# Too many solutions from equations, how to select the best answer

I am trying to solve the following set of equations to get a1, a2, a3. The code shown below produces too many solutions, my solution lies in it...how do i select it... in the attached picture, i am showing the code and the long list of solutions...i have highlighted the solution that i require in the blue colored box....how to i get this result only???

ClearAll;
Vdc1 = 1;
v1 = 0.15;
eqn = {(4 Vdc1)/π (Cos[a1 Degree] - Cos[a2 Degree] + Cos[a3 Degree]) - v1 == 0,
(4 Vdc1)/(3π) (Cos[3 a1 Degree] - Cos[3 a2 Degree] + Cos[3 a3 Degree]) == 0,
(4 Vdc1)/(5π) (Cos[5 a1 Degree] - Cos[5 a2 Degree] + Cos[5 a3 Degree]) == 0
};
Solve[eqn, {a1, a2, a3}]  (* find so that 0<a1<a2<a3<π/2 *) Need to extract the highlighted.

• Why dont you give those restrictions to the Solve command??? – Mauricio Fernández May 15 '17 at 14:49
• Select[sols, Quiet[ineq /. #] &], with or without Quiet? (Inequalities complain about complex numbers. – Michael E2 May 15 '17 at 15:06
• Since {a1, a2, a3} are degrees, the constraint should presumably be 0 < a1 < a2 < a3 < 90 – Bob Hanlon May 15 '17 at 15:12
• how do u give restrictions to the solve command ? – UTs May 15 '17 at 15:22

Vdc1 = 1;
v1 = 15/100;


I had no luck adding constraints to Solve

Solve[{
(4 Vdc1)/(\[Pi]) (Cos[a1 Degree] - Cos[a2 Degree] +
Cos[a3 Degree]) - v1 == 0,
(4 Vdc1)/(3 \[Pi]) (Cos[3 a1 Degree] - Cos[3 a2 Degree] +
Cos[3 a3 Degree]) ==
0, (4 Vdc1)/(5 \[Pi]) (Cos[5 a1 Degree] - Cos[5 a2 Degree] +
Cos[5 a3 Degree]) == 0,
0 < a1,
a1 < a2,
a2 < a3,
a3 < 90
},
{a1, a2, a3}
] One can use the same format for Reduce. It appeared to take a long time and I did not wait for it to finish to see if it produced an answer.

Instead I tried FindMinimum. It expects a function so I summed up the square of the inputs which is more or less equivalent to equating them to zero.

FindMinimum[
{
((4 Vdc1)/\[Pi] (Cos[a1 Degree] - Cos[a2 Degree] + Cos[a3 Degree]) -
v1 )^2 +
(4 Vdc1)/(3 \[Pi]) (Cos[3 a1 Degree] - Cos[3 a2 Degree] +
Cos[3 a3 Degree])^2 +
(4 Vdc1)/(5 \[Pi]) (Cos[5 a1 Degree] - Cos[5 a2 Degree] +
Cos[5 a3 Degree])^2,
0 < a1 && a1 < a2 && a2 < a3 && a3 < 90
},
{
a1,
a2,
a3
}
]


{3.65723*10^-12, {a1 -> 42.5831, a2 -> 47.3491, a3 -> 86.6151}}

• This is the answer is am getting {0.680728, {a1 -> 0.692134, a2 -> 13.5875, a3 -> 49.8621}} – UTs May 15 '17 at 15:47
• In your original question you had some typos (i.e., using square brackets rather than curly brackets, etc...). I tried to correct those in the answer. If I start with a fresh Mathematica session and paste in the the top two lines and the FindMinimum line I duplicate the result in the answer. I am using Mathematica 11.1.1.0 – Jack LaVigne May 15 '17 at 15:51
• Although taking about five minutes, Reduce does offer the advantage of finding all answers satisfying the equations. In this case there is only one, {a1 -> 42.5833, a2 -> 47.3492, a3 -> 86.6151} – bbgodfrey May 15 '17 at 16:58

As I have kept mentioning many times before, such problems are best handled through the Weierstrass substitution. The substitution is especially convenient here, since the angle restrictions are also very easily imposed:

With[{Vdc1 = 1, v1 = 15/100},
NSolve[Join[TrigExpand[{(4 Vdc1)/(π) (Cos[a1] - Cos[a2] + Cos[a3]) - v1 == 0,
(4 Vdc1)/(3 π) (Cos[3 a1] - Cos[3 a2] + Cos[3 a3]) == 0,
(4 Vdc1)/(5 π) (Cos[5 a1] - Cos[5 a2] + Cos[5 a3]) == 0} /.
Thread[{a1, a2, a3} -> 2 ArcTan[{u1, u2, u3}]]],
{0 < u1 < 1, 0 < u2 < 1, 0 < u3 < 1}], {u1, u2, u3}]]
{{u1 -> 0.942601, u2 -> 0.43844, u3 -> 0.389715},
{u1 -> 0.389715, u2 -> 0.43844, u3 -> 0.942601}}

2 ArcTan[{u1, u2, u3}]/° /. %
{{86.6151, 47.3492, 42.5833}, {42.5833, 47.3492, 86.6151}}
`