LaTeX - Mathematical Expressions

October 2016

LaTeX possesses a highly developed mathematical mode that allows editing and display of mathematicals equations or formulas in a simple way.

There are two ways to access the math mode. The first way is to stay in the body text and enclose the mathematical formulas between the $ character. When the $ character is doubled ($$) the formula will be detached from the body of the text.

For example:
"text $ formul $ text" gives the following result:
text formula text

"text $$ formula $$ text" gives the following result:

Commands for the mathematical mode

Here is a list of useful commands especially designed for the mathematical mode:

Subscript and superscript

indices : $ X_{indices} $
exponents : $ X^{exponents}$

Note: if there is a symbol in superscript or subscript, then you can omit the braces.

Mathematical Operators

  • fractions: $\frac{numerator}{denominator}$
  • root: $\sqrt{expression}$ for a square root, $\sqrt[n]{expression}$ for the nth root.

sum: $ \displaystyle { \sum_{start condition}^{end condition}} expression of sum$
integrals: $\int_start^arrival f(x)dx$
limit: $ \displaystyle {\lim_{variable \rightarrow (value being pointed to, by variable)}}f(x)$


To define matrices, we can either use the "array" environment or use the 'amsmath' package (you must then place the \usepackage{amsmath} command in the header of the document), using the following environments:
  • matrix;
  • pmatrix for a matrix enclosed in parentheses;
  • bmatrix for a matrix surrounded by square brackets;
  • vmatrix for a matrix enclosed by vertical lines;
  • Vmatrix for a matrix enclosed by double vertical lines;

An example of a matrix:

$ \begin{pmatrix}
element1&element2 \\

Here is a graphical result:

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