Greek Alphabet in Chemistry

Table of Greek Letters

greek letters on black chalkboard
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Scholars used to be conversant with Greek and Latin as part of their education. They even used these languages to publish their ideas or work. Correspondence with other scholars was possible even if their native languages weren't the same.

Variables in science and mathematics need a symbol to represent them when they are written. A scholar would need a new symbol to represent their new idea and Greek was one of the tools at hand. Applying a Greek letter to a symbol became second nature.

Today, while Greek and Latin aren't on every student's curriculum, the Greek alphabet is learned as needed. The table below lists all twenty-four letters in both upper and lowercase of the Greek alphabet used in science and mathematics.

Name Upper Case Lower Case
Alpha Α α
Beta Β β
Gamma Γ γ
Delta Δ δ
Epsilon Ε ε
Zeta Ζ ζ
Eta Η η
Theta Θ θ
Iota Ι ι
Kappa Κ κ
Lambda Λ λ
Mu Μ μ
Nu Ν ν
Xi Ξ ξ
Omicron Ο ο
Pi Π π
Rho Ρ ρ
Sigma Σ σ
Tau Τ τ
Upsilon Υ υ
Phi Φ φ
Chi Χ χ
Psi Ψ ψ
Omega Ω ω
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Your Citation
Helmenstine, Todd. "Greek Alphabet in Chemistry." ThoughtCo, Aug. 26, 2020, Helmenstine, Todd. (2020, August 26). Greek Alphabet in Chemistry. Retrieved from Helmenstine, Todd. "Greek Alphabet in Chemistry." ThoughtCo. (accessed March 30, 2023).