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MathGroup Archive 2004

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Re: UnitStep

  • To: mathgroup at smc.vnet.net
  • Subject: [mg52362] Re: UnitStep
  • From: Bill Rowe <readnewsciv at earthlink.net>
  • Date: Wed, 24 Nov 2004 02:32:37 -0500 (EST)
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at wolfram.com

On 11/23/04 at 2:12 AM, jerry.blimbaum at navy.mil (Blimbaum, Jerry AA
R22) wrote:

>Why does the following give me 'indeterminate, infinite expression
>encountered', etc. instead of  zero....

>(1/p) UnitStep[p-1] /.p->0

Mathematica replaces p with 0 everywhere then evaluates the resulting expression. Since UnitStep[p-1]/.p->0 is 0, the result is 0/0 which is indeterminate.

You can verify this is what is happening by doing

Trace[1/p UnitStep[p-1]/.p->0]
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