Physics Symbols

In Physics, various symbols or notations are used to denote different quantities. The denotations make the representation of the quantities easier. In this article, some of the most popular physics symbols are mentioned.

It is interesting to note that some 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 the 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.

Related Topics In Physics
Basic Laws Of Physics Derivation Of Physics Formulas
SI Units In Physics Differences & Comparisons
Relation Between In Physics Value of Constants
Types and Classification Application And Uses

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 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 Vector 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 T tau Vector 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 kg⋅m2s-1
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)
Magnetic Field B scalar Tesla

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.

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