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MathGroup Archive 2005

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Re: Simplify[expr] bug?

  • To: mathgroup at
  • Subject: [mg53406] Re: [mg53398] Simplify[expr] bug?
  • From: Andrzej Kozlowski <akoz at>
  • Date: Mon, 10 Jan 2005 01:41:58 -0500 (EST)
  • References: <>
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at

Mathematica syntax demands you use square brackets for denoting the 
action of functions on arguments, i.e.
Sin[x] and not Sin(x).

Sin(x) means the product of an expression named Sin and an expression x.

You can use the notation sin(x) if you set your Default Input Format 
Type to Traditional Form, but then you should remember to use explicit 
space or * for all your products, that is write sin*(x+y)  when you wan 
to multiply sin  by (x+y) ;-)

But now I have a question for you. When you posted your message did you 
seriously believe that a program could survive for over a decade, sell 
for over 1000 dollars and be the market leader in it's category while 
not being able to distinguish sin(a) form a*sin ?

Andrzej Kozlowski

On 10 Jan 2005, at 05:04, Ken Tozier wrote:

> I'm a complete newbie to Mathematica and not a math whiz, but the
> results I got from the following two equations seems like bugs to me.
> Test 1:
> Running: Simplify[Sin(a) - Sin(b)]
> Yeilds: (a - b)Sin
> Looks like it's treating the function "Sin" like a coefficient
> Test 2:
> Running: Simplify[d/s + Cos(2*¹*v/s) - Cos(2*¹*(v - 1)/s)]
> Yeilds: (d + 2 Cos ¹) / s
> Mathematica completely factors out the variable "v" which is critical
> to the correct solution.
> Are these bugs or am I making an inadvertent syntax error.
> Thanks,
> Ken Tozier

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