# Tag Info

## Hot answers tagged terminology

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Elementary particle physics is an outgrowth of what was high energy physics, historically at the time. X-rays were high energy physics when first discovered, they are part of the tools of solid state physics now. Alpha particles and gamma rays were high energy physics at their time, they are nuclear physics now. Mesons discovered in cosmic rays started ...

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As an alternative to Anna's nice historical discourse a heuristic that covers modern uses of the phrase would be that energies are "high" when the QCD can be treated as perturbative. That regime sets in considerably above the nucleon mass scale, say 10s of GeV. So LHC physics is in, JLAB physics is out (even with the 12 GeV upgrade).

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The terminology "continuous variable system" is non-standard, but likely refers to the fact that any canonical quantization of a classical Hamiltonian system (i.e. a system described by a continuous phase space) must have an infinite-dimensional Hilbert space since the canonical commutation relation $$[x,p] = \mathrm{i}\mathbf{1}$$ cannot be realized on ...

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Traditionally wavenumber is used in molecule spectrums such as infrared spectrums in organic chemistry where it is given in the incoherent SI-unit $\textrm{cm}^{-1}$. Mostly because one obtains convenient numbers on the axis. Also in most of the wave equations it is used, because again you can make the convenient substitution \$k \equiv \frac{2\pi}{\lambda} = ...

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I don't think there's much to say beyond the obvious: You should use whatever terminology is most helpful in communicating the information that you want to communicate. That has to do with the audience you're talking to. Just like how you use °F when talking to Americans and °C when talking to non-Americans ... similarly it's often wise to use cm^-1 when ...

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Wavelength and wavenumber are redundant terms, as it sounds like you know. Their use is a matter of convention, which in my experience changes from field to field which you won't know until you've been around. So...if you know which one people use, go with the flow. Otherwise, use which one you know, and be confident; for questions of order-of-magnitude ...

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When it is saying the light rays converge, it means that they intersect. THe light rays intersect because the lens bends them so they all point at the same spot. I will explain more. When a point source emits light, it emits in all directions. This is why if you are in a dark room and you put a candle in front of a sheet of paper, you will see a diffuse ...

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