Key Difference – Wolfram Alpha vs Mathematica
Wolfram Alpha and Mathematica are applications developed by Wolfram Research. Mathematica was developed in 1988 while Wolfram Alpha is a more recent program. The key difference between Wolfram Alpha and Mathematica is that Wolfram Alpha operates online while Mathematica will need to be bought and installed as a software program. Let us take a closer look at both the programs and see what they have to offer.
CONTENTS
1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What is Wolfram Alpha
3. What is Mathematica
4. Side by Side Comparison – Wolfram Alpha vs Mathematica in Tabular Form
5. Summary
What is Wolfram Alpha?
Wolfram alpha will function as a computational search engine. It is also referred to as an answer engine. Its interface is similar to the interfaces found with regular search engines. Queries that are typed into to Wolfram Alpha search engine box do not display websites relevant to the query, but answer the specific query. Given below is a screenshot of Wolfram Alpha search query.
Wolfram Alpha is capable of accepting natural language in the form of mathematical equations keyword, sentence, and phrase. The output results are dynamically calculated. The project website comprises the following system components.
Computational presentation – More than tabular and visual outputs
Dynamic computation – more than 50,000 types of equations and algorithms
Linguistic analysis – New algorithms for more than 1000 domains.
Curated data – More than 10 trillion pieces of data
What is Mathematica?
Mathematica is a generalpurpose computer algebra system that was released in 1988 by Wolfram Research. It is a computer system that is designed to perform complex mathematical calculation and computation. This software has two major parts: the kernel and front end; the kernel is operating as the computational engine of Mathematica while the user interface will be the front end between the user and the kernel. Mathematica notebook operates as the representative instrument of the interface. Packages that come with Mathematica are an essential part of the system.
Mathematica integrates numerical and symbolic computations. It also integrates visualizations, graphics, documentation, dynamic interactivity. Mathematica can be beneficial for scientists, physicists, mathematicians, engineers, amateur mathematicians and anyone who is interested in experimenting math and science on the computer.
What is the Difference Between Wolfram Alpha and Mathematica?
Wolfram Alpha vs Mathematica 

With Wolfram Alpha, you can ask a question and get the best answer for it.  Mathematica is a software that is designed to for mathematical operations and list processing 
Cost  
Does not cost for usage  Costs money 
Clinical Features  
Recently  About 25 years 
Operation  
Data for queries is extracted from a database and performs calculations to show results.  Can be installed on a computer or server 
Programming  
Programming language is not documented. It performs outside searches and experimentations to get the desired answer for your query.  Uses unconventional programming language to perform calculations, produce documents and create graphics
The programming language is documented 
Work  
Works online  Works as a software and you will need to purchase it. Now provides cloud support. 
Summary – Wolfram Alpha vs Mathematica
In the past few years, updates have enabled Mathematica to query Wolfram Alpha and get results into Mathematica. Wolfram alpha has also been updated to the commands that are present in Mathematica programming language. Neither Mathematica nor Wolfram alpha completely contains the other. The main difference between Wolfram Alpha and Mathematica is that Wolfram Alpha functions online while Mathematica has to be installed as a software program.
Download PDF Version of Wolfram Alpha vs Mathematica
You can download PDF version of this article and use it for offline purposes as per citation notes. Please download PDF version here Difference Between Wolfram Alpha and Mathematica
Image Courtesy:
1. “Wolphram Alpha search “structure of glucose”” by Cameron Neylon (CC BY 2.0) via Flickr
2. “Mathematica logistic bifurcation” By HolyCookie – Own work (CC0) via Commons Wikimedia
Leave a Reply