Returns the minimum of two elements or of a list.

- for two numbers: min(
*x*,*y*) - for a list: min(
*list*) - comparing a number to each element of a list: min(
*x*,*list*) or min(*list*,*x*) - pairwise comparing two lists: min(
*list1*,*list2*)

min(*x*,*y*) returns the smallest of the two numbers *x* and *y*. min(*list*) returns the smallest element of *list*. min(*list1*,*list2*) returns the pairwise minima of the two lists. min(*list1*,*x*) (equivalently, min(*x*,*list1*)) returns a list whose elements are the smaller of *x* or the corresponding element of the original list.

```
min(2,3)
2
min({2,3,4})
2
min({1,3},{4,2})
{1 2}
min({1,3},2)
{1 2}
```

Unlike relational operators, such as < and >, min( can also compare complex numbers. To do this, both arguments must be complex — either complex numbers or complex lists: min(2,*i*) will throw a ERR:DATA TYPE error even though min(2+0*i*,*i*) won't. In the case of complex numbers, the number with the smallest absolute value will be returned. When the two numbers have the same absolute value, the second one will be returned: min(*i*,-*i*) returns -*i* and min(-*i*,*i*) returns *i*.

# Advanced Uses

min( can be used in Boolean comparisons to see if every value of a list is 1 (true) — useful because commands like If or While only deal with numbers, and not lists, but comparisons like L1=L2 return a list of values. In general, the behavior you want varies, and you will use the min( or max( functions accordingly.

Using min( will give you a strict test — only if every single value of a list is true will min( return true. For example, the following code will test if two lists are identical — they have the same exact elements — and print EQUAL in that case:

```
If dim(L1)=dim(L2
Then
If min(L1=L2
Disp "EQUAL
End
```

The first check, to see if the sizes are identical, is necessary because otherwise comparing the lists will return a ERR:DIM MISMATCH error.

# Error Conditions

**ERR:DATA TYPE**is thrown when comparing a real and a complex number. This can be avoided by adding 0*i*to the real number.**Dimension Mismatch**is thrown, when using min( with two lists, if they have different dimensions.