MATHEMATICA TUTORIAL

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.

 Expand[expr] multiply out products and powers, writing the result as a sum of terms Factor[expr] write expr as a product of minimal factors

Two common functions for transforming algebraic expressions.

Expand gives the "expanded form", with products and powers multiplied out.
 Out[1]=
Factor recovers the original form.
 Out[2]=
It is easy to generate complicated expressions with Expand.
 Out[3]=
Factor often gives you simpler expressions.
 Out[4]=
There are some cases, though, where Factor can give you more complicated expressions.
 Out[5]=
In this case, Expand gives the "simpler" form.
 Out[6]=

Tutorial CollectionTutorial Collection

New to Mathematica? Find your learning path »
Have a question? Ask support »