Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Square root

What is the square root of 4? 8 came the reply when her father asked! As if this wasn’t enough, she asked the same question on one of the social networking sites. Answers poured in, some said 16 or 8. Some managed to get it right and said 2 (yes it is the right answer, what were you thinking??).

All this left me wondering what the square root of 3 is!! So I asked my sister (supposedly a scientist) who struggled with me to find that out. We had almost half an hour telephonic discussion trying to recollect the methods of calculating square roots. Without any success we decided to close the matter then and there. But I, who was constantly being haunted by the question, decided to pose same question to my mother. She being more intelligent than us first explained me the process of finding square root which was quite accurate and sounded exactly like our mathematics books. But then the big question came- what the square root of 3 is? How you calculate it? And there she struggled too. Then came my sister (software engineer with SEVEN Years of experience and the most intelligent of the lot), she tried to explain me the entire method. At the beginning, I was quite confident about her abilities to crack the problems. But when it came to square root of 3, her abilities seemed to fade. So in spite of getting repeated lectures on the way to find out square roots, we all struggled to get the square root of 3 right.

So what is the square root of 3?????

13 comments:

  1. Wow, this made for an interesting reading. Thanks babes :) And i did google for the answer. But dint really take the pain to brush up the school maths on calculating square roots. After all, we, journos(!) know better than that, isn't it? ;)

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  2. @amu: pleasure is absolutely mine dear:)ya right..we PR chaps follow you guys only!! by the way WHTS THE ANSWER??

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  3. 1.73205081 is what i got. Must be right. It's Google...GOO..GLE!

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  4. I agree with Ammu... its a very nicely written and interesting piece. And the funny thing is I called my brother who is doing his graduation(major-Mathematics and Economics).. he doesnt know the answer... (Now I am curious... whats the answer)

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  5. @ Iti: Thanks a lot :)..amu has given the gggle answer..i think thats a correct one!!
    or may be we all should go for maths classes!!!

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  6. there is no sureshot method that I know to calculate square roots of such numbers like 3, 7 etc., all you need to do is a reverse calculation like sq root of 2.89 is 1.7 and that of 3.24 is 1.8 ... that gives a fair bit of approximation that our answer for sq root of 3 is between 1.7 and 1.8. This will serve the purpose in most of the real world cases ... for the rest ... well thats precisely why we built CALCULATORS!!!

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  7. @ Nilesh: wow atlast someboday actually knows how to caculate it!! that will help i guess all of us (amu and iti)..and ya caculators are the only releif in this higly confusing world of mathematics...

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  8. haha... actually there is a method(involving continuous division), which can be applied to find square root of numbers. but for numbers like 3, 7 etc we have non terminating non repeating results and because of that we have to round it off after a suitable no of decimal places (generally three). the method mentioned above too the gentleman is a very good method to approximate results and is actually the blueprint to use a family of iterative approximation methods used in a subject called "numerical methods" :)

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  9. @pranjal: Thanks a lot but mathematics is something which goes above my head!! So its better for me to just depend on calculators, google and friends!!

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  10. What an entertaining discussion! But seriously... Why didn't you just ask the calculator??! as Nilesh (bhaiyya??) said! This makes me think of the numerous situations like these that life stumps us with, and we get royally stumped, complain that life is a conspiracy, while failing to see the most obvious solution staring us in the face! This for me personally is a tiny glimmer of hope :)

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  11. Nice Blog !! It seems we have lost touch with squares / square roots etc after out 10th.. The square root of 3 is 1.732 and the square root of 4 is +/- 2 .. :) We almost missed -2 as an answer :)

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  12. @kavitha: M glad this post had such a motivating effect :) :)

    @Binu Thomas: Thanks a lot :)
    ha ha..you are right somebody should have considered -2 also!!

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