LaTeX Square Roots & Radicals – A LaTeX How-To for Educators

LaTeX Square Roots

LaTeX square roots are done with the command

\sqrt

The syntax is

\sqrt{x}

which produces the square root of x, like so:

n Roots

You can use the same \sqrt command to make roots other than square. The syntax

\sqrt[n]{x}

produces

Be sure to put in square brackets instead of curly. Square brackets are used for optional arguments to LaTeX commands.

Examples of Use

\Huge\sqrt[3]{27}=3

produces

\LARGE\sqrt[\frac{1}{2}]{4}

produces

The Quadratic Formula in LaTeX:

x=\frac{-b\pm\sqrt{b^2-4ac}}{2a}

You can even square root your square roots.

\ldots\sqrt{\sqrt{\sqrt{\ldots}}}=x

✔︎Bonus points (meaningless, imaginary points): Is this infinite series of square roots solvable for x, even if you can’t see the term until you reach infinity? I think so. 

I believe almost any valid LaTeX string can go in the root argument, even another \sqrt, but not another root:

\Huge\sqrt[\sqrt{x}]{x}

But this

\Huge\sqrt[\sqrt[n]{x}]{x}

produces an error for me in mathtex:

Other LaTeX Guides on Learning-Laboratory:

LaTeX Fractions
LaTex Font / Diagram Sizes

Offsite Resources:

Math Commands Cheat Sheet
LaTeX Wiki

About Bret Norwood

Bret Norwood is a staff blogger for Learning Laboratory in addition to other roles, including UI design and content development for Study Putty, our free memorization tool for chemistry and many other course topics. He is also a published writer of literary fiction--see BretNorwood.com
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