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Determine whether some expression contains a given symbol

Let's say I have some expression:

sample = {1, 1/q, f[m]}

And I want to check it if it has the symbol m in it.

My question: Is there a clean or fast way of checking if m is in the equation?

What I came up with so far:

Do[StringFreeQ[ToString[sample], "m"], {i, 300}] // AbsoluteTiming
(* {0.0120007, Null} *)


Do[(sample /. m -> Unique[]) === (sample /. m -> Unique[]), {i, 300}] // AbsoluteTiming
(* {0.0100005, Null} *)

These solutions work, but I feel like there might be a faster, functional way of doing this.

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marked as duplicate by rm -rf Sep 27 '12 at 3:59

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

What about FreeQ? –  Rojo Sep 27 '12 at 3:51
FreeQ - but thats too short for an answer ;-) –  user21 Sep 27 '12 at 3:52
@Rojo Don't MemberQ and FreeQ only check on the first level? I checked this for MemberQ before. –  VF1 Sep 27 '12 at 3:52
No, FreeQ checks all levels by default. Both can take a level specification anyway –  Rojo Sep 27 '12 at 3:53
Counterexample: FreeQ[{1, 1/q, D[m, t]}, m] –  VF1 Sep 27 '12 at 3:53

1 Answer 1

up vote 0 down vote accepted

How about:

sample = {1, 1/q, ff[f[m]]};
FreeQ[sample, m]
(* False *)
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