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**1. Homework Statement**

I have been doing elementary algebra for a couple of weeks now, and gotten quite used to the idea that the square root of n gives +- n

_{1}.

Then moving on to arithmetic and n-roots / powers, I was given the current definition of the square root:

The square root of a number N is the

**positive**number M which gives M^2 = N.

So, what is going on here? Why are we suddenly only interested in the positive number?

Is this related to the fact that the square root of N can be written as N^(1/2) ?

k