I am looking for function in Mathematica, which finds all singularities in an expression. To keep it simple, the variable is only one, say x.

So given expression 1/x, it will return $\infty$ and given x*y + 1/(x*y) it will return $x=0,x=\infty,x=-\infty$. Similar to Maple's singular function. "The singular function will return non-removable as well as removable singularities"

Here are some examples:

     singular((c - (a + b + 1)*x)/(x*(1 - x)),x);
          {x = 0}, {x = 1}


         {x = 0}


          {x = 1}, {x = 1/2}

The expression will always have the variable $x$ in it. It can be rational or not, and it can be basically any valid expression in x. If no singularities exist, then it returns nothing.

I looked, and not able to find this function in Mathematica.

The question is: What would be the closest thing in Mathematica to the above Maple function? This is not exactly like finding poles, since the expression does not have to be rational polynomials. I know any implementation of this function will end up using Solve at the end?

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ "This is not exactly like finding poles, since the expression does not have to be rational polynomials." - meromorphic functions in general can have poles, not just rational functions. For instance, here's how to see the poles of $\tan$: Reduce[1/Tan[z] == 0, z]. That strategy will not work for $\exp(1/x)$ and elliptic functions, to use some examples. $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 22, 2017 at 11:14
  • $\begingroup$ Related: mathematica.stackexchange.com/q/109839/1871 Your question is more general and harder of course. $\endgroup$
    – xzczd
    Commented Jan 22, 2017 at 11:16
  • $\begingroup$ @xzczd thank you, yes I saw that one and also saw this finding-poles-of-a-function but they are specific to one form of expression. If the function is known to be rational polynomials in it, it is easy, but Maple singular function works for any expression. $\endgroup$
    – Nasser
    Commented Jan 22, 2017 at 11:21
  • $\begingroup$ But the question marked as duplicate to this, do not give the singularities like the solution given below does. May be the title of the question is similar, but the answers there did not do what I wanted. $\endgroup$
    – Nasser
    Commented Jan 23, 2017 at 12:44

1 Answer 1


Singularities will occur outside the domain of the function. You could use FunctionDomain to get the domain and then negate it (Not).


singularityDomain[f_, x_Symbol] := Reduce[! FunctionDomain[f, x]]


singularityDomain[(c - (a + b + 1)*x)/(x*(1 - x)), x]
x == 1 || x == 0
singularityDomain[Exp[1/x], x]
x == 0
singularityDomain[2*x/((x - 1)*(2*x - 1)), x]
x == 1/2 || x == 1
singularityDomain[Log[x]/(x^2 - 1), x]
x == 1 || x <= 0

It is easy to select the list of isolated singularities from here.

Hope this helps.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ singularityDomain[PolyGamma[1/x], x] -> MMA can't Find :P $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 22, 2017 at 14:09
  • $\begingroup$ @MariuszIwaniuk Interesting. Perhaps you should report to WRI. $\endgroup$
    – Edmund
    Commented Jan 22, 2017 at 14:14
  • $\begingroup$ singularityDomain[QPolyGamma[x, 1], x] -> next example.You write to WRI :P $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 22, 2017 at 14:19
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Possible refinement: singularityDomain[f_, x_] := Module[{res = FunctionDomain[f, x]}, Reduce[! res] /; ! MatchQ[res, _FunctionDomain] ] so that Reduce errors aren't produced when FunctionDomain is unable to find a result. $\endgroup$
    – Carl Woll
    Commented Jan 22, 2017 at 18:23
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Moo Yes, it can be extended for more than one variable. Since FunctionDomain can take additional variables then change x_Symbol to x : _Symbol | {_Symbol ..}. Then singularityDomain[1/(y (2 x - y) (z - 7)), {x, y, z}] gives x == y/2 || y == 0 || z == 7. $\endgroup$
    – Edmund
    Commented Jan 23, 2017 at 1:20

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