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A coefficient ((new) lat. Coefficiens / coëfficiens , a noun of the PPA from the lat. Coefficere "participate", formed by Franciscus Vieta ), also known as an initial number or pre- number, is a number or variable added to another arithmetic expression as a factor . The coefficient can be a parameter or a key figure (physics, economics). In analysis it appears in monomials .


In mathematics , a coefficient is a factor that belongs to a specific object such as a variable or a basis vector . Typically, objects and coefficients are indexed in the same order, so expressions like

result, with as the coefficient of the variable for each

Simple example: The coefficient of the term is .

Examples of important mathematical coefficients:


In physics , a coefficient is often, but not always, a quantity in the dimension number that describes a property of certain materials, bodies or systems. In older technical literature, coefficients are also called coefficients . Examples:

Far from every physical constant of the dimension number is called a coefficient. Counterexamples:

Examples of dimensional coefficients:



In stoichiometry , the stoichiometric coefficient indicates in a reaction equation how many particles or moles of a substance react with how many particles or moles of other substances. If the coefficient is 1, it is omitted.

Example ( oxyhydrogen reaction ):
Hydrogen and water have the stoichiometric coefficient 2 because
  • 2 hydrogen molecules react with one oxygen molecule to form 2 water molecules
  • 2 moles of hydrogen react with one mole of oxygen to form 2 moles of water.

Physical chemistry and biochemistry

  • Binding coefficient (synonym coefficient of preferential interaction , English preferential interaction coefficient)


In sporting associations such. B. UEFA also has coefficients which clubs or teams rate based on their previous successes.