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Joined: Oct 2004
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An incredible new computational search engine, came on line today.
Ask it a question, and it searches the web, pulling in real time line data where ever possible, computing and showing you the answers not only in mathematical form, but it uses graphs, and sounds, where appropriate.

It came on line today, a product from the brain of that British born genius Stephen Wolfram, designer of 'Mathematica'
http://www.stephenwolfram.com/about-sw/

I have hardly been able to try this amazing new search engine out... But I think it will soon out compete Google,
since produces all its answers in a Mathematical way.

So far its estimated the amount of ice cream eaten by the three countrys I asked it. Plus actual amounts consumed over the last 5 years.
It even works out how best to produce an invisible sphere.
Wish I could really understand some of the Astronomical answers.
Take a look at the Audio/Visual, Demo here first:-

http://www.wolframalpha.com/screencast/introducingwolframalpha.html


***Thoughts, Awesome
It can see 'Wolframalpha' virtually fortelling the future?

Last edited by Mike Kremer; 05/19/09 03:08 AM. Reason: correction

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"You will never find a real Human being - Even in a mirror." ....Mike Kremer.


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It's very ambitious. Could develop into something great. Unfortunately it's just been born and its database is still very limited. Many searches resulted in "Additional functionality for this topic is under development..."

Google gave me 1.35 million hits for my home town, Walthamstow, but what did WolframAlpha give me?...

...the distance and flight duration from Waltham in the U.K, to Stow in Ohio grin

I'll try that again in a month or two.


"Time is what prevents everything from happening at once" - John Wheeler
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The article I first read on WolframAlpha had a few search examples. I tried those examples - and most produced no results. I was not impressed. Will maybe try again this weekend if I can put aside 20 minutes or so to just play with it.

Irrelevant stuff on Wolfram follows:

Wolfram is an interesting guy. Mathematica is a serious piece of software. It's a competitor of MathCAD and Matlab for mathematical programming. Matlab originated as the name suggests as a solver for problems in matrix algebra. (Including large systems of differential equations, e.g., as well as linear programming problems.) This is a strong engineering focus and many engineering types use it (I do).

I've never used MathCAD, although some of my colleagues do. It's an engineering tool - it allows programming, but that doesn't seem to be its focus.

Mathematica is a completely different approach. You can do regular programming, but you can also just set up equations (as in MathCAD), but it will solve the equations, list all of the steps in the solution (feature not available in the student version). It will shoot for the analytic (closed form) solution if it can, before it tries to solve numerically. I've used it very little, but recall being very impressed. While I haven't used it in years, I'm pretty impressed with Wolfram.

I consider his company's website at mathworld.com by far the best mathematics resource on the web. (The site is maintained by Eric Weisstein, who has several times responded to inquiries I have made.)

Wolfram has also made a study of computation systems which he published in the book "A New Kind of Science" (often abbreviated to NKS). (I haven't read it yet, but I have it and it's on my list. Don't think I'll get to it this year.)

Finally, in a science group like this, everyone probably knows that the chemical symbol for Tungsten is not T or Tu, but W, which stands for "Wolfram."

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That's interesting, TFF. I reckon not a lot of people know all that. I didn't.

I've decided that WolframAlpha will be very useful in a unique sort of way. I've just been toying with it, and it can be a lot of fun (try some):

-How many millimetres in a parsec? (Okay, you may laugh grin )

-What's the half-life of beryllium 7?

-What's the fourth root of 97.4090910340024?

-y=(2x+pi)^2

-What's the refractive index of a ruby?

-How old is the Earth?

-The Richter Scale

-Where is Amalthea?

It's also programmed with some amusing responses...

What are you?
-I am a computational knowledge engine

Where are you?
-I live on the Internet

Who made you?
-I was created by Stephen Wolfram and his team

How old are you?
-5 days 18 hours 24 minutes 14.54 seconds


"Time is what prevents everything from happening at once" - John Wheeler

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