# What does the long curly line mean?

Sorry to sound incredibly ignorant, but I am...at least in math anyway. What does this symbol: $\int$ mean?

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You might want to look through wiki article on integration. –  Sasha Sep 6 '11 at 0:24
There's no need to be so apologetic. We're all here to learn. –  Austin Mohr Sep 6 '11 at 0:41

This is the symbol for integration. You may have seen it in Calculus. For example, $$\int x \, dx = \frac{1}{2}x^2 + C$$
@david, since you mention geometry, integrals can be used to compute the areas and volumes of complicated objects. The equation given by Austin says that the area of the isosceles right triangle having a side $x$ is $x^2/2$, but you probably knew that already. What you may not know is that the area of a parabolic sector is 2/3 the area of the parallelogram containing it and this is essentially given by the integral $\int x^2 = x^3/3$. –  lhf Sep 6 '11 at 2:25