Simple Ways to Compute Square Root

Here are some methods to compute the square root of a positive number c. Nothing innovative; but classic.

Method 1: Taylor expansion

If c>1, then

\sqrt{c}=\sqrt{\frac{1}{1-q}}=1+\frac{1}{2}q+\frac{3}{8}q^2+\cdots+(-1)^n{-1/2 \choose n}q^n+\cdots

If c<1, then

\sqrt{c}=\sqrt{1-q}=1-\frac{1}{2}q+\frac{3}{8}q^2+\cdots+(-1)^n{1/2 \choose n}q^n+\cdots

Convergence: linear.

Method 2: Fixed point iteration


Convergence: quadratic.

Method 3: Fixed point iteration


Convergence: cubic.


3 Responses to “Simple Ways to Compute Square Root”

  1. 1 nenny March 2, 2010 at 3:14 pm

    thank you for this post.. this helps me a lot.. really.. thanks..! 😀

  2. 2 Frank April 17, 2010 at 11:40 pm


    I want to plot a implicit function on matlab, would you please let me know the commands?

    Here is the function:


    x in (0,1)

    Thanks a lot.

  3. 3 Jie April 19, 2010 at 8:27 pm

    Frank, you can do this:

    xm = 0:0.01:1;
    km = 0:0.01:4;
    [x,k] = meshgrid(xm,km);
    f = (x-k).*x./(3*x-2*k)+(2*x-3*k).*(1-x)./(1-x-k) – k;

    Btw, your question should be posted here instead..

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