α

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Translingual[edit]

Greek lc alpha.svg
Unicode name GREEK SMALL LETTER ALPHA
Greek and Coptic U+03B1
Greek and Coptic → β

Symbol[edit]

α

  1. (electrodynamics) The fine structure constant.
  2. (classical mechanics) Represents angular acceleration.
    See Wikipedia article on angular acceleration for usage.
  3. (chemistry) Used in chemical nomenclature.
    α-lactam has a three-membered ring structure.
  4. (astronomy) Used to identify the brightest star in a constellation, for instance α-Centauri.
  5. (topology) Alexandroff compactification

Derived terms[edit]

See also[edit]

See alpha for names of this symbol in other languages.


Greek[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Approximate form of upper case Α (A, “Alpha”) from which lower case α (a, “alpha”) derived

Derived from its Ancient Greek majuscule counterpart Α (A, Alpha), in turn from the Phoenician letter 𐤀 (aleph).

Letter[edit]

α (a) (lower case, upper case Α)

  1. Lower-case άλφα (álfa, alpha), the first letter of the modern Greek alphabet. Represents the open front unrounded vowel: IPA(key): /a/.
Usage notes[edit]

Ancient Greek, however, did not distinguish between upper case and lower case. See Α (A) for details.

Derived terms[edit]

See also[edit]