The use of English in science.

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Mirror mirror on the wall [closed]

What is meant by mirror-image? Why does my mirror reverse left and right and not top and bottom? How does the mirror "know" which is vertical and which is horizontal? Would an American mirror work in ...
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1answer
35 views

Usage of the abbreviation resp. in scientific writing

Is it a good practice to use the abbreviation resp. for respectively in scientific writing ? Let consider the following sentence as example. "The word size (resp., word length) is defined as the ...
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1answer
27 views

Is the sequence of words “modulus like parameter” meaningful?

Does the sequence of words "modulus like parameter" mean that the involved parameter can be considered as a modulus even though it can be something different in some cases ?
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37 views

Better way to say “A which is called B” in a title

I am writing a scientific paper about computer Shogi. At the end of the title I want to say something like: "...for Japanese Chess Which is Called Shogi" I initial put: "...for Japanese Chess, ...
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30 views

Understanding how to “prevent the mistaking of neutrinos for other phenomena” [migrated]

Neutrinos, perhaps the most abundant subatomic particles (particles smaller than an atom), may be useful in foretelling the universe’s future. Physicists believe that colliding nuclei of hydrogen ...
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1answer
40 views

Words describing constancy

Using only a single word in each case, I'm attempting to describe two different variations involving constancy of a certain attribute: Variation of an object without changing its weight. Variation ...
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2answers
54 views

Can some refer pseudoscience by quasi-science? [closed]

reference link for the difference between pseudo and quasi at pseudo, quasi and semi Thanks to stack exchange [users] for making it clearer. Meanwhile, i found another useful blog defining the terms ...
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2answers
49 views

Usage of 'that much more' in a scientific article

Would it be acceptable to use the phrase "that much more" in the context of a scientific article? Basically, I want to convey this: "The results were obtained doing A. We expect that doing B, taking ...
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1answer
49 views

“time” for instants or durations in science

I am trying to describe the evolution of a motion which is composed of smooth parts called "free flights" and instantaneous impacts. For example, consider a bouncing ball: its motion is a succession ...
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265 views

Is there a hypernym for acidity and basicity?

I was wondering if there was a single word for what the pH scale measures, with no particular bias to either the acidic end (acidity) or basic end (basicity) of the spectrum. From Wikipedia: In ...
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49 views

What is the meaning of the phrase “Signal Advance?”

I posted this question, “Signal Advance”: Unsure of meaning or contextual use, on Biology SE, as the phrase was used in a biology text that I am reading, Recombinant DNA; Genes and Genomes - A Short ...
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34 views

Using '+' and '-' with numbers

The convention for units is to leave a space after the number, for example, 'the average temperature of the human body is 37.0 °C.' But what if I need to explicitly state whether a number is positive ...
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3answers
74 views

What is an antonym for dense in the context of material properties?

I am looking for an antonym for dense in the context of material properties. Specifically, bulk materials which possess negligible porosity, i.e. sound materials. An example usage sentence might be ...
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1answer
119 views

What is the English word used to describe something like m/s or m/s/s ? [closed]

In science, some quantities have units. e.g. Mass (kg) , time (s), distance (m). But what about quantities such as velocity (m/s) and acceleration (m/s/s) whose units are a combination of ...
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2answers
88 views

What is the difference between 'ad hoc' and 'heuristic'? [closed]

In engineering people tend to (at least in my mind) use these two terms pretty loosely. Now I don't care about the informal slang usage of the term, I just wish to know what is the difference in their ...
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2answers
66 views

What is this word in 19th century dictionary? [closed]

I was reading a passage from P. Austin Nuttall's 1869 book, Dictionary of Scientific Terms, and from what it looks like, in both the PDF and Page images views, the word seems to be pseudostella. ...
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68 views

Meteor & Meteorite is to Meteoroid as A & B is to Asteroid?

In astronomy, A meteoroid is what it is called before it enters a planet's atmosphere, A meteor is what it is called after it enters a planet's atmosphere but before it hits the surface, and A ...
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2answers
141 views

Is there a more generic word for “space objects” (not counting human-made or massive objects)?

Basically, objects like Asteroids Meteoroids Meteors Meteorites Comets Etc. As stated in the title, this also doesn't count human-made objects, such as Space junk Satellites, Space stations, ...
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1answer
62 views

Is there a word for “awesomely extremely useful”, used for an idea?

I'm looking for a synonym of useful, with a maximum grateful attitude. It is not a person to be thanked, but an idea. It mostly a breakthrough idea, but breakthrough is not what I'm looking for. I ...
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1answer
46 views

Italic format usage [duplicate]

When I was reading some articles, I noticed that they use the italic format for some words. Could you please tell me when I have to use it ? Also, sometimes they used the quotation marks “…” and ...
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3answers
132 views

Etymology of “cluster analysis” – why “cluster”?

I'm trying to track down the origins of the word "cluster" and its usage in the context of cluster analysis. Please, does anyone know when and by whom it was first used? Perhaps there was a paper or ...
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2answers
35 views

Specifying notation with introductory clauses

When writing technical papers I often write sentences like: Where m denotes the proper mass of an object and c denotes the speed of light, the object's rest energy is given by E=mc2. However I ...
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68 views

Present Perfect Progressive in scientific writing?

Scientific writing is generally supposed to be written in present tense (focus on proof of the existence of the result, not how the author arrived at it). However, I have a case where this results in ...
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1answer
59 views

Periodical change of quantities from zero to a specific value

I need to find a word which will describe the periodic change of a quantity from zero to a positive value. I explicitly need to differentiate this word or expression from the periodic change of the ...
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29 views

Intricate example of usage of word “respectively”

I am uncertain about the most appropriate location of the word "respectively" in the following example. Please note that models M2 and M3 are referring to the two models in which condition A was ...
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1answer
82 views

“will be …” vs. “are presented in section …” (tenses in scientific writing)

I'm writing my bachelor thesis in English in a German language environment so I was unable to get help from my supervisor on language related questions (neither of the languages is my first language). ...
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64 views

Plural of “Mechanism of Action”

I'm trying to determine the plural form of the scientific term "Mechanism of Action". I'm pretty sure the answer is, "Mechanisms of Action", but the term "Mechanisms of Actions" is disturbingly ...
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218 views

General technical term that uncontroversially encompasses both bacteria and viruses

We can speak of "microbes" or "micro-organisms," and I used to think that these terms clearly included viruses. And they are used this way by at least some other people; here's a website that refers ...
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70 views

Transmit Power vs. Transmission Power, is there a difference [closed]

I was reading a scientific paper, and the authors sometimes use the term "transmit power" and sometimes "transmission power". Is there a difference in terms of correct English usage? Examples: ...
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3answers
554 views

How do you explain cubic growth of a function

When reading scientific papers I have seen people explain the growth of a variable linearly, exponentially. However how would one say for a variable which grows in quadratic fashion, or cubic? I ...
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1answer
109 views

Referring to figures other than with “as depicted in” [closed]

I’m currently writing my first English scientific paper and am repeatedly using as depicted in when referring to a figure or table in the text. Can you tell me some alternatives to that phrase?
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113 views

A word for evidence used to tell if someone has been in your room

I know there's an actual word for this. I used to know the word, but I've lost it. The word describes a category of methods that someone uses to detect if someone has been in a room, or opened a ...
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33 views

What is the scientific name to humour that is based on surprise [duplicate]

I remember browsing through Wikipedia one day, and coming across an article defining surprise-based humour. The article had a very specific scientific name, which doesn't have the actual word ...
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1answer
174 views

Difference between Paper and Article for scientific writings

As I know, in most of situations (in scientific context) these two terms are used to point to same thing and even they are used interchangeably. For example, Theory of value with public goods: A ...
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1answer
312 views

What do “source” and “sink” mean? [closed]

I do not understand "source" and "sink" in the following passage. I tried to look up a dictionary and google translate but it is not clear. Could anyone explain it for me? the passage: This ...
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1answer
210 views

Words for ordinal 5-point scale from normal to severe

What are good words for a five-point ordinal scale? The scale should represent increasing severity of disease, where 1 is normal and 5 is severe. I thought of the following words (with their value in ...
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3answers
375 views

Grammar - Scientific English (Physics) [duplicate]

I have a question about scientific English. I wonder when to use the article "the" when you refer to a physical quantity or to a formula. I promise that I have looked into so many manuals, but I am ...
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2answers
43 views

Instantiate a Video Player?

I am writing a technical report where a number of video players are being loaded on a webpage. Is it correct to say, "Instantiate a video player on the web page," or just, "Load a video player on the ...
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6answers
183 views

In science writing, what to call the body in relation to the brain?

The word "body" is problematic when writing about the brain. Look at these two sentences: "The brain sends signals to the body." "The brain is an organ in the body." The first sentence considers ...
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1answer
55 views

Correct use of expressing unit

Which one is correct to use: mmHg or mm Hg? Should it be closed up, spaced out or both are acceptable? The AMA manual has both instances. For example, "The trial compared outcomes associated with ...
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2answers
110 views

Which words define the broad meaning of the following (scientific research-related) sentences?

Background: I'm writing my master's degree dissertation on electrical engineering, related do electroporation, and I'm trying to define broad meanings for some possible approaches to the ...
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67 views

Use of “just” in technical writing as an adverb for location

I am editing a friend's scientific manuscript, which will ultimately be submitted to a biological journal. He uses "just" as an adverb to describe a location (emphasis added by me), e.g., The ...
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32 views

What a figure and an equation can (and cannot) make

A while back I had a list of things that a figure can and cannot make in a scientific paper. I got it from somewhere (maybe a book) and eventually lost it. I would ask for the community's help to ...
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2answers
138 views

Infiltration & Neoplasia

I'm working on/reading a scientific article about the use and effects of Corticosteroid or Ketorolac on rabbit tendons and I got stuck at infiltration in the following excerpts: "Despite the ...
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2answers
81 views

Best way to describe a decrease in time taken?

I have written an algorithm that greatly improves the computation time for a particular problem, but I am divided on how to best describe this in writing. As a rough guide, a process that previously ...
2
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1answer
154 views

How to describe a confusion matrix correctly

In computer science, we a use a thing called confusion matrix for reporting results from supervised machine learning algorithms. It looks like this The image was taken from here. I would like to ...
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1answer
206 views

Using the word “guess” in a scientific paper [closed]

I wonder if one can use the word guess in a scientific paper in the following context: "... to provide the best guess on answer response time ..." Would the usage of prediction or estimate be more ...
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2answers
181 views

What are the capitalization rules for in-document references in scientific papers? [closed]

In scientific writing, should I capitalize in-document references? Which of the following is correct or more widely used? For more detail, see Section 4.1. For more detail, see section 4.1. Are ...
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1answer
61 views

Parse a sentence (from Ratcliff 1990 paper)

A little background: this paper concerns forgetting in neural networks (a computer science concept). The word "activation" might mean the activation (=output) of neuron(s), but since I cannot parse ...
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48 views

Should a definite article be used when referring to a line of an algorithm

In scientific articles an article is usually omitted when referring to figures, tables, etc. and a capital letter is used. For example I would state: "The data are shown in Figure 1." I have an ...