# [Numpy-discussion] Re: indexing problem

Ryan Krauss ryanlists at gmail.com
Mon Feb 13 15:16:03 CST 2006

```At the risk of sounding silly, can you explain to me in simple terms
why s**2 is less accurate than s*s.  I can sort of intuitively
appreciate that that would be true, but but might like just a little
more detail.

Thanks,

Ryan

On 2/13/06, Tim Hochberg <tim.hochberg at cox.net> wrote:
>
> >>
> >>Ryan Krauss wrote:
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >>>This may only be a problem for ridiculously large numbers.  I actually
> >>>meant to be dealing with these values:
> >>>
> >>>In [75]: d
> >>>Out[75]:
> >>>array([   246.74011003,    986.96044011,   2220.66099025,   3947.84176044,
> >>>        6168.50275068,   8882.64396098,  12090.26539133,  15791.36704174,
> >>>       19985.94891221,  24674.01100272])
> >>>
> >>>In [76]: s=d[-1]*1.0j
> >>>
> >>>In [77]: s
> >>>Out[77]: 24674.011002723393j
> >>>
> >>>In [78]: type(s)
> >>>Out[78]: <type 'complex128scalar'>
> >>>
> >>>In [79]: s**2
> >>>Out[79]: (-608806818.96251547+7.4554869875188623e-08j)
> >>>
> >>>So perhaps the previous difference of 26 orders of magnitude really
> >>>did mean that the imaginary part was negligibly small, that just got
> >>>obscured by the fact that the real part was order 1e+135.
> >>>
> >>>On 2/13/06, Ryan Krauss <ryanlists at gmail.com> wrote:
> >>>
> >>>
>
> I got myself all tied up in a knot over this because I couldn't figure
> out how multiplying two purely complex numbers was going to result in
> something with a complex portion. Since I couldn't find the complex
> routines my imagination went wild: perhaps, I thought, numpy uses the
> complex multiplication routine that uses 3 multiplies instead of the
> more straightforward one that uses 4 multiples, etc, etc. None of these
> panned out, and of course they all evaporated when I got pointed to the
> code that implements this which is pure vanilla.  All the time I was
> overlooking the obvious:
>
> Ryan is using s**2, not s*s.
>
> So the obvious answer, is that he's just seeing normal error in the
> function that is implementing pow.
>
> If this is inacuracy is problem, I'd just replace s**2 with s*s. It will
> probably be both faster and more accurate anyway
>
> Foolishly,
>
> -tim
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
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```