I am writing some text about a population of electrons with very high energies. Which of the following statement is correct (or "better" as compared to the others):

  1. [...] a population of high-energy electrons.
  2. [...] a population of high-energetic electrons.
  3. [...] a population of highly-energetic electrons.
  • btw, I don't think energy is countable in this context. Maybe you want to revise your question accordingly :-) – HongboZhu Oct 9 '19 at 9:24

high-energy works as a compound modifier (adjective). Hyphens are used to construct the compound modifiers.

high-energetic is incorrect.

highly energetic works without hyphen.

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  • thanks for commenting on all three possibilities! – Alf Oct 9 '19 at 9:19

Using "high-energy" is alright but it would be better if you specify the amount of energy and avoid using subjective terms like "high" in a scientific paper.

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