What is the best (most accepted) way to typeset something like $5$ per (angular, not temperature) degree (in $\LaTeX$)?
I came up with the following options (using ^\circ for the $^\circ$ symbol):

  • $5 \frac{1}{^\circ}$
  • $5/^\circ$ (eventually with a $1$ before the '$/$'.)
  • $5{}^{\circ ^{-1}}$ (my favorite so far)
  • $5{}^\circ{}^{-1}$
  • $5^{/\circ}$ (Thanks to Michael Hardy)

and the code to produce that output:

  • 5 \frac{1}{^\circ}
  • 5/^\circ
  • 5{}^{\circ ^{-1}}
  • 5{}^\circ{}^{-1}
  • 5^{/\circ} (no ^ before \circ)

Note that I'm not asking this on the Latex forum, because the problem is that I don't know what it should look like. After that, formatting shouldn't be a problem.
PS: What is an appropriate tag for this question?

  • 6
    $\begingroup$ Why not “5 per degree”? $\endgroup$ – MJD Feb 26 '14 at 23:14
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @MJD: Excessively readable. $\endgroup$ – André Nicolas Feb 26 '14 at 23:15
  • $\begingroup$ @MJD, Hadn't really thought of that yet :) However, I like to put the units within the mathematical expression, not outside of it. Also, I might have a list of 'per degree' values in a table, and then that wouldn't be a solution. $\endgroup$ – Ragnar Feb 26 '14 at 23:16
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ The standard SI supplemental unit for angle is the radian; you could write $286.479 \text{ rad}^{-1}$, which would be completely standard and unexceptionable, but which seems to obscure the essence of what you are trying to communicate.. $\endgroup$ – MJD Feb 26 '14 at 23:25
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Ragnar : But $5^\circ$ is like $5^3$ as $5\cdot3$. $\endgroup$ – Michael Hardy Feb 27 '14 at 22:38

I have seen $5 \text{ deg}^{-1}$ and like that.


"Per degree" (perhaps better use radians if talking math?) isn't really an unit, it is a dimensionless ratio. So, to be really rigurous, there is no unit. In any case, it is better to use the general ISO guidelines for readability.

  • $\begingroup$ Are you sure that the ISO guidelines treat this case? I consulted the Guide for the Use of the International System of Units (SI), which is quite extensive, but saw nothing relevant. And although degrees and radians are technically dimensionless, it is quite common, and standard, to state them explicitly where doing so improves clarity; this is why radians are an SI supplementary unit. $\endgroup$ – MJD Feb 27 '14 at 2:37
  • $\begingroup$ No, ISO doesn't treat this case. $\endgroup$ – vonbrand Feb 27 '14 at 3:01

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.