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I just want to have the following simple equation. But the latex told me "! Missing number, treated as zero. problem" I have no idea what's going on here

\[L\mathaccent N(\mu ,{\sigma ^2})\]

Error message:

! Missing number, treated as zero.
to be read again,
l.245 \[L\mathaccent N
(\mu ,{\sigma ^2})\]

Kind Regards SL

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TeX expects a number after \mathaccent. What is the purpose of \mathaccent in your formula? – Heiko Oberdiek Apr 23 '14 at 15:37
@David Carlisle \mathaccent is "~" in my formula, firstly I typed "~" but latex suggest me to use \mathaccent – SLN Apr 23 '14 at 16:11
You probably typed \~ in order to get a tilde; if you want a tilde over N, then the correct command is \tilde{N}; if you want a tilde between L and N, then use \sim. – egreg Apr 23 '14 at 16:46

If I understand you just want ~ in your mathematical expression. But as it is interpreted by LaTeX to set an unbreakable space, you must type something like this :

\[L \sim N(\mu ,{\sigma ^2})\]
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