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Letters in expressions and formulas 
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#1
Feb514, 08:21 AM

P: 2

Hello, first post for me so I am sorry if this is in the wrong topic.
I'm am from the UK studying ALevel Physics. I understand some formulas but this is testing me. Before I message my tutor I thought I would try here. Looks like a very useful website. Letters in expressions and formulas. v2 = u2 + 2as I normally understand maths when I know the rules. 2 × 5 is written as 2 × 5 or 10 2 × a is written as 2a a × b is written as ab I don't seem to understand this and I can't seem to find helpful information and I will not skip the page. Sorry if this is in the wrong topic and thank you for your help. 


#2
Feb514, 08:30 AM

Sci Advisor
PF Gold
P: 1,354

$$ u^2 = u \times u $$ and $$ v^5 = v \times v \times v \times v \times v $$ You can have a look at Wikipedia for what it means when the exponent is not a positive integer. 


#3
Feb514, 08:32 AM

HW Helper
P: 3,537

Multiplication is used so much in maths that it's simply much easier to get rid of the [itex]\times[/itex] symbol. This also meant that the letter [itex]x[/itex] could be used as a variable (and it's used a lot) without running into problems of ambiguity between it being a variable or a multiplication symbol.
Whenever you have a situation like [itex]2\times 5[/itex] then you're expected to evaluate that to 10, while [itex]2\times a=2a[/itex] cannot be simplified further so it's ok to leave as it is. Other than that, I don't see what's so confusing about the notation. 


#4
Feb514, 08:41 AM

P: 2

Letters in expressions and formulas
Thank you for your help. I'll see how I get on. 


#5
Feb514, 09:22 AM

Emeritus
Sci Advisor
HW Helper
Thanks
PF Gold
P: 6,530

You must have missed a couple of days in algebra class.



#6
Feb514, 12:07 PM

Mentor
P: 21,284

Grog85, if you're going to be studying physics, you'll need to get the algebra difficulties squared away first.



#7
Feb514, 12:15 PM

P: 386




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