Questions on the analytic and numeric equation solving functions of Mathematica (Solve, Reduce, NSolve, FindRoot, DSolve, RSolve, etc.).

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44
votes
2answers
3k views

What is the difference between Reduce and Solve?

Solve and Reduce both can be used for solving equations. Just by working with them, I know there are some differences between ...
39
votes
8answers
2k views

Updating Wagon's FindAllCrossings2D[] function

Stan Wagon's Mathematica in Action (second edition; I haven't read the third edition and I'm hoping to eventually see it), demonstrates a nifty function called ...
24
votes
3answers
7k views

Marking points of intersection between two curves

I'm trying to illustrate the solutions numerically and graphically for an equation such as Tan[x] == x. I think I did everything ok except I wanted to mark each ...
19
votes
4answers
2k views

Find eigen energies of time-independent Schrödinger equation

I'm trying to get the eigenvalues of a one dimensional time-independent Schrödinger equation, $-\frac{h^2}{2m_0}\frac{d^2\psi}{dx^2}+U(x)~\psi=Ei~\psi$ where U(x) is some potential and Ei is the ...
18
votes
5answers
759 views

Fitting points to tilted, off-center ellipse

I have 24 x-y points that are supposed to form an ellipse. ...
17
votes
2answers
803 views

Using the Krylov method for Solve: Speeding up a SparseArray calculation

I'm trying to implement this Total Variation Regularized Numerical Differentiation (TVDiff) code in MMA (which I found through this SO answer): essentially I want to differentiate noisy data. The full ...
17
votes
1answer
1k views

The Orbit and Perigee of the Flamsteed comet

Historical context This year we have the 330-th anniversary of the Battle of Vienna - one of the great formative events of European history, it took place on September 12, 1683. Kara Mustafa, Grand ...
16
votes
2answers
3k views

Can Reduce *really* not solve for x here?

Sometimes I get the feeling I'm just flailing blindly with Mathematica. Is solving for $x$ in the equation $$ \frac{\cosh (x/2)}{x} = \sqrt{2} $$ really beyond the scope of Mathematica? I try to ...
16
votes
4answers
2k views

How to get intersection values from a parametric graph?

I have this graphed: ParametricPlot[{2.4*Cos[t] + 1.6*Cos[3 t/2], 2.4*Sin[t] - 1.6 Sin[3 t/2]}, {t, 0, 4*Pi}] It is a star, and the lines cross each other ...
16
votes
1answer
674 views

Bug in Solve (Mathematica 9)

Just came across the strangest bug under both Mathematica 9.0.0 and 9.0.1. If one enters: Solve[m == p Sin[x] && -Pi/2 < x < Pi/2, x] ... then ...
15
votes
6answers
4k views

About multi-root search in Mathematica for transcendental equations

I have some questions for multiroot search for transcendental equations. Is there any clever solution to find all the roots for a transcendental equation in a specific range? Perhaps ...
15
votes
3answers
8k views

Assign the results from a Solve to variable(s)

I understand Mathematica can't assign the results of a Solve to the unknowns because there may be more than 1 solution. How can I assign the 4 values of following result to variables?
15
votes
3answers
674 views

Using results of Reduce

Suppose I have function f: f[x_, y_] := 50000 + x 30000 + y 35000; Now I want to find the x and y when f[]<=200000. I use Reduce: ...
15
votes
1answer
340 views

Strange behaviour of Reduce for Mod[x,1]

For every integer $x$ the equation Mod[x, 1] == 0 holds. While Simplify[Mod[x, 1] == 0, Element[x,Integers]] gives ...
15
votes
1answer
695 views

Why does repeating an equation help in FindRoot?

I'm trying to understand this behavior of FindRoot. Consider a sample function (the one I'm actually interested in is far more complicated, but has similar issues) ...
13
votes
2answers
364 views

Is there a way to use functions like Prime[n] within Solve[]?

I'm trying to see if a number can be written as the sum of two prime numbers. Ideally, I would like to use Solve[ Prime[n] + Prime[m] == 100, {n, m}] But that ...
13
votes
2answers
798 views

Suppressing negative roots in Mathematica

Problem Using Mathematica's Solve operator can sometimes lead to an output involving a positive and negative root (say when solving for a variable such as ...
12
votes
4answers
5k views

Finding unit tangent, normal, and binormal vectors for a given r(t)

For my Calc III class, I need to find $T(t), N(t)$, and $B(t)$ for $t=1, 2$, and $-1$, given $r(t)=\{t,t^2,t^3\}$. I've got Mathematica, but I've never used it before and I'm not sure how to coerce ...
12
votes
3answers
531 views

How can I simulate this toggle mechanism?

I've been introduced to Mathematica very recently. Basically, I haven't actually "solved" anything in my Mathematica lifetime, but I've done some simulations. With my fractional knowledge, I tried ...
12
votes
2answers
798 views

How can I implement the method of Lagrange multipliers to find constrained extrema?

I want to form the function $h=f-\lambda_{1}g_{1}-\lambda_{2}g_{2}$ where $f$ is the function to optimize subject to the constraints $g_{1}=0$ and $g_{2}=0$ so that I can solve the first partial ...
12
votes
2answers
959 views

How do I split up a curve into segments of equal length?

I have a curve that is defined as f[x] and what I'm attempting to do is to divide the curve into equal straight lengths for a number of segments of my choosing that I've defined as nSeg. I've created ...
12
votes
1answer
230 views

ToNumberField won't recognize Root as an explicit algebraic number

In Mathematica 9.0.1, it appears that ToNumberField will not always recognize a Root object as an explicit algebraic number. ...
12
votes
1answer
174 views

Solve[ ] with Method -> Reduce gives a different result than Reduce[ ]

Why does Solve[Sqrt[x + Sqrt[x]] - Sqrt[x - Sqrt[x]] == m Sqrt[x/(x + Sqrt[x])], x, Reals, Method -> Reduce] give a different result than ...
12
votes
1answer
673 views

Proving inequalities with Mathematica

Question summary: I would like to learn some tips and tricks on how to prove inequalities with Mathematica. I'm studying various inequalities in triangle that have the form $R+ar + bs\geq 0$, where ...
11
votes
6answers
1k views

How to find lattice points on a line segment?

How do I find points on the line segment joining {-4, 11} and {16, -1} whose coordinates are positive integers?
11
votes
4answers
517 views

How to make a Line[] with no end?

I'm trying to do this: In this graph, the secant points are aproximated in order to become the tangent, it seems I need some kind of function which plots a line based on two points and it's points ...
11
votes
4answers
468 views

How can I find all values of $m$ such that my cubic equation has three different positive solutions?

I want to find all the values of $m$ such that the equation $$-m^3 + 2 m^2 x + (-2 m - 1) x^2 + m + x^3=0$$ has three different positive solutions. I tried ...
11
votes
2answers
862 views

NSolve gives additional solutions that don't satisfy the equations!

I am trying to solve the following polynomial equations in Mathematica: ...
11
votes
2answers
581 views

Google Code Jam: Mountain View code review

After participating in Google Code Jam 2012 Round 2, it occurred to me that the Mountain View problem boiled down to solving a set of linear inequalities, which could be done in Mathematica. I've only ...
11
votes
1answer
228 views

FindInstance returns Indeterminate in version 9, but not in 8

Here is a trivial system of equations in three unknowns for which FindInstance obtains a solution: ...
11
votes
2answers
797 views

Trying to fit an unknown extreme distribution

First up, I'm quite new to Mathematica so any hints on better code would be greatly appreciated. I have some histogram frequency data from an unknown distribution that I'm trying to fit. Here's the ...
11
votes
2answers
287 views

Solving the magic backyard puzzle with MMA

I was trying to solve this puzzle using mma It looks like the generalization of the magic square. Anyway here my attempt:- There are four columns $(x,y,z,w)$ and nine rowa which are denoted by the ...
10
votes
4answers
2k views

Why does Mathematica struggle with solving this equation?

Consider the evaluation of the following expression In[20]:= Reduce[ 1000 * 1.0609^t == 1500, t] ...
10
votes
3answers
3k views

Solving a time-dependent Schroedinger equation

I want to solve the time-dependent Schroedinger equation: $$ i\partial_t \psi(t) = H(t)\psi(t) $$ for matrix, time-dependent $H(t)$ and vector $\psi$. What is an efficient way of doing this so ...
10
votes
3answers
316 views

FindInstance with a Diophantine equation seems to go on forever

I tried to find a non-trivial integer solution to the equation $$2012^2=a^2+b^2+c^2+d^2+e^2$$ with Mathematica but the computation takes minutes; I might be doing something wrong. ...
10
votes
3answers
275 views

Problems Computing (in a reasonable amount of time) Solutions to a System of Inequalities

For my Cryptography research I am interested in finding solutions to the following inequalities in terms of $r$ and $s$, where $p$ is some fixed constant. $$\begin{align} 2^{p - s + 4} + 2^{p - r} + ...
10
votes
3answers
572 views

Finding “Maxima” and “Minima” on a B-Spline

I need to find the "Maxima" and "Minima" on a B-Spline or more correct the points where the 2nd components of the derivate equal zero. For example: ...
10
votes
3answers
364 views

Reduce can't reduce an equation without appropriate assumptions

When there are three unknowns (x, y, z), Mathematica can solve it: ...
10
votes
2answers
521 views

Finding all possible solutions to a math mind game

In the example below the letters shall be replaced by numbers. The numbers are from 1 to 9, and each letter has the same number ...
10
votes
2answers
560 views

Mathematica isn't sure whether a sum of two positives is positive or not

Mathematica is not able to tell whether a summation of two positive expressions is positive or not. Which is very strange. My three symbolic arguments, $x$, $y$, and $z$, are all real numbers bounded ...
10
votes
1answer
815 views

How do I find all the solutions of three simultaneous equations within a given box?

Sometimes, one needs to find all the solutions of three simultaneous nonlinear equations in three unknowns $$\begin{align*}f(x,y,z)&=0\\g(x,y,z)&=0\\h(x,y,z)&=0\end{align*}$$ within a ...
10
votes
1answer
598 views

Find roots of polynomial in field extension $GF(2^n)$?

How can I find roots of polynomial in extension field $GF(2^n)$?
9
votes
2answers
7k views

Figuring when the minute and hour hand coincide on a clock

I would like to list all possible times in a 12-hour period, where the hour hand overlaps the minute hand completely. This is really a question about three distinct things - to be done in Mathematica ...
9
votes
2answers
2k views

How do I work with Root objects?

I want to solve the trigonometric equation : $$(3-\cos 4x )\cdot (\sin x - \cos x ) = 2.$$ I tried Solve[(3 - Cos[4*x])*(Sin[x] - Cos[x]) == 2, x] It returns the ...
9
votes
4answers
596 views

Finding the roots of Hypergeometric1F1[]

I am trying to find the roots, λ, for this equation: Hypergeometric1F1[1/4 (2 -  λ /β), n + 1, β] for certain ...
9
votes
5answers
550 views

Create filling between two trig functions

Working with trig functions, period, amplitude, etc. I found a worksheet at a calculus website, with some nice questions related to interpreting trig functions, at least, they provide some "fun" ...
9
votes
2answers
468 views

Solving/Reducing equations in $\mathbb{Z}/p\mathbb{Z}$

I was trying to find all the numbers $n$ for which $2^n=n\mod 10^k$ using Mathematica. My first try: Reduce[2^n == n, n, Modulus -> 100] However, I receive ...
9
votes
2answers
2k views

FindRoot Domain restriction

I am solving a system of four non-linear equations in four variables using FindRoot. I have some sense of the relationship between the variables so I don't want Mathematica to do its computations in ...
9
votes
3answers
651 views

Using FindInstance to Prove No Solutions Exist

For a small amount of background, I am currently working on an undergraduate research project in Combinatorial Geometry and I'm working on a case analysis for embedding spherical simplicial ...
9
votes
3answers
3k views

Find all roots of an interpolating function (solution to a differential equation)

I'm trying to find all the roots of the solution to a differential equation. Using NSolve or Reduce I don't get the roots, so I'm using an iterative method which I found in physicsforums.com. This ...