Difference between an Equation and an Identity?

  • Thread starter preekap
  • Start date
Can u guys tell me the difference b/w an Equation and an Identity?

Thx
 

CompuChip

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Re: Identity

I use the terms quite sloppily myself, but it appears that an identity expresses an equality regardless of the values of any variables. So for example,
[tex]x(x - 1) = x^2 - x[/tex]
is an identity, because it is true for any values of x that you plug in. However,
[tex]x(x - 1) = 0[/tex]
is an equation, which only holds when specific values for x are plugged in (called the solutions to the equation).
 

matt grime

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Re: Identity

A more interesting identity than one which is just multiplying out a bracket would be something like

[tex] \sin^2 x + \cos^2 x \equiv 1[/tex]

Note the three lined symbol which one is supposed to use for identities, rather than the = symbol. Of course, this is something that most of us (me included) would use only if it was really necessary to clarify such a point.
 
72
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Re: Identity

^ That's odd, I've covered lots of identities and I've never once seen that in any text book (nor during the bajillion trig identities I was forced to prove in highschool.)
 

matt grime

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Re: Identity

Surely it's the first one you prove/meet, and is merely Pythagoras's theorem.
 

HallsofIvy

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Re: Identity

^ That's odd, I've covered lots of identities and I've never once seen that in any text book (nor during the bajillion trig identities I was forced to prove in highschool.)
It's not clear whether you are talking about CompuChip's x(x-1)= x2- x or matt grimes' sin2x+ cos2x= 1 but you will find the first in any elementary algebra text and the second in any trigonometry text.
 
654
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Re: Identity

wooosh
 

Integral

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Re: Identity

I thought he was talking about the 3 line identical equal to symbol.
 

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