Take the 2-minute tour ×
Mathematics Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for people studying math at any level and professionals in related fields. It's 100% free, no registration required.

This might be a simple question, but the exact wording of this statement is important. If I know that the relationship between two variables is this:

$$\gamma \propto \frac{1}{\sqrt{k}}$$

Is the appropriate way to write that in a sentence: 'y is inversely proportional to k' or should it be 'y is inversely proportional to the square root of k'.

If somebody could explain why whichever is correct is correct, that would be great.

share|improve this question

1 Answer 1

I would take "$y$ is inversely proportional to $k$" to mean $y=c/k$ for some constant $c$, so for your situation I'd definitely say "$y$ is inversely proportional to the square root of $k$."

share|improve this answer
    
Okay, but you would still say that 'the relationship between y and k is inversely proportional'? (slightly different wording) –  user10265 May 21 '11 at 11:48
1  
@user10265: I wouln't, and I hope no careful person would. One might say "there is an inverse relationship" to mean that as one increases, the other decreases. –  André Nicolas May 21 '11 at 13:45

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.