Mathematical expressions
Contents
Introduction
LaTeX's features for typesetting mathematics make it a compelling choice for writing technical documents. This article shows the most basic commands needed to get started with writing maths using LaTeX.
Writing basic equations in LaTeX is straightforward, for example:
\documentclass{article}
\begin{document}
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:
\[ x^n + y^n = z^n \]
\end{document}
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 math mode and display math mode:
 inline math mode is used to write formulas that are part of a paragraph
 display math mode is used to write expressions that are not part of a paragraph, and are therefore put on separate lines
Inline math mode
You can use any of these "delimiters" to typeset your math in inline mode:
\(...\)
$...$
\begin{math}...\end{math}
.
They all work and the choice is a matter of taste, so let's see some examples.
\documentclass{article}
\begin{document}
\noindent Standard \LaTeX{} practice is to write inline math by enclosing it between \verb\(...\):
\begin{quote}
In physics, the massenergy equivalence is stated
by the equation \(E=mc^2\), discovered in 1905 by Albert Einstein.
\end{quote}
\noindent Instead if writing (enclosing) inline math between \verb\(...\) you can use \texttt{\$...\$} to achieve the same result:
\begin{quote}
In physics, the massenergy equivalence is stated
by the equation $E=mc^2$, discovered in 1905 by Albert Einstein.
\end{quote}
\noindent Or, you can use \verb\begin{math}...\end{math}:
\begin{quote}
In physics, the massenergy equivalence is stated
by the equation \begin{math}E=mc^2\end{math}, discovered in 1905 by Albert Einstein.
\end{quote}
\end{document}
Display math mode
Use one of these constructions to typeset maths in display mode:
\[...\]
\begin{displaymath}...\end{displaymath}
\begin{equation}...\end{equation}
Display math mode has two versions which produce numbered or unnumbered equations. Let's look at a basic example:
\documentclass{article}
\begin{document}
The massenergy 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}
\end{document}
Another example
The following example uses the equation*
environment which is provided by the amsmath
package—see the amsmath
article for more information.
\documentclass{article}
\usepackage{amsmath} % for the equation* environment
\begin{document}
This is a simple math expression \(\sqrt{x^2+1}\) inside text.
And this is also the same:
\begin{math}
\sqrt{x^2+1}
\end{math}
but by using another command.
This is a simple math expression without numbering
\[\sqrt{x^2+1}\]
separated from text.
This is also the same:
\begin{displaymath}
\sqrt{x^2+1}
\end{displaymath}
\ldots and this:
\begin{equation*}
\sqrt{x^2+1}
\end{equation*}
\end{document}
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 

Relation operators  < > \subset \supset \subseteq \supseteq 

Others  \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.
Further reading
The mathematics mode in LaTeX is very flexible and powerful, there is much more that can be done with it:
Overleaf guides
 Creating a document in Overleaf
 Uploading a project
 Copying a project
 Creating a project from a template
 Using the Overleaf project menu
 Including images in Overleaf
 Exporting your work from Overleaf
 Working offline in Overleaf
 Using Track Changes in Overleaf
 Using bibliographies in Overleaf
 Sharing your work with others
 Using the History feature
 Debugging Compilation timeout errors
 Howto guides
 Guide to Overleaf’s premium features
LaTeX Basics
 Creating your first LaTeX document
 Choosing a LaTeX Compiler
 Paragraphs and new lines
 Bold, italics and underlining
 Lists
 Errors
Mathematics
 Mathematical expressions
 Subscripts and superscripts
 Brackets and Parentheses
 Matrices
 Fractions and Binomials
 Aligning equations
 Operators
 Spacing in math mode
 Integrals, sums and limits
 Display style in math mode
 List of Greek letters and math symbols
 Mathematical fonts
 Using the Symbol Palette in Overleaf
Figures and tables
 Inserting Images
 Tables
 Positioning Images and Tables
 Lists of Tables and Figures
 Drawing Diagrams Directly in LaTeX
 TikZ package
References and Citations
 Bibliography management with bibtex
 Bibliography management with natbib
 Bibliography management with biblatex
 Bibtex bibliography styles
 Natbib bibliography styles
 Natbib citation styles
 Biblatex bibliography styles
 Biblatex citation styles
Languages
 Multilingual typesetting on Overleaf using polyglossia and fontspec
 Multilingual typesetting on Overleaf using babel and fontspec
 International language support
 Quotations and quotation marks
 Arabic
 Chinese
 French
 German
 Greek
 Italian
 Japanese
 Korean
 Portuguese
 Russian
 Spanish
Document structure
 Sections and chapters
 Table of contents
 Cross referencing sections, equations and floats
 Indices
 Glossaries
 Nomenclatures
 Management in a large project
 Multifile LaTeX projects
 Hyperlinks
Formatting
 Lengths in LaTeX
 Headers and footers
 Page numbering
 Paragraph formatting
 Line breaks and blank spaces
 Text alignment
 Page size and margins
 Single sided and double sided documents
 Multiple columns
 Counters
 Code listing
 Code Highlighting with minted
 Using colours in LaTeX
 Footnotes
 Margin notes
Fonts
Presentations
Commands
Field specific
 Theorems and proofs
 Chemistry formulae
 Feynman diagrams
 Molecular orbital diagrams
 Chess notation
 Knitting patterns
 CircuiTikz package
 Pgfplots package
 Typesetting exams in LaTeX
 Knitr
 Attribute Value Matrices
Class files
 Understanding packages and class files
 List of packages and class files
 Writing your own package
 Writing your own class