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RevTeX has chosen to use the \varepsilon symbol for both the \epsilon and the \varepsilon: http://www.physics.udel.edu/~bnikolic/teaching/phys660/PDF/revtex4.pdf (p. 25).

enter image description here

Is there a way to re-introduce the normal \epsilon?

  • What you call the ‘normal’ epsilon is the lunate epsilon, which looks ,like the $\in$ symbol. The normal epsilon, for any linguist, is precisely ε. – Bernard Jun 18 at 13:58
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The issue has nothing to do with the revtex4 class, and

\documentclass{revtex4}
\begin{document}
$\epsilon\varepsilon\rho\varrho$
\end{document}

yields the expected result: enter image description here

The manual has been typed with a Times font; my guess is mathptmx. If you look at the corresponding font table

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage{fonttable}
% \usepackage{mathptmx}
% contains the following declaration:
% \DeclareSymbolFont{symbols}{OMS}{ztmcm}{m}{n}

\begin{document}
\xfonttable{OML}{ztmcm}{m}{it}
\end{document}

enter image description here

you see that \epsilon (slot 15) and \varepsilon (slot 34) look in fact the same. Ditto for \rho and \varrho.

Unrelated: revtex4 is almost 20 years old, and is listed in CTAN under "obsolete". revtex4-2 came out last year. For new papers, it might be a good idea to switch :-)

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