Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The fifth letter of the Greek alphabet. See Table at alphabet.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The name for the fifth letter of the Greek alphabet, ε or Ε, preceded by delta (Δ, δ) and followed by zeta (Ζ, ζ).
  • n. In IPA, the phonetic symbol that represents the open-mid front unrounded vowel; represented in SAMPA as E.
  • n. An arbitrarily small quantity.
  • n. A negligible effect.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The fifth letter of the Greek alphabet, equivalent to short e.
  • n. In mathematics, a quantity which approaches zero when the independent variable approaches a certain limit fixed for it by the conditions of the particular problem or discussion.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. the 5th letter of the Greek alphabet

Etymologies

Greek e psīlon, simple e, from neuter of psīlos, simple.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Ancient Greek ἒψιλόν (epsilon, "the letter Ε"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Let's look at the second number, epsilon, which is roughly .007.

    Rabbi Shmuley Boteach: Does Questioning Evolution Make You Anti-Science?

  • Hilbert developed a method for the study of consistency problems, called the epsilon substitution method, to deal with the quantifiers.

    Chores

  • The EKG may show inverted t waves in right sided leads and the so-called epsilon waves.

    Archive 2007-01-01

  • I've been listening to a few odd bits and pieces of music these last few days (wanted to try and get the word epsilon into the last 3 words before the bracket, but couldn't ... conversation today re: possible other name for one of the rooms in MVB (Merchant Venturer's building, home of CS ppl ehre in Bristol) which is called 0.01, which spawned that idea floating around in my head).

    February 19th, 2003

  • If you carry two copies of a variant called epsilon 4, then your risk of succumbing to Alzheimer's disease is greatly increased.

    New Scientist - Online News

  • The pressure dependence of the melting point is indeed the key to the solution - it turns the arbitrarily small "epsilon" temperature difference into a finite delta T, the difference between the freezing point of water under the pressure of the weight and the melting point of ice after the weight is removed.

    Cockburning

  • For any finite "epsilon", the infrared problems are absent.

    The Reference Frame

  • The measurable results are independent of "epsilon".

    The Reference Frame

  • You should ask what is the cross section to create two photons plus an arbitrary number of photons whose energy is so small, below "epsilon", that you can't really detect them.

    The Reference Frame

  • Once you admit that you can't measure the photons whose energy is below "epsilon", you eliminate the infrared divergences from the loop diagrams, and the part that diverges for

    The Reference Frame

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