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1.4.3 Transforming Algebraic Expressions







There are often many different ways to write the same algebraic expression. As one example, the expression can be written as . Mathematica


provides a large collection of functions for converting between different forms of algebraic expressions.


Two common functions for transforming algebraic expressions.

  • Expand gives the "expanded form", with products and powers multiplied out.
  • In[1]:= Expand[ (1 + x)^2 ]

    Out[1]=

  • Factor recovers the original form.
  • In[2]:= Factor[ % ]

    Out[2]=

  • It is easy to generate complicated expressions with Expand.
  • In[3]:= Expand[ (1 + x + 3 y)^4 ]

    Out[3]=

  • Factor often gives you simpler expressions.
  • In[4]:= Factor[ % ]

    Out[4]=

  • There are some cases, though, where Factor can give you more complicated expressions.
  • In[5]:= Factor[ x^10 - 1 ]

    Out[5]=

  • In this case, Expand gives the "simpler" form.
  • In[6]:= Expand[ % ]

    Out[6]=