Subject: square roots

Name: Josh Weiner
Who is asking: Student
Level: Secondary

Is there any way to find out a square root without a calculator?

Hi Josh,

I can give you references to two methods for approximating square roots.
   If you go to the Quandaries and Queries section of Math Central and search in the Keyword field for square root you will find a collection of questions and answers. One of them is titled "Approximating roots". This gives a description of a recursive algorithm for approximating square roots. Your calculator actually uses an algorithm somewhat similar to this.
   If you go to the Resource Room at Math Central and search in the keyword field for square root you will find a resource titled "A geometric view of the square root algorithm". This contains a description of another process for approximatinf square roots. Before the widespread use of calculators many of us learned this process in school. As far as I know it has no practical use and I wouldn't suggest that anyone learn it.


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