Calculations are normally performed numerically wherever possible.
For example, the
calc-sqrt command, or
sqrt function in an
algebraic expression, produces a numeric answer if the argument is a
number or a symbolic expression if the argument is an expression:
2 Q pushes 1.4142 but <'> x+1 <RET> Q pushes ‘sqrt(x+1)’.
In Symbolic mode, controlled by the m s (
command, functions which would produce inexact, irrational results are
left in symbolic form. Thus 16 Q pushes 4, but 2 Q pushes
The shift-N (
calc-eval-num) command evaluates numerically
the expression at the top of the stack, by temporarily disabling
calc-symbolic-mode and executing = (
Given a numeric prefix argument, it also
sets the floating-point precision to the specified value for the duration
of the command.
To evaluate a formula numerically without expanding the variables it
contains, you can use the key sequence m s a v m s (this uses
calc-alg-evaluate, which resimplifies but doesn't evaluate