This question's going to sound really stupid

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This question's going to sound really stupid, but here goes: what letter is this supposed to be? I just came across it in a book of mine, but for the life of me, I can't tell whether it's a scripted R, n, or even pi. If I had to guess, I'd say that it's an n, simply because it looks somewhat like a lowercase n. However, if it is a scripted lowercase letter, then why is it the size of the uppercase letters? It's really bothering me, because when I'm reading, I'm not sure what to call it.

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I can't tell.

Evo
Mentor
If you could show it in context we might be able to tell what it is.

Ivan Seeking
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
It looks like a script pi to me...

Its sum fansy ritin', aint it?

I vote pi.

Ok, the mystery letter is in Terrell Hill's "An Introduction to Statistical Thermodynamics," and refers to the number of systems in an "ensemble" of systems. (That's another reason why I would lean towards n.)

Pengwuino
Gold Member
Thats the Penguin Constant.

Since penguins are lazy, it is simply "1", no units.

You know, Pengwuino, our user names are very closely related. Look up the word "Manchot" in a French-English dictionary

Pengwuino
Gold Member
haha, the Manchot constant :D

Damn, google even has a translator... why don't we all just run our lives off google.

Definitely an n.

It's a hieroglyph from the wreckage at Roswell.

Are you basing that on its looks or on the context?

Manchot said:
Are you basing that on its looks or on the context?
No, that's the information that was just beamed into my head from the mothership.

JamesU
Gold Member
it's either an n or an r. if it's alphanumeric, of course

looks like a pi to me.

honestrosewater
Gold Member
Last edited:
I think I saw that symbol chiseled in a piece of granite in the New Hampshire woods by a 10th century group of Irish monks who crossed the Atlantic in a skin boat.

zoobyshoe said:
I think I saw that symbol chiseled in a piece of granite in the New Hampshire woods by a 10th century group of Irish monks who crossed the Atlantic in a skin boat.
Ah.. we've discov... WAIT A MINUTE! There were no monks in new hampshire in the 10th century. You're making this UP!

Smurf said:
You're making this UP!
It's somewhat embellished, yes, but it is basically true: there were monks in Ireland at the time, and there was granite in new Hampshire.

I think I've figured it out. It's the Fraktur N, which as it turns out, is implemented in TeX. See for yourself:

$$\mathfrak{N}$$

JamesU
Gold Member
I KNEW IT! it wasn't $$\pi$$

Manchot said:
I think I've figured it out. It's the Fraktur N, which as it turns out, is implemented in TeX. See for yourself:

$$\mathfrak{N}$$
That looks very close, yes.

honestrosewater
Gold Member
Elementary, my dear Watson!