I ran into this while doing some work today:

enter image description here

It's the exact same syntax - and I expected that Mathematica would be more likely to be able to solve it, since oftentimes Wolfram|Alpha doesn't have all the functions of Wolfram Language. So why did this happen, and how can I make Mathematica solve it when, say, I'm offline and don't have access to Wolfram|Alpha queries?

I'm running Mathematica 10 on CentOS 6.


closed as off-topic by bobthechemist, m_goldberg, Karsten 7., Kuba, Michael E2 Jan 31 '15 at 1:17

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "This question arises due to a simple mistake such as a trivial syntax error, incorrect capitalization, spelling mistake, or other typographical error and is unlikely to help any future visitors, or else it is easily found in the documentation." – bobthechemist, m_goldberg, Karsten 7., Kuba, Michael E2
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • $\begingroup$ Feel free to come up with a more descriptive title.. $\endgroup$ – Austin Burk Jan 30 '15 at 23:36
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ W|A is assuming a space between h and w, whereas Mathematica does not. $\endgroup$ – bobthechemist Jan 30 '15 at 23:38
  • $\begingroup$ Mathematica syntax is not correct. You need to put space (or *) between h and w. $\endgroup$ – halmir Jan 30 '15 at 23:38

Wolfram|Alpha is more willing to change the input because the input is generally natural language. Alpha has interpreted hw has two single-letter symbols, h and w. Mathematica has interpreted hw as a single two-letter symbol. Because you asked Mathematica to solve for h and h does not appear in the expression, there is no solution. Adding a space tells Mathematica there are two symbols there and makes the thing work:

enter image description here


Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.