# Can a garden-variety neural network square a number in the general case?

I have a NN that I would like to square a number. This is a learning exercise for me.

My input is the number to be squared, the output is the square.

Two questions: 1) How can this possibly work? The weights and nodes of the NN need to square to a number that isn't fixed.

2) Assuming I am wrong, what is a strategy for choosing the numbers of nodes and layers for a NN?