Here is my simple code:

A[X_] := a*X^2 - b/a^2* X^3;

B[X] = A[X]^2;

Manipulate[Plot[B[X], {X, 0, 10}], {a, 1, 3}, {b, 0, 2}]

After running the cell I get a frame of a plot with two sliders for a and b, but no graph. I know If I replace B[X] with (aX^2 - b/a^2 X^3)^2 in the Manipulate[Plot[..., it'll work. However without this replacement, I'm wondering if this is a limitation of Manipulate or I'm not doing something right.

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There is a number of errors in your code.

Manipulate[Plot[B[X], {X, 0, 10}], {a, 1, 3}, {b, 0, 2}]

In code above, you have a Manipulate which has three controls (X, a and b). The subject of your manipulation is Plot[B[X]], where B[X] takes a single argument X. Therefore, a and b are not utilized; hence an empty Plot.


Avoid using capital letters for your variable declaration. It's considered bad practice. Additionally, you may run into conflicts with in-built functions.


A[x_, a_, b_] := a*x^2 - b/a^2*x^3;

B[x_, a_, b_] := A[x, a, b]^2;

Manipulate[Plot[B[x, a, b], {x, 0, 10}], {a, 1, 3}, {b, 0, 2}]



  • $\begingroup$ I'm sorry from being picky but while this gives one workaround it doesn't give the explanation. "B[X] takes a single argument X. Therefore, a and b are not utilized; hence an empty Plot." - not true, a and b are localized so they are different from those from definitions. Use LocalizeVariables->True, fix B[X]= to B[X_], add a;b; just before Plot` so that Manipulate is aware it should be updated and it will work. While it isn't handy it shows that your explanation is missleading. $\endgroup$ – Kuba Jul 2 '16 at 8:52
  • $\begingroup$ @Kuba please, there is nothing to apologise for. To be honest, I didn't even know about LocalizeVariables. So, please do edit the answer as you find it appropriate to reduce any ambiguity and improve its quality. I will read-up about it! $\endgroup$ – e.doroskevic Jul 2 '16 at 10:54

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