# Discovering Square Roots: Methods and Tricks to Make Calculations Easier

## I. Introduction

If you are someone who often has to find the square root of a number but you don’t know how to do it, then this article is for you. In this article, we will provide you with easy and step-by-step instructions on how to find square roots.

## II. Understanding Square Roots

Before we delve into the different methods for finding square roots, let’s first define what square roots are. In mathematics, the square root of a number is a value that, when multiplied by itself, gives a number.

Square roots have a relationship with exponents. For example, the square root of x is expressed using exponents as x^(1/2), meaning x raised to the power of 1/2. This is equivalent to the mathematical symbol √x.

To find the square root of a number using exponents, you can raise the number to the power of 1/2. For example, the square root of 25 can be expressed as 25^(1/2), which is equal to 5.

## III. Using the Long Division Method

The long division method is one of the most popular methods for finding square roots. It is simple, easy to understand, and can be used to find the square root of any positive number.

To find the square root of a number using the long division method, you need to follow these steps:

1. Separate the digits of the number into pairs, starting from the right-hand side.
2. Starting with the digit on the left, find the largest integer whose square is less than or equal to the first pair of digits.
3. Subtract the product of that integer and itself from the first pair of digits and write down the remainder.
4. Take the next pair of digits and bring them down beside the remainder to create a new dividend.
5. Double the quotient and append a digit that will make the new number a factor of the new dividend.
6. Divide the new dividend by the new number and write down the new quotient.
7. Repeat the process until you have the desired accuracy.

As an example, let’s find the square root of 64:

1. Separate the digits of the number into pairs: 6 4.
2. Starting with the digit on the left, find the largest integer whose square is less than or equal to 6, which is 2.
3. Subtract the product of 2 and itself from 6 to get 2.
4. Take the next pair of digits and bring them down beside the remainder to make a new dividend: 26.
5. Double the quotient and append a digit that makes the new number a factor of the new dividend. In this case, it’s 4: 24.
6. Divide the new dividend by the new number to get the new quotient: 25/4 = 6.25.
7. Repeat the process until the desired accuracy is achieved. The square root of 64 is 8.

## IV. Calculating Square Roots with a Calculator

Calculators are a convenient tool for finding square roots, especially if the number in question has many digits.

There are different types of calculators available for finding square roots, ranging from basic calculators to scientific calculators.

To find the square root of a number using a calculator, you simply need to press the square root key (√) followed by the number you want to find the square root of. As an example, let’s find the square root of 144:

√144 = 12

Calculators can provide the answer in decimal form, making them handy for problems that require precise calculations.

## V. Estimation Method

If you don’t have access to a calculator and you need to find a square root quickly, you can use the estimation method. It is fast, straightforward, and relies on rounding to the nearest whole number.

To use this method, follow these two steps:

1. Find the two perfect square numbers surrounding the given number.
2. Estimate the square root of the given number by calculating the average of the two perfect square numbers obtained in the first step.

Let’s find the square root of 15 using this method:

1. The two perfect square numbers that surround 15 are 9 and 16 (3² and 4² respectively).
2. The average of 9 and 16 is (9+16)/2 = 12.5.

Therefore, the square root of 15 is approximately equal to 12.5.

## VI. Relating Square Roots to Real-World Problems

Square roots are not only useful in mathematics but also in real-world scenarios. For instance, they are used in engineering, physics, and other scientific disciplines to calculate different values.

One common example where finding square roots is helpful is in calculating distances between two points in two-dimensional space or three-dimensional space. The Pythagorean theorem, which uses the concept of square roots, is typically applied to solve such problems.

Another example is in finance. When calculating compound interest, the interest rate is raised to a power that is based on the number of compounding periods per year. The square root of this number is then used to calculate the equivalent annual rate of return.

## VII. History of Square Roots

Square roots have a rich history that dates back to ancient civilizations. Babylonians, Greeks, Egyptians, and Indians all used the concept of square roots in their mathematical computations.

In the 8th century, the Indian mathematician Brahmagupta made important discoveries regarding the square roots of positive numbers. In the 10th century, the Persian mathematician Al-Khwarizmi wrote a book called “Al-jabr wa al-muqabala” which laid the foundation for the algebraic concept of square roots.

The symbol √, which is used to denote square roots, existed in ancient scripts, including the Chinese script, where it was used as early as the Tang dynasty (618 – 907 CE).

## VIII. Tricks and Shortcuts for Finding Square Roots

There are useful tips and shortcuts for finding the square root of perfect squares. A perfect square is a number that is the square of an integer. Some of these shortcuts include:

1. Identify the perfect square numbers up to 15 and memorize their square roots: 1, 4, 9, 16, 25, 36, 49, 64, 81, 100, 121, 144, 169, 196, and 225.
2. If the number you want to find the square root of ends with a 1, its square root must end in 1.
3. If the number ends with a 4, its square root must end in 2 or 8.
4. If the number ends with a 5, its square root must end in 5.
5. If the number ends with a 6, its square root must end in 4 or 6.
6. If the number ends with a 9, its square root must end in 3 or 7.
7. If two or more zeros immediately follow the last digit of the number, the square root must have half the number of zeros at the end.

## IX. Conclusion

Knowing how to find square roots is an essential element of mathematics. Mastery of this concept can greatly benefit you in solving real-world problems and save you time on calculations. We’ve shown you the long division method, the calculator method, the estimation method, and provided you with some tricks and shortcuts for finding square roots. With practice, you can become proficient in finding square roots and apply your skills to new challenges.