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Which of the following is preferred in scientific writing?

The resulting function is is called the Bragg curve, after British physicist William Henry Bragg.

or

The resulting function is is called the Bragg curve, after the British physicist William Henry Bragg.

Google has much more hits for the second version, but the first one sounds better to me (as a non-native english speaker).

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Both are fine. British physicist W.H.B uses a restrictive appositive, and in such cases the definite article is often dropped.

It is dropped because it usually doesn't add much, if anything. Consider:

  • The foo parameter and the bar parameter of the function toto take integer values.

  • The foo and bar parameters of the function toto take integer values.

  • Parameters foo and bar of function toto take integer values.

  • The foo table has the columns toto and titi.

  • Table foo has columns toto and titi.

See also this question, which is essentially a duplicate of this one (but is on sister site ELL).

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