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Re: What does & mean?

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  • Subject: [mg107060] Re: What does & mean?
  • From: schochet123 <schochet123 at>
  • Date: Tue, 2 Feb 2010 03:24:45 -0500 (EST)
  • References: <hk6d22$m61$>

There are indeed many shortcut symbols that take a while for a new
user of Mathematica to learn. Fortunately, the built-in help system
recognizes them.
To access help, type ? followed by the name of the Function or symbol
for which you want information. You can even enter partial information
with * as a wildcard to look up information about functions whose name
you don't quite remember.

In this case type


followed by shift-enter or whatever you use to get evaluation on your
system, which yields the explanation that & is the shortcut symbol for
the function named Function.


On Feb 1, 1:14 pm, Michael Knudsen <micknud... at> wrote:
> Hi,
> I have recently bought Mathematica, and I have a really tough time
> getting started. I'm reading the various documents found under
> "Complete Documentation" at the Mathematica homepage, but it doesn't
> feel like the right place to start.
> For example, I'm now trying to solve some simple differential
> equations, and the documentation provides the following example:
> A = {{4, -6}, {1,-1}};
> X[t_] = {x[t], y[t]};
> system = MapThread[#1 == #2 &, {X'[t], A.X[t]}];
> sol = DSolve[system, {x,y}, t]
> However, there is no explanation of how & works here (and it isn't in
> the MapThread documentation either). Where should one start reading in
> order to understand basic constructs like this? This particular
> example is really nasty, since & is generally ignored by search
> engines.
> Thanks,
> Michael Knudsen

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