From: Humanist Discussion Group (by way of Willard McCarty willard.mccarty_at_kcl.ac.uk>

Date: Fri, 3 Jun 2005 07:08:18 +0100

Date: Fri, 3 Jun 2005 07:08:18 +0100

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 19, No. 68.

Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London

www.kcl.ac.uk/humanities/cch/humanist/

www.princeton.edu/humanist/

Submit to: humanist_at_princeton.edu

Date: Fri, 03 Jun 2005 07:04:48 +0100

From: robert delius royar <r.royar_at_morehead-st.edu>

Subject: Origins of words/expressions "pi / lambda"?

Thu, 2 Jun 2005 (07:21 +0100 UTC) "Jim Marchand" queried

* >When I was an undergraduate, majoring in chemical engineering, we used to
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* >ask "What's new?" To which the answer was: "Pi over lambda." Now I am a
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* >retired linguist working on the origin of words and expressions, and I
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* >cannot remember what that is the formula for. I know we are not scientists,
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* >but does someone know? It would fit in so well in my present chapter.
*

From

http://www.glossary.oilfield.slb.com/Display.cfm?Term=propagation%20constant

propagation constant

1. n. [Geophysics] ID: 984

A property of a sinusoidal plane wave equal to twice pi divided by the

wavelength. Also known as the wavenumber, the propagation constant is

fundamental to the mathematical representation of wavefields. It is the

spatial equivalent of angular frequency and expresses the increase in the

cycle of the wave (measured in radians) per unit of distance. In

nondispersive media, the wavespeed is the ratio of the angular frequency to

the propagation constant. The propagation vector has magnitude equal to the

propagation constant and points in the direction the wave is traveling.

Waves propagating across a plane are a marvelous metaphor for constancy in

the midst of change. Heraclitus "change is real" comes to mind.

-- Dr. Robert Delius Royar <r.royar_at_morehead-st.edu> Associate Professor of English, Morehead State University Making meaning one message at a time.Received on Fri Jun 03 2005 - 02:20:21 EDT

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