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If I have an equation like

f[x](1 + a)==0

I'd like to be able to tell Mathematica that 1+a doesn't vanish in general, and get back


I've come up with

Reduce[f[x](1 + a)==0 && (1 + a) != 0, f[t]][[1]]

But it's not clear to me this is the best solution.

EDIT: The reason this isn't ideal to me is that it seems sometimes the part that I want isn't always the first part of the output, so it doesn't generalize well. Sometimes I need to take [[1]], other times [[3]], etc.

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Not sure if I get Your question correctly, does Simplify[f[x] (1 + a) == 0, (1 + a)! == 0] works the way You want? – Wojciech Jan 10 '14 at 12:46
Can you provide a working example that represents the behavior described in the edit? – bobthechemist Jan 10 '14 at 12:46
Hi Wojciech, that works. Thank you for putting up with my lack of expertise! – Adam Jan 10 '14 at 13:04
@ Wojciech Can you formulate your comment in the form of an answer? – Alexei Boulbitch Jan 10 '14 at 13:25
up vote 1 down vote accepted

The answer is pretty straightforward, but I decided to post it anyway. The solution is to use function Simplify[exp,assum], with suitable assumptions. It works for an equation with just two factors as well as with more complex equations consisting of more factors.

Simplify[f[x] (1 + a) (1 + b)== 0, (1 + a)! = 0]

(1 + b) f[x] == 0

If You want to specify that more than one factor is unequal to 0 then

Simplify[f[x] (1 + a) (1 + b) == 0, {(1 + a) != 0, (1 + b) != 0}]

f[x] == 0

share|improve this answer
FullSimplify seems to work the same way, is there a reason to prefer Simplify over FullSimplify? – Adam Jan 10 '14 at 13:36
FullSimplify attempts to perform much more transformations than Simplify, but I don't think there's such a reason in Your case, apart from timing (10^-17 for Simplify, 0.031 for FullSimplify on my machine). – Wojciech Jan 10 '14 at 13:43
@Adam if this answer solves Your problem, You can accept it by clicking the tick. Now I'm officially a rep b****. – Wojciech Jan 10 '14 at 16:18
Thanks Wojciech. I'm new to this site - I tried to upvote you hours ago but couldn't (need more rep), and didn't notice the check :) – Adam Jan 10 '14 at 16:36
@Adam Thanks and good luck on Your Mathematica adventure! – Wojciech Jan 10 '14 at 17:31

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