As one of the most prominent and improved civilizations of earlier history, the culture of ancient Greeks surely left its mark on mankind’s progress. Today, we can see Greek symbols/letters largely used in math and science. But what do they mean? For those who are curios to know, here is the Greek alphabet, a list of Greek symbols/Greek letters with their meanings.
Alpha (άλφα ) is the first letter of the Greek alphabet. Alpha is written as A in uppercase and α in lowercase.
Alpha symbol is used to denote many things including absorption factor, area, angles and coefficients
It also has a powerful religious meaning within the context it was used in the Bible verses when God made the statement “I am the Alpha and Omega” as in “I am the beginning and the end of everything”.
If you would like to read more about the alpha symbol and its many meanings, check out our detailed article below:
Beta (βήτα) is the second letter in the Greek alphabet. Beta is written as B in uppercase and β in lowercase. In addition to coefficients and angles, it is used to denote phase constants.
As the third one in our list of Greek letters/Greek symbols, gamma (γάμμα ) is written as Γ in uppercase and γ in lowercase. Gamma symbol is sued to denote propagation constants, specific gravity, electrical conductivity and complex propagation constants among other things.
Delta (δέλτα ) is the fourth letter in the Greek alphabet It is written as Δ in uppercase and δ in lowercase. Delta symbol is used to denote deflection in engineering, density and angles along other things in science
Epsilon (έψιλον ) is the fifth letter of the Greek alphabet and it is written as Ε in uppercase and ε in lowercase. Epsilon symbol denotes dual numbers and the Heaviside step function in mathematics along with some other things in other scientific areas.
The sixth Greek letter zeta (ζήτα ) is written as Ζ in uppercase and ζ in lowercase. The zeta symbol is used to represent coefficients and coordinates in mathematics while it is also used in polymer and fluid dynamics as well.
Eta (ήτα ) is the seventh letter in the Greek alphabet used to denote coordinates, surface charge density and intrinsic impedance among other things. The uppercase letter is written as Η while the lowercase is η.
The eighth letter of the Greek alphabet, Theta (θήτα ) is written as Θ in uppercase and θ in lowercase. It is used to represent time constant and angular phase displacement.
The ninth letter of the Greek alphabet, iota (ιώτα ) is written as Ι in uppercase and ι in lowercase. The iota symbol is used to denote definite descriptor in logic and it is also used in several different ways in mathematics and programming languages.
Kappa (κάππα ) is the tenth letter in the Greek alphabet and is written as Κ in uppercase and κ in lowercase. It is used to denote thermal conductivity, susceptibility and curvature in differential geometry
As the eleventh one in our list of Greek letters/symbols, lam(b)da (λά(μ)βδα ) is written as Λ in uppercase and λ in lowercase. The lambda symbol is sued to denote the von Mangoldt function in mathematics while it can also be seen in areas such as physics, engineering, statistics and even astronomy.
On an interesting side note, the uppercase lambda symbol (Λ ) was used as the symbol of Spartans the renowned warriors of ancient times.
Twelfth Greek letter, mu (μυ ) is written as Μ in uppercase and μ in lowercase.
The mu symbol is used to represent many things in different scientific areas such as the Möbius function, the Ramanujan-Soldner constant, the learning rate in artificial neural networks, the friction coefficient and permeability in engineering.
Nu (νυ ) is the thirteenth letter of the Greek alphabet written as Ν in uppercase and ν in lowercase.
In physics, the nu symbol denotes the frequency of waves, wave-numbers and spatial frequency while in fluid mechanics, it represents kinematic viscosity and in statistics, it represents the degree of freedom.
Of course, as with all the other Greek symbols, the use of nu symbol in scientific areas goes beyond the ones mentioned here.
The fourteenth letter of the Greek alphabet xi (ξι ) is written as Ξ in uppercase and ξ in lowercase. The symbol is used to denote the Riemann Xi and Harish-Chandra functions and cascade particles among other things.
On a side note, it is also used to represent units of the cryptocurrency Ether.
Omicron ( όμικρον) is the fifteenth letter in the Greek alphabet written as Ο in uppercase and ο in lowercase.
Although initially the capital omicron was used to denote the asymptomatic growth of a function, the symbol now is rarely used as it is practically same with the letter O in Latin alphabet.
The sixteenth letter of the Greek alphabet, Pi (πι) is written as Π in uppercase and π in lowercase.
The pi symbol is used to denote the real transcendental constant pi, more commonly known as the pi number (3.14159…) in mathematics, economic profit in macroeconomics and osmotic pressure in chemistry among many other things throughout various scientific areas.
Rho (ρώ) is the seventeenth letter of the Greek alphabet written as Ρ in uppercase and ρ in lowercase.
The rho symbol is used to represent coordinates, volume charge density, the prime constant and the Rho protein among many other things.
On a side note, it is the second part of the religious monogram, the chi-rho symbol (simple written as “XP”) used to represent Jesus Christ.
Sigma ( σίγμα) is the eighteenth Greek letter written as Σ uppercase and σ/ς or Ϲ ϲ in lowercase.
The sigma symbol is used to denote sigma bonds (chemistry), the summation operator, velocity dispersion (astronomy), sigma receptor (biology) and sigma constant (chemistry) among other things.
The nineteenth letter of the Greek alphabet, tau (ταυ) is written as Τ in uppercase and τ in lowercase.
The tau symbol/letter is used to represent the time constant, density, shear stress and sometimes the golden ratio as well as some other things in different areas.
Upsilon (ύψιλον) is the twentieth Greek letter written as Υ in uppercase and υ in lowercase. The upsilon symbol is used to denote labiodental aproximant in linguistics and mass-to-light ratio in astrophysics.
Phi (φι) is the twenty-first letter in the Greek alphabet written as Φ in uppercase and φ in lowercase. The phi symbol represents the golden ratio in architecture and mathematics, magnetic flux in physics and porosity in geology among many other things in science.
Chi (χι) is the twenty-second Greek letter written as Χ in uppercase and χ in lowercase. The chi symbol represents electric or magnetic susceptibility in physics, optic chiasm in neurology, and the Euler characteristic of a surface.
The chi symbol also forms the first part of the chi-ro symbol, the religious monogram that was used to represent Jesus Christ.
Psi (ψι) is the twenty-third Greek letter written as Ψ in uppercase and ψ in lowercase. The psi symbol denotes poly-gamma function, pharmacology and nucleotide Pseudouridine among other things.
Omega (ωμέγα) is the twenty-fourth and last letter of the Greek alphabet written as Ω in uppercase and ω in lowercase.
The omega symbol is used to denote the Omega constant, Chaitlin’s constant, solid angles, angular velocity and Omega baryons among many other things in different areas of science.
It is also featured in logos of many companies such as Omega Watches SA and Pioneer as well as the famous action-adventure video game God of War (2018).
If you would like to read more about the omega symbol and its meaning, you should check out our post below:
These are all the letters in the Greek alphabet. We hope you liked our post about the Greek letters/Greek symbols. Please share the content if you did.