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Compass-and-straightedge construction of the square root of a given line?

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Sam Curran

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( 5 months ago )

Given

  1. A straight line of arbitrary length
  2. The ability to construct a straight line in any direction from any starting point with the "unit length", or the length whose square root of its magnitude yields its own magnitude.

Is there a way to geometrically construct (using only a compass and straightedge) the a line with the length of the square root of the arbitrary-lengthed line? What is the mathematical basis?

Also, why can't this be done without the unit line length?

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