2
$\begingroup$

I know that there are some symbols that are frequently used for certain variables. For example, $n$ is commonly used to denote some quantity etc...

So, what if $n$ has already been used? Can we use just any symbol? Like $\psi$, $\lambda$, $\omega$, etc...

By the way, I'm in high school; I'm not too familiar with the world of math.

$\endgroup$
3
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ certain symbols are traditional ($n$ for natural number, $x$ for real number, $z$ for complex number, $\theta$ for angle, etc.), but as long as you define it, the choice of symbol is your prerogative as the author $\endgroup$ Apr 27 '20 at 23:41
  • $\begingroup$ Ah! I guess it's solved then. Thanks $\endgroup$
    – Sean Xie
    Apr 27 '20 at 23:42
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Try to use letters and symbols that are easy to remember and are the first letter of the term to which they refer. In high-school, my physics teacher once gave us a hilarious problem that would have been simple but for the variables... something like: "consider a mass $x$ moving along the vertical ($\pi$) axis, with acceleration $\theta$ a distance $\phi_b$ from sphere of radius $y$, striking it at angle $m$...." Well you get the idea. $\endgroup$ Apr 27 '20 at 23:47
0
$\begingroup$

Certain symbols are traditional in mathematics (e.g., $n$ for natural number, $q$ for rational number, $x$ for real number, $z$ for complex number, $\theta$ for angle, $\phi$ for the golden mean, $e$ for the base of natural logarithms, $\pi$ for the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter, $\lambda$ for eigenvalue, $i$ for square root of $-1$, $\omega$ for complex cube root of unity, etc.), but, as long as you define it, the choice of symbol is your prerogative as the author.

$\endgroup$
2
  • $\begingroup$ I would highly discourage using $\pi$ or $e$ to represent anything other than constants. The prime counting function $\pi(x)$ is awful enough. $\endgroup$ May 1 '20 at 2:52
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ $e$ sometimes represents a group identity element $\endgroup$ May 1 '20 at 3:05

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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