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Bravus

The Glossary

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Bravus

In this forum, new terms tend to get used fairly frequently. The dictionary offers some help, and the web some more, but sometimes a friendly definition can be useful.

I've made this a 'sticky' topic that will stay at the top of the forum. If you find an unfamiliar new word, post it here and someone will make an attempt at defining or explaining it.

This is *not* the thread for debates about the meaning of terminology, and I'll moderate it that way.

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teresaq

Well now if that isn't prompt service. Thank you most kindly sir. :)

Perhaps threads could be started on individual terms when needed for the more denser among us - me.

Then indexed, :) I'm an organizer at heart. I spend more time organizing my stuff then actually doing anything with it. LOL

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Bravus

In this instance GR = General Relativity - Einstein's great theory of gravity and space-time.

FF = First Flash, John Sanders' interesting but so far unique-to-him theory addressing some of the same things.

And yeah, that's a very useful site, although like a lot of physics sites it often has to go to a high level of explanation that assumes a lot, and can be tough for non-specialists.

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teresaq

Thanks. :)

And regarding the site I had googled something which led me there and if one asks they will break it down. It was fairly comprehensible to me. Otherwise in skipping around it was pretty much "up there". Basically it is not for graduates but students at various levels if my impression be correct.

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John C Sanders

The phase velocity of a wave is the rate at which the phase of the wave propagates in space. This is the speed at which the phase of any one frequency component of the wave travels. For such a component, any given phase of the wave (for example, the crest) will appear to travel at the phase velocity.

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

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teresaq

Knowing what "phase" means in general I think I got you. But I'll check out the wik. Thanks. Looks like I'm going to be learning subjects I never considered studying. Good thing I like math. :)

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John C Sanders

It gets pretty complicated but the wiki animation gives a good example to study from.

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teresaq

If I had thought about it long enough I would have had an idea of what the term meant since I know what "phase" means and I know what "velocity" means. I realized that after I read your definition. :)

While I wouldn't have the exact picture -which I think comes with study and time - I would have the idea.

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John C Sanders

I noticed in one of my rather large physics books, that frequency "v" times wavelength "lambda symbol" equaled wave speed.

This is the same formula for phase velocity, so I guess I could just say that phase velocity is the same thing a the speed of a wave.

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teresaq

Quote:
You probably explained somewhere but what is planck mass and planck scale?

These are the smallest possible mass and scale before we cross over into quantum world where these things get fuzzy.

As in subatomic components, what make up the atom, since the atom is no longer the smallest it can get?

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John C Sanders

The answer to this question isn't simple.

wikipedia

Quote:
In physics, Planck units are physical units of measurement defined exclusively in terms of five universal physical constants listed below, in such a manner that these five physical constants take on the numerical value of 1 when expressed in terms of these units. Planck units elegantly simplify particular algebraic expressions appearing in physical law. Originally proposed in 1899 by German physicist Max Planck, these units are also known as natural units because the origin of their definition comes only from properties of nature and not from any human construct. Planck units are only one system of natural units among other systems, but are considered unique in that these units are not based on properties of any prototype object, or particle (that would be arbitrarily chosen) but are based only on properties of free space. The constants that Planck units, by definition, normalize to 1 are the:

Gravitational constant, G;

Reduced Planck constant, ħ;

Speed of light in a vacuum, c;

Coulomb constant, (sometimes ke or k);

Boltzmann constant, kB (sometimes k).

Each of these constants can be associated with at least one fundamental physical theory: c with special relativity, G with general relativity and Newtonian gravity, ħ with quantum mechanics, ε0 with electrostatics, and kB with statistical mechanics and thermodynamics. Planck units have profound significance for theoretical physics since they simplify several recurring algebraic expressions of physical law by nondimensionalization. They are particularly relevant in research on unified theories such as quantum gravity.

Planck units may sometimes be semi-humorously referred to by physicists as "God's units". They eliminate anthropocentric arbitrariness from the system of units: some physicists argue that communication with extraterrestrial intelligence would have to use such a system of units to make common reference to scale.[1] Unlike the meter and second, which exist as fundamental units in the SI system for historical reasons (in human history), the Planck length and Planck time are conceptually linked at a fundamental physical level.

Planck units are defined via universal constants.

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Bravus

I suspect that may be a little deeper than you were looking for, Teresa...

Within the atom there are protons and neutrons (in the nucleus) and electrons orbiting the nucleus. That's the first level smaller than the atom.

If we go below that and ask what makes up those particles, the answer is 'quarks'.

These particles only exist independently in extreme conditions like those in the early universe or inside the Large Hadron Collider. There are 6 different 'flavors' of quarks that combine in different ways to make the protons, neutrons and electrons, as well as a whole 'zoo' of more exotic types of particles.

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teresaq

Yes, that was going to take me some studying but I appreciate his intent. :)

OK. So we just keep finding smaller and smaller...

What an amazing God! What an imagination!

And thanks to both of you.

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John C Sanders

Sorry about that. I did get too technical. Bravus did an awesome job explaining the smaller scales of things.

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teresaq

That's perfectly alright. From my understanding of the brain it needs exercise every bit as much as our bodies do. From my experience, I will eventually comprehend it. It seems like the subconscious goes to work and the next time I read it I will understand more.

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