# Variable symbol conventions?

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.

• 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 – J. W. Tanner Apr 27 at 23:41
• Ah! I guess it's solved then. Thanks – Sean Xie Apr 27 at 23:42
• 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. – David G. Stork Apr 27 at 23:47

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