I am seriously having trouble with the word “intensity”. Does it have different meanings when it is placed next to another word (light intensity for example) or does it always mean the same (power/area)? Or does it vary between sciences (biologists use it too)? Any thoughts? Thanks in advance :)

ex: the intensities in: - Light intensity & sound intensity & magnetic field intensity - Impulse intensity and threshold intensity in biology - earthquake intensity...

  • $\begingroup$ If you don’t give some examples, this is too vague to answer! But I think the answer is surely no, the meaning varies a lot even in physics. $\endgroup$ – knzhou May 13 '18 at 20:30
  • $\begingroup$ I tried to add some examples :) thanks for the heads up $\endgroup$ – Skkk May 13 '18 at 20:42
  • $\begingroup$ This isn't long enough for an answer. Definitely not. Intensity of electrical current $\neq$ power/area $\neq$ flux per solid angle unit. $\endgroup$ – FGSUZ May 13 '18 at 20:48
  • $\begingroup$ @FGSUZ, while romance languages use a cognate of the word intensity for electric current, in English we talk about the current or its magnitude or amplitude. If you see are reference to the "intensity of the current" it's likely a (hasty) translation from a romance language, or a very old text. $\endgroup$ – The Photon May 13 '18 at 21:51

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