Concept# Root-finding algorithms

Summary

In mathematics and computing, a root-finding algorithm is an algorithm for finding zeros, also called "roots", of continuous functions. A zero of a function f, from the real numbers to real numbers or from the complex numbers to the complex numbers, is a number x such that f(x) = 0. As, generally, the zeros of a function cannot be computed exactly nor expressed in closed form, root-finding algorithms provide approximations to zeros, expressed either as floating-point numbers or as small isolating intervals, or disks for complex roots (an interval or disk output being equivalent to an approximate output together with an error bound).
Solving an equation f(x) = g(x) is the same as finding the roots of the function h(x) = f(x) – g(x). Thus root-finding algorithms allow solving any equation defined by continuous functions. However, most root-finding algorithms do not guarantee that they will find all the roots; in particular, if such an algorithm does not find any root, that does not me

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