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Does the integral symbol have a name?

  1. Mar 4, 2004 #1
    I find myself continually referring to this:


    as the 'integral-symbol-thingy'. Does it have a name? I asked my math teacher; he said it has a name but he couldn't remember it.
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 4, 2004 #2
    Just drop the "thingy" part. The integral sign is an elongated "S" denoting a sum(from the latin summa). It was first introduced by Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz(1646-1716). The integral sign that you have shown in your post is an indefinite integral. I hope this helps. -Mike
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 4, 2004
  4. Mar 4, 2004 #3


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    It's sometimes called a lazy s. Typically you can say 'integral from a to b of' or 'indefinite integral of' so there's usually no real reason to specify 'integral symbol'.
  5. Mar 5, 2004 #4


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    My father always called it a "seahorse", but I'm not certain that is standard terminology!

    (Yes, "integral symbol" or "integral sign" without the "thingy" is fine.)
  6. Mar 6, 2004 #5
    Think of it like "plus sign" or "minus sign" -- these are commonly referenced symbols for common operations.
  7. Mar 7, 2004 #6


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    My first day of posting at this Forum, and I've already had a post deleted. :wink:

    I belong to another Forum website that uses software similar to this one's, and the celebrity who runs it has deleted maybe two of my 1,400+ posts there. I am getting off on the wrong foot here, it seems.
  8. Mar 7, 2004 #7


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    *shrug* I didn't think this thread was the right place to try and stir up contraversial politics. We have a politics forum for that, and Zero loves that sort of stuff.
  9. Mar 7, 2004 #8


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    I'll try to remember that.

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