# Tau vs. Pau — What's the Difference?

By Fiza Rafique & Maham Liaqat — Updated on April 9, 2024
Tau is a Greek letter used in mathematics, while Pau is a term with several meanings, depending on the context.

## Key Differences

Tau is the 19th letter of the Greek alphabet, symbolized as τ in the Greek numerical system and mathematics, representing various concepts such as torque and time constants. Whereas Pau can refer to a city in France, a break or pause in music or speech, or bread in several Asian cuisines.
Tau is used in mathematical and scientific equations, notably in physics for representing the ratio of a circle's circumference to its radius, popularized as an alternative to pi (π). Pau, in its culinary context, refers to a type of steamed bun or bread, common in Asian cuisine, especially in Chinese and Hawaiian dishes.
In the Greek numerical system, Tau represents the number 300. On the other hand, Pau as a city in France is known for its beautiful boulevards and views of the Pyrenees.
The symbol Tau is often used in academic and research contexts to represent specific constants or variables in formulas. Pau, when used to denote a pause in music or speech, emphasizes a moment of silence or break for effect.
In coding and programming, Tau might be used as a variable name in algorithms, especially those involving mathematical calculations. Meanwhile, Pau as a term does not have a standard application in technical or scientific disciplines but can be found in cultural references, particularly related to food or geographical locations.

## Comparison Chart

### Meaning

19th letter of the Greek alphabet, used in math and science.
Can mean a city in France, a pause, or a type of bread, depending on context.

### Context

Mathematics, Physics
Geography, Music, Culinary

τ
Not applicable

### Usage

Represents various concepts such as torque or time constants.
Refers to a geographical location, a moment of silence, or culinary items.

### Numerical Value

300 in Greek numerical system
Not applicable

## Compare with Definitions

#### Tau

Greek Alphabet.
In the Greek alphabet, Tau (τ) is the 19th letter.

#### Pau

Break or Pause.
The meeting had a short pau for coffee.

#### Tau

Mathematics.
Tau is used to represent the ratio of a circle's circumference to its radius.

#### Pau

City in France.
Pau is known for its stunning views of the Pyrenees.

#### Tau

Symbolic Representation.
In equations, τ often represents torque or shear stress.

#### Pau

Culinary Term.
Pau refers to a type of steamed bun popular in Asian cuisine.

#### Tau

Numerical Value.
Tau has a numerical value of 300 in the Greek numeral system.

#### Pau

In Hawaii, pau is a type of Portuguese sweet bread.

#### Tau

Physics.
Tau particles are a type of lepton in particle physics.

#### Pau

Musical Pause.
A pau in music indicates a brief pause or break.

#### Tau

Tau (uppercase Τ, lowercase τ; Greek: ταυ [taf]) is the 19th letter of the Greek alphabet. In the system of Greek numerals it has a value of 300.

#### Pau

All done or gone; finished
Unfortunately, my money is pau.

#### Tau

The 19th letter of the Greek alphabet. See Table at alphabet.

#### Pau

(Hawaii) done; over; finished

#### Tau

The letter Τ/τ in the Greek, Hebrew, and ancient Semitic alphabets; being the nineteenth letter of the Classical and Modern Greek, and the twenty-first letter of the Old and Ancient Greek alphabets.

#### Pau

Baozi; Chinese steamed buns with filling

#### Tau

A Τ-shaped object or sign; a Saint Anthony's cross, sometimes regarded as a sacred symbol.

See Pah.

#### Tau

(Christianity) A crosier with a Τ-shaped head.

#### Tau

The ankh symbol (☥).
Crux ansata

#### Tau

(astronomy) Chiefly written τ: used to designate the nineteenth star (usually according to brightness) in a constellation.

#### Tau

(finance) A measurement of the sensitivity of the value of an option to changes in the implied volatility of the price of the underlying asset.

#### Tau

Chiefly written τ: an irrational and transcendental constant representing the ratio of the circumference of a Euclidean circle to its radius, equal to twice the value of pi (2π; approximately 6.2831853071).

#### Tau

(neurology) Parkinson's diseases]]

#### Tau

(particle) Chiefly written τ.

#### Tau

Or tau particle (“an unstable elementary particle which is a type of lepton, having a mass almost twice that of a proton, a negative charge, and a spin of ½; it decays into hadrons (usually pions) or other leptons, and neutrinos; a tauon”).

#### Tau

(historical) nodot=1, now known as a kaon.

#### Tau

The nineteenth letter (

#### Tau

The common American toadfish; - so called from a marking resembling the Greek letter tau (

#### Tau

The 19th letter of the Greek alphabet

## Common Curiosities

#### What does Pau mean?

Pau can refer to a city in France, a pause in music, or a type of bread, depending on the context.

#### How is Tau used in mathematics?

In mathematics, Tau is used to represent the ratio of a circle's circumference to its radius and other concepts.

#### What is Pau known for in culinary terms?

In culinary terms, Pau is known as a type of steamed bun or bread in Asian cuisine.

#### What is Tau?

Tau is the 19th letter of the Greek alphabet, used in various scientific and mathematical contexts.

#### Is Tau related to Pi?

Yes, Tau is related to Pi and is proposed as an alternative to represent the circle constant, being twice the value of Pi.

#### Can Pau mean a pause in music?

Yes, Pau can mean a pause or break in music or speech.

#### Is Pau a city in France?

Yes, Pau is a city in France known for its views of the Pyrenees.

#### What is the numerical value of Tau in the Greek numerical system?

The numerical value of Tau in the Greek numerical system is 300.

#### Can Pau be used to indicate a break in activities?

Yes, Pau can also indicate a brief break or pause in activities.

#### How is Tau symbolized?

Tau is symbolized by the Greek letter τ.

#### What kind of food is Pau associated with?

Pau is associated with a type of steamed bun in Asian cuisine and Portuguese sweet bread in Hawaii.

#### Does Tau have applications in physics?

Yes, Tau has applications in physics, such as representing time constants and in particle physics.

#### Is Tau used outside of mathematics and science?

Tau is primarily used in mathematics and science, with limited use outside these fields.

#### What is the significance of Tau in coding?

In coding, Tau might be used as a variable name in mathematical calculations and algorithms.

#### What does a musical Pau signify?

A musical Pau signifies a brief pause or break in the performance for effect.

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## Author Spotlight

Written by
Fiza Rafique
Fiza Rafique is a skilled content writer at AskDifference.com, where she meticulously refines and enhances written pieces. Drawing from her vast editorial expertise, Fiza ensures clarity, accuracy, and precision in every article. Passionate about language, she continually seeks to elevate the quality of content for readers worldwide.
Co-written by
Maham Liaqat