The following expression is a short excerpt from a much longer expression I have:

exp = a E^(I (k x - t \[Omega])) \[Alpha]1 + 
     a E^(-k x - I t \[Omega]) R0 \[Alpha]2 + 
     a E^(-3 k x - 3 I t \[Omega]) R0 \[Alpha]3 + 
    a E^(I (5 k x - 5 t \[Omega])) \[Alpha]5;

I need a basic command that checks the above expression and issues an alert if any of the following conditions are not met:

1- Sign of k in the exponential must be positive if "a" is not multiplied by R0.

2- Sign of k in the exponential must be negative if "a" is multiplied by R0.

For example, the command should give me a warning that the last term in expEroor violates either conditions mentioned above:

  expError = a E^(I (k x - t \[Omega])) \[Alpha]1 + 
    a E^(-k x - I t \[Omega]) R0 \[Alpha]2 + 
    a E^(-3 k x - 3 I t \[Omega]) R0 \[Alpha]3 + 
     a R0 E^(I (5 k x - 5 t \[Omega])) \[Alpha]5;

Thanks in advance for help.


1 Answer 1


One could use

(* test a single term *)

(* select terms that do not pass the test  *)
Select[List@@expError, Not[test[#]===True]&]

(* { a E^(I (5 k x-5 t ω)) R0 α5} *)

The function coeff uses this answer.

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for your answer. However, there are terms that don’t have “I” multiplied by “k” in the exponent. $\endgroup$
    – qahtah
    Oct 10, 2022 at 8:31

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