I am trying to implement an algorithm described for example in this paper, Section III, or referenced here, from where numerical parameters have been taken. I added the snippet I use to compute the matrix from Eq. 3.1 in the first reference at the end, if it could be of any benefit. The need arises to compute very small numbers. Concretely, set

    Km = 0.025;
    Dm = 0.063;
    am = 4.2;
    kb = 8.617*^-5;
    V[delta_] := Dm*(1 - Exp[-delta])^2;

numbers such as


must be calculated. I read these answers How to check for underflow, and find a constant to correct it? and here New General::munfl error and loss of precision but I am not getting anywhere, probably because I do not have yet any understanding of the underlying theory.

I tried

           Activate@SetPrecision[Inactivate[Exp[-V[-40]]], 15]

as well as

           Exp[SetPrecision[-V[-40], 15]]


            Quiet[Exp[-V[-40]], General::unfl]

but I still get underflows errors. The question whether these figures are to be computed at all is also interesting, but I am trying to replicate the results of the paper.

How should these overflows be handled?

As a layman, I would not in principle mind something simple as Julia does

 julia> dm = 0.063

 julia> morse(x)=dm*(1-exp(-x))^2
 morse (generic function with 1 method)

 julia> morse(-40)

 julia> exp(-morse(-40))

although I understand this could be insufficient for more complex applications. I assume underflow messages a warning about the achieved precision, and automatic truncation to 0 might be undesirable, but I do not know.

** Matrix to be diagonalised**

   lmin = -40;
   lmax = 5000;

   ndiv = 20;
   divis = (lmax - lmin)/ndiv;
   W[delta1_, delta2_] := (Km/(2*am^2))*(delta1 - delta2)^2;

   mater[tempe_] := 
   Exp[ -(1/(kb*tempe))*(0.5*V[lmin + divis*i] + 
    0.5*V[lmin + divis*j] + 
    W[lmin + divis*i, lmin + divis*j])] , {i, 0, ndiv}, {j, 0, 
  • $\begingroup$ I think you have a typo: try Quiet[Exp[-V[-40]], General::munfl]. Or Off[General::munfl]. $\endgroup$ – Michael E2 Apr 12 '20 at 12:48
  • $\begingroup$ @Michael E2, it was not actually a typo, I tried with "munfl" before, to no avail. I tried "unfl" because it is mentioned when I hover over the "General::Underflow occurred in computation" warning. I tried your second option too, but still the same behaviour and underflows errors. Thanks $\endgroup$ – Smerdjakov Apr 12 '20 at 13:30
  • $\begingroup$ I get no messages with the code in my comment, and Exp[-V[-40]] by itself gives General::munfl for me, not General::unfl. I'm using V12.1.0, in case it's a version issue. -- BTW, the SetPrecision does not work because it does not inspect the code for V[], which contains a machine-precision number. $\endgroup$ – Michael E2 Apr 12 '20 at 13:39

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