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# What does r in an answer mean

After I ran the following I got a valid image but what do the r's stand for in the solve part? They don't seem to have a value but I didn't get an error.

var('x y')
show(plot3d(x^2 + y^2, (x,-2,2), (y,-2,2)))


[image]

solve(x^2 + y^2==0,[x,y])
[[x == r1, y == I*r1], [x == r2, y == -I*r2]]

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## Comments

For some reason the y answer is sqrt(-1) times r1, etc, but isn't showing up in my query.

## 1 Answer

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Sometimes solving an equation gives a family of solutions with one or more parameters.

Complex-valued parameters are denoted by c1, c2, etc.

Real-valued parameters are denoted by r1, r2, etc.

Integer-valued parameters are denoted by z1, z2, etc.

Example:

sage: solve (x - x == 0, x)
[x == r1]

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Asked: 2020-08-07 12:19:19 +0200

Seen: 124 times

Last updated: Aug 07 '20