gives the Bell number .


gives the Bell polynomial .


  • Mathematical function, suitable for both symbolic and numerical manipulation.
  • The Bell polynomials satisfy the generating function relation .
  • The Bell numbers are given by .
  • For certain special arguments, BellB automatically evaluates to exact values.
  • BellB can be evaluated to arbitrary numerical precision.
  • BellB automatically threads over lists.

Background & Context

  • BellB is a mathematical function that returns a Bell number or polynomial. In particular, BellB[n,x] returns the ^(th) Bell polynomial and BellB[n] returns the ^(th) Bell number TemplateBox[{n}, BellB]=TemplateBox[{n, 1}, BellB2]. Bell polynomials can be determined from the exponential generating function . The Bell numbers also satisfy the recurrence relation B_(n+1)=sum_(k=0)^nTemplateBox[{n, k}, Binomial]B_k. The first few Bell polynomials are , while the first few Bell numbers are .
  • The Bell polynomial is also called an exponential polynomial or, more explicitly, the "complete exponential Bell polynomial" and is sometimes denoted . Bell polynomials are named after mathematician and math expositor Eric Temple Bell, who wrote about them in 1934.
  • The polynomial has the interpretation that if there are partitions of into parts, then . Furthermore, if there are total partitions of , then . For example, the set having elements can be partitioned into parts ways , part way (), parts ways (, and ), and parts way (), giving . Since there are five total ways to partition , .
  • The Bell polynomial and number are a special case of the BellY function, with TemplateBox[{n, x}, BellB2]=sum_(k=0)^nY_(n,k)(x,...,x) and . Letting TemplateBox[{n, k}, StirlingS2] denote the Stirling number of the second kind, returned by StirlingS2, B_n=B_n(1)=sum_(k=0)^nTemplateBox[{n, k}, StirlingS2].


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Basic Examples  (2)

The tenth Bell number:

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The fifth Bell polynomial:

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Scope  (4)

Generalizations & Extensions  (1)

Applications  (2)

Properties & Relations  (8)

Possible Issues  (1)

Neat Examples  (1)

See Also

StirlingS2  Subsets  PartitionsQ  BellY


Introduced in 2007