# What does alpha symbol mean?

1. Mar 30, 2008

### fawkes77

What does this symbol mean??

Hey y'all,

There is a symbol in a physics handout I have that I don't know what the symbol means. It looks like an infinity symbol, but open on one end. The equation in which it appears is part of Hooke's law and the equation is F=-x (Substitute the formula described above for the equal sign. And the open ended part is facing the -x, is this important to know which way it's arranged.) I can't make this symbol with a computer, so I hope you understand my description.

Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.

Fawkes

2. Mar 30, 2008

$\alpha$
That means "is proportional to".

Last edited: Mar 30, 2008
3. Mar 30, 2008

### robphy

$$\alpha$$ alpha (\alpha)

$$\propto$$ proportional to (\propto)

4. Mar 30, 2008

### Snazzy

Not quite. An alpha isn't a 'proportional to' symbol. A 'proportional to' symbol is an open alpha.