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Greek letters are used everywhere in science and mathematics. When did this tradition start? If it is because the Greeks were pioneers of maths? why did the Indian literals, for example, not become popular?

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    $\begingroup$ Because in Europe the Greek tradition was widespread and the Indian was not. $\endgroup$ – Mauro ALLEGRANZA Nov 19 '15 at 12:59
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It is not the idea of any individual I suppose.Greeks were one of the most advanced of all in science and all other fields in the ancient times.They had their own list of alphabets which they used.Slowly,it spread to some neighboring groups who followed their alphabets and methods.This then spread all around the globe and there has been perhaps no change or modifications in the language since then and till now widespreadly used.

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  • $\begingroup$ What is a "list of alphabets"? Why did anyone vote for this ill-informed and illiterate answer? $\endgroup$ – fdb Dec 12 '15 at 1:34
  • $\begingroup$ @fdb I am not ill informed.Consult -en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greek_alphabet for further information.See the date-It is used since 800BCE... $\endgroup$ – tatan Dec 12 '15 at 7:22
  • $\begingroup$ @fdb And don't use rude language like illiterate... if you have a better answer do go and answer it... $\endgroup$ – tatan Jun 12 '17 at 13:51
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There was no one person who decided one day to use Greek letters for all of their mathematics. It was a very slow process. The person to popularize the use of $ \pi $ to signify the mathematical value was Euler. He also started the use of $ \Sigma $ for summations. Alternatively, Francois Viete was the first to use letters to represent unknowns. This in all likelihood led to the introduction of Greek letters when Latin characters ran out.

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    $\begingroup$ Actually, "first person to use the Greek letter π to signify the mathematical value" was William Jones, though it is true that Euler popularized it. $\endgroup$ – Rory Daulton Dec 11 '15 at 11:10
  • $\begingroup$ And the first person to use letters for unknown would probably be more Diophantes, although that is somewhat debatable. $\endgroup$ – Slereah Dec 11 '15 at 13:41
  • $\begingroup$ Greek letters were presumably (somewhat) available to printers; besides being much better known than, say Hebrew ones, to the educated elite. $\endgroup$ – vonbrand Dec 27 '15 at 22:56

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