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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.

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

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

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