ISO 31-11

ISO 31-11 was the part of international standard ISO 31 that defines mathematical signs and symbols for use in physical sciences and technology. It was superseded in 2009 by ISO 80000-2.

Its definitions include the following:

Mathematical logic

Sign Example Name Meaning and verbal equivalent Remarks
pq conjunction sign p and q
pq disjunction sign p or q (or both)
¬ ¬ p negation sign negation of p; not p; non p
pq implication sign if p then q; p implies q Can also be written as qp. Sometimes → is used.
xA p(x)
(∀xA) p(x)
universal quantifier for every x belonging to A, the proposition p(x) is true The "∈A" can be dropped where A is clear from context.
xA p(x)
(∃xA) p(x)
existential quantifier there exists an x belonging to A for which the proposition p(x) is true The "∈A" can be dropped where A is clear from context.
∃! is used where exactly one x exists for which p(x) is true.

Sets

Sign Example Meaning and verbal equivalent Remarks
xA x belongs to A; x is an element of the set A
xA x does not belong to A; x is not an element of the set A The negation stroke can also be vertical.
Ax the set A contains x (as an element) same meaning as xA
Ax the set A does not contain x (as an element) same meaning as xA
{ } {x1, x2, ..., xn} set with elements x1, x2, ..., xn also {xiiI}, where I denotes a set of indices
{ ∣ } {xAp(x)} set of those elements of A for which the proposition p(x) is true Example: {x ∈ ℝ ∣ x > 5}
The ∈A can be dropped where this set is clear from the context.
card card(A) number of elements in A; cardinal of A
AB difference between A and B; A minus B The set of elements which belong to A but not to B.
AB = { xxAxB }
AB should not be used.
the empty set
the set of natural numbers; the set of positive integers and zero ℕ = {0, 1, 2, 3, ...}
Exclusion of zero is denoted by an asterisk:
* = {1, 2, 3, ...}
k = {0, 1, 2, 3, ..., k − 1}
the set of integers ℤ = {..., −3, −2, −1, 0, 1, 2, 3, ...}

* = ℤ ∖ {0} = {..., −3, −2, −1, 1, 2, 3, ...}

the set of rational numbers * = ℚ ∖ {0}
the set of real numbers * = ℝ ∖ {0}
the set of complex numbers * = ℂ ∖ {0}
[,] [a,b] closed interval in ℝ from a (included) to b (included) [a,b] = {x ∈ ℝ ∣ axb}
],]
(,]
]a,b]
(a,b]
left half-open interval in ℝ from a (excluded) to b (included) ]a,b] = {x ∈ ℝ ∣ a < xb}
[,[
[,)
[a,b[
[a,b)
right half-open interval in ℝ from a (included) to b (excluded) [a,b[ = {x ∈ ℝ ∣ ax < b}
],[
(,)
]a,b[
(a,b)
open interval in ℝ from a (excluded) to b (excluded) ]a,b[ = {x ∈ ℝ ∣ a < x < b}
BA B is included in A; B is a subset of A Every element of B belongs to A. ⊂ is also used.
BA B is properly included in A; B is a proper subset of A Every element of B belongs to A, but B is not equal to A. If ⊂ is used for "included", then ⊊ should be used for "properly included".
CA C is not included in A; C is not a subset of A ⊄ is also used.
AB A includes B (as subset) A contains every element of B. ⊃ is also used. BA means the same as AB.
AB. A includes B properly. A contains every element of B, but A is not equal to B. If ⊃ is used for "includes", then ⊋ should be used for "includes properly".
AC A does not include C (as subset) ⊅ is also used. AC means the same as CA.
AB union of A and B The set of elements which belong to A or to B or to both A and B.
AB = { xxAxB }
$\bigcup_{i=1}^n A_i$ union of a collection of sets $\bigcup_{i=1}^n A_i=A_1\cup A_2\cup\ldots\cup A_n$, the set of elements belonging to at least one of the sets A1, …, An. $\bigcup{}_{i=1}^n$ and $\bigcup_{i\in I}$, $\bigcup{}_{i \in I}$ are also used, where I denotes a set of indices.
AB intersection of A and B The set of elements which belong to both A and B.
AB = { xxAxB }
$\bigcap_{i=1}^n A_i$ intersection of a collection of sets $\bigcap_{i=1}^n A_i=A_1\cap A_2\cap\ldots\cap A_n$, the set of elements belonging to all sets A1, …, An. $\bigcap{}_{i=1}^n$ and $\bigcap_{i\in I}$, ⋂iI are also used, where I denotes a set of indices.
AB complement of subset B of A The set of those elements of A which do not belong to the subset B. The symbol A is often omitted if the set A is clear from context. Also ∁AB = AB.
(,) (a, b) ordered pair a, b; couple a, b (a, b) = (c, d) if and only if a = c and b = d.
a, b⟩ is also used.
(,…,) (a1a2, …, an) ordered n-tuple a1, a2, …, an⟩ is also used.
× A × B cartesian product of A and B The set of ordered pairs (a, b) such that aA and bB.
A × B = { (a, b) ∣ aAbB }
A × A × ⋯ × A is denoted by An, where n is the number of factors in the product.
Δ ΔA set of pairs (a, a) ∈ A × A where aA; diagonal of the set A × A ΔA = { (a, a) ∣ aA }
idA is also used.

Miscellaneous signs and symbols

Sign Example Meaning and verbal equivalent Remarks

$\ \stackrel{\mathrm{def}}{=}\$
ab a is by definition equal to b  := is also used
= a = b a equals b ≡ may be used to emphasize that a particular equality is an identity.
ab a is not equal to b $a \not\equiv b$ may be used to emphasize that a is not identically equal to b.
ab a corresponds to b On a 1:106 map: 1 cm ≙ 10 km.
ab a is approximately equal to b The symbol ≃ is reserved for "is asymptotically equal to".

ab
ab
a is proportional to b
< a < b a is less than b
> a > b a is greater than b
ab a is less than or equal to b The symbol ≦ is also used.
ab a is greater than or equal to b The symbol ≧ is also used.
ab a is much less than b
ab a is much greater than b
infinity
()
[]
{}
$\langle \rangle$
(a+b)c
[a+b]c
{a+b}c
$\langle$a+b$\rangle$c
ac+bc, parentheses
ac+bc, square brackets
ac+bc, braces
ac+bc, angle brackets
In ordinary algebra, the sequence of (), [], {}, $\langle \rangle$ in order of nesting is not standardized. Special uses are made of (), [], {}, $\langle \rangle$ in particular fields.
AB ∥ CD the line AB is parallel to the line CD
$\perp$ AB$\perp$CD the line AB is perpendicular to the line CD

Operations

Sign Example Meaning and verbal equivalent Remarks
+ a + b a plus b
ab a minus b
± a ± b a plus or minus b
ab a minus or plus b −(a ± b) = −ab
... ... ... ...

Functions

Example Meaning and verbal equivalent Remarks
$f:D \rightarrow C$ function f has domain D and codomain C Used to explicitly define the domain and codomain of a function.
$f\left(S\right)$ $\left\{f\left(x\right)\mid x\in S\right\}$ Set of all possible outputs in the codomain when given inputs from S, a subset of the domain of f.

Exponential and logarithmic functions

Example Meaning and verbal equivalent Remarks
e base of natural logarithms e = 2.718 28...
ex exponential function to the base e of x
logax logarithm to the base a of x
lb x binary logarithm (to the base 2) of x lb x = log2x
ln x natural logarithm (to the base e) of x ln x = logex
lg x common logarithm (to the base 10) of x lg x = log10x
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Circular and hyperbolic functions

Example Meaning and verbal equivalent Remarks
π ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter π = 3.141 59...
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Complex numbers

Example Meaning and verbal equivalent Remarks
i   j imaginary unit; i² = −1 In electrotechnology, j is generally used.
Re z real part of z z = x + iy, where x = Re z and y = Im z
Im z imaginary part of z
z absolute value of z; modulus of z mod z is also used
arg z argument of z; phase of z z = reiφ, where r = ∣z∣ and φ = arg z, i.e. Re z = r cos φ and Im z = r sin φ
z* (complex) conjugate of z sometimes a bar above z is used instead of z*
sgn z signum z sgn z = z / ∣z∣ = exp(i arg z) for z ≠ 0, sgn 0 = 0

Matrices

Example Meaning and verbal equivalent Remarks
A matrix A ...
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Coordinate systems

Coordinates Position vector and its differential Name of coordinate system Remarks
x, y, z [x y z] = [x y z]; [dx dy dz]; cartesian x1, x2, x3 for the coordinates and e1, e2, e3 for the base vectors are also used. This notation easily generalizes to n-mensional space. ex, ey, ez form an orthonormal right-handed system. For the base vectors, i, j, k are also used.
ρ, φ, z [x, y, z] = [ρ cos(φ), ρ sin(φ), z] cylindrical eρ(φ), eφ(φ), ez form an orthonormal right-handed system. lf z= 0, then ρ and φ are the polar coordinates.
r, θ, φ [x, y, z] = r [sin(θ)cos(φ), sin(θ)sin(φ), cos(θ)] spherical er(θ,φ), eθ(θ,φ),eφ(φ) form an orthonormal right-handed system.

Vectors and tensors

Example Meaning and verbal equivalent Remarks
a
$\vec a$
vector a Instead of italic boldface, vectors can also be indicated by an arrow above the letter symbol. Any vector a can be multiplied by a scalar k, i.e. ka.
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Special functions

Example Meaning and verbal equivalent Remarks
Jl(x) cylindrical Bessel functions (of the first kind) ...
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