1. ## "Maps to"

Wasn't sure where to put this, but what is the difference between the symbols $\displaystyle \mapsto$ and $\displaystyle \rightarrow$ ? I have seen the former a few times, and it seems to be in a similar context to the lattter, but is there actually a difference?

2. In all texts I've read, I've only seen the latter used. I can't clear things up really, just wanted to tell you that. I wouldn't be surprised if they meant the same thing and I wouldn't be surprised if they were very different. That's math for you

3. Hello,

Usually, we can see the two used at the same time in this type of things :

$\displaystyle f(x)=x^2$ can be written this way :

\displaystyle \begin{aligned} f ~:~ & \mathbb{R} & \to & ~\mathbb{N} \hfill \\ & x & \mapsto & ~x^2 \hfill \end{aligned}

The $\displaystyle \to$ is to define the domains, in which range does the domain "maps to"
The $\displaystyle \mapsto$ is to define by which value a number will be associated. "maps to" too.

All the time I've seen the two, $\displaystyle \to$ was used for the domain/range and $\displaystyle \mapsto$ was used for associating a value to a number.

I don't know if you can see the difference with this example... ?

4. Yeh thanks Moo, I can see the difference between the two. Although looking through some peoples use of them on this forum, they seem to just use them interchangeably. I guess \mapsto is quicker to write than \rightarrow.