root
root, in mathematics, number or quantity r for which an equation f ( r ) = 0 holds true, where f is some function. If f is a polynomial, r is called a root of f; for example, r = 3 and r =  4 are roots of the equation x ^{2}+ x  12 = 0, because (3)2+(3)  12 = 0 and (  4)2+(  4)  12 = 0. In the special case where f ( x ) = x n  a for some number a, a root of f is called an n th root of a, denoted by The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved. See more Encyclopedia articles on: Mathematics 
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