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May 9th, 2016, 08:32 PM  #1 
Senior Member Joined: Nov 2010 From: Indonesia Posts: 2,001 Thanks: 132 Math Focus: Trigonometry  [ASK] Greek Letter Notations
What is the difference between $\displaystyle \epsilon$ and $\displaystyle \varepsilon$, $\displaystyle \theta$ and $\displaystyle \vartheta$, $\displaystyle \pi$ and $\displaystyle \varpi$, $\displaystyle \rho$ and $\displaystyle \varrho$, as well as $\displaystyle \phi$ and $\displaystyle \varphi$? And I am asking about their use in math. Also, is Golden Ratio $\displaystyle \phi$ or $\displaystyle \varphi$?

May 9th, 2016, 09:08 PM  #2 
Senior Member Joined: Feb 2016 From: Australia Posts: 1,791 Thanks: 630 Math Focus: Yet to find out. 
What do you mean what is the difference. They're just symbols. You can use them to express whatever you like... Although by convention, certain symbols are consistently used to express certain things.. Which I know you already know.

May 9th, 2016, 10:14 PM  #3 
Math Team Joined: Dec 2013 From: Colombia Posts: 7,639 Thanks: 2624 Math Focus: Mainly analysis and algebra  
May 9th, 2016, 10:18 PM  #4 
Math Team Joined: Nov 2014 From: Australia Posts: 689 Thanks: 244 
As far as I can glean from a quick wikipedia search, the second glyphs are cursive script and the first are print. If you want to know what the various different symbols are commonly used for, wikipedia also has a nice list. I've only ever seen $\varphi$ used for the golden ratio. 
May 11th, 2016, 07:28 PM  #5  
Senior Member Joined: Nov 2010 From: Indonesia Posts: 2,001 Thanks: 132 Math Focus: Trigonometry  Quote:
Guess so... Wait... So, ancient Greek people wrote pi as $\displaystyle \varpi$?  
May 11th, 2016, 07:54 PM  #6  
Senior Member Joined: Feb 2016 From: Australia Posts: 1,791 Thanks: 630 Math Focus: Yet to find out.  Quote:
Quote:
 
May 11th, 2016, 08:06 PM  #7 
Senior Member Joined: Nov 2010 From: Indonesia Posts: 2,001 Thanks: 132 Math Focus: Trigonometry  
May 11th, 2016, 08:48 PM  #8 
Math Team Joined: Nov 2014 From: Australia Posts: 689 Thanks: 244 
It's like the difference between a normal p and the cursive p shown below. 
May 11th, 2016, 09:30 PM  #9 
Senior Member Joined: Feb 2016 From: Australia Posts: 1,791 Thanks: 630 Math Focus: Yet to find out. 
A convenient list is on Microsoft word in the equation editor. @Monox, if you have Word, create an equation, then click on the list of symbols in the toolbar. It categorises them nicely. Eg, Greek UpperCase, Lowecase, scripts, etc.


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