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- Thread starter MathewsMD
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SteamKing

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It's rare that a single term is used in the same way across the sciences. For example, the term 'vector' means one thing in mathematics, quite another when talking biology.

In the quadratic formula, the evaluation of the discriminant determines if the roots of the quadratic are 1) real and distinct, 2) real and identical, or 3) complex conjugates.

This is an article which talks about some of the mathematical uses of the term 'discriminant':

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Discriminant

(There's also a discriminant used for conic sections).

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