• Question: Why do you use the greek alphabet in maths and science?

    Asked by kamilo12 to David, Jonathan, Ou, Pete, Sam, Mus, Tess, Yue on 24 May 2012.
    • Photo: Pete Etchells

      Pete Etchells answered on 24 May 2012:

      They’re usually used as symbols to mean other things – for example, in maths we use the greek letter ‘pi’ to refer to a specific number, called a mathematical constant – the first 3 digits of which are 3.14. Actually, the number pi will have an infinite amount of numbers after the decimal point – so far, it’s been written to over a trillion digits! Obviously, if you were writing a report or a calculation, it would take far too much time to write down all of the digits, so we represent the number with a symbol from the Greek alphabet instead. Essentially, we use this alphabet as a ‘code’, to make writing and calculating things easier on the eye!