LaTeX is in **math mode** when processing mathematical formulas. In that mode, LaTeX ignores all whitespace in your input text, and inserts its own whitespace where it sees fit.

In a wiki, math mode is entered by way of the `<math> ... </math>`

tags.

In a LaTeX text file, math mode is entered if any of the math environments, such as math, displaymath, and equation are entered by the \begin command.