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Henrico County Public Schools, Virginia
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Module - Radicals
Introduction - Mother Nature at Work



Square Roots and Cube Roots of Whole Numbers


Square Roots of Monomial Algebraic Expressions


Operations with Radical Expressions


Module Review



If you look around you, you can find many examples of mathematics in nature’s designs. The shell of a chambered nautilus is one of many examples that can be found. This shell takes on its spiral shape because of the nautilus’s growth pattern and the formation of small chambers of increasing size.

One method for studying the spiral is to use a set of right angles winding around a point to represent the shape of the spiral. These right triangles are drawn so that the sides used to represent the spiral all have the same length. The longest side of each right triangle is called the hypotenuse. The relationship between the measures of the sides of the right triangles is the basis for the Pythagorean Theorem.

The next time you see a daisy, sunflower, pineapple, pinecone, or even the horns of a ram, see if you can find the spirals that are part of their design.

Upon completion of the activities in this unit, you should be able to:

  • Use the following terms in a written paragraph to describe the key concepts of this unit.
    • hypotenuse
    • Pythagorean Theorem
    • radical sign
    • radicand
    • square root
  • Simplify rational square roots.
  • Find approximate values for square roots.
  • Use the Pythagorean Theorem.
  • Simplify square roots and radical expressions containing variables.
HCPS 2002-