Physics Reference Tables

Greek Alphabet- used as variables or symbols

Many letters represent specific values or measurements

Use in Physics Capital Name Lower Case Use in Physics
  Α Alpha α angle
  Β Beta β angle
torque Γ Gamma γ E/mc2, angle
change Δ Delta δ small change
  Ε Epsilon ε electromotive force
  Ζ Zeta ζ  
  Η Eta η index of refraction
angle Θ Theta θ most common symbol for angle
  Ι Iota ι rarely used- looks too much like i
  Κ Kappa κ  
rate, lambda baryon Λ Lambda λ wavelength, rate
  Μ Mu μ coefficient of friction, muon, micro-
  Ν Nu ν frequency, nutrino
charmed baryon Ξ Xi ξ  
  Ο Omicron ο rarely used- looks like 0
product operator Π Pi π Hello! Pi! also a pion
  Ρ Rho ρ density, resistivity
sum of Σ Sigma σ conductivity, cross section, area density
  Τ Tau τ mean lifetime, tau lepton
  Υ Upsilon υ rearely used- look slike v
wave function, angle Φ Phi φ wave function, angle
  Χ Chi χ  
wave function Ψ Psi ψ wave function


ω angular frequency


Alphabet- used as variables or symbols

Use in Physics Capital Lower Case Use in Physics
atomic mass A a acceleration
magnetic flux density, binding energy B b  
capacitance C c speed of light in a vaccuum
electric displacement D d distance
energy, electric field strength E e eccentricity
force F f friction
universal gravitational constant G g acceleration due to gravity, gravitational field strength
magnetic field strength H h Plank's constant
electric current, moment of inertia I i initial value, imaginary number
current density J j impulse
kinetic energy K k spring constant
luminosity, inductance L l length
magnetization, moment M m mass
normal vector, atomis number N n number, refraction index
not used- looks too much like zero O o not used- looks too much like zero
power, pressure, polarization P p momentum
heat Q q charge
resistance, radiancy R r distance (radius), position
  S s arc length
temperature T t time
potential energy U u relativistic mass, energy density
voltage, potential V v velocity
  W w weight
  X x position
  Y y  
impedance, proton number Z z red shift



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