First, inline free form input can solve these equations:

But it seems no native Mathematica function can solve these, there is even an error page for equations of this form (nestdv).

Now my question is: Is this a function implemented only in Wolfram Alpha but not Mathematica? How can we solve these equations in Mathematica (natively)?


1 Answer 1


It doesn't seem there is a one line solution but we can adapt W|A to give a result similar to DSolve and friends.

fSolve[eq_Equal] := fSolve @ ToString@eq;

fSolve[eq_String] := Values[ WolframAlpha[
   "solve " <> eq, {"SolutionAsAFunctionalEquation", "FormulaData"}
] /. Hold[Equal[f_, d_]] :> f -> d /. {
   Subscript[\[ScriptC], n_] :> C[n], \[ScriptC] -> C[0]

fSolve["f[f[x]] == f[1 + x]"]
{f[x] -> 1 + x}
fSolve[f[f[x]] == x]
  f[x] -> -x + C[0], 
  f[x] -> C[0]/x, 
  f[x] -> (-x + C[1])/(1 + x C[2]),
  f[x] -> 1/2 (x C[1] + Sqrt[-4 x^2 + C[1]^2 + C[2]]), 
  f[x] -> (-x^3 + C[0])^(1/3)

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