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SetPrecision vs N

  • To: mathgroup at
  • Subject: [mg71683] SetPrecision vs N
  • From: "Andrew Moylan" <andrew.j.moylan at>
  • Date: Sun, 26 Nov 2006 03:49:19 -0500 (EST)

Hi all,

Suppose I want to evaluate an expression at a given precision. What is
the difference between using N[expr, precision] and using
SetPrecision[expr, precision]?

I've noticed that SetPrecision seems to be equivalent even in such
situations as e.g. N[Integrate[...]] automatically calling
NIntegrate[...] when the integral can't be done exactly:

SetPrecision[Integrate[x^x, {x, 0, 1}], 20]
N[Integrate[x^x, {x, 0, 1}], 20]
  both give

Are there important differences between SetPrecision and N that I
should be aware of?


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