I'm wondering what pipe slash |/ does in,

SET equal_area_radius = |/area/pi();

The statement works and it definitely changes the value:

SELECT |/125.555/pi(); --  returns: 6.32181918120139
SELECT 125.555/pi();   --  returns: 39.9653977598058

What does the pipe-slash operator |/ do?


1 Answer 1


The |/ operator calculates the square root

postgres>  select |/16,  sqrt(16);
 ?column? | sqrt
        4 |    4
(1 row)

So |/125.555/pi() is equivalent to sqrt(125.555/pi())

  • Sure enough--looked at the site where I copied the statement from and they had this: i.imgur.com/5twDykK.png I should have worked that one out. Thanks! Jan 9, 2019 at 13:41
  • 1
    @a_horse funny that the |/ operator has lower precedence than / an *. Jan 9, 2019 at 15:01
  • it makes sense. in math, the radical symbol, which |/ is supposed to suggest, is often used with a long expression underneath it. this would only work if |/ has low precedence. Jan 17, 2019 at 4:09

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