What does alpha symbol mean?

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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
 

Answers and Replies

[itex] \alpha [/itex]
That means "is proportional to".
 
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robphy
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[tex]\alpha[/tex] alpha (\alpha)

[tex]\propto[/tex] proportional to (\propto)
 
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