An indeterminateMathworldPlanetmath  is simply a variableMathworldPlanetmath that is not known or solvable.  It is usually denoted by a mathematical alphabet (x, y, z, or α, β, etc…).  It is important to distinguish between a variable and an indeterminate in that a variable is solvable, at least conditionally.  To make this more precise, let’s see two examples:

  1. 1.

    Let x be a variable such that  2+3x=a+bx, where a,b. Then  x=(a-2)/(3-b).  Here x is solvable conditioned on the equation given. Any values of a and b(3) will yield a value for x.

  2. 2.

    Let x be an indeterminate such that  2+3x=a+bx, where  a,b.  Since x can not be solved, we have  2=a  and  3=b.  Note that if a and b are previously assigned to be values other than 2 and 3 respectively, then x is no longer an indeterminate.

Title indeterminate
Canonical name Indeterminate
Date of creation 2013-03-22 14:47:33
Last modified on 2013-03-22 14:47:33
Owner CWoo (3771)
Last modified by CWoo (3771)
Numerical id 5
Author CWoo (3771)
Entry type Definition
Classification msc 00A05
Related topic Parameter