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THE DIFFERENT GREEK ALPHABETS IN MATHEMATICS AND ITS USE

Greek alphabets are known to be complicated and challenging to follow. As one of the most used languages in mathematics, the Greek alphabet is a valuable skill and is necessary to solve problems in real life as well as in a test or exam. A German lawyer and uranography scholar first used the Greek alphabets; Johann Bayer. The alphabet was used around the year 1600 to name stars that were brighter than others. There was a basic rule to name the stars in order of their brightness, but the practice soon was more overlooked than followed. The Greek alphabet was mainly used to name stars in 1600, but now there is more than one use for the Greek alphabet in areas such as mathematics. Included in the list below are some of the Greek alphabets that are used in mathematics and how they are used in an equation.

Theta

Many would recognize this specific symbol and letter from previous lessons in Trigonometry. Trigonometry uses Sin, Cos, Tan alongside the theta symbol. It is used to identify and symbolize a missing angle. Theta is commonly used in the Pythagoras theorem. It is also used in finding the missing length of a triangle.

Pi

As the most known symbol in the entirety of the Greek alphabet, Pi is known as the infinite number. Its number is endless and is known to be present in the golden ratio. The golden ratio refers to a possible mathematical reason as to how shapes in nature are created. Pi is greatly used in geometry. It is used to determine the answer to a circle’s diameter as well as its circumference.

Alpha

Alongside its other symbols, Beta and Gamma, the alpha symbol is used mostly in science and physics. In nuclear physics, the alpha symbol represents alpha rays and alpha particles in radiation. Though it still represents a mathematical element, alpha is also widely used in engineering as well.

Lambda

This greek alphabet is mostly used in science. Lambda is similar to its cousins alpha, beta, and gamma. However, it is known to represent wavelengths. The lowercase form of lambda is known to be a demotion of an eigenvalue from linear algebra. An eigenvalue is a simple but powerful equation and calculation that is present in vibration problems.

Sigma

There are two parts to this letter because the lowercase has a different meaning from the uppercase. The lowercase form of sigma is known to be one of the most common symbols used in an engineer’s career. It represents stress in general. Ranging from elastic stress to bearing and thermal stress, the lower case of the sigma denotes an essential term that engineers use every day. However, the uppercase for this letter of this letter represents something different, and it is most popular for denoting the sum of values.

The Greek alphabet is the most ancient European language used to date. It was first found and created when the first Greeks adapted to Phoenician Systems. Through adapting to this system, the Greeks chose to represent their language and thus created ancient Greek symbols.