# How to Find the Cube Root of Non-Perfect Cube Numbers

- Author: Noreen Niazi
- Last Updated on: November 29, 2023

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ToggleThe world of mathematics is filled with intriguing challenges and puzzles, and one such problem is finding the cube root of non-perfect cube numbers. While extracting the cube root of perfect cubes is straightforward, dealing with non-perfect cubes requires a different approach and a set of techniques we’ll explore in this comprehensive guide. We’ll walk through various methods, provide ten different examples, solve them step by step, and address frequently asked questions to help you gain a deeper understanding of this mathematical concept.

## Understanding Perfect and Non-Perfect Cubes

Before diving into the methods for finding the cube root of non-perfect cube numbers, it’s essential to understand the distinction between perfect and non-perfect cubes.

### Perfect Cubes:

Perfect cubes are whole numbers that can be expressed as the cube of another whole number. For example, 8 is a perfect cube because it is 2^3 (2 cubed).

Perfect cubes have rational cube roots, making them easy to calculate.

### Non-Perfect Cubes:

Non-perfect cubes are numbers that cannot be expressed as the cube of a whole number. For instance, 10 is a non-perfect cube because there is no whole number that, when cubed, equals 10.

Non-perfect cubes have irrational cube roots, which can be more challenging to calculate.

Now, let’s explore different methods for finding the cube root of non-perfect cube numbers

## Method 1 to find Cube Root of Non-Perfect Cube Numbers: Using an Approximation Technique

When dealing with non-perfect cube numbers, one approach is to use an approximation technique. This method provides an estimate of the cube root, which can be useful when you need a quick answer or want to avoid delving into complex calculations. Here’s how it works:

- Start with your non-perfect cube number, let’s say N.
- Find a perfect cube that is close to N.
- Calculate the cube root of that perfect cube.
- Use this as an estimate for the cube root of N.

Example 1: Approximating the Cube Root of 10

Let’s use this method to approximate the cube root of 10. We’ll find a nearby perfect cube and estimate its cube root.

- Start with N = 10.
- The nearest perfect cube less than 10 is 8 (2^3).
- Calculate the cube root of 8: ∛8 = 2.
- So, we estimate the cube root of 10 as approximately 2.

This method is straightforward and quick but provides only an approximation of the cube root. For more accurate results, we’ll explore more precise techniques.

## Method 2: Using Prime Factorization

Another approach to finding the cube root of a non-perfect cube is through prime factorization. This method involves breaking down the given number into its prime factors and using these factors to simplify the cube root.

- Start with your non-perfect cube number, N.
- Find the prime factorization of N.
- Group the prime factors in sets of three, as each set corresponds to one cube root.
- Take the cube root of each group.
- Multiply the cube roots of the groups to get the final answer.

**Example 2: Finding the Cube Root of 54 Using Prime Factorization**

Let’s apply this method to find the cube root of 54.

Start with N = 54.

- Find the prime factorization of 54: 54 = 2 * 3^3.
- Group the prime factors in three sets: (2 * 3^3).
- Take the cube root of each group: ∛(2 * 3^3) = (2 * ∛3^3).
- Calculate the cube root of 3^3: ∛3^3 = 3.
- Multiply the cube roots of the groups: 2 * 3 = 6.
- So, the cube root of 54 is 6.

## Method 3: Using the Decimal Search Method

The decimal search method is a more precise way to find the cube root of non-perfect cube numbers. It involves repeatedly estimating the cube root and refining the estimate until you reach a desired level of accuracy.

- Start with your non-perfect cube number, N.
- Make an initial guess for the cube root.
- Calculate the cube of the guess.
- Adjust the guess based on how close it is to the cube root.
- Repeat steps 3 and 4 until you achieve the desired level of accuracy.

Example 3: Finding the Cube Root of 20 Using the Decimal Search Method

Let’s use the decimal search method to find the cube root of 20.

- Start with N = 20.
- Make an initial guess, say ∛20 ≈ 2.
- Calculate the cube of the guess: 2^3 = 8.
- Adjust the guess: Since eight is less than 20, we need a larger estimate.
- New guess: ∛20 ≈ 3 (since 3^3 = 27, greater than 20).
- Calculate the cube of the new guess: 3^3 = 27.
- Adjust the guess: 27 is too high, so we need a smaller estimate.
- New guess: ∛20 ≈ 2.5.
- Calculate the cube of the new guess: 2.5^3 = 15.625.
- Adjust the guess: 15.625 is still less than 20, so we need a larger estimate.
- New guess: ∛20 ≈ 2.7.
- Continue this process until you achieve the desired level of accuracy.

By following this method, you can find the cube root of non-perfect cube numbers to any degree of precision.

## Method 4: Using the Newton-Raphson Method

The Newton-Raphson method is a numerical technique for finding approximate solutions to equations, including the cube root of non-perfect cube numbers. It involves iterating through a formula to approach the actual cube root.

The formula for the Newton-Raphson method to find the cube root of a number, x, is given as follows:

xᵢ₊₁ = (2/3) * xᵢ + (N / (3 * xᵢ²))

Where:

- xᵢ is the current approximation.
- xᵢ₊₁ is the next approximation.

N is the number for which you want to find the cube root.

Example 4: Finding the Cube Root of 7 Using the Newton-Raphson Method

Let’s use the Newton-Raphson method to find the cube root of 7.

- Start with N = 7.
- Make an initial guess, say x₀ = 2.
- Apply the formula to find the next approximation:
- x₁ = (2/3) * 2 + (7 / (3 * 2²))
- x₁ ≈ 2.1667

Repeat the process:

- x₂ = (2/3) * 2.1667 + (7 / (3 * 2.1667²))
- x₂ ≈ 1.9124
- x₃ = (2/3) * 1.9124 + (7 / (3 * 1.9124²))
- x₃ ≈ 1.8844

Continue iterating until you achieve the desired level of accuracy.

The Newton-Raphson method is a powerful numerical technique for approximating cube roots and can be programmed into a calculator or computer software for faster calculations.

Read more about decimal and fractions

Converting Mixed Numbers to Improper Fractions: A Step-by-Step Guide

## Method 5: Using Logarithms

Another approach to finding the cube root of non-perfect cube numbers involves using logarithms. This method is particularly useful when dealing with larger numbers. Here’s how it works:

- Start with your non-perfect cube number, N.
- Take the natural logarithm (ln) of N.
- Divide the result by 3.
- Find the exponential (e) of the result.
- The formula is as follows:
- ∛N = e^(ln(N) / 3)

**Example 5: Finding the Cube Root of 1000 Using Logarithms**

Let’s use this method to find the cube root of 1000.

- Start with N = 1000.
- Take the natural logarithm of N: ln(1000) ≈ 6.9078.
- Divide the result by 3: 6.9078 / 3 ≈ 2.3026.
- Find the exponential of the result: e^(2.3026) ≈ 10.
- So, the cube root of 1000 is approximately 10.

This method is particularly useful when dealing with large non-perfect cube numbers, as it avoids manual calculations.

## Method 6: Using Continued Fractions

Continued fractions provide another way to approximate the cube root of a number. This method involves expressing the cube root as a continued fraction and finding an approximation by truncating it at a certain point.

The continued fraction for the cube root of N is given by:

∛N = a₀ + 1 / (a₁ + 1 / (a₂ + 1 / (a₃ + …)))

Where a₀, a₁, a₂, a₃, … are successive terms in the continued fraction.

**Example 6: Finding the Cube Root of 17 Using Continued Fractions**

Let’s use continued fractions to find the cube root of 17.

- Start with N = 17.
- Begin by finding the first term, a₀:
- a₀ = the largest integer such that a₀³ ≤ 17. In this case, a₀ = 2 (since 2³ = 8).
- Express the cube root as a continued fraction:
- ∛17 = 2 + 1 / (a₁ + 1 / (a₂ + 1 / a₃ + …))

To find further terms, calculate the reciprocal of the remainder:

- 1 / (17 – 2³) = 1 / 1 = 1.
- Continue finding additional terms by repeating the process:
- ∛17 ≈ 2 + 1 / (1) = 2 + 1 = 3.

So, the cube root of 17 is approximately 3.

Continued fractions can achieve accurate approximations by considering more terms in the series

## Method 7: Using Power Series Expansion

Power series expansion is a mathematical technique that can approximate the cube root of non-perfect cube numbers. This method involves expanding the cube root function into a series of terms, which can be used to estimate the cube root.

The power series expansion for the cube root function ∛x is given as follows:

∛x ≈ ∛a + (x – a³) / (3a²∛a) – (x – a³)² / (9a⁴∛a) + …

Where ‘a’ is an initial approximation for the cube root of ‘x.’

**Example 7:** Finding the Cube Root of 28 Using Power Series Expansion

Let’s use power series expansion to find the cube root of 28.

- Start with N = 28.
- Choose an initial approximation, say a = 3 (since 3³ = 27 is close to 28).
- Use the power series expansion formula:
- ∛28 ≈ ∛3 + (28 – 3³) / (3 * 3² * ∛3) – (28 – 3³)² / (9 * 3⁴ * ∛3) + …
- Calculating each term gives an increasingly accurate approximation of the cube root.

The power series expansion method provides a more sophisticated way to estimate cube roots and can be particularly useful for non-perfect cube numbers

## Method 8: Using a Scientific Calculator

One of the most straightforward methods for finding the cube root of non-perfect cube numbers is to use a scientific calculator. Most scientific calculators have a cube root function that can provide accurate results quickly. To use this method:

- Enter the non-perfect cube number, N.
- Use the cube root function (∛) on the calculator.

Example 8: Finding the Cube Root of 23 Using a Scientific Calculator

- Let’s use a scientific calculator to find the cube root of 23.
- Enter N = 23.
- Use the cube root function (∛) on the calculator.
- The calculator will provide the result, which is approximately 2.8439.

A scientific calculator is a practical way to find the cube root of non-perfect cube numbers with high precision.

## Method 9: Using Online Cube Root Calculators

In the digital age, numerous online tools and calculators are available to find the cube root of non-perfect cube numbers quickly. These online calculators are user-friendly and provide instant results.

- Open your web browser.
- Search for “cube root calculator” or “online cube root calculator.”
- Enter the non-perfect cube number you want to find the cube root of.
- The online calculator will provide the result.

**Example 9: Finding the Cube Root of 37 Using an Online Cube Root Calculator**

Let’s use an online cube root calculator to find the cube root of 37.

- Open your web browser.
- Search for “online cube root calculator.”
- Enter N = 37.
- The online calculator will provide the result, which is approximately 3.3912.

Online cube root calculators are convenient, especially when you need to find cube roots quickly or need access to a physical calculator.

## Method 10: Using Spreadsheet Software

If you have access to spreadsheet software like Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets, you can use it to find the cube root of non-perfect cube numbers. Spreadsheet functions can handle complex mathematical calculations with ease.

**Example 10: Finding the Cube Root of 46 Using Excel**

Let’s use Microsoft Excel to find the cube root of 46.

- Open Microsoft Excel.
- In a cell, enter the non-perfect cube number N = 46.
- In another cell, use the following formula to find the cube root:
- =A1^(1/3)

In this example, cell A1 contains the value 46.

The result in the second cell will be approximately 3.5416.

Using spreadsheet software is a versatile way to calculate cube roots, especially when working with multiple numbers or incorporating them into larger data sets.

## FAQs

Now that we’ve explored various methods for finding the cube root of non-perfect cube numbers, let’s address some frequently asked questions related to this mathematical concept.

**Q1: What is the cube root, and how does it differ from square roots?**

A1: The cube root is a mathematical operation that, when applied to a number, returns another number that, when cubed, equals the original number. In contrast, the square root is an operation that finds a number which, when squared, equals the original number. The cube root is denoted by the symbol ∛, while the square root is represented by √.

**Q2: How can I tell if a number is a perfect cube or not?**

A2: To determine if a number is a perfect cube, you can check whether there is a whole number whose cube is equal to the given number. For example, if you want to check if 64 is a perfect cube, you can find that 4³ = 64, indicating that 64 is a perfect cube. If there is no such whole number, the number is a non-perfect cube.

**Q3: Are there any practical applications for finding the cube root of non-perfect cube numbers?**

A3: Yes, there are several practical applications in various fields, including engineering, physics, computer science, and statistics. Cube roots are used in calculations involving volumes, scaling factors, and data analysis, among other things. In real-world scenarios, you may encounter non-perfect cube numbers that require accurate cube root approximations.

**Q4: What is the significance of approximation methods when finding cube roots?**

A4: Approximation methods are valuable when dealing with non-perfect cube numbers because they provide reasonable estimates of the cube root without the need for complex calculations. These methods offer quick solutions and can be particularly useful in scenarios where a high degree of accuracy is not required.

**Q5: How can I choose the best method for finding the cube root of a non-perfect cube number?**

A5: The choice of method depends on your specific needs and the resources available. If you need a quick estimate, the approximation technique or using a calculator may suffice. For higher precision, methods like the Newton-Raphson method or power series expansion are more suitable. Your choice may also depend on your familiarity with the method and the tools at your disposal.

**Q6: Is it possible to calculate the cube root of very large or very small non-perfect cube numbers?**

A6: Yes, it is possible to calculate the cube root of very large or very small numbers using the methods described in this guide. Some methods, like logarithms and power series expansion, can handle a wide range of values. For extremely large or small numbers, using computer software or scientific calculators is often the most practical approach.

## Conclustion

Finding the cube root of non-perfect cube numbers is a mathematical challenge that can be approached using various methods, each with its own advantages and applications. From approximation techniques to advanced numerical methods, you can choose the method that best suits your needs and the level of precision required.

In this guide, we’ve explored ten different methods for finding the cube root of non-perfect cube numbers, provided step-by-step examples for each method, and addressed frequently asked questions to help you gain a deeper understanding of this mathematical concept. Whether you’re a student, a scientist, or someone with a curious mind, the knowledge of these methods can prove invaluable in a wide range of real-world applications.