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Math Help - a ≡ b ?

  1. #1
    Junior Member Kaloda's Avatar
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    a ≡ b ?

    what does the symbol "≡" means? and how to read this equation a ≡ b?
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  2. #2
    Member HappyJoe's Avatar
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    It really depends on the context.

    If you are working modulo some number n, then a\equiv b means that a and b are congruent modulo n, which in turn means that n divides the difference a-b. For instance, 7\equiv 3\pmod{2}, since 2 divides the difference 7-3.

    If a and b are functions from the same domain, it could also mean that the two functions are identical, i.e. for all values of x in the domain, we have that a(x)=b(x). For example, the two functions a(x)=\cos^2(x)+\sin^2(x) and b(x)=1 are identical on the set of real numbers.

    It might not be one of these two options, though. Some context will help in answering the question.
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