# Science Quiz / Origins of mathematical notation

Random Science or Math Quiz

## Can you name the first mathematicians to use the given notation?

### Popular Quizzes Today

Challenge
Share
Tweet
Embed
Score
0/25
Timer
10:00
NotationOriginatorEarliest known usage
Prime (') notation for total derivativesThéorie des fonctions analytiques, 1797
Less than and greater than symbolsArtis Analyticae Praxis ad Aequationes Algebraicas Resolvenda, published 1631
Stylized Greek letter epsilon (∈) for 'is an element of'Arithmetices prinicipia nova methodo exposita, 1899
Big-O notation for asymptotic boundsAnalytische Zahlentheorie, 1894
Infinity symbol (∞)De sectionibus conicis, 1655
Bra-ket notation (⟨| , |⟩) in physicsA New Notation for Quantum Mechanics, 1939
Perpendicularity sign (⊥)Cursus mathematicus, 1634
Addition (+) and subtraction (-) signsBehende und hüpsche Rechenung auff allen Kauffmanschafft, 1489
f(x) for a function f of a variable xCommentarii Academiae Scientiarum Petropolitanae, 1734
Elongated 'S' (∫) for integralsAnalyseos tetragonisticae pars secunda, 1675
Equals sign (=)The Whetstone of Witte, 1557
Nabla symbol (∇) for vectorial derivatives, etc.19th century
Square 'tombstone' symbol (∎/□) for the end of a proof20th century
NotationOriginatorEarliest known usage
Empty set symbol (∅)Éléments de mathématique, 1939
Square root/radical symbol (√)Die Coss, 1525
Vertical bars around the entries of a matrix for its determinant Cambridge Mathematical Journal, Vol. II, p. 267-271, 1841
Vertical bars for the absolute value of x (|x|)Zur Theorie der Potenzreihen, 1841
Exclamation mark (!) for factorialÉléments d'arithmétique universelle, 1808
Three horizontal lines (≡) for congruence of integersDisquisitiones arithmeticae, 1801
Multiplication symbol (×); plus-minus signClavis Mathematicae, published 1631
Curly d (∂) for partial derivativesMemoire sur la manière de distinguer les maxima des minima dans le Calcul des Variations, 1786
Universal quantifier symbol (∀)Untersuchungen ueber das logische Schliessen, 1935
Obelus (÷) for division, therefore symbol (∴)Teutsche Algebra, 1659
Curly braces ({, }) for enclosing elements of setsEin Beitrag zur Mannifaltigkeitslehre, 1878
Greek letter pi (π) for the constant 3.1415...Synopsis palmariorum mathesios, 1706

### You're not logged in!

Compare scores with friends on all Sporcle quizzes.
OR

### Extras

Created Apr 24, 2010Source
Tags: