- Scientific jargon
While studying nature, scientists often encounter or create new material or immaterial objects and concepts and are compelled to name them. Most of those names are known only to professionals. However, due to popularization of science, they gradually become part of common languages. Several categories of scientific jargon can be distinguished.
A good example is word
laser. Laser is an acronymfor Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation, and therefore all its letters should be capitalized. However, because of frequent use, this acronym became a neologism, i.e., it has integrated into English and most other languages. Consequently, laser is commonly written in small letters. It has even produced secondary acronyms such as LASIK(Laser-ASsisted in Situ Keratomileusis). Interestingly, a related acronym and neologism maser(Microwave Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation) is much less known. Nevertheless, it is commonly written in small letters.
Many scientific acronyms or abbreviations reflect the artistic sense of their creators, e.g.,
*AMANDA - Antarctic Muon And Neutrino Detector Array, a neutrino telescope
*BLAST - Balloon-borne Large Aperture Submillimeter Telescope
*COMICS - COoled Mid-Infrared Camera and Spectrometer
*FROG - Frequency-resolved optical gating
*MARVEL - Multi-object Apache Point Observatory Radial Velocity Exoplanet Large-area Survey, a NASA-funded project to search for exoplanets
*PLANET - Probing Lensing Anomalies NETwork, a program to search for microlensing events
SHRIMP- Sensitive high resolution ion microprobe
*SIESTA - Spanish Initiative for Electronic Simulations with Thousands of Atoms (
siesta= afternoon nap in Spanish)
*SPIDER - Spectral phase interferometry for direct electric-field reconstruction
SQUID- Superconducting Quantum Interference Device,
etc. (see also
List of astronomy acronymsand this section below).
Alternative meaning of common words
SQUIDand SHRIMPare acronymsdistinguished from siesta, squid and shrimp by capitalization. However, there are pairs of scientific jargon and commong words, which can only be distinguished by context. Representative examples come from particle physicswhere certain properties of particles are called flavour, color, but have no relation to conventional flavor and color.
Recent scientific activity often creates interdisciplinary fields, for which new names, classified into
portmanteau wordsor syllabic abbreviations, are often created by combining two or more words, sometimes with extra prefixes and suffixes. Examples of those - biotechnology, nanotechnology, etc. - are well known and understood, at least superficially, by most non-scientists.
Elementary particles, quasiparticles and chemical elements
particle physics, nuclear physicsand atomic physicshas resulted in discoveries of new elementary particles and atoms. Their names - quark, gluon, lepton, graviton, neutrino, Higgs boson, Mendelevium, etc. - are traditionally given by those people who first discovered them and often include surnames of classical scientists.
Another group of physics jargon terms,
exciton, magnon, phonon, plasmon, phason, [Steinhardt P J and Ostlund S 1987 The Physics of Quasicrystals(Singapore: World Scientific)] polaron, etc., refers to quasiparticles- quanta of corresponding excitations (spin, heat, plasma, polarization waves), which do not exist separately and were imagined by theoretists to consistently describe properties of solids and liquids.
Most relevant jargon can be found in the following Wikipedia articles and their links
Discoveries of the chemical elements
The increasing focus of science on technological applications results in extensive search for new materials having unusual or superior properties. Their names can be categorized into new substances (
nanotubes, etc.) and registered trademarksand brand names, such as Teflon. Registered trademarksand brand namesare vast fields on their own and will not be covered in this article.
New techniques and devices
laserand SQUID, many names of the new devices and techniques are commonly used in full spelling, e.g., scanning tunneling microscope, etc.
Some devices like
transistor, magnetron, etc., have integrated into our life so much that their names are no longer considered jargon and are rather neologisms.
Those are specific notions and terms, e.g.,
nanoarchitectonics, [ [http://www.nims.go.jp/mana/about/ourgoal/nanoarchitectonics.html What is Nanoarchitectonics ?] ] which are often not yet big enough to create a new field of science.
Scientific jargon terms described in Wikipedia articles
New scientific concepts
Biomechatronics Bionics Chirality ChromodynamicsHamiltonian Lagrangian Mechatronics Multiphysics Nanoarchitectonics Photonics Spintronics
blasar hypernova nova quasar supernova
List of astronomy acronyms
Abbreviations and acronyms described in Wikipedia articles
The range of abbreviations and acronyms is enormous. Therefore, 2-3 letter acronyms (e.g.
LED, DNA, RAM), units of measurement, and names (chemical, organizations, journals, computer programs, etc.) are omitted here. We would also abstract from medical and computer terms.
List of materials analysis methods
CAMAC CMOS IMPATT LIDAR laser maser MEMS MISFET MOSFET radar SHRIMP SODAR sonar SQUID waldo
Materials and objects
DWNT MWNT PLZT qubit SWCNT SWNT
linac PHWR RHIC SCRAM SSTAR tokamak VLHC
Nuclear reactor technology
International Scientific Vocabulary
* [http://library.cern.ch/information_sources/accr.html List of Common Acronyms and Abbreviations Encountered in the CERN Environment]
* [http://www.abbreviations.com Abbreviations.com] - a human edited database of acronyms and abbreviations
* [http://www.acronymfinder.com Acronym Finder] - a human edited database of acronyms and abbreviations (over 550,000 entries)
* [http://www.all-acronyms.com/ All Acronyms] - collection of acronyms and abbreviations (more than 600,000 definitions)
* [http://www.acronymdb.com Acronym Database] - a human edited database of user submitted acronyms and abbreviations
* [http://www.wdisf.com/ WDISF] - What Does It Stand For is a a human edited database of acronyms
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