This is documentation for Mathematica 8, which was
based on an earlier version of the Wolfram Language.

# \$MinPrecision

 \$MinPrecisiongives the minimum number of digits of precision to be allowed in arbitrary-precision numbers.
• Positive values of \$MinPrecision make Mathematica pad arbitrary-precision numbers with zero digits to achieve the specified nominal precision. The zero digits are taken to be in base 2, and may not correspond to zeros in base 10.
• \$MinPrecision is measured in decimal digits, and need not be an integer.
Make sure precision is kept at or above machine precision in a calculation:
Do a computation with fixed 20-digit precision:
Make sure precision is kept at or above machine precision in a calculation:
 Out[1]=

Do a computation with fixed 20-digit precision:
 Out[1]=
 Applications   (1)
Power method for the largest eigenvalue using fixed precision:
Find the largest eigenvalue of the 4×4 Hilbert matrix to 47 digits:
Without fixed precision the result indicates lost precision:
The fixed precision is correct to 47 digits since the iteration is self-correcting:
\$MinPrecision does not affect parts of computations with machine numbers:
If needed, use SetPrecision to eliminate machine numbers from the input: