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I was reading a paper which was discussing its experimental procedure:

The measured slabs were a notional 25 mm wide and each sample was measured for width and thickness with a micrometer prior to testing.

I'm not entirely sure what it means that they are notionally 25mm.

My best guess is that they are approximately 25mm but a more precise value is recorded and used in the calculations.

Is this common terminology?

The Wikipedia page I found on "notional amounts" seems to be unrelated.

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  • $\begingroup$ A link to the paper would improve the accuracy of your answers. $\endgroup$
    – rob
    Commented Mar 10, 2020 at 22:19

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It probably means they got the objects from a bin at the hardware store that said "25 mm slabs" (or even "one inch slabs," depending on the country in which the hardware store was located) then discovered that their experiment needed better information than the manufacturing tolerance.

I would have written "nominally" ("in name") rather than "notionally" ("in notion"? along the lines of "ideally"?) but I think you've come up with a correct interpretation of the text.

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