# Dictionary Definition

formula

### Noun

1 a group of symbols that make a mathematical
statement [syn: expression]

2 directions for making something [syn: recipe]

3 a conventionalized statement expressing some
fundamental principle

4 a representation of a substance using symbols
for its constituent elements [syn: chemical
formula]

5 something regarded as a normative example; "the
convention of not naming the main character"; "violence is the rule
not the exception"; "his formula for impressing visitors" [syn:
convention, normal, pattern, rule]

6 a liquid food for infants

7 (mathematics) a standard procedure for solving
a class of mathematical problems; "he determined the upper bound
with Descartes' rule of signs"; "he gave us a general formula for
attacking polynomials" [syn: rule] [also: formulae (pl)]formulae See
formula

# User Contributed Dictionary

## English

### Noun

formulae plural- Plural of formula

# Extensive Definition

In mathematics and in the
sciences, a formula
(plural: formulae, formulæ or formulas) is a concise way of
expressing information symbolically (as in a mathematical or
chemical
formula), or a general relationship between quantities. One of
many famous formulae is Albert
Einstein's E = mc²
(see special
relativity).

## In mathematics

In mathematics, a formula is a
key to solve an equation with variables. For
example, the problem of determining the volume of a sphere is one that requires a
significant amount of integral
calculus to solve. However, having done this once,
mathematicians can produce a formula to describe the volume in
terms of some other parameter (the radius for example). This
particular formula is:

- V =\frac \pi r^3.

(The \pi in this formula is the quantity pi). Having determined this result,
and having a sphere of which we know the radius we can quickly and
easily determine the volume. Note that the quantities V, the
volume, and r the radius are expressed as single letters. This
convention, while less important in a relatively simple formula,
means that mathematicians can more quickly manipulate larger and
more complex formulae.

In general mathematical use there is no essential
difference in meaning with the term "expression",
although the word "formula" tends to be reserved for an expression
that "can stand on its own", that has a meaning outside of the
immediate context in which it appears and a significance that can
be grasped intuitively.

The majority of all mathematical study revolves
around formulae in many different forms from quadratic
equations to the equations of motion (mainly used in mechanical
mathematics and physics). In a general context,
formulae are applied to provide a mathematical solution for real
world problems. Some may be general formulae designed to explain a
phenomenon experienced everywhere - an example is force = mass ×
acceleration. It is a formula which applies anywhere in the
universe. Other formulae may be specially created to solve a
particular problem - for example using the equation of a sine curve to
model the movement of the tides in a bay. In all cases however,
formulae form the basis for all calculations.

## In computing

In computing, a formula typically
describes a calculation, such as addition, to be performed on two
or more variables. A formula is often implicitly provided in the
form of a computer
instruction such
as

- Total fruit = number of Apples + number of Oranges.

In computer spreadsheet terminology, a
formula is usually a text string
containing cell
references, e.g.

- =A1+A2

where both A1 and A2 describe "cells" (column A,
row 1 or 2) within the spreadsheet. The result appears within the
cell containing the formula itself (possibly A3, at end of values
in column A). The = sign precedes the right hand side of the
formula indicating the cell contains a formula rather than data.
The left hand side of the formula is, by convention, omitted
because the result is always stored in the cell itself and would be
redundant.

formulae in Danish: Matematisk formel

formulae in German: Formel (Mathematik)

formulae in Esperanto: Formulo

formulae in Irish: Foirmle

formulae in Hindi: सूत्र

formulae in Italian: Formula

formulae in Hebrew: נוסחה

formulae in Hungarian: Képlet

formulae in Macedonian: Формула

formulae in Malayalam: സൂത്രവാക്യം

formulae in Japanese: 公式

formulae in Portuguese: Fórmula

formulae in Russian: Математическая
формула

formulae in Simple English: Formula

formulae in Slovenian: Formula

formulae in Serbo-Croatian: Formula

formulae in Sundanese: Rumus

formulae in Swedish: Formel

formulae in Thai: สูตร

formulae in Turkish: Formül

formulae in Ukrainian: Формула

formulae in Yiddish: פארמולע

formulae in Chinese: 数学公式