Skip to main content
Mathematics LibreTexts

5: Roots and Radicals

  • Page ID
  • \( \newcommand{\vecs}[1]{\overset { \scriptstyle \rightharpoonup} {\mathbf{#1}} } \)

    \( \newcommand{\vecd}[1]{\overset{-\!-\!\rightharpoonup}{\vphantom{a}\smash {#1}}} \)

    \( \newcommand{\id}{\mathrm{id}}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\)

    ( \newcommand{\kernel}{\mathrm{null}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\range}{\mathrm{range}\,}\)

    \( \newcommand{\RealPart}{\mathrm{Re}}\) \( \newcommand{\ImaginaryPart}{\mathrm{Im}}\)

    \( \newcommand{\Argument}{\mathrm{Arg}}\) \( \newcommand{\norm}[1]{\| #1 \|}\)

    \( \newcommand{\inner}[2]{\langle #1, #2 \rangle}\)

    \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\)

    \( \newcommand{\id}{\mathrm{id}}\)

    \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\)

    \( \newcommand{\kernel}{\mathrm{null}\,}\)

    \( \newcommand{\range}{\mathrm{range}\,}\)

    \( \newcommand{\RealPart}{\mathrm{Re}}\)

    \( \newcommand{\ImaginaryPart}{\mathrm{Im}}\)

    \( \newcommand{\Argument}{\mathrm{Arg}}\)

    \( \newcommand{\norm}[1]{\| #1 \|}\)

    \( \newcommand{\inner}[2]{\langle #1, #2 \rangle}\)

    \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\) \( \newcommand{\AA}{\unicode[.8,0]{x212B}}\)

    \( \newcommand{\vectorA}[1]{\vec{#1}}      % arrow\)

    \( \newcommand{\vectorAt}[1]{\vec{\text{#1}}}      % arrow\)

    \( \newcommand{\vectorB}[1]{\overset { \scriptstyle \rightharpoonup} {\mathbf{#1}} } \)

    \( \newcommand{\vectorC}[1]{\textbf{#1}} \)

    \( \newcommand{\vectorD}[1]{\overrightarrow{#1}} \)

    \( \newcommand{\vectorDt}[1]{\overrightarrow{\text{#1}}} \)

    \( \newcommand{\vectE}[1]{\overset{-\!-\!\rightharpoonup}{\vphantom{a}\smash{\mathbf {#1}}}} \)

    \( \newcommand{\vecs}[1]{\overset { \scriptstyle \rightharpoonup} {\mathbf{#1}} } \)

    \( \newcommand{\vecd}[1]{\overset{-\!-\!\rightharpoonup}{\vphantom{a}\smash {#1}}} \)

    • 5.1: Simplify Expressions with Roots
    • 5.2: Simplify Radical Expressions
      We will simplify radical expressions in a way similar to how we simplified fractions. A fraction is simplified if there are no common factors in the numerator and denominator. To simplify a fraction, we look for any common factors in the numerator and denominator. A radical expression, ⁿ√ a , is considered simplified if it has no factors of mⁿ. So, to simplify a radical expression, we look for any factors in the radicand that are powers of the index.
    • 5.3: Simplify Rational Exponents
      Rational exponents are another way of writing expressions with radicals. When we use rational exponents, we can apply the properties of exponents to simplify expressions.
    • 5.4: Add, Subtract, and Multiply Radical Expressions
      Adding radical expressions with the same index and the same radicand is just like adding like terms. We call radicals with the same index and the same radicand like radicals to remind us they work the same as like terms.
    • 5.5: Divide Radical Expressions
      We have used the Quotient Property of Radical Expressions to simplify roots of fractions. We will need to use this property ‘in reverse’ to simplify a fraction with radicals. We give the Quotient Property of Radical Expressions again for easy reference. Remember, we assume all variables are greater than or equal to zero so that no absolute value bars re needed.
    • 5.6: Solve Radical Equations
    • 5.7: Use Radicals in Functions
      In this section we will extend our previous work with functions to include radicals. If a function is defined by a radical expression, we call it a radical function.
    • 5.8: Use the Complex Number System

    Thumbnail: The mathematical expression "The (principal) square root of x". Image used with permission (GPL, David Vignoni (original icon); Flamurai (SVG convertion); bayo (color)).

    This page titled 5: Roots and Radicals is shared under a CC BY license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by OpenStax.

    • Was this article helpful?