# Homework Help: Integral symbol

1. Dec 6, 2004

### ascky

What is the actual name for the integral symbol? I know it was first used by Leibniz, but did he actually call it anything...? It's really hard trying to convince my friends the integral symbol is the sexiest thing ever invented, when I don't even know her true name.

2. Dec 6, 2004

### chroot

Staff Emeritus
It's called an integral symbol. Sorry to disappoint.

- Warren

3. Dec 6, 2004

### ascky

Grrr... I knew it.

4. Dec 6, 2004

### futb0l

Lol - the "sexiest" thing ever invented.

5. Dec 6, 2004

### HallsofIvy

My father called it a "sea horse"!

6. Dec 6, 2004

### dextercioby

It's somthing devious here.If Leibniz invented it,and from what i know the story goes that he wanted to mix the Latin and Greek letters for S,then what would S mean...??My guess is that it would have to do with the sum
$$\sum f(x)dx$$,since both Riemann and Darboux lived well after Leibniz,right??

7. Dec 6, 2004

### elote

"The symbol $$\int_{a}^{b} f(x)dx$$ reminds us that an integral is a limit of sums (the integral sign is an old-fashioned S) of terms of the form $$f(x)$$ times a small difference of $$x$$."

-Hughes Hallett. calculus, single variable

so the integral sign is an s which stands for "sum"

Last edited: Dec 6, 2004
8. Dec 6, 2004

### hypermorphism

The symbol is also known as a "summa", in reference to its origin -> http://occawlonline.pearsoned.com/bookbind/pubbooks/thomas_awl/chapter1/medialib/custom3/topics/calculus.htm [Broken].

Last edited by a moderator: May 1, 2017