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Thread: What is a non-zero square?

  1. #1
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    Oct 2011
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    Default What is a non-zero square?

    Hi all,

    In my program i have to test for the following condition:

    If (Q2-4PR) is not a non-zero square (i.e. √(Q2-4PR) hasnít got a root

    and if its true then i have to print out a certain message.

    Does this basically mean if the answer isnt a square number? ie. 1, 2, 4, 9, 16, 25, 36,49 etc..

    also how would you go about testing this.

    All i can think of is say if x represents (Q2-4PR)... :

    if(x != 1 || x != 2 || x != 4 || x != 9 etc...) {
    System.out.println("Error message here");

    Obviously there must be a correct way to test if a number is a square. Would a boolean be involved ?

    Any help appreciated.

  2. #2
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    Oct 2010
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    Default Re: What is a non-zero square?

    Hmm I don't know any easy methods, but I would go about it like

    for(int i = 0; i < x; i++)
         //x is a perfect square.
    for(int i = 0;i<x;i++)
      if((i^2) == x)
         //x is a perfect square

    However, a Google search brings up
    java - Fastest way to determine if an integer's square root is an integer - Stack Overflow

    It all depends on readability vs efficiency when it comes down to it.

  3. #3
    Senile Half-Wit Freaky Chris's Avatar
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    Default Re: What is a non-zero square?

    Hi djl1990,

    The equation √(Q2-4PR), is normally written as √(b^2 - 4ac) which is used to determine how many "real" roots a quadratic equation has.

    if (b^2 - 4ac) is equal to 0 you have exactlt 1 real root, well technically you have 2 real roots but they are identically.
    if it is larger than 0, you have 2 real roots
    if it is negative, you have no real roots, only imaginary roots, but you will not be interested in those.

    I hope this will help you.


    Prifysgol Bangor University, North Wales

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