JavaScript: Calculate the nth root of a number

I'm trying to get the nth root of a number using JavaScript, but I don't see a way to do it using the built in Math object. Am I overlooking something?
If not...

Is there a math library I can use that has this functionality?
If not...

What's the best algorithm to do this myself?

Answers:

Answer

Can you use something like this?

Math.pow(n, 1/root);

eg.

Math.pow(25, 1/2) == 5
Answer

The nth root of x is the same as x to the power of 1/n. You can simply use Math.pow:

var original = 1000;
var fourthRoot = Math.pow(original, 1/4);
original == Math.pow(fourthRoot, 4); // (ignoring floating-point error)
Answer

Use Math.pow()

Note that it does not handle negative nicely - here is a discussion and some code that does

http://cwestblog.com/2011/05/06/cube-root-an-beyond/

function nthroot(x, n) {
  try {
    var negate = n % 2 == 1 && x < 0;
    if(negate)
      x = -x;
    var possible = Math.pow(x, 1 / n);
    n = Math.pow(possible, n);
    if(Math.abs(x - n) < 1 && (x > 0 == n > 0))
      return negate ? -possible : possible;
  } catch(e){}
}
Answer

You could use

Math.nthroot = function(x,n) {
    //if x is negative function returns NaN
    return this.exp((1/n)*this.log(x));
}
//call using Math.nthroot();
Answer

The n-th root of x is a number r such that r to the power of 1/n is x.

In real numbers, there are some subcases:

  • There are two solutions (same value with opposite sign) when x is positive and r is even.
  • There is one positive solution when x is positive and r is odd.
  • There is one negative solution when x is negative and r is odd.
  • There is no solution when x is negative and r is even.

Since Math.pow doesn't like a negative base with a non-integer exponent, you can use

function nthRoot(x, n) {
  if(x < 0 && n%2 != 1) return NaN; // Not well defined
  return (x < 0 ? -1 : 1) * Math.pow(Math.abs(x), 1/n);
}

Examples:

nthRoot(+4, 2); // 2 (the positive is chosen, but -2 is a solution too)
nthRoot(+8, 3); // 2 (this is the only solution)
nthRoot(-8, 3); // -2 (this is the only solution)
nthRoot(-4, 2); // NaN (there is no solution)
Answer

For the special cases of square and cubic root, it's best to use the native functions Math.sqrt and Math.cbrt respectively.

As of ES7, the exponentiation operator ** can be used to calculate the nth root as the 1/nth power of a non-negative base:

let root1 = Math.PI ** (1 / 3); // cube root of ?

let root2 = 81 ** 0.25;         // 4th root of 81

This doesn't work with negative bases, though.

let root3 = (-32) ** 5;         // NaN
Answer

Here's a function that tries to return the imaginary number. It also checks for a few common things first, ex: if getting square root of 0 or 1, or getting 0th root of number x

function root(x, n){
        if(x == 1){
          return 1;
        }else if(x == 0 && n > 0){
          return 0;
        }else if(x == 0 && n < 0){
          return Infinity;
        }else if(n == 1){
          return x;
        }else if(n == 0 && x > 1){
          return Infinity;
        }else if(n == 0 && x == 1){
          return 1;
        }else if(n == 0 && x < 1 && x > -1){
          return 0;
        }else if(n == 0){
          return NaN;
        }
        var result = false;
        var num = x;
        var neg = false;
        if(num < 0){
            //not using Math.abs because I need the function to remember if the number was positive or negative
            num = num*-1;
            neg = true;
        }
        if(n == 2){
            //better to use square root if we can
            result = Math.sqrt(num);
        }else if(n == 3){
            //better to use cube root if we can
            result = Math.cbrt(num);
        }else if(n > 3){
            //the method Digital Plane suggested
            result = Math.pow(num, 1/n);
        }else if(n < 0){
            //the method Digital Plane suggested
            result = Math.pow(num, 1/n);
        }
        if(neg && n == 2){
            //if square root, you can just add the imaginary number "i=?-1" to a string answer
            //you should check if the functions return value contains i, before continuing any calculations
            result += 'i';
        }else if(neg && n % 2 !== 0 && n > 0){
            //if the nth root is an odd number, you don't get an imaginary number
            //neg*neg=pos, but neg*neg*neg=neg
            //so you can simply make an odd nth root of a negative number, a negative number
            result = result*-1;
        }else if(neg){
            //if the nth root is an even number that is not 2, things get more complex
            //if someone wants to calculate this further, they can
            //i'm just going to stop at *n?-1 (times the nth root of -1)
            //you should also check if the functions return value contains * or ?, before continuing any calculations
            result += '*'+n+?+'-1';
        }
        return result;
    }
Answer

Well, I know this is an old question. But, based on SwiftNinjaPro's answer, I simplified the function and fixed some NaN issues. Note: This function used ES6 feature, arrow function and template strings, and exponentation. So, it might not work in older browsers:

Math.numberRoot = (x, n) => {
  return (((x > 1 || x < -1) && n == 0) ? Infinity : ((x > 0 || x < 0) && n == 0) ? 1 : (x < 0 && n % 2 == 0) ? `${((x < 0 ? -x : x) ** (1 / n))}${"i"}` : (n == 3 && x < 0) ? -Math.cbrt(-x) : (x < 0) ? -((x < 0 ? -x : x) ** (1 / n)) : (n == 3 && x > 0 ? Math.cbrt(x) : (x < 0 ? -x : x) ** (1 / n)));
};

Example:

Math.numberRoot(-64, 3); // Returns -4

Example (Imaginary number result):

Math.numberRoot(-729, 6); // Returns a string containing "3i".
Answer

I have written an algorithm but it is slow when you need many numbers after the point:

https://github.com/am-trouzine/Arithmetic-algorithms-in-different-numeral-systems

NRoot(orginal, nthRoot, base, numbersAfterPoint);

The function returns a string.

E.g.

var original = 1000;
var fourthRoot = NRoot(original, 4, 10, 32);
console.log(fourthRoot); 
//5.62341325190349080394951039776481

Tags

Recent Questions

Top Questions

Home Tags Terms of Service Privacy Policy DMCA Contact Us

©2020 All rights reserved.