## Crashing Mathematica with HatchShading + Opacity

May 31, 2020 math and physics play , , ,

I attempted to modify a plot for an electric field solution that I had in my old Antenna-Theory notes:
\BE
=
j \omega
\frac{\mu_0 I_{\textrm{eo}} l}{4 \pi r} e^{-j k r}
\lr{ 1 + \cos\theta }
\lr{
-\cos\phi \thetacap
+ \sin\phi \phicap
},

and discovered that you can crash Mathematica (12.1.0.0) by combining PlotStyle with Opacity and HatchShading (new in 12.1).  Here’s a stripped down version of the plot code that demonstrates the crash:

ClearAll[ rcap]
rcap = {Sin[#1] Cos[#2], Sin[#1] Sin[#2], Cos[#1]} & ;

{
ParametricPlot3D[
rcap[t, p]
, {t, 0, π}
, {p, 0, 2 π}
, PlotStyle -> { HatchShading[0.5, Black]}
]
, ParametricPlot3D[
rcap[t, p]
, {t, 0, π}
, {p, 0, 2 π}
, PlotStyle -> {Directive[Opacity[0.5]]}
], ParametricPlot3D[
rcap[t,p]
,{t,0,π}
,{p,0,2 π}
Black]}
]
}

The first two plots, using one, but not both of, Opacity or HatchShading work fine:

In this reproducer, the little dimple at the base has been removed, which was the reason for the Opacity.

I’ve reported the bug to Wolfram, but wonder if they are going to come back to me saying, “Well, don’t do that!”

EDIT: Fixed in Mathematica 12.1.1

## Exploring 0^0, x^x, and z^z.

My Youtube home page knows that I’m geeky enough to watch math videos.  Today it suggested Eddie Woo’s video about $$0^0$$.

Mr Woo, who has great enthusiasm, and must be an awesome teacher to have in person.  He reminds his class about the exponent laws, which allow for an interpretation that $$0^0$$ would be equal to 1.  He points out that $$0^n = 0$$ for any positive integer, which admits a second contradictory value for $$0^0$$, if this was true for $$n=0$$ too.

When reviewing the exponent laws Woo points out that the exponent law for subtraction $$a^{n-n}$$ requires $$a$$ to be non-zero.  Given that restriction, we really ought to have no expectation that $$0^{n-n} = 1$$.

To attempt to determine a reasonable value for this question, resolving the two contradictory possibilities, neither of which we actually have any reason to assume are valid possibilities, he asks the class to perform a proof by calculator, computing a limit table for $$x \rightarrow 0+$$. I stopped at that point and tried it by myself, constructing such a table in Mathematica. Here is what I used

griddisp[labelc1_, labelc2_, f_, values_] := Grid[({
({{labelc1}, values}) // Flatten,
({ {labelc2}, f[#] & /@ values} ) // Flatten
}) // Transpose,
Frame -> All]
decimalFractions[n_] := ((10^(-#)) & /@ Range[n])
With[{m = 10}, griddisp[x, x^x, #^# &, N[decimalFractions[m], 10]]]
With[{m = 10}, griddisp[x, x^x, #^# &, -N[decimalFractions[m], 10]]]


Observe that I calculated the limits from both above and below. The results are

and for the negative limit

Sure enough, from both below and above, we see numerically that $$\lim_{\epsilon\rightarrow 0} \epsilon^\epsilon = 1$$, as if the exponent law argument for $$0^0 = 1$$ was actually valid.  We see that this limit appears to be valid despite the fact that $$x^x$$ can be complex valued — that is ignoring the fact that a rigorous limit argument should be valid for any path neighbourhood of $$x = 0$$ and not just along two specific (real valued) paths.

Let’s get a better idea where the imaginary component of $$(-x)^{-x}$$ comes from.  To do so, consider $$f(z) = z^z$$ for complex values of $$z$$ where $$z = r e^{i \theta}$$. The logarithm of such a beast is

\label{eqn:xtox:20}
\begin{aligned}
\ln z^z
&= z \ln \lr{ r e^{i\theta} } \\
&= z \ln r + i \theta z \\
&= e^{i\theta} \ln r^r + i \theta z \\
&= \lr{ \cos\theta + i \sin\theta } \ln r^r + i r \theta \lr{ \cos\theta + i \sin\theta } \\
&= \cos\theta \ln r^r – r \theta \sin\theta
+ i r \lr{ \sin\theta \ln r + \theta \cos\theta },
\end{aligned}

so
\label{eqn:xtox:40}
z^z =
e^{ r \lr{ \cos\theta \ln r – \theta \sin\theta}} \times
e^{i r \lr{ \sin\theta \ln r + \theta \cos\theta }}.

In particular, picking the $$\theta = \pi$$ branch, we have, for any $$x > 0$$
\label{eqn:xtox:60}
(-x)^{-x} = e^{-x \ln x – i x \pi } = \frac{e^{ – i x \pi }}{x^x}.

Let’s get some visual appreciation for this interesting $$z^z$$ beastie, first plotting it for real values of $$z$$


Manipulate[
Plot[ {Re[x^x], Im[x^x]}, {x, -r, r}
, PlotRange -> {{-r, r}, {-r^r, r^r}}
, PlotLegends -> {Re[x^x], Im[x^x]}
], {{r, 2.25}, 0.0000001, 10}]


From this display, we see that the imaginary part of $$x^x$$ is zero for integer values of $$x$$.  That’s easy enough to verify explicitly: $$(-1)^{-1} = -1, (-2)^{-2} = 1/4, (-3)^{-3} = -1/27, \cdots$$.

The newest version of Mathematica has a few nice new complex number visualization options.  Here’s two that I found illuminating, an absolute value plot that highlights the poles and zeros, also showing some of the phase action:

Manipulate[
ComplexPlot[ x^x, {x, s (-1 – I), s (1 + I)},
PlotLegends -> Automatic, ColorFunction -> "GlobalAbs"], {{s, 4},
0.00001, 10}]

We see the branch cut nicely, the tendency to zero in the left half plane, as well as some of the phase periodicity in the regions that are in the intermediate regions between the zeros and the poles.  We can also plot just the phase, which shows its interesting periodic nature


Manipulate[
ComplexPlot[ x^x, {x, s (-1 – I), s (1 + I)},
PlotLegends -> Automatic, ColorFunction -> "CyclicArg"], {{s, 6},
0.00001, 10}]


I’d like to take the time to play with some of the other ComplexPlot ColorFunction options, which appears to be a powerful and flexible visualization tool.

## Condensed matter physics notes

February 16, 2019 math and physics play , , ,

Here’s an update of my old Condensed Matter Physics notes.

Condensed Matter

Along with a link to the notes, are instructions on building the PDF from the latex and the github clone commands required to make a copy of those sources.  Mathematica notebooks are also available for some of the calculations and plots.

## classical optics notes.

February 15, 2019 math and physics play , , ,

Here’s an update of my old classical optics notes.  Along with a link to the notes, are instructions on building the PDF from the latex and the github clone commands required to make a copy of those sources.  Mathematica notebooks are also available for some of the calculations and plots.

Looks like most of the figures were hand drawn, but that was the only practical option, as this class was very visual.

## Mathematica notebooks updated, and a bivector addition visualization.

February 10, 2019 math and physics play , , ,

This blog now has a copy of all my Mathematica notebooks (as of Feb 10, 2019), complete with a chronological index.  I hadn’t updated that index since 2014, and it was quite stale.

I’ve also added an additional level of per-directory indexing.  For example, you can now look at just the notebooks for my book, Geometric Algebra for Electrical Engineers.  That was possible before, but you would have had to clone the entire git repository to be able to do so easily.

This update includes a new notebook written today, which has a Manipulate visualization of 3D bivector addition that is kind of fun.

Bivector addition, at least in 3D, can be done graphically almost like vector addition.  Instead of trying to add the planes (which can be done, as in the neat illustration in Geometric Algebra for Computer Science), you can do the task more simply by connecting the normals head to tail, where each of the normals are scaled by the area of the bivector (i.e. it’s absolute magnitude).  The resulting bivector has an area equal to the length of that sum of normals, and a “direction” perpendicular to that resulting normal.  This fun little Manipulate lets you interactively visualize this process, by changing the radius of a set of summed bivectors, each oriented in a different direction, and observing the effects of doing so.

Of course, you can interpret this visualization as nothing more than a representation of addition of cross products, if you were to interpret the vector representing a cross product as an oriented area with a normal equal to that cross product (where the normal’s magnitude equals the area, as in this bivector addition visualization.)  This works out nicely because of the duality relationship between the cross and wedge product, and the duality relationship between 3D bivectors and their normals.