I’ve asked about this question before. Then you answered me that it was not the intention to solve my school assignment. You actually misinterpreted me. The purpose of our school assignment is to look up the square root of 2 on the Internet. We may use any source for that, provided we display the source.

## Answer

Dear Yadranca,

Calculating square roots is as old as mathematics itself. The Babylonians already had approximate methods for calculating square roots. I’ll give you a very simple method that basically allows you to compute this yourself for any precision.

Say you want to find the square root of two to two decimal places. This is like asking for the largest whole number whose square is less than 20,000. This number is 141 because the square of 141 is 19,881 and that of 142 is 20,164. So a first approximation of the square root of two is 1.41. So for thirty digits after the decimal point you have to start from 2 times 10 to the 60th power. The approximate square root will start with 141.. and 28 more digits. You can basically calculate this on paper but I won’t do this to you. The square root of two to 80 decimal places is:

1.41421356237309504880168872420969807856967187537694807317667973799073247846210704

There are also simple methods to calculate roots by decimal. See http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carrot pulling

and the previously answered question:

question 1445

Good luck!

## Answered by

#### dr. Albrecht Heeffer

Philosophy and History of Mathematics. Specialization in the Middle Ages, Renaissance and Early Modern Period. Symbolic algebra. Recreational math.

http://www.ugent.be

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