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MathGroup Archive 2003

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differences in Solve with -1/2 and -0.5

  • To: mathgroup at smc.vnet.net
  • Subject: [mg44386] differences in Solve with -1/2 and -0.5
  • From: "Kenneth Levasseur" <Kenneth_Levasseur at uml.edu>
  • Date: Fri, 7 Nov 2003 05:16:43 -0500 (EST)
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at wolfram.com

Can anyone give a good reason why there is a difference in the 
following?  Preferably one that my students will understand.

In[1]:=
Solve[D[x E^(-x/2), x] == 0, x]
Out[1]=
{{x -> 2}}
In[2]:=
Solve[D[x E^(-0.5*x), x] == 0, x]
General::dbyz:Division by zero.
Out[2]=
{}

Ken Levasseur
Math. Sciences
UMass Lowell


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