Difference between revisions of "The order of terms matters even when they commute"

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(The order of factors in a term follows apparently arbitrary conventions.)
 
m (Brackets not dollars.)
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When writing a term that consists of several factors, the conventions regarding their order appear arbitrary. It is usual to write:
When writing a term that consists of several factors, the conventions regarding their order appear arbitrary. It is usual to write:


* $xy$ and $yx$ in either order;
* \(xy\) and \(yx\) in either order;
* $5t$ but not $t5$ (to avoid confusion with $t_5$ or $t^5$);
* \(5t\) but not \(t5\) (to avoid confusion with \(t_5\) or \(t^5\));
* $x\sqrt{2}$ but not $\sqrt{2}x$ (to avoid confusion with $\sqrt{2x}$).
* \(x\sqrt{2}\) but not \(\sqrt{2}x\) (to avoid confusion with \(\sqrt{2x}\)).
* $\sqrt{2}\sin x$ but not $\sin x \sqrt{2}$ (to avoid confusion with $\sin \left(\sqrt{2}x\right)$).
* \(\sqrt{2}\sin x\) but not \(\sin x \sqrt{2}\) (to avoid confusion with \(\sin \left(x\sqrt{2}\right)\)).

Revision as of 08:42, 15 July 2021


When writing a term that consists of several factors, the conventions regarding their order appear arbitrary. It is usual to write:

  • \(xy\) and \(yx\) in either order;
  • \(5t\) but not \(t5\) (to avoid confusion with \(t_5\) or \(t^5\));
  • \(x\sqrt{2}\) but not \(\sqrt{2}x\) (to avoid confusion with \(\sqrt{2x}\)).
  • \(\sqrt{2}\sin x\) but not \(\sin x \sqrt{2}\) (to avoid confusion with \(\sin \left(x\sqrt{2}\right)\)).