I have a small problem:

I have two expressions:

a = (ia*l^3*p0)/(12*ia*l + 6*i*la)
b =  p0*l^2/(12*(1 + 0.5*i/ia*la/l))

Obviously, they are equal. Just take expression a and multiply it by 1/(l*ia)/1/(l*ia) and finally factor out the 12 in the denominator.

Now I would like Mathematica to tell me if those two expressions are equal, therefore I used the following code:


But it does not tell me


Why is that?


Writing Reduce[a==b] does the trick! :) However, there is another example where it does not work:

Here is another example where it does not work

c = (l^3 la p0)/(24 e (2 ia l + i la))
d = p0*l^2/(24*e*(2*ia/i + i/l))

Again, c is equal to d. You can multiply c by (1/(l*la)/(1/(l*la)) and you will get the same result as d.

Here I tryied: 'Reduce[c==d]`but it does not work.

  • $\begingroup$ I would use Reduce instead of Expand; notice you have p0 in a but po in b, $\endgroup$ Mar 25, 2018 at 8:46
  • $\begingroup$ @b.gatessucks thanks a lot. Now it works. Can you tell me why? $\endgroup$
    – henry
    Mar 25, 2018 at 9:26
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ In[175]:= PossibleZeroQ[a - b] Out[175]= True $\endgroup$ Mar 25, 2018 at 15:09
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ a == b // Simplify $\endgroup$
    – Bob Hanlon
    Mar 26, 2018 at 0:08

1 Answer 1


These expressions are not equal. c has a singularity in la, d has it not.

Plot[Evaluate[{c, d} /. {l -> 1, p0 -> 2, ia -> 3, e -> 4, p0 -> 5, 
     i -> 6}], {la, -3, 3}, PlotRange -> .01, PlotStyle -> {Red, Blue}]

enter image description here

  • $\begingroup$ Thank you very much! I did not notice that ! $\endgroup$
    – henry
    Mar 25, 2018 at 12:45

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