoted by A (which may also denote the adele ring) or Q. Every root of a polynomial equation whose coefficients are algebraic numbers is again algebraic. This can be rephrased by saying that the field of algebraic numbers is algebraically closed. In fact, it is the smallest algebraically closed field containing the rationals, and is therefore called the algebraic closure of the rationals.
A mathematical constant is a special number, usually a real number, that is "significantly interesting in some way". Constants arise in many different areas of mathematics, with constants such as e and π occurring in such diverse contexts as geometry, number theory and calculus.
What it means for a constant to arise "naturally", and what makes a constant "interesting", is ultimately a matter of taste, and some mathematical constants are notable more for historical reasons than for their intrinsic mathematical interest. The more popular constants have been studied throughout the ages and computed to many decimal places.
In mathematics, a square number or perfect square is an integer that is the square of an integer; in other words, it is the product of some integer with itself. For example, 9 is a square number, since it can be written as 3 × 3.
The usual notation for the formula for the square of a number n is not the product n × n, but the equivalent exponentiation n2, usually pronounced as "n squared". The name square number comes from the name of the shape; see below.
The imaginary unit or unit imaginary number, denoted as i, is a mathematical concept which extends the real number system ℝ to the complex number system ℂ, which in turn provides at least one root for every polynomial P(x) (see algebraic closure and fundamental theorem of algebra). The imaginary unit's core property is that i2 = −1. The term "imaginary" is used because there is no real number having a negative square.
There are in fact two complex square roots of −1, namely i and −i, just as there are two complex square roots of every other real number, except zero, which has one double square root.
In mathematics, the nth root of a number x is a number r which, when raised to the power of n, equals x
where n is the degree of the root. A root of degree 2 is called a square root and a root of degree 3, a cube root. Roots of higher degree are referred to using ordinal numbers, as in fourth root, twentieth root, etc.