This is documentation for Mathematica 5.2, which was
based on an earlier version of the Wolfram Language.
View current documentation (Version 11.2)

Mathematica as a Calculator

You can use Mathematica just like a calculator: you type in questions, and Mathematica prints back answers.

Ask Mathematica what 3 + 5 is; it prints back 8. Mathematica adds the In and Out labels; you do not type them. You end each line with ShiftKeyKeyBarEnterKey.

The ^ stands for "to the power of".

This asks Mathematica to work out the inverse of a 2 x 2 matrix.

Mathematica can handle formulas as well as numbers.

This asks Mathematica to integrate a simple function.

This asks Mathematica to solve a quadratic equation. The result is a list of rules for x convenient for use in other calculations.

Mathematica can also create two and three-dimensional graphics.

This creates a 2D plot of a simple function.

Here is a 3D plot.

You can access many of the calculator features of Mathematica just by pushing buttons in standard palettes. Click this hyperlink to check out the Basic Calculations palette.