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Mathematics and Physics for Programmers, Second Edition by Danny Kodicek, John Patrick Flynt

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Appendix C. The Greek Alphabet

Greek letters are often used in mathematics, and it’s useful to know how to read them out loud. Many of them tend to appear in standard contexts, some of which are listed here. However, some are rarely used because they look too much like Roman letters.

Table C.1. Greek Letters and Common Mathematical Uses

Greek Letter

English

Usage

α

Alpha

Often symbolizes an angle.

β

Beta

Often symbolizes an angle.

ϒ

Gamma

Often symbolizes an angle.

Δ

Delta

An infinitesimally small number, especially in calculus.

ε

Epsilon

An infinitesimally small number, especially in functional analysis.

ζ

Zeta

Occasionally symbolizes an angle.

η

Eta

Occasionally symbolizes an angle.

θ

Theta

Usually symbolizes an angle.

ι

Iota

Rarely used.

к

Kappa

Rarely used.

λ

Lambda

The symbol ...

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