# What is wrong with FindRoot?

I am trying to find a numerical solution to the following transcendental equation

BallooningFile = {0., 0.000136, 0.000572, 0.001152, 0.001907,
0.003004, 0.004199, 0.005479, 0.006834, 0.008256, 0.008985,
0.009738, 0.011271, 0.01285, 0.013651, 0.014468, 0.016119,
0.017797, 0.019496, 0.021211, 0.022069, 0.022934, 0.024661,
0.025522, 0.026386, 0.028103, 0.029806, 0.031492, 0.033153,
0.034785, 0.036383, 0.037942, 0.039457, 0.040924, 0.042338,
0.043695, 0.04499, 0.046221, 0.047382, 0.048472, 0.049486,
0.050421, 0.051276, 0.052047, 0.052732, 0.053329, 0.053837,
0.054255, 0.05458, 0.054813, 0.054953, 0.055, 0.055, 0.055,
0.055, 0.055, 0.055, 0.055, 0.055, 0.055, 0.055, 0.055,
0.055, 0.055, 0.055, 0.055, 0.055, 0.055, 0.055, 0.055,
0.055, 0.055, 0.055, 0.055, 0.055, 0.055, 0.055, 0.055,
0.055, 0.055, 0.055, 0.055, 0.055, 0.055, 0.055, 0.055,
0.055, 0.055, 0.055, 0.055, 0.055, 0.055, 0.055, 0.055,
0.055, 0.055, 0.055, 0.055, 0.055, 0.055, 0.055, 0.055,
0.055, 0.055, 0.055, 0.055, 0.055, 0.055, 0.055, 0.055,
0.055, 0.055, 0.055, 0.055, 0.055, 0.055, 0.055, 0.055,
0.055, 0.055, 0.055, 0.055, 0.055, 0.055, 0.055, 0.055,
0.055, 0.055, 0.055, 0.055, 0.055, 0.055, 0.055, 0.055,
0.055, 0.055, 0.055, 0.055, 0.055, 0.055, 0.055, 0.055,
0.055, 0.055, 0.055, 0.055, 0.055, 0.055, 0.055, 0.055,
0.055, 0.055, 0.055, 0.055, 0.055, 0.055, 0.055, 0.055,
0.055, 0.055, 0.055, 0.055, 0.055, 0.054313, 0.0523,
0.049099, 0.044931, 0.040082, 0.034883, 0.029689, 0.024854,
0.020707, 0.017527, 0.01553, 0.015021, 0.01485, 0.014888,
0.014998, 0.015078, 0.015172, 0.015281, 0.0154, 0.015529,
0.015665, 0.015807, 0.01595};
BorderValue = 0.0001;
AnglesBtm =
Table[
FindRoot[
Sin[x]/x ==
1/(If[BallooningFile[[i, 4]] <= BorderValue,
BorderValue,
BallooningFile[[i, 4]]] + 1), {x, .001}][[1, 2]],
{i, 1, Length[BallooningFile[[All, 2]]], 1}]


The problem is that I get an error saying:

FindRoot::lstol: The line search decreased the step size to within tolerance specified by AccuracyGoal and PrecisionGoal but was unable to find a sufficient decrease in the merit function. You may need more than MachinePrecision digits of working precision to meet these tolerances.

After some searching on help pages I found out that at least one solution is complex. But I have no idea why on earth would that really be the case? Can somebody explain me this error?

EDIT: Ok, if I change BorderValue from 0.0001 to 0.001 everything works fine. I don't understand this. EDIT2: Corrected code.

• Please post self-contained, working code. Sep 2, 2015 at 12:28
• Downloads are awkward and potentially dangerous. Could you hardcode a working example? Sep 2, 2015 at 12:43
• It is the 3rd search, FindRoot[Sin[x]/x == 0.9994283269969577, {x, 0.001}]. Increase WorkingPrecision to 20 or decrease PrecisionGoal to 6, following the hints in the warning message. Or simply check the results to see if errors are too great. It's just a warning that the error might be more than you want. Sep 2, 2015 at 13:03
• I feel like this site would benefit from a generic Q&A on how to interpret standard warnings (that are not errors) from numeric solvers. Sep 2, 2015 at 13:06

Use Sinc[x] rather than Sin[x]/x

BallooningFile = {0., 0.000136, 0.000572, 0.001152, 0.001907, 0.003004,
0.004199, 0.005479, 0.006834, 0.008256, 0.008985, 0.009738,
0.011271, 0.01285, 0.013651, 0.014468, 0.016119, 0.017797, 0.019496,
0.021211, 0.022069, 0.022934, 0.024661, 0.025522, 0.026386,
0.028103, 0.029806, 0.031492, 0.033153, 0.034785, 0.036383,
0.037942, 0.039457, 0.040924, 0.042338, 0.043695, 0.04499, 0.046221,
0.047382, 0.048472, 0.049486, 0.050421, 0.051276, 0.052047,
0.052732, 0.053329, 0.053837, 0.054255, 0.05458, 0.054813, 0.054953,
0.055, 0.055, 0.055, 0.055, 0.055, 0.055, 0.055, 0.055, 0.055,
0.055, 0.055, 0.055, 0.055, 0.055, 0.055, 0.055, 0.055, 0.055,
0.055, 0.055, 0.055, 0.055, 0.055, 0.055, 0.055, 0.055, 0.055,
0.055, 0.055, 0.055, 0.055, 0.055, 0.055, 0.055, 0.055, 0.055,
0.055, 0.055, 0.055, 0.055, 0.055, 0.055, 0.055, 0.055, 0.055,
0.055, 0.055, 0.055, 0.055, 0.055, 0.055, 0.055, 0.055, 0.055,
0.055, 0.055, 0.055, 0.055, 0.055, 0.055, 0.055, 0.055, 0.055,
0.055, 0.055, 0.055, 0.055, 0.055, 0.055, 0.055, 0.055, 0.055,
0.055, 0.055, 0.055, 0.055, 0.055, 0.055, 0.055, 0.055, 0.055,
0.055, 0.055, 0.055, 0.055, 0.055, 0.055, 0.055, 0.055, 0.055,
0.055, 0.055, 0.055, 0.055, 0.055, 0.055, 0.055, 0.055, 0.055,
0.055, 0.055, 0.055, 0.055, 0.055, 0.055, 0.055, 0.055, 0.055,
0.055, 0.055, 0.055, 0.055, 0.054313, 0.0523, 0.049099, 0.044931,
0.040082, 0.034883, 0.029689, 0.024854, 0.020707, 0.017527, 0.01553,
0.015021, 0.01485, 0.014888, 0.014998, 0.015078, 0.015172,
0.015281, 0.0154, 0.015529, 0.015665, 0.015807, 0.01595};
BorderValue = 0.0001;
AnglesBtm = (x /.
FindRoot[Sinc[x] ==
1/(If[# <= BorderValue, BorderValue, #] + 1), {x, .001}]) & /@
BallooningFile;

ListLinePlot[AnglesBtm]


• Sinc is a good choice for this local example and avoids the precision loss of Sin[x]/x`. (+1) Sep 2, 2015 at 13:10