Funky Symbols in Mathmatics



Have you every thought about where all the symbols come from in math. I have always thought that maybe they were just made up randomly, but I now know that they actually have a reason behind their shape, size , and form. Most symbols in math actually give away their own meaning, which can help you on a test if you are stumped.

The symbol for zero is 0. If you look at the symbol for zero, it is a circle that has nothing in the middle. This could resemble a hole that a zero amount of dirt in it.

The symbol for  one is a simple and single little line, 1.  There is only one line, like a person standing alone with no one around.

The symbol for infinity is an endless amount of loops, \infty. The symbol reminds me of a track that you could keep following continuously without every have to stop. You can also draw and trace the symbol an infinite amount of times without even picking up the pencil. No matter where you start drawing you are forced to follow loop after loop.

The equal sign is just two lines that are parallel to each other, =. This is perfect because parallel lines always stay an EQUAL distance apart. The originator of the symbol, Robert Recorde, explains that “no two things can be more equal.”

The addition symbol, +, makes sense because it is two single line placed together. When adding you, use the two numbers next to each other and add them together to make one number just like they added two single lines together to make one symbol, a cross.

In calculus the integral symbol is used a lot, \int! This symbol was chosen wisely because in mathematics the integral symbol is used to express the most enchanting harmonies of mathematics and in music it is used similarly as the symbols for the f-hole of a violin, also known as a clef. The symbols relate and connect music and math together.

Most of all the other symbols in math come from greek symbols. I am not as familiar with greek symbols but I was thinking maybe I should join a sorority because members are forced to learn the Greek alphabet. ( there is one good thing or perk for being in a sorority, I guess)

I never have tried to figure out the reason behind math symbols before and now find it pretty interesting. If any of y’all know about other symbols just comment on my blog and let me know. Knowing the history behind symbols can be very important in our understanding about math. It can also help up if we are stumped on question and have no idea what a symbol means. We look at the symbols context clues and let the symbol reveal its own meaning to us.

I also wanted to post this video about math symbols I found. It is quit interesting and possibly more  helpful and fun than my writing.  It talks about the counting numbers I did write about.




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