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I am using \stackrel{<}{\sim} to stack up two symbols. However I need to lower \sim, which naturally goes above the line, otherwise <raises too. This is the output at the moment:

example of my output

Any idea?

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Welcome to tex.sx! There is no need to 'sign' your question, as your name appears on the question automatically. –  Joseph Wright Jun 10 '11 at 19:21
    
Have a look at “How to look up a math symbol?” for ideas how you can easily find a particular symbol. –  Caramdir Jun 11 '11 at 18:07
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2 Answers

The amssymb package offers you \lesssim, and, as egreg comments, the wasysym package offers \apprle, which raises the tilde a little bit. Here they are, side by side:

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage{amssymb}
\usepackage{wasysym}

\begin{document}

$T\lesssim S \qquad T\apprle S$

\end{document}

The MnSymbol package also implements a \lesssim, which is a more compact variation of its amssymb homonymous (caution: loading amssymb and MnSymbol simultaneously will result in name clash).

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Otherwise \apprle from the wasysym package, which seems to raise the tilde a bit. –  egreg Jun 10 '11 at 19:26
    
@egreg: I added your suggestion to my answer. Thanks. –  Gonzalo Medina Jun 10 '11 at 19:39
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The obligatory Unicode solution:

% Just to get the needed fonts for the example up and running with Plain.
% You'd also need the mapping-files for this to work.
% For LaTeX, I think that unicode-math sets all of these up.
\def\mathfont{Asana Math}
\def\lfont#1#2#3{%
  \expandafter\font\csname#1\endcsname="\mathfont:script=math;mapping=#2" at 10pt
  \expandafter\font\csname#1s\endcsname="\mathfont:script=math;+ssty=0;mapping=#2" at 7pt
  \expandafter\font\csname#1ss\endcsname="\mathfont:script=math;+ssty=1;mapping=#2" at 5pt
  \textfont#3=\csname#1\endcsname
  \scriptfont#3=\csname#1s\endcsname
  \scriptscriptfont#3=\csname#1ss\endcsname}
\lfont{mathrm}{roman}{0}
\textfont3=\mathrm \scriptfont3=\mathrms \scriptscriptfont3=\mathrmss
\lfont{mathit}{italic}{1} % you could go on with \lfont{mathbf}{bold}{6} etc.
% end of makeshift font loading
\XeTeXmathchardef\lesssim="3"1`≲ % for LaTeX with unicode-math, this is already set.
$ T \lesssim S $
\bye

Which looks like:
lesssim

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2  
unicode-math indeed defines \lesssim for ≲. –  Caramdir Jun 11 '11 at 18:05
    
Thanks all, all your answers have been really helpful to me. \lesssim works fine for me, and the symbol looks way better than before in my thesis! –  ilariac Jun 24 '11 at 9:27
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