It is known that there is no formula (involving radicals only) for the roots of a general equation of degree exceeding 4. The familiar form for the roots of the quadratic
$${x^2} + px + q = 0$$
$${x_ \pm } = - {\textstyle{1 \over 2}}p \pm \sqrt {\left( {{p^2}/4} \right) - q.} $$
The formulas for the case of cubics and quartics are given in algebra texts and the reader should try to use them, checking the results obtained from tables.


Familiar Form Arithmetic Unit Desk Calculator Newton Formula Numerical Analyst 
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Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag, Basel 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • John Todd
    • 1
  1. 1.California Institute of TechnologyUSA

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