what are the conventions when to use upright letters in math mode?


     W_{mag} = \frac{1}{2}LI^2

should the inductivity and the current be typeset in upright letters (\mathrm)?

  • 6
    Welcome to TeX.SX! While this is an interesting question, it's not really about TeX, but rather about style. – egreg Aug 2 '15 at 16:17
  • @egreg Would it be better asked on Maths or Physics SE? (I don't know if this is discipline dependent or not?) – cfr Aug 2 '15 at 16:19
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    Possibly Physics.SE, if the topic is physics, but I'm not sure if they accept such questions. Anyway, a subscript should be upright if it is verbal (a word or abbreviation thereof) as opposed to a symbol. – egreg Aug 2 '15 at 16:20
  • @egreg: I am not very active on Physics.SE, but I doubt they would accept this question, since it's not about Physics itself, 'only' formatting. Of course, the index quantity should be upright if it's an abbreviation or a word, and just as usual if it's a symbol – user31729 Aug 2 '15 at 17:54
  • Could Graphic Design SX be an alternative? There should be professional typesetters around that may also have experience with mathematics and physics print media. – Ruben Aug 2 '15 at 19:15

I would typeset this as

    W_\mathrm{mag} = \frac{1}{2} L I^2

i.e. variables should be in standard math mode italic, while subscripts that are simply labels should be upright.

There is no correct answer for this, as it depends on the style of your region, your academic field, and personal taste. See What's the proper way to typeset a differential operator? for a helpful discussion of this topic.

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