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MathGroup Archive 1992

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Comparisons of exact numbers

  • To: mathgroup at yoda.physics.unc.edu
  • Subject: Comparisons of exact numbers
  • From: JWENDEL at isdmnl.wr.usgs.gov
  • Date: Wed, 19 Aug 1992 20:22:49 -0700 (PDT)

As discussed by Roger B. Kirchner, <kirchner at cs.umn.edu> and David Jacobson, 
<jacobson at cello.hpl.hp.com>, perhaps it should be added that using N[...] may
not be the best strategy.  In Kirchner's example, find Min[2^(1/2),3^(1/2)],
it would surely be better to square both terms and compare the results.  Here's
another: find Min[x,y] where 
x=Sqrt[5]+Sqrt[22+2Sqrt[5]];

y=Sqrt[11+2Sqrt[29]]+Sqrt[16-2Sqrt[29]+
2Sqrt[55-10Sqrt[29]]];

.........Jim Wendel





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