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High precision square roots

  1. Dec 7, 2014 #1
    Hello,

    i'm having trouble evaluating my gamma factor for my special relativity homework, because I need to compute 1 minus a very small number (8.57*10^-13). My calculator treats this value as simply 1, as does Mathematica. Although I don't know much about it, and maybe there's a way to force it to consider the small number.

    Are there any methods that I could do by hand?

    (I am also looking for a computer method elsewhere, but I figured this might be interesting).

    Thanks!
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 7, 2014 #2

    SteamKing

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  4. Dec 7, 2014 #3
    Thanks, that solves the problem at hand.
     
  5. Dec 7, 2014 #4

    Vanadium 50

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    (1+x)^(1/2) is approximately 1 + x/2.
     
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