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 vertical bars around a set mean?

  1. Sep 9, 2015 #1
    I'm trying to figure out what the vertical bars in |A∪B| mean given that A and B are both sets. I tried searching for it, and can't seem to find the meaning of it. Is it supposed to be absolute value of all the elements of the union of sets A and B?
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 9, 2015 #2


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Putting bars on either side of something usually represents getting the "size" of that something. So, e.g., ## | \textbf{v} | ## is the magnitude of a vector. In this case the bars most likely mean the cardinality of the set. For a finite set, that's just the number of elements in the set.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook