Mathematica Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for users of Mathematica. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

The following code generates the familiar 3D-plot:

 Plot3D[Sin[x a] - Cos[y ], {x, -10, 10}, {y, -10, 10}, 
  ColorFunction -> "TemperatureMap"], {a, -2, 2, 0.1}]

However approximately 4 minutes after pressing the play-button, Mathematica 10.0.0 crashes. I noticed the memory usage increased to about 3GB and then crashed. (I run on a MacBook Pro 2.6 GHz, 16 GB)

Can anyone replicate this problem ?

share|improve this question
Just to have full information, please include your OS version. Can you check the memory usage of the Mathematica and MathKernel processes while you're running the animation? Does it keep increasing without bound? – Szabolcs Aug 12 '14 at 18:58
@Szabolcs OSX 10.9.4, Mathematica goes from 80 MB to 3GB and crashes, one MathKernel is stable and one increases from 114 MB to 160 MB. – MathLind Aug 12 '14 at 19:29
@Szabolcs Do you know what is the status of this bug in 10.4.1? – QuantumDot May 4 at 19:50
@QuantumDot I don't. I'm not sure how to properly reproduce it as I can't seem to reproduce it in 9 either now ... – Szabolcs May 5 at 6:54

I got an answer from Wolfram Technical Support today. They had the following to say so far:

"...It does appear that Manipulate is not behaving properly, and I have forwarded an incident report to our developers with the information you provided. [...] We hope this will be resolved in our future release of Mathematica."

share|improve this answer

Update: same thing happens in versions 8.0.4 and 9.0.1.

I'm on OS X 10.9.4, Mathematica 10.0.0.

I did not wait for 10 minutes, but I do notice that the memory usage of the front end process (Mathematica) is increasing without bound.

enter image description here

After a relatively short time it has reached 1.5 GB, so in 4 minutes it is certain to exceed 16 GB. This might be the cause of the crash. Memory usage does not decrease even after stopping the animation and closing the notebook. Update: Yes, it crashes when it runs out of memory.

So this looks like a memory leak in the front end.

Please report this to support at and if you hear back from them, let us know what they said.

share|improve this answer
since mma7 or older? I noticed the same symptoms in Win7 and Mathematica7. Even using documentation center becomes boring slow – hieron Aug 12 '14 at 19:17
@hieron just tried, you're correct. – Szabolcs Aug 12 '14 at 19:24
@Szabolcs Just posted a question on community.wolfram, I will return if I receive feedback. – MathLind Aug 12 '14 at 20:08
@MathLind: You can also provide a link to this question when talking with Wolfram support people, just so they can see what other people have tried, etc (if you haven't already). – DumpsterDoofus Aug 13 '14 at 0:10
This does not appear to be a problem with 10.0 in Windows 7 x64. At least, not for me. – Kellen Myers Aug 13 '14 at 1:24

A memory consumption demonstration

Manipulate[{Plot3D[Sin[x a] - Cos[y], {x, -10, 10}, {y, -10, 10}, 
    ColorFunction -> "TemperatureMap", PlotRange -> 11], 
   MemoryInUse[]} // Column, {a, -2, 2, 0.1, Appearance -> "Open"}, 
 TrackedSymbols :> a]

After testing this code you should restart MMA, to guarantee full memory available.

share|improve this answer
Please at least state if you think it will crash the tester's front end. – Dr. belisarius Aug 12 '14 at 19:36
It's hard to say, at which moment it crashes, or if it chrashes at all. It certainly depends on OS and installed memory. This small programm does not crash for some minutes, enough to see the demonstration and to press pause. Anyway you should restart MMA after that. – hieron Aug 12 '14 at 19:44

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.