By examinining a known
relationship in algebra, we might hope to figure out a process.
Actually, a process we can generalise to other roots.
We know: [1.1]
We wish to find:
First we note we can write down a on the answer line, the first bit of
the square roots
Bringing down a2, we subtract it from the
original and we are left with 2ab+b2
We now figure out how the next number arises (we know it is b)
need to double the answer so far (2a) and add a number, b, such that
when this is multiplied by b, it is less than or equal to the remainder.
If necessary, we could use (a+b+c)2 to ensure we understand the process.
We can note the following:
Find the first part of the square root (a)
Double the answer so far (2a) and bring it down.
Find a number, b, so when added to 2a, and the whole
multiplied by b: (2a+b)·b is equal to the remainder (or just less)
If 2a+b equals the remainder, we have found the root
If there is a remainder, we repeat the process from step 2,
bringing down 2(a+b) and seeking a new b
As an example, we seek to find
using the square root radical algorithm above. The a's and b's below
relate to the rationale above, and are indended as reminders and
Answer so far
Find root of 1+x
Remainder. 2a+b b=-x2/8
Remainder. 2a+b, b=x3/16
The square root of (1+x) to 10 terms is:
Square Roots of Numbers
this is taught in Baby School, even though one can go through a
lifetime's career in mathematical work without ever using it, or
thinking of it, again! In algebra, we seek a number b such that 2ab+b2 is the largest number less than or equal to our remainder. In arithmetic, we change this formula to finding a b such that 20ab+b2
fits our criterion. And the a's and b's are numbers less than 10. This
is only important when considering the algebra, as it happens
automatically in the arithmetic algorithm (when you, say, add 1 to 2 to
get 21, you have effectively multiplied the number by 10, and doubled
it when bringing it down).
Also, in arithmetic, we divide our
number in two-digit groups from the units figure (on the principle that
any number between 0 and 10, exclusive, squared is a number less
We seek the square root of 180625.
Answer so far
18 06 25
Find a, so a2<=18 a=4
Remainder, bring down next pair (06). 2a+b Seek b, so 20ab+b2≤206 This is approximately 206/80 b=2
Remainder Bring down next pair of numbers (25) 2a+b Seek b, so 20ab+b2≤4225 This is approximately 4225/840 b=5
We are done. The answer is 425 exactly
course, in arithmetic, we use simply 2 and not 20, but when exploring
arithmetic algebraically, taking a as a number between 0 and 10, we
need to use 20.
When seeking b, we can assume it is small
compared with 20a, and try dividing 20a into the remainder. If we are
confused, we can figure out, for instance: 20ab+b2≤4225, or (20a+b)b≤4225 where a=42