The Mathematical Symbol "Contour Integral (∮)"

The ∮ Symbol in Mathematics: Contour Integral

Advanced mathematics is teeming with specialized symbols, each encapsulating intricate ideas and concepts. A notable representation in the realm of complex analysis is the ∮ symbol, indicative of the "Contour Integral". This article aims to demystify its significance, punctuated by pertinent examples.


The ∮ symbol is primarily employed in complex analysis and denotes integration over a path (or contour) in the complex plane. Rather than the standard integration over an interval, as seen in real-variable calculus, contour integration deals with functions of a complex variable and integrates them over curves in the complex plane.


  • Example 1: Evaluating a simple contour integral:
    \( ∮_C z \, dz \)
    where \( C \) represents a specific contour in the complex plane, and \( z \) is a complex variable.
  • Example 2: In the study of residues and poles in complex analysis:
    \( ∮_C \frac{f(z)}{z - z_0} \, dz \)
    This kind of integral is crucial for calculating residues at singularities \( z_0 \), and the contour \( C \) usually encircles the singularity.

To conclude, the ∮ symbol illuminates an advanced facet of mathematics, specifically complex analysis. Understanding contour integrals and their applications, such as in evaluating integrals in real-variable calculus or in solving certain differential equations, provides a gateway into deeper mathematical insights.

Mathematical symbol 'Contour Integral'

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Codes for the ∮ Symbol

The Symbol
Alt CodeAlt 8750
HTML Code∮
HTML Entity∮
CSS Code\222E
Hex Code∮

How To Insert the ∮ Symbol

(Method 1) Copy and paste the symbol.

The easiest way to get the ∮ symbol is to copy and paste it into your document.

Bear in mind that this is a UTF-8 encoded character. It must be encoded as UTF-8 at all stages (copying, replacing, editing, pasting), otherwise it will render as random characters or the dreaded �.

(Method 2) Use the "Alt Code."

If you have a keyboard with a numeric pad, you can use this method. Simply hold down the Alt key and type 8750. When you lift the Alt key, the symbol appears. ("Num Lock" must be on.)

(Method 3) Use the HTML Decimal Code (for webpages).

HTML TextOutput
<b>My symbol: &#8750;</b>My symbol: ∮

(Method 4) Use the HTML Entity Code (for webpages).

HTML TextOutput
<b>My symbol: &conint;</b>My symbol: ∮

(Method 5) Use the CSS Code (for webpages).

CSS and HTML TextOutput
span:after {
content: "\222E";}
<span>My symbol:</span>
My symbol: ∮

(Method 6) Use the HTML Hex Code (for webpages and HTML canvas).

HTML TextOutput
<b>My symbol: &#x222E;</b>My symbol: ∮
On the assumption that you already have your canvas and the context set up, use the Hex code in the format 0x222E to place the ∮ symbol on your canvas. For example:
JavaScript Text
const x = "0x"+"E9"
ctx.fillText(String.fromCodePoint(x), 5, 5);

(Method 7) Use the Unicode (for various, e.g. Microsoft Office, JavaScript, Perl).

The Unicode for ∮ is U+222E. The important part is the hexadecimal number after the U+, which is used in various formats. For example, in Microsoft Office applications (e.g. Word, PowerPoint), do the following:
[Hold down Alt]
[Press x]

(The 222E turns into ∮. Note that you can omit any leading zeros.)
In JavaScript, the syntax is \uXXXX. So, our example would be \u222E. (Note that the format is 4 hexadecimal characters.)
JavaScript TextOutput
let str = "\u222E"
document.write("My symbol: " + str)
My symbol: ∮