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Lets look at an example program:

#include<stdio.h>#include<conio.h>int mult ( int x, int y ); int main(){ int x;int y; printf("Please input two numbers to be multiplied: ");scanf("%d%d",&x,&y); printf("The product of your two numbers is %d\n", mult ( x, y )) ;return 0; getch();} int mult ( int x, int y ){ return x * y;}

Parameters passing

The parameters of a function are ordinary local variables. The program creates them, and initializes them with the values of the corresponding arguments, when a function call occurs. Their scope is the function block. A function can change the value of a parameter without affecting the value of the argument in the context of the function call. In the following listing, the factorial( ) function, which computes the factorial of a whole number, modifies its parameter n in the process.

//factorial( ) calculates n!, the factorial of a non-negative number n. // For n>0, n! is the product of all integers from 1 to n inclusive. // 0! equals 1.// Argument: A whole number, with type unsigned int. // Return value: The factorial of the argument, with type long double.long double factorial(register unsigned int n) {long double f = 1; while ( n>1 ) f *= n--;return f; }

Although the factorial of an integer is always an integer, the function uses the type long double in order to accommodate very large results. As the above listing illustrates, you can use the storage class specifier register in declaring function parameters. The register specifier is a request to the compiler to make a variable as quickly accessible as possible. No other storage class specifiers are permitted on function parameters.

Arrays as function parameters

If you need to pass an array as an argument to a function, you would generally declare the corresponding parameter in the following form:

type name[ ]

Because array names are automatically converted to pointers when you use them as function arguments, this statement is equivalent to the declaration:

type *name

When you use the array notation in declaring function parameters, any constant expression between the brackets ([ ]) is ignored. In the function block, the parameter name is a pointer variable, and can be modified. Thus the function addArray() in the following listing modifies its first two parameters as it adds pairs of elements in two arrays.

// addArray( ) adds each element of the second array to the // corresponding element of the first (i.e., "array1 += array2", so to speak).// Arguments: Two arrays of float and their common length. // Return value: None.void addArray( register float a1[ ], register const float a2[ ], int len ) {register float *end = a1 + len; for ( ; a1<end; ++a1, ++a2 ) *a1 += *a2;}

An equivalent definition of the addArray() function, using a different notation for the array parameters, would be:

void addArray( register float *a1, register const float *a2, int len ) { /* Function body as earlier. */ }

An advantage of declaring the parameters with brackets ([ ]) is that human readers immediately recognize that the function treats the arguments as pointers to an array, and not just to an individual float variable. But the array-style notation also has two peculiarities in parameter declarations :

  • In a parameter declaration and only there C allows you to place any of the type qualifiers const, volatile, and restrict inside the square brackets. This ability allows you to declare the parameter as a qualified pointer type.
  • Furthermore, in C you can also place the storage class specifier static, together with a integer constant expression, inside the square brackets. This approach indicates that the number of elements in the array at the time of the function call must be at least equal to the value of the constant expression.

Here is an example that combines both of these possibilities:

int func( long array[const static 5] ){ /* ... */ }

In the function defined here, the parameter array is a constant pointer to long, and so cannot be modified. It points to the first of at least five array elements.

In the following listing, the maximum( ) function's third parameter is a two-dimensional array of variable dimensions.

// The function maximum( ) obtains the greatest value in a // two-dimensional matrix of double values. // Arguments: The number of rows, the number of columns, and the matrix.// Return value: The value of the greatest element. double maximum( int nrows, int ncols, double matrix[nrows][ncols] ){ double max = matrix[0][0];for ( int r = 0; r<nrows; ++r ) for ( int c = 0; c<ncols; ++c ) if ( max<matrix[r][c]) max = matrix[r][c];return max; }

The parameter matrix is a pointer to an array with ncols elements.

Pointers as function parameters

Since C passes arguments to functions by value, there is no direct way for the called function to alter a variable in the calling function. For instance, a sorting routine might exchange two out-of-order arguments with a function called swap. It is not enough to write

swap(a, b);

where the swap function is defined as

void swap(int x, int y) /* WRONG */ {int temp; temp = x;x = y; y = temp;}

Because of call by value, swap can't affect the arguments a and b in the routine that called it. The function above swaps copies of a and b.

The way to obtain the desired effect is for the calling program to pass pointers to the values to be changed:


Since the operator&produces the address of a variable,&a is a pointer to a. In swap itself, the parameters are declared as pointers, and the operands are accessed indirectly through them.

void swap(int *px, int *py) /* interchange *px and *py */ {int temp; temp = *px;*px = *py; *py = temp;}


Pictorially in [link]

swap function with pointer parameters

Questions & Answers

so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
for screen printed electrodes ?
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
or in general
in general
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
what is biological synthesis of nanoparticles
Sanket Reply
what's the easiest and fastest way to the synthesize AgNP?
Damian Reply
types of nano material
abeetha Reply
I start with an easy one. carbon nanotubes woven into a long filament like a string
many many of nanotubes
what is the k.e before it land
what is the function of carbon nanotubes?
I'm interested in nanotube
what is nanomaterials​ and their applications of sensors.
Ramkumar Reply
what is nano technology
Sravani Reply
what is system testing?
preparation of nanomaterial
Victor Reply
Yes, Nanotechnology has a very fast field of applications and their is always something new to do with it...
Himanshu Reply
good afternoon madam
what is system testing
what is the application of nanotechnology?
In this morden time nanotechnology used in many field . 1-Electronics-manufacturad IC ,RAM,MRAM,solar panel etc 2-Helth and Medical-Nanomedicine,Drug Dilivery for cancer treatment etc 3- Atomobile -MEMS, Coating on car etc. and may other field for details you can check at Google
anybody can imagine what will be happen after 100 years from now in nano tech world
after 100 year this will be not nanotechnology maybe this technology name will be change . maybe aftet 100 year . we work on electron lable practically about its properties and behaviour by the different instruments
name doesn't matter , whatever it will be change... I'm taking about effect on circumstances of the microscopic world
how hard could it be to apply nanotechnology against viral infections such HIV or Ebola?
silver nanoparticles could handle the job?
not now but maybe in future only AgNP maybe any other nanomaterials
I'm interested in Nanotube
this technology will not going on for the long time , so I'm thinking about femtotechnology 10^-15
can nanotechnology change the direction of the face of the world
Prasenjit Reply
At high concentrations (>0.01 M), the relation between absorptivity coefficient and absorbance is no longer linear. This is due to the electrostatic interactions between the quantum dots in close proximity. If the concentration of the solution is high, another effect that is seen is the scattering of light from the large number of quantum dots. This assumption only works at low concentrations of the analyte. Presence of stray light.
Ali Reply
the Beer law works very well for dilute solutions but fails for very high concentrations. why?
bamidele Reply
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, Introduction to computer science. OpenStax CNX. Jul 29, 2009 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10776/1.1
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