Mu

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Mu
Mu

Mu (uppercase Μ, lowercase μ; Ancient Greek μῦ mŷː), Modern Greek μι or μυ mi|) is the 12th letter of the Greek alphabet. In the system of Greek numerals it has a value of 40. Mu was derived from the Egyptian hieroglyphic symbol for water (𓈖) which had been simplified by the Phoenicians and named after their word for water, to become 𐤌. Letters that arose from mu include the Roman M and the Cyrillic letter М.

Contents

Names

Ancient Greek

In Ancient Greek, the name of the letter is written μῦ and pronounced mŷː|.

Modern Greek

In Modern Greek, the name of the letter is spelled μι and pronounced mi|. In monotonic orthography, the ancient version is written with an acute accent instead of a circumflex: μύ.

Symbol

The lower-case letter mu (μ) is used as a special symbol in many academic fields. The upper case mu is not used, since it is normally identical to Latin M.

Mathematics

In mathematics:

Measurement

In measurement:

  • the SI prefix micro-, which represents one millionth, or 10−6.
  • the micron, an old unit which corresponds to the micrometre (which is now denoted "µm")

Physics and engineering

In classical physics and engineering:

In particle physics:

In thermodynamics:

Chemistry

In chemistry:

Pharmacology

In pharmacology:

Orbital mechanics

In orbital mechanics:

Music

Software

In application names:

Cameras

The Olympus Corporation manufactures a series of digital cameras called Olympus µ[mju:] or Olympus Stylus.[1]

Linguistics

In phonology, it often stands for mora.

Computing

In Unicode, the upper and lower case mu are encoded at 039C and 03BC respectively. In ISO 8859-7 they are encoded at CCHEX and ECHEX. In HTML code, the μ character is represented by "μ", "μ" and the entity "μ".

The micro sign or micron is considered a distinct character from the Greek alphabet letter by Unicode for historical reasons (although it is a homoglyph) and is found at U+00B5 as well as position B5HEX in ISO 8859-1, 3, 8, 9, 13 and 15, and thus in the corresponding Windows code pages Windows-1252 etc. In HTML code, the µ symbol is represented by "µ", "µ" and the entity "µ". When Alt-0181 or the DOS legacy Alt+230 is typed into an editable field using the numeric keypad in Microsoft Windows, the µ symbol appears. Also pressing AltGr + M results in a µ on some keyboard layouts.

Because µ is the abbreviation for the metric system prefix micro-, the symbol is used in many word plays about the field of micro-computing. For example, the symbol is used in the name and logo of the popular bittorrent client, µTorrent. Also, the microcontrollers are commonly represented in schematics as µC. It is sometimes simply substituted with a u, the most similar-looking ASCII glyph, eg. uTorrent.

References

1.^ Olympus History : (Stylus) Series

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