f

#### handling exact solution from solve vs numerical solution from fsolve for same equation

```
hello;

I am asking for the difference between

> Digits:=200;
>
> eq:=-x^3+6*x^2-6*x-1:
> fsolve(eq=0,x);
>
> solve(eq=0,x);
> evalf(%);

The result of evalf(%) above contains a complex part. No matter how
large I make Digits to be.
the result of fsolve contains only real part.

The question is, would you consider this equation to have complex or
real roots?

thanks,
Nasser

``` 0  Nasser
10/14/2005 10:04:07 PM comp.soft-sys.math.maple  4344 articles. 3 followers. 1 Replies 685 Views Similar Articles

[PageSpeed] 37

```In article <rXV3f.2604\$tV6.1659@newssvr27.news.prodigy.net>,
Nasser Abbasi <nma@12000.org> wrote:

|>I am asking for the difference between

|>> Digits:=200;

|>> eq:=-x^3+6*x^2-6*x-1:
|>> fsolve(eq=0,x);

|>> solve(eq=0,x);
|>> evalf(%);

|>The result of evalf(%) above contains a complex part. No matter how
|>large I make Digits to be.
|>the result of fsolve contains only real part.

Yes, the solution of a cubic with rational coefficients and three
irrational real roots (the "casus irreducibilis") using radicals
must involve complex numbers: the solutions are not in a radical
extension of Q contained in the real line.  Do a floating-point
computation involving I and roundoff error is likely to give you
a nonzero imaginary part in the result.

But Maple does know how to get real solutions involving trigonometric
functions:

> map(simplify @ evalc,[solve(eq,x)]);

1/2                1/2                1/2  1/2
[2 2    cos(%1) + 2, -2    cos(%1) + 2 - 3    2    sin(%1),

1/2                1/2  1/2
-2    cos(%1) + 2 + 3    2    sin(%1)]

1/2
23
%1 := 1/3 arctan(-----)
3

|>The question is, would you consider this equation to have complex or
|>real roots?

Real, of course.  You can also use Sturm's Theorem to count the number
of real roots.

> sturm(sturmseq(eq,x),x,-infinity,infinity);

3

Robert Israel                                israel@math.ubc.ca
Department of Mathematics        http://www.math.ubc.ca/~israel
University of British Columbia            Vancouver, BC, Canada
``` 0  israel
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