Student Resources

The ABC’s of Chemistry Symbols

The Periodic Table-feat image

Chemistry, not unlike its less popular cousin, Physics ( 😀 ), uses many symbols and they can be pretty confusing. Especially, when their meaning changes with just the type (regular or italicized) or the case (upper or lower case) of the font.

Listed below are a whole bunch of them. I deliberately didn’t provide the meanings. Go ahead and test yourself!

Describe or define or expand on their meaning. Give examples where possible or relevant. The symbols are followed by a description of the type (regular or italicized) and case of the font. (Obviously, you’ll have to do all that in the comment section or on a printed copy of this post!)

The standard symbols

A (regular and upper case) =
A (italicized and upper case) =
c (regular and lower case) =
C (regular and upper case) =
C (italicized and upper case) or Cp =
cd (regular and lower case) =
Cd (regular and upper case C and lower case d) =
d (italicized and lower case) =
E (italicized and upper case) =
Ea (italicized and upper case) =
f (italicized and lower case) =
g (regular and lower case) =
G (italicized and upper case) =
H (regular and upper case) =
H (italicized and upper case) =
h (italicized and lower case) =
J (regular and upper case) =
K (regular and upper case) =
K (italicized and upper case) =
Ka (italicized and upper case) =
Kb (italicized and upper case) =
Kc (italicized and upper case) =
Ksp (italicized and upper case) =
Kw (italicized and upper case) =
k (italicized and lower case) =
kg (regular and lower case) =
kJ (regular and, lower and upper case) =
L (italicized and upper case) =
m (regular and lower case) =
m (italicized and lower case) =
M (italicized and upper case) =
mol (italicized and lower case) =
n (italicized and lower case) =
p (italicized and lower case) =
P (italicized and upper case) =
Pa (regular and upper and lower case) =
pH (regular and lower and upper case) =
pKa (italicized and, lower and upper case) =
pKb (italicized and, lower and upper case) =
q (italicized and lower case) =
R (regular and upper case) =
R (italicized and upper case) =
s (regular and lower case) =
s (italicized and lower case) =
S (italicized and upper case) =
t (italicized and lower case) =
T (italicized and upper case) =
V (regular and upper case) =
v (regular and lower case) =
v (italicized and lower case) =
V (italicized and upper case) =
Z (italicized and upper case) =

The Alpha, Beta and the Gammas of chemistry symbols

α (alpha) =
β (beta) =
γ (gamma) =
δ (lower case delta) =
Δ (upper case delta) =
λ (lamda) =
μ (myu) =
ν (nu) =
π (pi) =
ρ (row) =
σ (sigma) =
Σ (upper case sigma) =

The Oddball!

° =

 

 

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