**Symmetric difference of two sets :**

Symmetric difference is one of the important operations on sets

Let us discuss this operation in detail.

Let X and Y be two sets.

Now, we can define the following new set.

**X Δ Y = (X \ Y) u (Y \ X)**

X Δ Y is read as "X symmetric difference Y"

Now that X Δ Y contains all elements in X u Y which are not in X n Y and the figure given below illustrates this. .

Example :

Let A = { 1, 3, 5, 6 }, B = { 0, 5, 6, 7 }, find A Δ B.

Solution :

A \ B = { 1, 3, 5, 6 } \ { 0, 5, 6, 7 } = { 1, 3 }

B \ A = { 0, 5, 6, 7 } \ { 1, 3, 5, 6 } = { 0, 7 }

A Δ B = (A \ B) u (B \ A)

A Δ B = { 1, 3 } u { 0, 7 }

A Δ B = { 1, 3, 0, 7 }

Apart from the operation symmetric difference on sets, we have some other important operations on sets.

When two or more sets are combined together to form another set under some given conditions, then these operations on sets are carried out.

**Let us discuss the other important operations here:**

The other important operations on sets are.

1. Union

2. Intersection

3. Set difference

4. Complement

5. Disjoint sets

Let us discuss the above operations in detail one by one.

Let X and Y be two sets.

Now, we can define the following new set.

**X u Y = {z | z ∈ X or z ∈ Y}**

(That is, z may be in X or in Y or in both X and Y)

X u Y is read as "X union Y"

Now that X u Y contains all the elements of X and all the elements of Y and the figure given below illustrates this.

It is clear that X ⊆ X u Y and also Y ⊆ X u Y

Let X and Y be two sets.

Now, we can define the following new set.

**X n Y = {z | z ∈ X and z ∈ Y}**

(That is z must be in both X and Y)

X n Y is read as "X intersection Y"

Now that X n Y contains only those elements which belong to both X and Y and the figure given below illustrates this.

It is trivial that that X n Y ⊆ X and also X n Y ⊆ Y

Let X and Y be two sets.

Now, we can define the following new set.

**X \ Y = {z | z ∈ X but z ∉ Y}**

(That is z must be in X and must not be in Y)

X \ Y is read as "X difference Y"

Now that X \ Y contains only elements of X which are not in Y and the figure given below illustrates this.

Some authors use A - B for A \ B. We shall use the notation A \ B which is widely used in mathematics for set difference.

If X ⊆ U, where U is a universal set, then U \ X is called the compliment of X with respect to U. If underlying universal set is fixed, then we denote U \ X by X' and it is called compliment of X.

**X' = U \ X **

The difference set set A \ B can also be viewed as the compliment of B with respect to A.

Two sets X and Y are said to be disjoint if they do not have any common element. That is, X and Y are disjoint if

** X n Y =** ᵩ

It is clear that n(A u B) = n(A) + n(B), if A and B are disjoint finite set.

After having gone through the stuff given above, we hope that the students would have understood "Symmetric difference of two sets".

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