The nth Root

2 √a × √a = a The square root supplied two times in a multiplication provides the original value.

You are watching: How to find nth root on scientific calculator

3 3√a × 3√a × 3√a = a The cube root provided three time in a multiplication gives the original value.
n n√a × n√a × ... × n√a = a(n the them) The nth root provided n time in a multiplication offers the initial value.

The nth source Symbol


This is the distinct symbol that way "nth root", that is the "radical" price (used for square roots) v a little n to average nth root.

Using it

We might use the nth root in a question like this:

Question: What is "n" in this equation?

n√625 = 5

Answer: i just occur to understand that 625 = 54 , for this reason the 4th root of 625 must be 5:

4√625 = 5

Why "Root" ... ?


When you view "root" think

"I know the tree, but what is the root that created it? "

Example: in √9 = 3 the "tree" is 9 , and also the source is 3 .


Now we know what an nth root is, let united state look at part properties:

Multiplication and Division

We can "pull apart" multiplications under the root sign favor this:

n√ab = n√a × n√b (Note: if n is also then a and b have to both be ≥ 0)

This can help us leveling equations in algebra, and additionally make some calculations easier:


3√128 = 3√64×2 = 3√64 × 3√2 = 43√2

for this reason the cube root of 128 simplifies come 4 times the cube source of 2.

It likewise works because that division:

n√a/b = n√a / n√b (a≥0 and b>0)Note the b can not be zero, as we can"t division by zero

Addition and also Subtraction

But we cannot carry out that sort of thing for enhancements or subtractions!

n√a + b ≠ n√a + n√b

n√a − b ≠ n√a − n√b

n√an + bn ≠ a + b

Example: Pythagoras" theorem says

a2 + b2 = c2

So we calculate c favor this:

c = √a2 + b2

Which is not the same as c = a + b , right?

It is an easy trap to loss into, therefore beware.

It also method that, unfortunately, enhancements and subtractions can be hard to resolve when under a source sign.

Exponents vs Roots

An exponent on one side of "=" have the right to be turned into a source on the various other side the "=":

If an = b climate a = n√b

Note: once n is even then b need to be ≥ 0

nth source of a-to-the-nth-Power

When a value has actually an exponent the n and we take the nth root us get the value earlier again ...

See more: The First Step In Developing A Knowledge Management System Is To

... As soon as a is positive (or zero):

(when a ≥ 0 )



... Or when the exponent is odd :

(when n is odd )



... But when a is negative and the exponent is even we get this:


Did you see that −3 came to be +3 ?

... Therefore we should do this: (when a

The |a| means the absolute worth of a, in other words any an unfavorable becomes a positive.



So that is something come be careful of! Read more at exponents of an unfavorable Numbers

Here the is in a small table:

n is odd n is even a ≥ 0 a

nth root of a-to-the-mth-Power

What happens once the exponent and also root are various values (m and also n)?

Well, us are permitted to change the order favor this:

n√am = (n√a )m

So this: nth source of (a come the strength m)becomes (nth root of a) come the strength m

But over there is an even an ext powerful method ... Us can combine the exponent and also root to make a new exponent, like this: