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FACTORIAL

FACTORIAL

The FACTORIAL function computes the factorial N! For integers, the factorial is computed as (N) • (N – 1) • (– 2) • ... • 3 • 2 • 1. For non-integers the factorial is computed using GAMMA( N+1 ).

This routine is written in the IDL language. Its source code can be found in the file factorial.pro in the lib subdirectory of the IDL distribution.

Examples

Compute 20!:

`PRINT, FACTORIAL(20)`

IDL prints:

`2.4329020e+18`

Syntax

Result = FACTORIAL( N [, /STIRLING] [, /UL64] )

Return Value

Returns the product of the non-negative scalar value or array of values.

Arguments

N

A non-negative scalar or array of values.

Note: Large values of N will cause floating-point overflow errors. The maximum size of N varies with machine architecture. On machines that support the IEEE standard for floating-point arithmetic, the maximum value of N is 170. See MACHAR for a discussion of machine-specific parameters affecting floating-point arithmetic.

Keywords

STIRLING

Set this keyword to use Stirling’s asymptotic formula to approximate N!:

where e is the base of the natural logarithm.

UL64

Set this keyword to return the results as unsigned 64-bit integers. This keyword is ignored if STIRLING is set.

Note: Unsigned 64-bit integers will overflow for values of N greater than 20.

Version History

 Pre 4.0 Introduced