# What is the name of this character?

• luitzen
In summary, the original poster is unsure of the name of a Latin or Greek character they encountered in a physics textbook. It appears as a fancy cursive P and is also used for the power set in mathematics. After some discussion, it is determined that the character is a Weierstrass p, created by the German mathematician Karl Weierstrass. It is not a letter in the German alphabet and it is unclear whether it is a Latin pee or Greek rho.
luitzen
I'm not really sure whether this is the correct place for this question, but I'm going to ask it anyway.

I've had Latin and Greek classes in high school, but I've never seen this character before. Still, I guess it's an obscure Latin or Greek character, but I don't know it's name. I encountered it in Griffiths where it's used for the momentum of EM-waves.

[PLAIN]http://img8.imageshack.us/img8/9220/unknowncharacter.jpg

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It's just a fancy cursive P.

In mathematics, it's usually used to mean the power set.

TetraEleven said:
That's a Greek lowercase "phi". The OP's character looks quite different to me, as it doesn't have the straight-down tail at the bottom like "phi" does.

I think the original poster means the symbol $\wp$.

I confess I only ever recall seeing the symbol used for the function[/url] (possibly I've seen it in some fancy cursive script).

Wikipedia has a page on it: Weierstrass p.

A symbol often used for power set is $\mathcal{P}$.
The fancy phi mentinoed is $\varphi$.

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Redbelly98 said:
That's a Greek lowercase "phi". The OP's character looks quite different to me, as it doesn't have the straight-down tail at the bottom like "phi" does.

I figured they probably weren't the same, but I thought I'd try to help anyway.

Hurkyl said:
I think the original poster means the symbol $\wp$.

I confess I only ever recall seeing the symbol used for the function[/url] (possibly I've seen it in some fancy cursive script).

Wikipedia has a page on it: Weierstrass p.

Way to go, Hurkyl.

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That's it, so that means it's a Latin P, right?

Or German?

No, German doesn't have it's own alphabet, it uses the Latin alphabet. So the question was whether it was a capital rho or pee.

It's not from the German alphabet. It's a character created by the German mathematician Karl Weierstrass.

We already established that 3 days ago. German does not have an alphabet. I was asking whether it is a Latin pee or Greek rho.

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