Getting the Most Out of Wolfram Alpha Search Engine
written by: Anurag Ghosh•edited by: Amy Carson•updated: 6/9/2011
Wolfram Alpha search engine returns direct answers instead of web pages. For instance, if you enter “earthquakes 2009" it will return a world map with major earthquakes plotted on the map. Wolfram Alpha can be of immense use to teachers, researchers, students and research scientists.
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Difference Between Wolfram Alpha and Traditional Search Engines
Traditional search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing return a list of web pages for the keywords typed in on the search box. Wolfram Alpha search engine returns accurate information, and that’s the reason why it shouldn’t be labeled as a "search engine." If you rename it to Wolfram Alpha answer engine, then I think you are getting closer to its search procedure.
Wolfram Alpha doesn’t return a list of web pages, but answers your queries directly. For example, a web search for Batman Returns on Google will return several pages containing information on cast and crew, director, production house, soundtrack listing etc. On the other hand, Wolfram will directly provide the answers instead of a list of web pages.
Moreover, it will only list factual queries, so don’t expect video search results for funny baby videos keyword or a video game walkthrough for Dragon Age: Origins. Of course, you can search solutions to tricky mathematical solutions, get quick facts on animal and bird species, know the population of various countries, turn Wolfram into an online calorie counter or know what events unfolded the day you were born. In fact, there are many more tricks to get the most out of this “computational knowledge engine". Here are some Wolfram search tips and tricks:
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Wolfram Alpha Search Engine Tricks - Search for Solutions to Basic and Advanced Math Equations
Wolfram Alpha search can be very important to teachers, students and research scientists who want quick solutions to algebraic equations, Pythagorean theorems, derivatives, trigonometry and tricky math problems. For example, type the function d/dx Si(x)^2, and Wolfram Alpha will immediately return comprehensive results, including its derivative, plots, alternate form, series expansions etc.
Typing in a series of numbers (2, 7,9,10, 15, 20) will immediately be plotted on a graph and mean, median and standard deviation will be displayed. You can also enter a calculation (example: 17% of 50) to get accurate results. In this way, one can search for solutions to tricky mathematical expressions within seconds.
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Get Key Facts by Entering any Day, Month and Year
Enter your birthday or any other day and Wolfram Alpha search engine will return relevant results, including different date formats, the time difference between the current date and the entered one, daylight information, phases of the moon and key events. You can either enter the date in MM/DD/YY format or just type the day, month and year.
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Get Quick Answers to Your Questions About Astronomy
Type position of Mars on April 16, 1985 and the computational knowledge engine will display the altitude, azimuth, the constellation and other details about planet. Want to know the date of the next lunar or solar eclipse? Enter Next Lunar Eclipse (or solar eclipse) to get accurate answers as well as a detailed eclipse visibility diagram showing which countries can witness the eclipse. Want to be more specific, type next solar eclipse in New York to check when the solar eclipse will be completely visible to the citizens of New York.
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Turn Wolfram Alpha into an Online Calorie Counter
You can easily get nutritional information on food as well as packaged brands, fast foods and drinks. So, if you type in calories in Gatorade on the search box, the Wolfram Alpha search engine immediately returns the dietary calories as well as a comprehensive food chart, a chart showing a comparison with other health drinks, physical properties and ranking among common foods.
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Some More Wolfram Alpha Search Engine Tricks
1. Get an in-depth comparison chart between different brands, franchisees, websites and items of daily use. Example: type McDonald’s burger vs. Burger King burger to get a food comparison chart as well as calorie comparisons. You can also compare between two websites, or between two architectural wonders (Taj Mahal vs. Statue of Liberty) to get key information and facts.
2. Getting search results on weather and time can be easily done with Google. But, with Wolfram, one can get additional information. Type in New York Time to not only get accurate time results, but also get a time zone comparison chart between your city and New York City.
3. If you want to know about the weather of any city on any date, just type weather followed by the name of the city and the day, date and time (example: weather in Mumbai on March 14, 2020). Wolfram Alpha immediately computes and displays the weather at a future date as well.
4. Want to know your IP address? Just type Where Am I, and the search engine will immediately return your IP address as well as other key information, including your location. You can also type who am I interchangeably.
5. Want to know how much Google or Yahoo earns every year. Just type revenue followed by the name of the company to get the results in US dollars as well as your local currency. You can also type in stock prices and indices of a past date and get accurate results.
6. Want to quickly search the travel time between Mumbai and New York? Enter Mumbai to New York to get the accurate distance between these two cities by air or by sea. What’s more, the search engine goes beyond by calculating the distance of the speed of light in fiber, and the speed of light in vacuum.
7. Get a detailed graph and chart showing the places affected by earthquakes by typing in earthquake followed by the date, or year.
8. Once you get accurate search results, you can export them as PDF by clicking the Download as PDF link. Wolfram Alpha search engine can be an exciting and informative search tool for users. Once they understand the search procedure, users can employ various tricks to get accurate results and answers in a jiffy.