Physics Symbols

 

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

m2

Volume

V

scalar

m3

Density

D

scalar

kg/m3

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/s2)

Angular acceleration

α

alpha

vector

radian per second squared (rad/s2)

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 m2

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/m2)

Magnetic Field Strength

H

vector

ampere per meter (A/m)

Electric charge density

ρ

rho

scalar

Coulomb per cubic meter (C/m3)

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.

 


Practise This Question

Considering the motion of the object whose velocity-time graph is given in the diagram, calculate the total displacement till 16 seconds?