I would like to use subscripted notation such as $\sigma_x$ as identifiers for use as variables. In this example I am using the Pauli Matrices so that I would use notation such as: $$ \sigma_x = \{\{0,1\},\{1,0\}\} $$ However, when defining the expression, two variables or identifiers are defined in my current context. Using the Names function for the context I would find that the two identifiers $\sigma$ and $x$ are both individually defined but the identifier symbol $\sigma_x$ is not defined.

How do I prevent the individual definition of the $\sigma$ and $x$ and force the definition of the ONE subscripted identifier $\sigma_x$?


1 Answer 1


You could try using [x] instead of subscript-x:

Clear[σ, x];
σ[x] := {{0,1},{1,0}};
{σ, x, σ[x]}

It's not as elegant as a subscript, but it works. Just be sure not to define 'x' elsewhere!


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