MathGroup Archive 2005

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2.9.2 How Input and Output Work

  • To: mathgroup at
  • Subject: [mg61834] 2.9.2 How Input and Output Work
  • From: "Steven T. Hatton" <hattons at>
  • Date: Tue, 1 Nov 2005 00:39:22 -0500 (EST)
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at

2.9.2 How Input and Output Work of the online help states that:

"When you type something like x^2 what Mathematica at first sees is just the
string of characters x, ^, 2. But with the usual way that Mathematica is
set up, it immediately knows to convert this string of characters into the
expression Power[x, 2]."

What does "immediately" mean in this context?  As soon as I press the '2'
key?  When I evaluate the cell?  If it is the former, then why do I see
"Cell[BoxData[SuperscriptBox["x", "2"]], "Input"]" when I view the
"Philosophy is written in this grand book, The Universe. ... But the book
cannot be understood unless one first learns to comprehend the language...
in which it is written. It is written in the language of mathematics, ...;
without which wanders about in a dark labyrinth."   The Lion of Gaul

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