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Video: Finding the Squares of Numbers

Kathryn Kingham

We explain what we mean by terms like 5 squared or the square of 16 and how to write them using mathematical notation (5^2 or 16^2) as well as how to evaluate their result.

02:33

Video Transcript

Let’s take a quick look at finding squares of numbers. A square of a number is a power that has an exponent of two.

If someone says, “Find the square of five.” What do you think they mean? This is what they mean: five with an exponent of two, five squared. When we’re squaring numbers, we’re multiplying them by themselves. Here, that would be five times five. So the square of five is twenty-five.

Here’s a way to visualize this square: five rows of five, for a total of twenty-five blocks.

Here’s another example: find the square of sixteen. Well, I know that that means sixteen squared, sixteen to the power of two. I also know that that means sixteen times sixteen.

And from here we really have two choices: you can solve it by hand or solve it with a calculator. If I’m going to solve it by hand, I set it up this way. It looks like this, for a final answer of two hundred and fifty-six. And the calculator method, sixteen times sixteen will return the same answer of two hundred and fifty-six.

Our last example asks us to find the square of twenty. I know that that means we want to take twenty to the power of two, which means twenty times twenty. If I solve it by hand, I start here. This returns the answer of four hundred. Verifying that with my calculator method also returns the answer of four hundred. The square of twenty equals four hundred.

Now it’s your turn to go try and find some squares.