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Is there a way of declaring a variable REAL?


It seems that the basic variable type in Mathematica is COMPLEX which is 
fine most of the time, but sometimes one needs a variable that is defined 
to be real, i.e. such that "Re[x + I y]" produces "x". Is there any way 
to do this, something like "declare x,y as real"? Ideally it should 
report an error if one tried to assign a COMPLEX value to it, but I don't 
need that much right now, just the basic declaration such that 
simplifications are carried as the example above...

Any hint would be appreciated!

Carlos



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