In physics, various symbols or notations are used to denote the different quantities. The denotations make the representation of the quantities simpler and easier. In this article, some of the most popular physics symbols are mentioned.
It is interesting to note that some of the physics symbols are very relatable(like “d” for distance) while some are unrelatable (like “c” for the speed of light). Below is an elaborate list of most commonly used symbols in physics with their SI units. It should be noted that a particular symbol might relate to more than one quantity.
Physics Symbols for Some Basic Quantities:
Physical Quantity 
Symbol(s) 
Symbol Name 
Scalar/ Vector 
SI Unit 

Mass 
m 
– 
scalar 
Kilogram (Kg) 
Time 
t 
– 
scalar 
Seconds (s) 
Distance, Length 
l, d, r 
– 
scalar 
Meter (m) 
Area 
A 
– 
scalar 
m^{2} 
Volume 
V 
– 
scalar 
m^{3} 
Density 
D 
– 
scalar 
kg/m^{3} 
Temperature 
T 
– 
scalar 
Kelvin (K) 
Frequency 
f, v 
v = nu 
scalar 
Hertz (Hz) 
Heat 
Q 
– 
vector 
Joule (J) 
Specific Heat Capacity 
c 
– 
scalar 
J kg^{−1} K^{−1} 
Wavelength 
λ 
lambda 
scalar 
meter (m) 
Angular Displacement 
θ 
theta 
scalar 
Radian (rad) 
Speed of light & sound 
c 
– 
scalar 
m/s 
Angular frequency 
ω 
omega 
pseudovector 
Radian per second (rad/s) 
Physics Symbols in Mechanics:
Physical Quantity 
Symbol(s) 
Symbol Name 
Scalar/ Vector 
SI Unit 

Velocity 
v 
– 
vector 
m/s 
Acceleration 
a 
– 
scalar 
meters per second squared (m/s^{2}) 
Angular acceleration 
α 
alpha 
vector 
radian per second squared (rad/s^{2}) 
Momentum 
p 
– 
vector 
kg m/s 
Period 
T 
– 
scalar 
S or sec 
Force 
F 
– 
vector 
Newton (N) 
Torque 
Τ 
tau 
vector 
Newton meter (N m) 
Power 
P 
– 
scalar 
Watt (W) 
Mechanical Work 
W 
scalar 
Joule (J) 

Energy 
E 
– 
scalar 
Joule (J) 
Pressure 
p 
– 
scalar 
Pascal (Pa) 
Moment of Inertia 
I 
– 
scalar 
kg m^{2} 
Angular Momentum 
L 
– 
vector 
N m s 
Friction 
f 
– 
vector 
Newton (N) 
Coefficient of Friction 
µ 
mu 
scalar 
unitless 
Kinetic Energy 
K 
– 
scalar 
Joule (J) 
Potential Energy 
U 
– 
scalar 
Joule (J) 
Physics Symbols in Electricity & Magnetism:
Physical Quantity 
Symbol(s) 
Symbol Name 
Scalar/ Vector 
SI Unit 

Charge 
q, Q 
– 
scalar 
Coulomb (C) 
Current 
I 
– 
scalar 
Ampere (A) 
Resistance 
R 
– 
scalar 
Ohms (Ω) 
Inductance 
L 
– 
scalar 
Henry (H) 
Capacitance 
C 
– 
scalar 
Farad (F) 
Electric Potential Difference 
V 
– 
scalar 
Volt (V) 
Electric Field 
E 
– 
vector 
Newton per coulomb (N C^{1}) 
Magnetization 
M 
– 
scalar 
Ampere per meter (A/m) 
Magnetic Induction 
B 
– 
vector 
Tesla or weber per square meter (Wb/m^{2}) 
Magnetic Field Strength 
H 
– 
vector 
ampere per meter (A/m) 
Electric charge density 
ρ 
rho 
scalar 
Coulomb per cubic meter (C/m^{3}) 
These were a few important physical quantities along with their symbols. Students are suggested to remember the symbols properly along with their SI units. Visit SI units list to know the units of some of the most important units.
Keep visiting BYJU’S to get more such information. BYJU’S also helps the students for their exams by providing sample papers, question papers and preparation tips.