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Nu (Ν, ν) Definition

Nu (Ν, ν) is the 13th letter of the Greek alphabet. In the system of Greek numerals it has a value of 50. It is derived from the ancient Phoenician language nun. Its Latin equivalent is N, though the lowercase resembles the Roman lowercase v (ν). The name of the letter is written νῦ in Ancient Greek and traditional Modern Greek polytonic orthography, while in Modern Greek it is written νι [ni]. Letters that arose from nu include Roman N and Cyrillic Н.

Usage in Mathematics & Science

The uppercase Nu is not used, because it is normally identical to Latin N.

The lowercase Nu (ν) is used for:

  • Mathematics:

    • Degree of freedom in statistics.

    • The greatest fixed point of a function, as commonly used in the μ-calculus.

    • Free names of a process, as used in the π-calculus.

    • One of the Greeks in mathematical finance, known as vega.

  • Physics:

    • Kinematic viscosity in fluid mechanics.

    • The frequency of a wave in physics and other fields. Sometimes also spatial frequency or wavenumber.

    • The specific volume in thermodynamics.

    • Poisson's ratio, the ratio of strains perpendicular with and parallel with an applied force.

    • Any of three kinds of neutrino in particle physics.

    • The number of neutrons released per fission of an atom in nuclear physics.

    • Molecular vibrational mode, νx where x is the number of the vibration (a label).

    • The true anomaly, an angular parameter that defines the position of a body moving along an orbit (see orbital elements).

  • Biology:

    • A DNA polymerase found in higher eukaryotes and implicated in translesion synthesis.

  • Chemistry:

    • The stoichiometric coefficient.

  • Psychology:

    • The maximum conditioning possible for an unconditioned stimulus in the Rescorla-Wagner model.

Greek Alphabet

The letters of the Ancient Greek Alphabet, which are frequently utilized in math and science:

Greek Alphabet

Symbol

Letter

Symbol

Letter

Uppercase

Lowercase

Uppercase

Lowercase

Α

α

Alpha

Ν

ν

Nu

Β

β

Beta

Ξ

ξ

Xi

Γ

γ

Gamma

Ο

ο

Omicron

Δ

δ

Delta

Π

π

Pi

Ε

ε

Epsilon

Ρ

ρ

Rho

Ζ

ζ

Zeta

Σ

σ

Sigma

Η

η

Eta

Τ

τ

Tau

Θ

θ

Theta

Υ

υ

Upsilon

Ι

ι

Iota

Φ

φ

Phi

Κ

κ

Kappa

Χ

χ

Chi

Λ

λ

Lambda

Ψ

ψ

Psi

Μ

μ

Mu

Ω

ω

Omega

Related Definitions

Sources

“Nu (Letter).” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 23 Apr. 2020, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nu_(letter).

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