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Expression comparison in Mathematica

  • To: mathgroup at
  • Subject: [mg48028] Expression comparison in Mathematica
  • From: David Dalton <dalton at>
  • Date: Fri, 7 May 2004 04:29:45 -0400 (EDT)
  • Organization: Memorial University of Newfoundland
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at

I have three expressions obtained by different methods (partly
by math on paper, partly by Mathematica) that should be the
same, all three for the general anisotropic elasticity matrix
with 21 independent components, and all three reduce to
the correct expression for isotropy when the isotropic
elasticity matrix is inserted, so they all pass that test.

However the expressions are not the same in the anisotropic
case and I would like to know good methods of comparing 
them and seeing how they differ with Mathematica in
order to trace my possible typo(s).   Of course I will
also review my paper math and Mathematica coding again.

Expression1 is actually a ratio of two polynomials,
NUM/DEN .   So lets say I want to compare Expression1
and Expression2.

Some things I have tried (or am trying now) are


(which should ideally be zero)


(which should ideally be one)



(where they are actually polynomials in f1, f2, f3 so I would
repeat that for f2 and f3)

(the remainder should ideally be zero)

So what do you think of that, and can you recommend
any other methods of comparing two expressions that
should be identical, including in the case where
one is fairly long and perhaps not being reduced as
well as it could by FullSimplify , or maybe that is
not true?

I also asked this of support at (though
I was mainly e-mailing to complain about a couple
of little other things) on Monday afternoon and
they haven't gotten back to me yet so perhaps
they don't have any suggestions.   (But the automatic
reply said usual turnaround is three days so I
guess it can sometimes be a little longer.)

I'm leaving the office now and heading home and
leaving some Mathematica running and the results
should be ready when I come in in mid-morning.


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