Hello Everyone

I am currently attempting to improve both my programming and mathematical skills by following a book which gives the required mathematical formulae to calculate the current position and distance to the Sun. So far I have managed to understand all the mathematics and am writing a Java program to effect this calculation.

Sadly, I have hit a brick wall with understanding the following formula. Yes, I know it's simple and I am being rather silly.

$\displaystyle \tan \frac{\mu}{2} = [\frac{1+ e}{1-e}]^\frac{1}{2} \tan \frac{E}{2} $

I am pretty sure that the square brackets around $\displaystyle [\frac{1+ e}{1-e}]$ are Iverson brackets but I wouldn't bet my life on it. I have merely used the Latex syntax to display the formula as it is printed in my book.

Perhaps I am being stupid but alas mathematics is not my strongest subject compounded by the fact that it's been years since I did any formal mathematical studies.

If it's not asking to much would somebody be so kind as to explain this by way of pseudo code?

Many Thanks

Nikki