Re: RE : Bug in O[x]
- To: mathgroup at smc.vnet.net
- Subject: [mg48283] Re: [mg48264] RE : [mg48233] Bug in O[x]
- From: Murray Eisenberg <murray at math.umass.edu>
- Date: Fri, 21 May 2004 03:54:31 -0400 (EDT)
- Organization: Mathematics & Statistics, Univ. of Mass./Amherst
- References: <200405200803.EAA16147@smc.vnet.net>
- Reply-to: murray at math.umass.edu
- Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at wolfram.com
This thread reminds me of the discrepancy between how Mathematica treats
O[x^n] and the most common definition of this in mathematics. In
mathematics, O[x^n} ordinarily denotes some function whose magnitude is
bounded by a constant times Abs[x^n] (for suitably large magnitude
values of x). In particular, O[x} is a function whose magnitude is
bounded by c Abs[x].
Physicists and other such non-mathematician types often use the
definition you stated, that O[x^] = a x^n for suitable constant a.
Mathematicians even sometimes say that when they are trying not to be so
Note also that Mathematica doesn't seem to know much, or anything, about
O[x^n}, only O[x]^n. Thus:
O[x] + O[x^2}
O[x^2]^2 + O[x]^1
O[x] + O[x]^2
Florian Jaccard wrote:
> ... You have to consider O[x] as somethig of the form a*x , O[x]^2 as something
> of the form a*x^n , etc.
> Rule : O[x]+O[x^2]=O[x] etc.
> (because 1/x * O[x] is something behaving like a constant...)
> Nothing is wrong... you just d'd'nt understand the meaning of O[x]...
> O[x]^n represents a term of order x^n. O[x]^n is generated to represent \
> omitted higher-order terms in power series.
Murray Eisenberg murray at math.umass.edu
Mathematics & Statistics Dept.
Lederle Graduate Research Tower phone 413 549-1020 (H)
University of Massachusetts 413 545-2859 (W)
710 North Pleasant Street fax 413 545-1801
Amherst, MA 01003-9305
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