Gamma


Gamma

Gamma (uppercase Γ, lowercase γ; _el. Γάμμα) is the third letter of the Greek alphabet. In the system of Greek numerals it has a value of 3. It was derived from the Phoenician letter Gimel Ґ.

In Modern Greek, it represents either a voiced velar fricative IPA|/ɣ/ or a voiced palatal fricative IPA|/ʝ/. In Ancient Greek, it represented a voiced velar stop IPA|/ɡ/. Before velars, it represents a velar nasal IPA|/ŋ/ in Modern as well as Ancient Greek, and a double gamma represents a prenasalized voiced velar stop (IPA|/ŋɡ/).

Gamma combinations

The gamma can be combined with other letters or itself.
*A double gamma (γγ) is pronounced like the ng in "jumping"
*A gamma with xi (γξ) is pronounced roughly like the nx in "Sphinx"
*(γχ) is pronounced like the nkh in "ankh"
*A gamma combined with kappa (γκ) is pronounced like the nk in "banker"

Use as a symbol or a term

Gamma is often used to denote a variable in mathematics and physics.In certain areas it has a specific meaning, such as representing gamma radiation in nuclear physics and the Lorentz factor in theory of relativity. In mathematics, there is a gamma function (usually written as Γ-function.)

See also

*Г, г - Ge (Cyrillic)
*G, g - Latin


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