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I have an expression that I think should be simplified to zero but Mathematica gives me a weird result. I have

Simplify[-2*Sqrt[2*a] + Sqrt[(2^3)*a]]

The result given by mathematica is

-2 Sqrt[2] (-1 + ) Sqrt[a]

When I copied the above line of code from my notebook and pasted it here, the term appearing as (-1 + ) looked like (-1 + \.08). Is this of any help to solve the issue?

I'd simply like Mathematica to simplify my expression in a smart way.

EDIT: FullSimplify returns the same output

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Apparently your input cell contains extraneous characters (you could try FullForm on your input to see where the \.08 comes from). Retype your equation from scratch (do not copy/paste) in a new cell and execute. It should work.

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