In science, a formula is a concise way of expressing information symbolically, as in a mathematical formula or a chemical formula. The informal use of the terminology formula in science refers to the general construct of a relationship between given quantities.
The plural of formula can be either formulas (from the most common English plural noun form) or, under the influence of scientific Latin, formulae (from the original Latin).
Having obtained this result, the volume of any sphere can be computed as long as its radius is known. Here, notice that the volume V and the radius r are expressed as single letters instead of words or phrases. This convention, while less important in a relatively simple formula, means that mathematicians can more quickly manipulate formulas which are larger and more complex. Mathematical formulas are often algebraic, analytical or in closed form.
In a general context, formulas often represent mathematical models of real world phenomena, and as such can be used to provide solutions (or approximate solutions) to real world problems, with some being more general than others. For example, the formula
is an expression of Newton's second law, and is applicable to a wide range of physical situations. Other formulas, such as the use of the equation of a sine curve to model the Tidal movement in a bay, may be created to solve a particular problem. In all cases, however, formulas form the basis for calculations.
Expressions are distinct from formulas in the sense that they don't usually contain relations like equality (=) or inequality (<). Expressions denote a mathematical object, where as formulas denote a statement about mathematical objects.
However, in some areas mathematics, and in particular in computer algebra, formulas are viewed as expressions that can be evaluated to Logical truth or false, depending on the values that are given to the variables occurring in the expressions. For example $8x5\; \backslash geq\; 3$ takes the value false if is given a value less than 1, and the value true otherwise. (See Boolean expression)
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A chemical formula identifies each constituent chemical element by its chemical symbol, and indicates the proportionate number of atoms of each element.
In empirical formulas, these proportions begin with a key element and then assign numbers of atoms of the other elements in the compound—as ratios to the key element. For molecular compounds, these ratio numbers can always be expressed as whole numbers. For example, the empirical formula of ethanol may be written C_{2}H_{6}O, because the molecules of ethanol all contain two carbon atoms, six hydrogen atoms, and one oxygen atom. Some types of ionic compounds, however, cannot be written as empirical formulas which contains only the whole numbers. An example is boron carbide, whose formula of CB_{n} is a variable nonwhole number ratio, with n ranging from over 4 to more than 6.5.
When the chemical compound of the formula consists of simple , chemical formulas often employ ways to suggest the structure of the molecule. There are several types of these formulas, including molecular formulas and condensed formulas. A molecular formula enumerates the number of atoms to reflect those in the molecule, so that the molecular formula for glucose is C_{6}H_{12}O_{6} rather than the glucose empirical formula, which is CH_{2}O. Except for the very simple substances, molecular chemical formulas generally lack needed structural information, and might even be ambiguous in occasions.
A structural formula is a drawing that shows the location of each atom, and which atoms it binds to.
In computer spreadsheet software, a formula indicating how to compute the value of a cell reference, say A3, could be written as
where A1 and A2 refer to other cells (column A, row 1 or 2) within the spreadsheet. This is a shortcut for the "paper" form A3 = A1+A2, where A3 is, by convention, omitted because the result is always stored in the cell itself, making the stating of the name redundant.
An example of a formula used in science is Boltzmann's entropy formula. In statistical thermodynamics, it is a probability equation relating the entropy S of an ideal gas to the quantity W, which is the number of microstates corresponding to a given macrostate:

