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What's a secular timescale?

  1. Apr 22, 2008 #1

    Simfish

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    "act on any time scale from short term, commensurable with the orbit periods to secular (measured in 104 to 106 years)."

    is a sentence with it.

    I can't google up a good definition of "secular" in this context
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 22, 2008 #2

    mgb_phys

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    Secular means non-periodic
    Of course you have to look at an infinite lenght of data before you decide that it isn;t periodic on some longer timescale!

    It's form the original latin secular=age, nothing to do with secular=not religous
     
  4. Apr 23, 2008 #3

    chemisttree

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    I thought it meant "once in an age" or "extremely long period" rather than non-periodic. In this case I think it means "long term" considering it's usage in justaposition to 'short term' in the example sentence.

    See here and here.

    Google "secular orbit" or "secular interaction".
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2008
  5. Apr 23, 2008 #4

    mgb_phys

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    In maths/finance secualr variation means a long term overall trend.
    In astronomy I thought it meant a variation that is doesn't repeat or isn't predictable - like a chaotic orbit.
     
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