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Latex for Math

There is no doubt that one of the biggest challenges  for Donald Knuth was to develop the mathematical features of LaTeX, so that equations and numbers could be written in the professional way. However, he successfully implemented those features which is the reason why LaTeX became a popular documenting source. This LaTeX articles provides you all the basic knowledge to help you use the LaTeX math.

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The Mathematical Environment

LaTeX having got a mathematical environment provides maths notation which are different from the normal text. This is why special environments have been decaled for these reasons. This means that they can be distinguished into two categories.

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The text formulae are displayed inline, within the text body where it is declared. For example you can write y + y = 2y in the same sentence

The display formulae are different from the main text.

Different formulas which you can use in your document are summarized below:

Text \begin{math}…\end{math} \(…\) $…$ (LaTeX shorthand)
Displayed \begin{displaymath}…\end{displaymath} \[…\] $$…$$ (LaTeX longhand)

In addition to the ‘displaymath’, the second possible environment for the display formulae is to use ‘equation’ for writing a sequential equation. This adds the equation numbers at the side.

Mathematical Symbols

For issuing the different symbols such as + – = ! / ( ) [ ] < > | ‘ :, you are required to issue commands.

Using Fractions

You can use \frac{numerator}{denominator} command for writing fractions. You can also nest the fractions with \frac {\frac{numerator}{denominator}}{denominator}.

Using indices and powers

Powers and indices are used for quoting superscripts and subscripts. You can use them as follow:

Power a^x
Index x_a

For using more than one character, you have to use the curly braces for grouping them. You can also assign index and power to the same entity as a^{2x}_{3b} (or a_{3b}^{2x}, order is not significant).


Roots can be used easily using the \sqrt{x}, for using arguments you can use \sqrt[n]{arg}. The size will be adjusted to the size of the content by the LaTeX itself. n in the second command is optional.


With the help of \left… and \right… commands you can put your equation in a bracket. For example this:



Thesis in LaTeX uses an environment called ‘array’ for using the matrices. For a simple 2×2 matrix, you need to write it as follow:

$$ \left[

\begin{array}{ c c }

1 & 2 \\

3 & 4

\end{array} \right]


This LaTeX math tutorial will help you understand the basic formalities of using the mathematics symbols in your document.

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