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When I evaluate

x = 1.0000000000000000001 (* Precision of 20 digits *)

Mathematica returns

1.000000000000000000 (* Precision of 19 digits *)

When I evaluate

y = N[1.0000000000000000001,100]

it still returns

1.000000000000000000

despite the fact that we did know the original number with a precision of 20 digits so it seems it really does lose precision the moment it evaluates the number 1.0000000000000000001. Trace also shows the calculation as if I just entered the number with a precision of 19 digits When evaluate

SetPrecision[y,30]

it returns

1.00000000000000000010000000000

though...

I read through the documentation on arbitrary precision calculations and still don't get what's going on. If Mathematica stores the numbers internally with a higher precision then why doesn't N give me the result up to the highest precision the number has. If it doesn't store any precision then why does the missing digit suddenly appear when evaluating SetPrecision?

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  • $\begingroup$ Note that InputForm and RealDigits both indicate that last digit is present. In[14]:= InputForm[x = 1.0000000000000000001] RealDigits[x] Out[15]= {{1, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 1}, 1} 1.000000000000000000119.` $\endgroup$ Apr 5, 2022 at 13:54
  • $\begingroup$ See Numerical Precision $\endgroup$
    – Bob Hanlon
    Apr 5, 2022 at 13:59

1 Answer 1

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1.0000000000000000001
1.000000000000000000

It's precision of display....

Have you learned C or C++? It's like:

printf("%.3d",1.000001);

If you mean:

1.0000000000000000001==1.0000000000000000000

It's because the default precision has only ten numbers, You need usesetPrecision or like

1.0000000000000000001`22==1.0000000000000000000`22

There is refered in Possible Issues (https://reference.wolfram.com/language/ref/Equal.html)

It's mean setPrecision[y,30] make Precision[y] from 10 to 30... In other way, the infinite precision is you can set some value's precision infinite, not any of them is infinite defaultly.

(If you think my English is poor, it's because I'm not native English speaker....

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  • $\begingroup$ But then why does Round[1.0000000000000000001] ==1.000000000000000001 return True? $\endgroup$
    – Gert
    Apr 5, 2022 at 11:20
  • $\begingroup$ @Gert why not? Round[1.0000000000000000001] ==1==1.000000000000000000 $\endgroup$ Apr 5, 2022 at 11:21
  • $\begingroup$ sorry, I copied the wrong number. Edited my comment. $\endgroup$
    – Gert
    Apr 5, 2022 at 11:23
  • $\begingroup$ Emm, I need to try it in my computer.... $\endgroup$ Apr 5, 2022 at 11:26
  • $\begingroup$ @Gert The "==" in documentation said, in my opinion, the default precision of value is automatic precision ,it only care about the first ten numbers in 1.0000000000001,so.... $\endgroup$ Apr 5, 2022 at 11:35

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