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numeric precision unexpectedly low

asked 2021-07-14 12:38:50 +0200

anonymous user


updated 2021-07-15 18:04:38 +0200

FrédéricC gravatar image

I try to integrate a probability density function over an fixed interval.

Can't give the like but it is a "relativistic Breit-Wigner Distribution" as in the English Wikipedia.

Gamma = 294000
m = 3686100
gamma = sqrt(m^2*(m^2+Gamma^2))
k = (2*sqrt(2)*m*Gamma*gamma)/(pi*sqrt(m^2+gamma))
BW = k/((x^2-m^2)^2+m^2*Gamma^2)
test = integrate(BW(x),x,m-20*Gamma,m+20*Gamma)

Till here I shouldn't have lost any precision. but when I convert it numerically with


I get:


Since this is an integral over a probability density it must be less or equal to unity. To make things worse the test I used to catch this failed. When I print n(test,2000)-n(test,5000) I get:


So it seems as if 500 digits are correct. Is this a bug or am I not using this correctly? I'm using sage 9.0 as packaged in Ubuntu.

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answered 2021-07-14 21:37:46 +0200

tmonteil gravatar image

You should have a look at the expression test, wich is a very huge. Hence, when turned numerical, a lot of roundings accumulate. Instead, you could compute the numerical integral directly (the second part is the precision of the result):

sage: numerical_integral(BW,m-20*Gamma,m+20*Gamma)
(1.039353768756414, 7.667179586654595e-10)

As you can see, the integral is larger than 1. If you want more precision, you can use real ball field:

sage: CC = ComplexBallField(1000)
sage: f = fast_callable(BW,vars=[x],domain=CC)
sage: CC.integral(lambda x,_: f(x) ,CC(m-20*Gamma),CC(m+20*Gamma))
[1.0393537687564144005635175005493502562514240251865059997675473690905082074521147152980391279501557766285787071456276287443389069265579835090610752201107443966192623303858945758537114342432084054091316038569497030744623566434274060346642219779086790951559180203731682971294215371002868275171917298204 +/- 4.40e-299]
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Thank You! If the integral is larger than one it cannot be a probability density function. In principle that is what the normalisation constant k should take care of. I need to do more checks on the formula. Thanks again!

just_tryin_to_use_this gravatar imagejust_tryin_to_use_this ( 2021-07-15 08:53:09 +0200 )edit

Great. This answer has just helped me a lot with a complex integral I could not solve before.

mwageringel gravatar imagemwageringel ( 2021-07-15 20:46:51 +0200 )edit

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Asked: 2021-07-14 12:35:41 +0200

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Last updated: Jul 15