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MathGroup Archive 2006

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Can't Remove[] variable "K"? (Really strange behavior . . . )

  • To: mathgroup at smc.vnet.net
  • Subject: [mg69131] Can't Remove[] variable "K"? (Really strange behavior . . . )
  • From: AES <siegman at stanford.edu>
  • Date: Wed, 30 Aug 2006 06:35:23 -0400 (EDT)
  • Organization: Stanford University
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at wolfram.com

For years I've started every notebook with the input line

   x; Remove["Global`*"];

so every calculation will start more or less "fresh".  Recently a 
calculation exhibited weird behavior involving a variable "K", which 
didn't seem to get removed or cleared by Remove[].   I eventually boiled 
this down to a simple free-standing 5 Input cell notebook as follows:  

   x; Remove["Global`*"];
   K=0.6;
   Remove["Global`*"];
         Remove::"rmnsm" 
         There are no  symbols matching "Global`*".   More?
   K
         0.6
   ??K
         K is a default generic name for a summation index in a symbolic 
         sum.
         K = 0.6

Notes:

1)  This is on a Mac iBook G4, OS 10.3.9, Mathematica 5.1.0.0.

2)  Each single-indent line is an Input cell; double-indent lines are 
Output cells.  Behavior repeats the same after re-typing all the cells 
into a fresh notebook; after quitting and re-starting Mathematica; after 
shutting down and restarting the Mac.

3)  I appreciate that user variables preferably start with lower case -- 
but other single-cap-letter symbol names work OK, and doing Help on "K" 
brings up nothing special associated with K by itself.

[And by the way, how can one select a sequence of cells in a notebook 
and copy all their contents -- including error msgs -- to paste in as 
above, without having to retype most of the stuff?)


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