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Newton's Method

An iterative process using derivatives that can often (but not always) be used to find zeros of a differentiable function. The basic idea is to start with an approximate guess for the zero, then use the formula below to turn that guess into a better approximation. This process is repeated until, after only a few steps, the approximation is extremely close to the actual value of the zero.

Note: In some circumstances, Newton's method backfires and gives successively worse and worse approximations.

 


  this page updated 19-jul-17
Mathwords: Terms and Formulas from Algebra I to Calculus
written, illustrated, and webmastered by Bruce Simmons
Copyright © 2000 by Bruce Simmons
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