Hello, first post for me so I am sorry if this is in the wrong topic. I'm am from the UK studying A-Level 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.
Do you mean ##u^2## and ##v^2##, with the 2 small and high? In that case, it is called an exponent and, in the present case, means "squared": $$ u^2 = u \times u $$ 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.
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.
Grog85, if you're going to be studying physics, you'll need to get the algebra difficulties squared away first.