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In mathematics, a square number or perfect square is an integer that is the square of an integer; in other words, it is the product of some integer with itself. For example, 9 is a square number, since it can be written as 3 × 3.
The usual notation for the formula for the square of a number n is not the product n × n, but the equivalent exponentiation n2, usually pronounced as "n squared". The name square number comes from the name of the shape; see below.
For a non-negative integer n, the nth square number is n2, with 02 = 0 being the zeroth square. The concept of square can be extended to some other number systems. If rational numbers are included, then a square is the ratio of two square integers, and, conversely, the ratio of two square integers is a square (e.g., 4/9 = (2/3)2).
Starting with 1, there are square numbers up to and including m, where the expression represents the floor of the number x.
- 02 = 0
- 12 = 1
- 22 = 4
- 32 = 9
- 42 = 16
- 52 = 25
- 62 = 36
- 72 = 49
- 82 = 64
- 92 = 81
- 102 = 100
- 112 = 121
- 122 = 144
- 132 = 169
- 142 = 196
- 152 = 225
- 162 = 256
- 172 = 289
- 182 = 324
- 192 = 361
- 202 = 400
- 212 = 441
- 222 = 484
- 232 = 529
- 242 = 576
- 252 = 625
- 262 = 676
- 272 = 729
- 282 = 784
- 292 = 841
- 302 = 900
- 312 = 961
- 322 = 1024
- 332 = 1089
- 342 = 1156
- 352 = 1225
- 362 = 1296
- 372 = 1369
- 382 = 1444
- 392 = 1521
- 402 = 1600
- 412 = 1681
- 422 = 1764
- 432 = 1849
- 442 = 1936
- 452 = 2025
- 462 = 2116
- 472 = 2209
- 482 = 2304
- 492 = 2401
- 502 = 2500
- 512 = 2601
- 522 = 2704
- 532 = 2809
- 542 = 2916
- 552 = 3025
- 562 = 3136
- 572 = 3249
- 582 = 3364
- 592 = 3481
The difference between any perfect square and its predecessor is given by the identity . Equivalently, it is possible to count up square numbers by adding together the last square, the last square's root, and the current root, that is, .
The number m is a square number if and only if one can compose a square of m equal (lesser) squares:
|m = 12 = 1|
|m = 22 = 4|
|m = 32 = 9|
|m = 42 = 16|
|m = 52 = 25|
|Note: White gaps between squares serve only to improve visual perception.
There must be no gaps between actual squares.
The expression for the nth square number is n2. This is also equal to the sum of the first n odd numbers as can be seen in the above pictures, where a square results from the previous one by adding an odd number of points (shown in magenta). The formula follows:
So for example, 52 = 25 = 1 + 3 + 5 + 7 + 9.
There are several recursive methods for computing square numbers. For example, the nth square number can be computed from the previous square by . Alternatively, the nth square number can be calculated from the previous two by doubling the (n − 1)-th square, subtracting the (n − 2)-th square number, and adding 2, because n2 = 2(n − 1)2 − (n − 2)2 + 2. For example,
- 2 × 52 − 42 + 2 = 2 × 25 − 16 + 2 = 50 − 16 + 2 = 36 = 62.
Another property of a square number is that it has an odd number of positive divisors, while other natural numbers have an even number of positive divisors. An integer root is the only divisor that pairs up with itself to yield the square number, while other divisors come in pairs.
Lagrange's four-square theorem states that any positive integer can be written as the sum of four or fewer perfect squares. Three squares are not sufficient for numbers of the form 4k(8m + 7). A positive integer can be represented as a sum of two squares precisely if its prime factorization contains no odd powers of primes of the form 4k + 3. This is generalized by Waring's problem.
A square number can end only with digits 0, 1, 4, 6, 9, or 25 in base 10, as follows:
- If the last digit of a number is 0, its square ends in an even number of 0s (so at least 00) and the digits preceding the ending 0s must also form a square.
- If the last digit of a number is 1 or 9, its square ends in 1 and the number formed by its preceding digits must be divisible by four.
- If the last digit of a number is 2 or 8, its square ends in 4 and the preceding digit must be even.
- If the last digit of a number is 3 or 7, its square ends in 9 and the number formed by its preceding digits must be divisible by four.
- If the last digit of a number is 4 or 6, its square ends in 6 and the preceding digit must be odd.
- If the last digit of a number is 5, its square ends in 25 and the preceding digits must be 0, 2, 06, or 56.
In base 16, a square number can end only with 0, 1, 4 or 9 and
- in case 0, only 0, 1, 4, 9 can precede it,
- in case 4, only even numbers can precede it.
In general, if a prime p divides a square number m then the square of p must also divide m; if p fails to divide m∕p, then m is definitely not square. Repeating the divisions of the previous sentence, one concludes that every prime must divide a given perfect square an even number of times (including possibly 0 times). Thus, the number m is a square number if and only if, in its canonical representation, all exponents are even.
Squarity testing can be used as alternative way in factorization of large numbers. Instead of testing for divisibility, test for squarity: for given m and some number k, if k2 − m is the square of an integer n then k − n divides m. (This is an application of the factorization of a difference of two squares.) For example, 1002 − 9991 is the square of 3, so consequently 100 − 3 divides 9991. This test is deterministic for odd divisors in the range from k − n to k + n where k covers some range of natural numbers k ≥ √.
A square number cannot be a perfect number.
The sum of the series of power numbers
can also be represented by the formula
The first terms of this series (the square pyramidal numbers) are:
All fourth powers, sixth powers, eighth powers and so on are perfect squares.
Special cases 
- If the number is of the form m5 where m represents the preceding digits, its square is n25 where n = m × (m + 1) and represents digits before 25. For example the square of 65 can be calculated by n = 6 × (6 + 1) = 42 which makes the square equal to 4225.
- If the number is of the form m0 where m represents the preceding digits, its square is n00 where n = m2. For example the square of 70 is 4900.
- If the number has two digits and is of the form 5m where m represents the units digit, its square is AABB where AA = 25 + m and BB = m2. Example: To calculate the square of 57, 25 + 7 = 32 and 72 = 49, which means 572 = 3249.
- If the number ends in 5, its square will end in 5; similarly for ending in 25, 625, 0625, 90625, ... 8212890625, etc. If the number ends in 6, its square will end in 6, similarly for ending in 76, 376, 9376, 09376, ... 1787109376. For example, the square of 55376 is 3066501376, both ending in 376. (The numbers 5, 6, 25, 76, etc. are called automorphic numbers. They are sequence A003226 in the OEIS.)
Odd and even square numbers 
Squares of even numbers are even (and in fact divisible by 4), since (2n)2 = 4n2.
Squares of odd numbers are odd, since (2n + 1)2 = 4(n2 + n) + 1.
It follows that square roots of even square numbers are even, and square roots of odd square numbers are odd.
As all even square numbers are divisible by 4, the even numbers of the form 4n + 2 are not square numbers.
As all odd square numbers are of the form 4n + 1, the odd numbers of the form 4n + 3 are not square numbers.
Squares of odd numbers are of the form 8n + 1, since (2n + 1)2 = 4n(n + 1) + 1 and n(n + 1) is an even number.
See also 
- Automorphic number
- Brahmagupta–Fibonacci identity
- Cubic number
- Euler's four-square identity
- Fermat's theorem on sums of two squares
- Integer square root
- Methods of computing square roots
- Polygonal number
- Power of two
- Pythagorean triple
- Quadratic residue
- Square (algebra) #Related identities
- Square triangular number
- The Book of Squares
- Some authors also call squares of rational numbers perfect squares.
Further reading 
- Conway, J. H. and Guy, R. K. The Book of Numbers. New York: Springer-Verlag, pp. 30–32, 1996. ISBN 0-387-97993-X
- Kiran Parulekar. Amazing Properties of Squares and Their Calculations. Kiran Anil Parulekar, 2012 http://books.google.com/books?id=njEtt7rfexEC&source=gbs_navlinks_s
- Learn Square Numbers. Practice square numbers up to 144 with this children's multiplication game
- Dario Alpern, Sum of squares. A Java applet to decompose a natural number into a sum of up to four squares.
- Fibonacci and Square Numbers at Convergence
- The first 1,000,000 perfect squares Includes a program for generating perfect squares up to 1015.