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HTML rho

  1. Oct 27, 2008 #1
    My physics teacher is using some sort of squiggly symbol that he's calling rho for density. It looks sort of like a backwards g. What is this symbol? How can I include it in my Google Docs reports/notes?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 27, 2008 #2

    cepheid

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    Rho is the name of the greek letter that he is using. It actually looks more like a stylized p:

    Here it is typeset using LaTeX

    [tex] \rho [/tex]

    Here it is in text

    ρ

    When handwriting, people often add the curly bit to the stem in order to distinguish it from their handwritten p's. Incidentally, I've also seen a variant of rho in some documents that *is* indeed curly.

    You could try copying and pasting the latter version into your Google Doc. Whether it will show up depends upon whether your computer recognizes the character encoding being used.

    IF you were using MS Word, then you could go to the menu bar and:

    Insert > Symbol...

    This will bring up a character map that includes greek letters. I don't know instructions for google docs sorry. It's worth a try though, because some of these freeware programs are deliberately laid out in direct analogy to Word.

    Note that the use of rho for density is fairly standard in physics.
     
  4. Oct 27, 2008 #3
    Is it possible to get a squiggly looking version like the one he's using? Those look too much like a p -- in fluid dynamics, with p's for pressure already in the formula, I'd like to use a character that looks different from a p.
     
  5. Oct 27, 2008 #4

    cepheid

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    I don't know. Again, see if the google docs application has a feature that allows you to insert special characters (see my edited post above). Any p and rho produced by the same software are going to look sufficiently different to distinguish them (unless you do something weird like mixing fonts).

    Edit, I just realized that you can access a character map independently of any specific software in Windows XP by going

    Start Menu > Accessories > System > Character Map
     
  6. Oct 27, 2008 #5

    cristo

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    You mean like this? ϱ

    If you're using Windows, however, I'm not sure whether you can get it. It's available on the character palette in OS X.
     
  7. Oct 27, 2008 #6

    cepheid

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    Sweet, Cristo, thanks for the tip (I'm on OS X, and my tip to the OP about Windows XP was from the dim recesses of my memory).
     
  8. Oct 27, 2008 #7
    I'm using Windows Vista, but the character map is still around -- I found it by typing "Char" into the start bar and it opened up. After scrolling way the heck down, I found something that looks close -- ϱ -- I'd kind of like a longer tail on it, though, but it'll do for now.

    Thanks! :)
     
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