An equation contains an equal sign. Its solution is a value for the unknown variable that makes both sides equal the same value. Unlike an equation, an expression does not contain an equal ( = )sign. Its solution, is a root, that is, a value for the unknown variable that makes the expression equal to zero.
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HP 38g Calculator  Solving Equations
Calculator symbol key
The procedures in this document use the following text to represent symbol keys:
Key

Description

Text Representation


Colored key; shift key

SHIFT


Move cursor left

cursorleft


Move cursor right

cursorright


Move cursor up

cursorup


Move cursor down

cursordown


Backspace/clear

backspace

Defining the equation
With the 38g, up to ten equations (or expressions), named E0 through E9, can be defined. Also, each equation can contain up to 27 real variables named A through Z or 0
To define an equation
To define an equation:

In the LIBRARY (LIB) select the solve aplet.

Display the symbolic view by pressing SYMB. If the highlight is on an existing equation, scroll to an empty line or clear one line by pressing DEL or all lines by pressing SHIFT, then DEL

Enter a complete equation, including the equals sign (= is available as a menu key). Use only A through Z and 0 as variable names.

Press ENTER or OK to complete the equation. Only one equation at a time can be checkmarked.
note:
A Solve variable (E1 through E0) can also be defined in terms of other Solve variables. For instance, E1 in an equation could be defined to be the sum of E2 and E3.
Symbolic view keys
The following is a list of the symbolic view keys (and their descriptions) for the HP 38g graphing calculator.
Key

Description

EDIT

Copies the highlighted expression to the edit line for editing. Press OK when done

CHK

Checks / unchecks the current expression. Only the checked expression is evaluated

[=]

Types an equals sign into the equation

SHOW

Displays the current equation in standard mathematical form

EVAL

Evaluates the current equation by substituting other variables for all variables except the independent variable, which remains in the symbolic form

VAR and MATH

Menus for entering variable names, contents of variables, or math functions

SHIFT, then CHARS

Displays special characters. To type one, highlight it and press OK

DEL

Deletes all equations in the list or clears just the edit line

SHIFT, then CLEAR

Deletes all equations in the list or clears just the edit line, if it was active

Angle setting
The only setting for the SYMBOLIC view is the angle measure. This is significant only if any of the equation's variables contain trigonometric functions. To check or change the angle measure, press SHIFT, then SETUPSYMB. The choices are Radians, Degrees, and Grads.
note:
This setting can affect the numeric solutions, as well as the graph.
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