Iota

Iota

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Iota is the ninth letter of the Greek alphabet
Greek alphabet
The Greek alphabet is the script that has been used to write the Greek language since at least 730 BC . The alphabet in its classical and modern form consists of 24 letters ordered in sequence from alpha to omega...

. In the system of Greek numerals
Greek numerals
Greek numerals are a system of representing numbers using letters of the Greek alphabet. They are also known by the names Ionian numerals, Milesian numerals , Alexandrian numerals, or alphabetic numerals...

 it has a value of 10. It was derived from the Phoenician letter
Phoenician alphabet
The Phoenician alphabet, called by convention the Proto-Canaanite alphabet for inscriptions older than around 1050 BC, was a non-pictographic consonantal alphabet, or abjad. It was used for the writing of Phoenician, a Northern Semitic language, used by the civilization of Phoenicia...

 Yodh
Yodh
Yodh is the tenth letter of many Semitic alphabets, including Phoenician, Aramaic, Hebrew Yud , Syriac and Arabic...

 (). Letters that arose from this letter include the Roman I
I
I is the ninth letter and a vowel in the basic modern Latin alphabet.-History:In Semitic, the letter may have originated in a hieroglyph for an arm that represented a voiced pharyngeal fricative in Egyptian, but was reassigned to by Semites, because their word for "arm" began with that sound...

 and J
J
Ĵ or ĵ is a letter in Esperanto orthography representing the sound .While Esperanto orthography uses a diacritic for its four postalveolar consonants, as do the Latin-based Slavic alphabets, the base letters are Romano-Germanic...

 and the Cyrillic І (І, і), Yi
Yi (Cyrillic)
Yi is a letter of the Cyrillic alphabet.It represents the iotated vowel sound , like the pronunciation of ⟨yi⟩ in "playing", and is used in the Rusyn and Ukrainian alphabets....

 (Ї, ї), Je
Je (Cyrillic)
Je is a letter of the Cyrillic alphabet.It commonly represents the palatal approximant , like the pronunciation of ⟨y⟩ in "yes".-Usage:-Related letters and other similar characters:...

 (Ј, ј), and iotified
Iotation
Iotation is a linguistic phenomenon very characteristic of the Slavic languages. It should not be confused with palatalization, which is an entirely different process....

 letters (e.g. Yu
Yu (Cyrillic)
Yu is a letter of the Cyrillic alphabet. After a palatalized consonant, it represents the close back rounded vowel , somewhat like the pronunciation of ⟨oo⟩ in "boot"; elsewhere it is a so-called iotated vowel representing the combination , like the pronunciation of ⟨you⟩ in "youth"...

 (Ю, ю)).

Iota represents i. In ancient Greek it occurred in both long [iː] and short [i] versions, but this distinction has been lost in Modern Greek.

Iota participated as the second element in falling diphthongs, with both long and short vowels as the first element. Where the first element was long, the iota was lost in pronunciation at an early date, and was written in polytonic orthography as iota subscript
Iota subscript
Iota subscript in Greek polytonic orthography is a way of writing the letter iota as a small vertical stroke beneath a vowel. It was used in the so-called "long diphthongs" in Ancient Greek, that is, diphthongs the first part of which is a long vowel: and...

, in other words as a very small ι under the main vowel, for instance .

The word is used in a common English phrase, 'not one iota', meaning 'not the slightest amount', in reference to a phrase in the New Testament
New Testament
The New Testament is the second major division of the Christian biblical canon, the first such division being the much longer Old Testament....

: "until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law" .

The word 'jot' (or iot) derives from iota.

Symbol

  • The iota symbol is used to generate a vector of consecutive integers in the APL programming language
    APL programming language
    APL is an interactive array-oriented language and integrated development environment, which is available from a number of commercial and noncommercial vendors and for most computer platforms. It is based on a mathematical notation developed by Kenneth E...

    .
  • The name "iota" denotes a pseudo-constant to represent successive integers in the Go programming language
    Go (programming language)
    Go is a compiled, garbage-collected, concurrent programming language developed by Google Inc.The initial design of Go was started in September 2007 by Robert Griesemer, Rob Pike, and Ken Thompson. Go was officially announced in November 2009. In May 2010, Rob Pike publicly stated that Go was being...

    .
  • The lowercase iota symbol is sometimes used to write the imaginary unit
    Imaginary unit
    In mathematics, the imaginary unit allows the real number system ℝ to be extended to the complex number system ℂ, which in turn provides at least one root for every polynomial . The imaginary unit is denoted by , , or the Greek...

    , but more often Roman i
    I
    I is the ninth letter and a vowel in the basic modern Latin alphabet.-History:In Semitic, the letter may have originated in a hieroglyph for an arm that represented a voiced pharyngeal fricative in Egyptian, but was reassigned to by Semites, because their word for "arm" began with that sound...

     or j
    J
    Ĵ or ĵ is a letter in Esperanto orthography representing the sound .While Esperanto orthography uses a diacritic for its four postalveolar consonants, as do the Latin-based Slavic alphabets, the base letters are Romano-Germanic...

     is used.
  • In logic
    Logic
    In philosophy, Logic is the formal systematic study of the principles of valid inference and correct reasoning. Logic is used in most intellectual activities, but is studied primarily in the disciplines of philosophy, mathematics, semantics, and computer science...

    , the lowercase iota denotes the definite descriptor.
  • In mathematics
    Mathematics
    Mathematics is the study of quantity, space, structure, and change. Mathematicians seek out patterns and formulate new conjectures. Mathematicians resolve the truth or falsity of conjectures by mathematical proofs, which are arguments sufficient to convince other mathematicians of their validity...

     and statistics
    Statistics
    Statistics is the study of the collection, organization, analysis, and interpretation of data. It deals with all aspects of this, including the planning of data collection in terms of the design of surveys and experiments....

    , a unit vector is often denoted by a lowercase iota letter with a superscript caret
    Caret
    Caret usually refers to the spacing symbol ^ in ASCII and other character sets. In Unicode, however, the corresponding character is , whereas the Unicode character named caret is actually a similar but lowered symbol: ....

    : .