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MathGroup Archive 2002

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The N function and precision

  • To: mathgroup at
  • Subject: [mg37409] The N function and precision
  • From: Ray <rayfg at>
  • Date: Sat, 26 Oct 2002 02:04:50 -0400 (EDT)
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at

In version 3.0 when I enter N[Pi,8], I get an output of 3.1415927 but 
the same input in version 4.2 gives an output of 3.14159. In fact, in 
version 4.2, N[Pi,k] for k between 0 and 16 gives an output of 3.14159 
rather than a result with k digit precision. However, if k is 17 or 
more, I do get k digit precision in version 4.2. What happened to the 
"k" in N[expres,k] for k smaller than 17 in version 4.2. I have observed 
this in all calculations in Mathematica as I switched my lessons from 
3.0 to 4.2. My students have reported the same problem. How do we get k 
digit precision for k smaller than 17  in version 4.2 Thanks.

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