Most Annoying Things Commonly Seen In Scientific Nomenclature

PositronWildhawk
The mathematical language of science is very logical and thought out, so when it looks stupid it really drives me spare. Here are just a few things that annoy me.

The Top Ten

1 The "h" parameter in cosmology

By definition, this parameter's value is such that the Hubble Constant is 100 times its value in units of kilometers per second per Megaparsec. Why not just use the Hubble Constant? And WHY must you express quantities such as the fractional baryonic matter density as 0.102h^2? It would be much easier to make sense of these quantities without substituting h into everything. This thing is completely and utterly unnecessary. And this is coming from someone with a background in cosmology. - PositronWildhawk

(nods head in agreement)

2 Unnecessary approximations

When my lecturer approximated pi as exactly three so she could write the volume of a sphere as 4r^3, I wanted to rip her throat out. - PositronWildhawk

That’s just lazy. Good list although most of the items don’t make sense if you’re not a physics student.

3 Confusing currents with the imaginary unit

Yes, this happens. A capital I represents a current; that's primary school physics. But then you get smaller currents represented with a lower case letter instead, and then when phases come in, they replace the imaginary unit with the letter j. And then that becomes confusing because j represents a current DENSITY. I wish these morons would just stick to a nomenclature which is taught in high schools. - PositronWildhawk

4 Prefactors in statistical distribution functions

What annoys me about these is that they are commonly written as the product of several fundamental constants to some power, which is then taken to another power. So after lengthy derivations, you see the same constant twice, with another index above it. Can't you just write all of that more compactly? - PositronWildhawk

5 Interchanging SI and natural units

The most annoying thing about this is that the values are different for the constants. - Undistinguished

6 Writing the real and imaginary parts of a variable as entirely different placeholders

It makes sense to write a complex refractive index as n = n_R + in_I. When you start writing it as n_1 + in_2 as if they were indices for two different refractive media, or even worse, as n + ik, you make me angry. - PositronWildhawk

7 Writing grad(), div() or curl() instead of using the nabla symbol operations

All of these stem from this central mathematical construct, and seeing the operation is meant to emphasise the dimensions of the equation. - PositronWildhawk

8 Placing a labeling index on the same level as a tensor index

Fine, you have multiple current densities. It makes sense to put a label in to distinguish them. But for the love of God, don't put it right next to the tensor index to make a vector look like a matrix! A slight shift up or down would be fine. - PositronWildhawk

9 Writing FT to represent a Fourier Transform

There exists a scripted F specifically for this purpose! When you write FT of something it looks like a product of variables! - PositronWildhawk

10 Curled Es in equations involving epsilons

In my light and matter course this got very confusing. Curled E was the amplitude of the electric field in a medium of a pemittivity represented with an epsilon. Need I say more? - PositronWildhawk

BAdd New Item
P