Introduction to
Mathematica
L
A
T
E
X file:
IntroMathematicanball
— Daniel A. Graham <[email protected]>, June 30, 2005
This is a brief introduction to those features of Mathematica that you will find most useful for this
course.
At Duke, see
http://www.oit.duke.edu/site/software/mathematica.html for information
about obtaining
Mathematica.
Basics
I am preparing this document using the notebook interface for the Unix version of Mathematica so the
keyboard shortcuts I describe may be a bit different if you’re using either the Windows or Mac versions.
Though
Mathematica
has both a notebook or graphics interface and a characterbased interface,you
will most likely be using the notebook interface and this differs little between operating systems.When
you save your notebook you’ll get a standard ascii notebook file that is exactly the same no matter
which operating system you’re using.You could email this file to a friend,for example,and he/she would
be able to use it no matter which operating systems the two of you are using.You could also select
File/SaveasSpecial/HTML or File/SaveasSpecial/T
E
X, as I will do with this document to display it on the
internet.
When you start Mathematica, the screen will be blank save for a horizontal line across the top of the
screen.
This line represents the insertion point for a
"
cell
"
.
A cell can contain text, such as this
paragraph, a headline, such as
"
Introduction to Mathematica
"
at the beginning of this document, input
to be processed by Mathematica, output returned by Mathematica and so forth.
The default is input
but you can change this while the horizontal line is visible by selecting from the Format/Style. Once you
start typing, the line will disappear and the characters you type will appear together with a
"
bracket
"
in
the righthand margin.
You can click on this bracket and make another selection from the Format/Style
menu if you change your mind about the style you want.
If you move the curor to the end (or beginning) of a cell, a new insertion line will appear where you can,
once again, select a style and enter new material.
You can also, of course, return to any existing cell
and make any changes you like.
Input Expressions
Simply enter an expression, say (2+3)
∧
3, in an input cell and press the shift key and the enter key at
the same time.
Mathematica
will process your input, label your input cell with
"
In[#]
"
and return its
output in a cell labeled
"
Out[#]
"
where
"
#
"
is the number Mathematica assigns to this matched pair of
cells.
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 Spring '09
 Physics, Derivative, Expression, Mathematica, ASCII

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