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What are the best words of science?

  1. Jan 16, 2014 #1
    Hey all, I'm just kicking back next to a lake with a line in the water- solar powered internet rocks. Tipping back a few beers towards the sunset, tipsy-haspy waiting for a strike... and wondered what peoples' favorite words of science might be?

    Parallax for me, that's a cool word. Solid concept; easy to remember cause it rolls off the tongue like hopping across a creek. But saying quark... that word makes me go, 'hmmm, that's a stupid sounding word.'

    I tried earnestly to describe what a superfluid was to a friend, but she couldn't stop laughing. The word will never be the same.

    Condensate, that's a cool word too. There just went a flock of geese, on their migration south in a V formation cause they can feel the vorticis.
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2014
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  3. Jan 16, 2014 #2

    dlgoff

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    "Set" ... the hook.
     
  4. Jan 16, 2014 #3
    check the 'drag'...
     
  5. Jan 16, 2014 #4

    dlgoff

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    Will you be needing "Heat Transfer" ... in a skillet?
     
  6. Jan 16, 2014 #5

    lisab

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    Oh so many.

    Lenticular.
    Microscopy.
    Spectrophotometer.
    Quark.
    Neutrino.
     
  7. Jan 16, 2014 #6

    collinsmark

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    Hmmm. Let me think. Recently I've taken a liking to the word virialization (as how it applies to dark matter and the virial theorem).

    Spaghettification is always a good one. Ya' can't go wrong with that.

    I wonder if that that was the intended purpose. It could be. Murray Gell-Mann coined the term "quark" as applied to subatomic particles. But Murray Gell-Mann didn't invent the word itself, per-se. He got it from a literary work called Finnegans Wake by James Joyce.
    Three quarks for Muster Mark!
    Sure he hasn't got much of a bark
    And sure any he has it's all beside the mark.​
    If there's one thing to know about Finnegans Wake its that the book has a slew of "made up" words and phrases that nobody truly comprehends (outside the mind of Joyce, perhaps).
     
  8. Jan 16, 2014 #7

    lisab

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    Barn.
     
  9. Jan 16, 2014 #8
    Joyce-give or take, back and forth, up or down; strange and charmed sounds pretty cool.
     
  10. Jan 16, 2014 #9

    collinsmark

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    I had to look that one up. I love it! :!!)

    A barn is a unit of area defined as 10-28 square meters.
    The etymology of the unit barn is whimsical: during wartime research on the atomic bomb, American physicists at Purdue University who were deflecting neutrons off uranium nuclei (similar to Rutherford scattering) described the uranium nucleus as "big as a barn". Physicists working on the project adopted the name "barn" for a unit equal to 10−24 square centimetres. Initially they hoped the American slang name would obscure any reference to the study of nuclear structure; eventually, the word became a standard unit in particle physics.​
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barn_%28unit%29
     
  11. Jan 16, 2014 #10

    Pythagorean

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    Abiogenesis
    Spatiotemporal
     
  12. Jan 16, 2014 #11
    Abiogenesis is a cool word.

    I also like these:
    Equinox
    Luminosity
    Flux
    Albedo
     
  13. Jan 16, 2014 #12

    jtbell

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    I like the "mho" as the unit of conductance (inverse of the "ohm" as the unit of resistance).

    And in particle physics we talk about "flavo(u)rs" of fundamental particles (electron / muon / tau for leptons, or up / strange / top for quarks).
     
  14. Jan 16, 2014 #13
    I've always been a fan of "positron".

    And I heard "tachyon" somewhere, but I can't remember if it's a real thing or not, regardless, cool sounding.


    I had never heard of "barn" as it was referenced above. That is awesome.
     
  15. Jan 16, 2014 #14
    parsecs :biggrin:
     
  16. Jan 16, 2014 #15
    of the aforementioned I also like parallax, neutrino, positron, quark. Muon is pretty cool too.
     
  17. Jan 17, 2014 #16

    Student100

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    Colonoscopy, it just sounds cringe worthy by its own right.
     
  18. Jan 17, 2014 #17
    Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis.
     
  19. Jan 17, 2014 #18

    Curious3141

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    Pseudopseudohypoparathyroidism.

    Yes, it's a real thing, and there's no typo! One of the longest words in the English language belongs to medical science. :biggrin:

    (Oh, and although Enigman's word is even longer and also refers to a medical condition, it's often considered to be purposefully contrived to be as long as possible. It's basically just a verbose expression for silicosis. Whereas the word I gave was coined more "naturally").
     
  20. Jan 17, 2014 #19

    epenguin

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    Input, output, feedback, signal/noise. All I think 20th century to-the-point coinages with an American sound.

    Ones I hate are those coming from silly 'in' jokes. Amber mutants, Northern blots, Western blots, buckyballs. :yuck:

    Mho is borderline.
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2014
  21. Jan 17, 2014 #20
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