# 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.

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Factor recovers the original form.

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It is easy to generate complicated expressions with

Expand.

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Factor often gives you simpler expressions.

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There are some cases, though, where

Factor can give you more complicated expressions.

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In this case,

Expand gives the "simpler" form.

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