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I have in my quantum physics lab report

The system cannot disturb the function of the device.

but my friend proposes

The system cannot disturb the functioning of the device.

I think the latter one is broader than the former, involving whether the system is working or not, while the former involves just one function.

I mean in this example sentence that the main purpose of the system cannot be disturbed i.e. its main function.

Which is correct here, "function" or "functioning"?

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While the second one is broader, the first one, in its given form, is not very specific either.

If it can be rephrased to include that single function which you do not want to disturb, then, it will be more apt. Something like:

The system cannot disturb the camera function of the device.

If system cannot disturb any function of the device, then, suggestion of your friend seems more apt.

  • The system is just a detector. There is only one function, I think. The function is detecting i.e. a detector. Detecting function does not sound good, neither measuring function. Probably, the recording function of the detector. What do you think? – Léo Léopold Hertz 준영 Nov 17 '15 at 10:56
  • Possible "functioning of the detector" vs "recording function of the detector". The data is measured only for direct output so nothing is stored. I think the verb "record" does not consider how the data is transmitted for the next phase. – Léo Léopold Hertz 준영 Nov 17 '15 at 11:00
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    Now it seems The system cannot disturb the functioning of the device. is better as it is simpler to understand – Wand Maker Nov 17 '15 at 11:12

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