On the functional square root of $x^2+1$

There are some math quizzes like:

find a function $\phi:\mathbb{R}\rightarrow\mathbb{R}$
such that $\phi(\phi(x)) = f(x) \equiv x^2 + 1.$

If such $\phi$ exists (it does in this example), $\phi$ can be viewed as a “square root” of $f$ in the sense of function composition because $\phi\circ\phi = f$. Is there a general theory on the mathematical properties of this kind of square roots? (For instance, for what $f$ will a real analytic $\phi$ exist?)


Introduce a new coordinate system with a fixed point of $f$ as origin, e.g. the point $\omega:=e^{\pi i/3}$. Writing $x=\omega+\xi$ with a new independent variable $\xi$ one has $\phi(\omega+\xi)=\omega +\psi(\xi)$ for a new unknown function $\psi$ with $\psi(0)=0$. This function $\psi$ satisfies in a neighbourhood of $\xi=0$ the functional equation $\psi(\psi(\xi))=2\omega\xi+\xi^2$. Now you can recursively determine the Taylor coefficients of $\psi$. If you are lucky the resulting formal series actually defines an analytical function in a neighbourhood of $\xi=0$.

Source : Link , Question Author : user1551 , Answer Author : Christian Blatter

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