In math, the squared prize (2) is an arithmetic operator that signifies multiply a number by itself. The “square” of a number is the product of the number and itself. Multiplying a number by chin is referred to as “squaring” the number. Squaring a number is a more specific instance of the basic exponentiation operation, exponentiation as soon as the exponent is 2. Squaring a number is the same as elevating that number to the strength of two. The square duty (ƒ(x)=x2) is the inverse of the square root role (ƒ(x)=√x).

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Raising a number n come the power of 2 is dubbed “squaring” since the resulting number n2 corresponds to the area that a square v sides of length n. The square role is really useful duty in algebra, trigonometry, and physics. In algebra, the square role forms the backbone the some simplest kinds the polynomials (quadratics). In trigonometry, the square function is used to discover the corresponding angles and side lengths that congruent triangles, a useful concept for modeling regular phenomena. In physics, the square function can be supplied to compute distances in between two clues (in the type of the Pythagorean theorem) and modeled phenomena regularly takes the mathematical form of a square function, specifically equations including velocity and acceleration.

Squaring: The Basics

Squaring a number is simple: simply multiply the number by itself: The symbol 32 just means 3×3. In general, for any type of number n:

n2 = × n

Further, the square function has the interesting property that placing in the additive inverse of n will provide you the same number: the is:

n2 = (−n)2

Strictly speaking, every optimistic number is the square of precisely two number, a positive and a an unfavorable number. 4 is the square the both 2 and also −2. A number the is the square the an integer is called a perfect square. In general, the further down the number heat one goes, the further and also further spread out the distribution of perfects squares. This tendency is because the square role grows exponentially; i.e. Its price of expansion is proportional come its present value.

The train station of the square duty is the square root function ƒ(x) = √x. The square source of a number is any a together that a2 = n. Because both a number and its additive station square to get the same result, every confident real number has specifically 2 roots +√x and −√x, periodically expressed as ±√x. In many context, “the square root” of a number refers simply to its positive root. The particular meaning of the square root role makes that so that no an unfavorable real number has actually a square root, together no number multiply by chin will create a an unfavorable number. An unfavorable numbers have actually square roots in the complicated number system, but not in the real number system.

A graph the the function x2 looks like:


Notice just how the graph is perfectly mirrored follow me the vertical y-axis. The shape of the graph corresponds to the fact that every confident real number is the square that both a hopeful and an adverse number (except zero). Together such, that is possible that a duty in the general form of the square role will not have any kind of roots—there is no n such that ƒ(n) = 0. Visually, this means that some square attributes will never ever cross the x-axis.

Use the The Square Function


The square function forms the backbone that a special course of polynomial equations called quadratic equations. A quadratic polynomial of level 2: that is, any kind of polynomial in the form:

ax2 + bx + c

Where a, b, and c space all genuine numbers and a≠0. The state a, b, and also c are referred to as the quadratic, linear, and constant coefficient, respectively. Quadratic equations can be factored to find their roots—values the x because that which the entire equation equals 0. Alternatively, one can use the quadratic equation to resolve for the roots of a quadratic polynomial:


Quadratic equation are beneficial for modeling motion, as the curve of increased motion takes the form of a square curve. If part motion has actually a consistent rate that acceleration, climate a graph of its movement will it is in a quadratic equation. The geometric shape of the quadratic function is called a parabola.


The square role has plenty of uses in geometry. Most obviously, the square duty can be used to uncover the area of squares. It is a commonly known fact that the area of a square with sides that length n is same to n2. This adheres to from the equation because that the area the a rectangle (and parallelograms more generally) whereby A = l×w. A square is merely a rectangle where the length and also the width space the same. The fact that the area of a square is a square duty explains a property around the growth of square area: the area square whose length is times longer has n2 much more area.

The area of a square through lengths 5. Credit: WikiCommons CC0 1.0

Squaring additionally is used to uncover distances in between two point out in the context of the Pythagorean theorem. The Pythagorean theorem tells that the square that the sides of a ideal triangle (a triangle through a 90° angle) are equal come the square the the hypotenuse (a2+b2=c2). This formula can be offered to compute the distance between the origin suggest of a coordinate-axis (0, 0) and any arbitrary point (x, y). One can attract a line expanding from the beginning point x devices horizontally, climate a line prolonging from that point units vertically. The attracted shape will be a right triangle, and the distance in between the origin (0, 0) and suggest (x, y) can be calculated together the hypotenuse that a best triangle with side lengths x and y.

The Pythagorean theorem is a special instance of the an ext general parallelogram regulation that relates the length of the sides of a parallel to its diagonals: the parallelogram regulation states the the sum of the square the the lengths the the lengths the the 4 sides is same to the amount of the square of the diagonals. Say we have a parallelogram with sides AB, BC, CD, and also DA and diagonals AC and BD. The parallelogram regulation tells us that:

AB2+BC2+CD2+DA2 = AC2+BD2 

Since in a parallelogram, opposite sides are, by definition, equal in lengths this equation can just be rewritten as:

2(AB)2+2(CD)2 = AC2+BD2 

The Pythagorean theorem falls out the this equation in the instance of a rectangle, wherein the diagonals are equal lengths.


Squaring also pops up in regulations relating the lengths that the political parties of a triangle come its angles, in the type of the legislation of cosines. Just put, the regulation of cosines says that because that a triangle with lengths a, b, and also c and opposing angles A, B, and C:

c2= a² + b² – 2ab×cos(C)

The cosine law can be rewritten to solve for each variable giving an equation with the specific same form, for this reason the same equation will occupational for any type of side. The legislation of cosines permits you to recognize the other contents of a triangle if you understand the size of at least two sides and also one angle. The equation additionally simplifies to provide the Pythagorean theorem in the case of best triangles. In the case of appropriate triangles, ∠C = 90, so cos(C) = 0. The rightmost component of the equation cancels out, and we space left with c2= a² + b²

In Physics

In physics, the square duty often rears that head in the context of equations the define the soot of part physical quantity as a function of distance. Because of the 3-D geometry of space, the intensity of any type of physical quantity that radiates outward in a sphere approximately the resource is inversely proportional come the square that the distance from the source. This fact follows indigenous the geometric regulation that the surface ar area that a sphere (4πr2) is straight proportional come the radius squared (r2) the the sphere.

For example, the force of heaviness is an train station square pressure as the toughness of the gravitational attraction between two body is straight proportional to the fixed of those bodies and also inversely proportional come the square the the distance between those bodies. This is noticeable in the mathematical kind of Newton’s law of gravitation

Fg= G(m1×m2)/d2

where m1 and also m2 are the masses of the bodies and d is the distance between their centers of gravity. Incidentally, the pressure of electrostatic attraction between two bodies likewise takes the form of an train station square law, and also the measured intensity that light as measured from a point source.

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The square notation is additionally used to specify units of measure up in physics. For example, acceleration, the price of readjust of velocity, is measured in the unit m/s2. This have the right to be review “meters per second per second.” If velocity is the change in distance v respect come time, climate acceleration is the adjust in velocity through respect come time. Acceleration is a measure of exactly how much velocity is changing at each point of motion. If my acceleration is 6 m/s2, this method that my velocity (m/s) is boosting by 6 for every second of motion, hence meters per second per second.