What are the best words of science?

  • #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.
 
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  • #2
dlgoff
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"Set" ... the hook.
 
  • #3
check the 'drag'...
 
  • #4
dlgoff
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Will you be needing "Heat Transfer" ... in a skillet?
 
  • #5
lisab
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Oh so many.

Lenticular.
Microscopy.
Spectrophotometer.
Quark.
Neutrino.
 
  • #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.

But saying quark... that word makes me go, 'hmmm, that's a stupid sounding word.'
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).
 
  • #7
lisab
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Barn.
 
  • #8
Joyce-give or take, back and forth, up or down; strange and charmed sounds pretty cool.
 
  • #9
collinsmark
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Barn.
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
 
  • #10
Pythagorean
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Abiogenesis
Spatiotemporal
 
  • #11
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Abiogenesis is a cool word.

I also like these:
Equinox
Luminosity
Flux
Albedo
 
  • #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).
 
  • #13
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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.
 
  • #14
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parsecs :biggrin:
 
  • #15
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of the aforementioned I also like parallax, neutrino, positron, quark. Muon is pretty cool too.
 
  • #16
Student100
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Colonoscopy, it just sounds cringe worthy by its own right.
 
  • #17
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Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis.
 
  • #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").
 
  • #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.
 
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  • #21
Evo
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"ooops"
 
  • #23
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I'd have to go with Neutrinos or Plutinos because they sound like cute cuddly things :thumbs:
 
  • #24
dlgoff
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How about synthetic elements. e.g. Einsteinium
 
  • #25
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how about

gluon
szyzygy
theorem 90

topology has some colourful names for things like
ham sandwich theorem
taxi cab metric
 

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