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MathGroup Archive 2008

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Symbolic complex conjugation?

  • To: mathgroup at smc.vnet.net
  • Subject: [mg89919] Symbolic complex conjugation?
  • From: AES <siegman at stanford.edu>
  • Date: Tue, 24 Jun 2008 03:31:05 -0400 (EDT)
  • Organization: Stanford University

I'm sorry, but I just don't understand why the following test case works 
just fine:  

[In copying it, I've substituted "Isymbol" for the \[ImaginaryI] that 
actually appears in the Out[] cells.]

   In[202]:= eqna={a+I b==0};
   solna=Solve[eqna,b];
   b=b/.solna[[1]];
   bStar=b/.{I->-I};
   {b, Star}

   Out[205]={ -Isymbol a, Isymbol a }

but the actual calculation that prompted the test case doesn't:

   In[206]:= eqnp={((dwa/2)+I(w-wa))p-I (kappa/(2 w))dN e==0};
   solnp=Solve[eqnp,p];
   p=p/.solnp[[1]];
   pStar=p/.{I->-I}

   Out[208]= { (dN e kappa)/(w (-Isymbol dwa+2 w-2 wa)),
                        (dN e kappa)/(w (-Isymbol dwa+2 w-2 wa)) }

And actually, I guess my real concern is not understanding "how it 
happens" -- but more "how it can happen" that Mathematica can do 
something this potentially damaging to some innocent user.


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