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May 7th, 2013, 02:58 PM  #1 
Newbie Joined: May 2013 Posts: 3 Thanks: 0  Question about square roots!
Is it mathematically correct to say √16=±4, or would it be correct to say that √16=4, unless specified ±?16? This isn't for any specific problem or anything, but I'm just curious if is correct to have ±, because I know every number has two square roots.
Last edited by skipjack; June 27th, 2015 at 04:29 AM. 
May 7th, 2013, 05:12 PM  #2 
Global Moderator Joined: Oct 2008 From: London, Ontario, Canada  The Forest City Posts: 7,949 Thanks: 1141 Math Focus: Elementary mathematics and beyond  Re: Question about square roots!
Every real number greater than zero has two square roots. Zero has only one square root. The negative real numbers have no square roots in the set of real numbers.

May 8th, 2013, 02:37 PM  #3 
Global Moderator Joined: Dec 2006 Posts: 20,805 Thanks: 2150 
There are two square roots of 16, but √(16) is specifically the nonnegative square root, namely 4.
Last edited by skipjack; June 27th, 2015 at 04:30 AM. 

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