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what is ALPHA?

From: Niitsu Yoichiro
Subject: what is ALPHA?
Date: Fri, 06 Oct 2000 15:13:28 +0900

I'm new to Octave. I have a question that cannot be solved by reading
the info-manual or the FAQ list. I would be grateful if someone direct 

In info, besselj() is described as:

Special Functions

 - Mapping Function:  besseli (ALPHA, X)
 - Mapping Function:  besselj (ALPHA, X)
 - Mapping Function:  besselk (ALPHA, X)
 - Mapping Function:  bessely (ALPHA, X)
     Compute Bessel functions of the following types:

          Bessel functions of the first kind.

          Bessel functions of the second kind.

          Modified Bessel functions of the first kind.

          Modified Bessel functions of the second kind.

     The second argument, X, must be a real matrix, vector, or scalar.

     The first argument, ALPHA, must be greater than or equal to zero.
     If ALPHA is a range, it must have an increment equal to one.

     If ALPHA is a scalar, the result is the same size as X.

     If ALPHA is a range, X must be a vector or scalar, and the result
     is a matrix with `length(X)' rows and `length(ALPHA)' columns.


However, what is ALPHA? The order of the bessel function? If so,
ALPAH must be integer, or not? (Fractional order is available?)

Thanks in advance,

Yoichiro Niitsu
Yokohama, Japan

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