Writing LaTeX

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LaTeX is the language in which most mathematics and physics documents are written. Mathematical symbols and equations are written in a special markup. For example an integral sign is inserted with \int. The best way to learn LaTeX is by example. Here is a basic LaTeX file:

\documentclass[a4paper,10pt]{article}
\usepackage{amsfonts,amsthm,amsmath,amssymb}
\title{Simple example} 

\begin{document}
\maketitle
 
\section{Quadratic equation}

We want to solve $ax^2+bx+c$.  The solution is
\begin{equation}
  x= \frac{-b\pm \sqrt{b^2 -4ac}}{2a}
\end{equation}

\end{document}

LaTeX commands start with a back slash \. Sometimes they have an argument in curly brackets, e.g \sqrt{b^2-4ac}.

To convert this into a readable document first save it into a file with a .tex extension, e.g. sample.tex. Then you need to process it. If you are using GNU/Linux, see Processing LaTeX with GNU/Linux systems.