The feature that makes LaTeX the right editing tool for scientific documents is the ability to render complex mathematical expressions. This article explains the basic commands to display equations.

# Introduction

Basic equations in LaTeX can be easily "programmed", for example:

The well known Pythagorean theorem $$x^2 + y^2 = z^2$$ was
proved to be invalid for other exponents.
Meaning the next equation has no integer solutions:

$x^n + y^n = z^n$


As you see, the way the equations are displayed depends on the delimiter, in this case  and .

# Mathematical modes

LaTeX allows two writing modes for mathematical expressions: the inline mode and the display mode. The first one is used to write formulas that are part of a text. The second one is used to write expressions that are not part of a text or paragraph, and are therefore put on separate lines.

Let's see an example of the inline mode:

In physics, the mass-energy equivalence is stated
by the equation $E=mc^2$, discovered in 1905 by Albert Einstein.


To put your equations in inline mode use one of these delimiters: ,  or \begin{math} \end{math}. They all work and the choice is a matter of taste.

The displayed mode has two versions: numbered and unnumbered.

The mass-energy equivalence is described by the famous equation

$$E=mc^2$$

discovered in 1905 by Albert Einstein.
In natural units ($c$ = 1), the formula expresses the identity

\begin{equation}
E=m
\end{equation}


To print your equations in display mode use one of these delimiters: , , \begin{displaymath} \end{displaymath} or 

Important Note: equation* environment is provided by an external package, consult the amsmath article.

# Reference guide

Below is a table with some common maths symbols. For a more complete list see the List of Greek letters and math symbols:

description code examples
Greek letters \alpha \beta \gamma \rho \sigma \delta \epsilon $$\alpha \ \beta \ \gamma \ \rho \ \sigma \ \delta \ \epsilon$$
Binary operators \times \otimes \oplus \cup \cap ${\displaystyle \times }$ ${\displaystyle \otimes }$ ${\displaystyle \oplus }$ ${\displaystyle \cup }$ ${\displaystyle \cap }$
Relation operators < > \subset \supset \subseteq \supseteq ${\displaystyle <\ >\subset \ \supset \ \subseteq \ \supseteq }$
Others \int \oint \sum \prod ${\displaystyle \int \ \oint \ \sum \ \prod }$

Different classes of mathematical symbols are characterized by different formatting (for example, variables are italicized, but operators are not) and different spacing.