1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

What does alpha symbol mean?

  1. Mar 30, 2008 #1
    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.

  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 30, 2008 #2
    [itex] \alpha [/itex]
    That means "is proportional to".
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2008
  4. Mar 30, 2008 #3


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    [tex]\alpha[/tex] alpha (\alpha)

    [tex]\propto[/tex] proportional to (\propto)
  5. Mar 30, 2008 #4
    Not quite. An alpha isn't a 'proportional to' symbol. A 'proportional to' symbol is an open alpha.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Similar Threads for does alpha symbol Date
I How does this spectroscope work? Yesterday at 5:40 PM
I How does plasma act outside of a containment field? Yesterday at 10:42 AM
B How many batteries does it take to light this bulb up? Saturday at 2:45 PM
B How does light heat up matter Friday at 12:38 PM
Does fusion nuclear reaction produce alpha ridation Feb 3, 2014