Biezace

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Publikacja: * **[[[technical-words | Techniczne słowa]]]** Przeróżne naukowe i inżynieryjne słowa, i co one oznaczają. Użyteczne do stworzenia Twojego pisma bardziej naukowym i profesjonalnym.


Pisanie SCP może być trudne, wiemy o tym. Trudnym może być wpaść na pomysł. Trudnym może być napisanie dobrze swojego tonu klinicznego, tym bardziej jeśli jesteś nowym pisarzem, albo przyzwyczaiłeś się do innego, bardziej fabularnego stylu. Mając to na umyśle, są tutaj częste błędne użycia technicznej terminologii, które doprowadzają nas do szaleństwa. Staraj się nie nadużywać tych słów.



Gramatyka & Generalne Użycie Zdań

oddziaływać/efekt
Kolejny przykład często nadużywanej pary słów. Mimo że oba wyrazy są połączone, "oddziaływać" czasownik, a efekt to (zwykle) rzeczownik. "Oddziaływać" oznacza dokonywać pewnego rodzaju zmiany czy wpływu na coś. "Efekt" to rezultat tego wpływu czy zmiany. Oddziałujesz na coś, by odnieść efekt.
terminować
Na tej witrynie, to właściwie oznacza jedną rzecz: "celowo stracony czy zabity jako rezultat procesu politycznego". Jest również okropnie nadużywane. Spróbuj po prostu napisać "zabić", albo napisz, że zostali przeniesieni do innego projektu, bądź dołączeni do siły roboczej personelu klasy D czy cokolwiek. Zobacz również: Jak napisać SCP.
teoria vs hipoteza; teoretyzować vs hipotetyzować
Naukowe użycie tych terminów jest bardziej rygorystyczne, niż w nienaukowej mowie. Hipoteza to specyficzne, możliwe do sprawdzenia zdanie, zwykle następujące po linijkach "kiedy x się dzieje, stanie się Y", jak w "kiedy otrzyma cukierka, SCP-XXX wytworzy chichot." Kiedy obserwacja bądź eksperymenty potwierdzą się z hipotezą, mówi się, że ta hipoteza jest podtrzymana (nie potwierdzona - hipoteza nie może być potwierdzona, jedynie obalona). Teoria to generalna synteza: posiada szeroką moc wyjaśnienia, ponieważ łączy razem zestaw obserwacji, solidnie podtrzymanych hipotez i naukowych praw w jedną strukturę. A zatem, naukowcy Fundacji tworzący edukacyjne przypuszczenia odnośnie natury SCP tworzą hipotezy, nie teorie.


Nauki Fizyczne

Ilości i Jednostki

wykładniczo
Ten bazujący na matematyce termin, który według wielu znaczy "całe mnóstwo". Nie o to tu chodzi. Znaczy to, że coś zmienia się z coraz szybszym, wzrastającym lub malejącym tempem (tak, wykładniczo oznacza że coś może być też mniejsze) w sposób podobny do ekx, gdzie e to liczb Eulera, a k to dowolny konstant.(2x i e-2x to funkcje wykładnicze, x10 nie.) Stwierdzenie, że coś jest "wykładniczo twarde" nie ma sensu A) bez standardowej podstawy "twardości", by to porównać i B) dopóki "twardość" się nie zmienia. Zobacz jak poniższe coraz szybciej i szybciej się zmienia:
x= 0 (podstawa) 1 2 3 4 5
2x= 1 2 4 8 16 32
2-x= 1 0.5 0.25 0.125 0.0625 0.03125
x2= 0 1 4 9 16 25
x1/2= 0 1 1.414 1.732 2 2.236
Oznaczenia jednostek & Przedrostki
Pokrywa to różnorodność twardej nauki, więc umieszczam to tutaj, zamiast w jednej z bardziej specyficznych podkategorii. Oczywiście musisz użyć poprawnej jednostki do czegokolwiek, co mierzysz naukowo (i pamiętaj o używaniu metrycznych, nie imperialnych jednostek), ale zauważ również, że wielkość liter ma znaczenie. Nie ma zbyt wiele liter do oznaczenia skrótów jednostek/przedrostków, i jednym ze sposobów społeczności naukowej na próby rozciągnięcia tego jest użycie małych i dużych liter, by oznaczać różne rzeczy, i nawet mimo to istnieją nie do uniknięcia nakładania się. "L" to nie to samo, co "i" "l", "M" to nie to samo co "m" (które może właściwie oznaczać tak "metry", jak i "mili", zależy od użycia), "G" to nie to samo co "g",itd. Zbyt dużo miejsca zajęłaby kompletna lista jednostek, ale jest szybki poradnik przedrostków jednostek:
Nazwa Przedrostka Skrót Przedrostka Mnożnik
tera T 1 000 000 000 000 (1012)
giga G 1 000 000 000 (109)
mega M 1 000 000 (106)
kilo k 1 000 (103)
mili m 0.001 (10-3)
(1/1 000)
mikro μ or u 0.000 001 (10-6)
(1/1 000 000)
nano n 0.000 000 001 (10-9)
(1/1 000 000 000)
piko p 0.000 000 000 001 (10-12)
(1/1 000 000 000 000)
Nazywanie jednostek
Naukową konwencją, jednostki pomiaru, które nazwane są imieniem ludzi, zawsze zapisane są małą literą, kiedy nazwa jednostki wymawiana jest w pełni, ale duża literą, kiedy używa się skrótu. Więc jednostka mocy to wat (nie Watt), skrót to W; jednostka energii to dżul (joule) (nie Dżul (Joule)), skrócony to J; i tak dalej.

Fizyka

promień vs. fala
Promień to kierunkowa, wycelowana emanacja substancji, jak światło czy radiacja. Może być skoncentrowana na oddziaływaniu na znacznie węższe (lub większe) strefy efektu, ale będzie występować rozpowszechnianie się na celu, nawet i wyjątkowo małe. Może przenosić się przez próżnię. Fala to siła efektu który porusza się poprzez medium. Dźwięk to fala, ponieważ to wibracje (siła) w medium, jak powietrze czy woda. Fala może być skierowana w dany kierunek, ale skłania się do znacznie większego rozproszenia niż promień. Nie może przenosić się bez czegoś, w czym może się poruszać. Nota: światło to specjalny przypadek, ponieważ działa zarówno jako cząsteczka, jak i fala. Może to być mylące, więc postaraj się poczytać o efekcie, który chcesz wywołać, zanim określisz to w dany sposób.
Fizyka Kwantowa
Nauki o fizyce w skali atomowej i subatomowej, gdzie cząsteczki działają w sposoby pozbawione sensu. Jako że nawet naukowcy miewają bóle głowy od myślenia o fizyce kwantowej, to, co musisz wiedzieć na stronie, to to, że nie powinieneś używać słowa "kwantowe" by opisać cokolwiek w artykule SCP, chyba że TYM BARDZIEJ jeśli wiesz coś o fizyce kwantowej.
Napięcie
Napięcie, lub Różnica Potencjałów, jednostka wolt (V) lub dżul/kulomb (J/C), to pomiar energii przez ładunek jednostki przenoszonego ładunku w pływie. Przykład wysokiego napięcia w bardzo niskim obwodzie to porażenie prądu statycznego, kiedy chodzisz po suchym dywanie. Wodnym odpowiednikiem jest ciśnienie.
Prąd
Natężenie Prądu, jednostka amper (A) bądź kolumb/sekundę (C/s) to przepływ ładunku elektrycznego w obwodzie. Przykładem wysokiego natężenia prądu a niskiego napięcia jest obwód na pistolecie do lutowania. Wodną analogią jest strumień objętości.
Moc (elektryczna)
Moc elektryczna, jednostka wat (W) bądź dżul/sekundę (J/s) to pomiar pracy w energii elektrycznej w jednostce czasu. W przypadku obwodu elektrycznego jest to iloczyn skalarny napięcia i prądu (P = V∙I = VI cos k , gdzie k to kąt fazowy). Wodnym odpowiednikiem nadal jest moc - ten koncept występuje w każdej fizyce.
Wytrzymałość Elektryczna
Maksymalne pole elektryczne, które izolator może wytrzymać zanim zepsuje się i zacznie przewodzić prąd. Dla suchego powietrza wartość ta wynosi około 3kV/mm -to znaczy, że różnica potencjałów wynosząca 3000 V musi istnieć w każdym milimetrze luki w powietrzu, by ta luka mogła utrzymać łuk elektryczny. Naturalnym przykładem wytrzymałości elektrycznej jest załamanie powietrza przy błyskawicy. Wodną analogią będzie ciśnienie wytrzymywane przez barierę, nim pęknie - pomyśl o rodzaju balonu przywiązanego do końca kranu z wodą.
Energia
Energia może być zdefiniowana jako "zdolność systemu fizycznego do pracy nad innymi fizycznymi systemami" (Wikipedia). Może pojawiać się w kilku formach, takie jak kinetyczna (ruch) energia, elektromagnetyczna radiacja, i energia potencjalna. Energia nie może być stworzona ani zniszczona, jedynie może zmienić się w inną formę energii bądź materii. Nie ma czegoś takiego, jak "czysta energia", jako że energia nie może być nieczysta, jednak czasami używa się tego jako odniesienia do energii masy, która jest emitowana jako wysokoenergetyczne fotony i nisko-masowe cząsteczki, jak piony. Zauważ również, że "istoty energetyczne" z fikcji naukowej zwykle są zrobione z plazmy, która posiada energię, ale nadal jest etapem materii. Jako że energia może występować w wielu formach, ważne jest, by sprecyzować jakiego rodzaju energii SCP używa/produkuje/cokolwiek jeżeli użycie energii jest ważne dla idei. Nie musimy wiedzieć, że Twój komputer SCP zasilany jest elektrycznością, ale jeśli Twój SCP "emituje tajemniczą energię" musimy wiedzieć, czy jest to kinetyczna (skurwiel wibruje), elektromagnetyczna (pulsuje światłem i/lub radiacją), elektryczna (iskry elektryczne cały czas go pokrywają) itd.
Masa vs Waga
Masa i waga to dwa zupełnie inne właściwości materii, ale różnica jest subtelna i większość ludzi o tym nie myśli. Masa obiektu, mierzona w kilogramach lub funtach (lbm) mierzy ilość materii, która jest w obiekcie. Bezpośrednim pomiarem tego będzie następstwo pomiaru bezwładności obiektu, następnie wybadanie promienia wirowania jego geometrii, używając równania. I = mr^2. Waga obiektu, mierzona w Newtonach, funt-siła (lbf) bądź kilogram siła to pomiar siły, z którą obiekt jest przyciągany przez grawitację. Dobrym przykładem pomiaru wagi będzie waga sprężynowa. Jeżeli znany przyspieszenie grawitacyjne, możliwa jest konwersja pomiędzy tymi dwoma właściwościami przy pomocy równania (F=mg). Ze względu na definicje jednostek, większość nie-naukowców nie rozróżnia ich, i jest to w porządku tak długo, jak długo jesteś na Ziemi, bądź (ponieważ jesteśmy w Fundacji) nigdzie blisko oddziałującej na grawitację anomalii. Kiedy g się zmienia, głównie użycie kilogramów może stać się mylące, ponieważ, np. na Księżycu (który posiada pole grawitacyjne około 1/6 Ziemskiego) obiekt z masą 6 kg waży 1 kg. W skrócie, kiedy używasz kilogramów lub funtów, wyraźnie określ, czy mówisz o masie, czy wadze.
Moc
Moc jest zdefiniowana jako przyłożenie przyspieszenia wobec masy (F=ma). Oznacza to, że stopień zmiany prędkości (prędkości w danym kierunku) danego obiektu definiuję ilość mocy, która na niego wpływa. Wyobraź to sobie tak: jesteś w kosmosie i chcesz coś rzucić. Kiedy Twoja ręka macha tym do przodu, ilość prędkości zmienia się z uśpienia do maksymalnej prędkości kiedy to puścisz, więc zostało to przyspieszone, a Ty włożyłeś w to moc. Jak już to puścisz, po prostu leci to bez zwalniania czy zmiany kierunku, ponieważ nie działają na to żadne siły. To trochę nieintuicyjne dla niektórych ludzi, ponieważ gdybyś zrobił to na Ziemi, to po prostu opadłaby na podłoże. Dzieje się tak, ponieważ cały czas jesteśmy przyspieszani w kierunku Ziemskiej grawitacji. Jest to również powód, z którego powinieneś czuć się odrobinę ciężej, kiedy winda zaczyna poruszać się w górę: jesteś odrobinę cięższy, ponieważ występuje przyspieszenie, kiedy winda startuje.
Prędkość vs Przyspieszenie
Inna para pojęć fizycznych, które czasami są mylone. Przyspieszenie to, głównie, tempo poruszania się (metry na sekundę), jak duży dystans coś przebędzie w dany czas (v=d/t). Przyspieszenie to zmiana prędkości (a=v/t), zarówno szybkości przemieszczania się, jak i zmiana wektora poruszania się (prędkość kątowa i przyspieszenie). Pedał gazu jest poprawnie znany jako przyspieszacz, ponieważ używany jest do zwiększenia prędkości pojazdu. Grawitacja stale przyspiesza nas w kierunku Ziemi, inaczej odlecielibyśmy w prostej linii, podczas gdy świat odkręcał by się do nasf.
Radiacja
Mimo że termin "radiacja" jest najczęściej używany przez publikę do określania produktu nuklearnego rozpadu, termin "radiacja" odnosi się do procesu, podczas którego cząsteczki czy fale poruszają się poprzez przestrzeń (lub inny środek).
Promieniowanie elektromagnetyczne
Forma energii emitowana i absorbowana przez naładowane cząsteczki, z elementami zarówno elektrycznymi, jak i magnetycznymi (jednak, mimo to, magnes na nie nie wpływa). Promieniowanie elektromagnetyczne działa czasami jako fala, a czasami jako cząsteczka: z tego stąd "dualizm korpuskularno-falowy". Różne formy promieniowania elektromagnetycznego są determinowane przez ich długość fal, która jest zmienna w proporcji do częstotliwości. Fale radiowe posiadają największą długość fal (mikrofale są najmniejsze na widmie radiowym), po nich podczerwień, po nich światło widzialne, po nich promieniowanie ultrafioletowe, a po nich promienie Rentgenowskie i promieniowanie gamma. Ostatnie dwa to promieniowanie jonizujące.
Promieniowanie Jonizujące
Osoba z ulicy najpewniej użyłaby określenia "promieniowanie atomowe". Promieniowanie jonizujące to promieniowanie ze zdolnością usuwania elektronów z atomów, bez potrzeby podnoszenia ich temperatury. Do form należą promieniowanie alfa, złożona z dwóch protonów i dwóch neutronów bez żadnego elektronu; promieniowanie beta, które jest albo wysoko-energetycznym elektronem, albo wysoko-energetycznym pozytronem (anty-elektron); promieniowanie gamma, które jest również promieniowaniem elektromagnetycznym; i neutrony (jednakże jonizują one niebezpośrednio) Różne formy promieniowania jonizującego mają różne jonizacje i zdolności penetracji. Mogą wywołać ostrą chorobę popromienną, jeśli człowiek wchłonie krótki, intensywny impuls promieniowania, albo przewlekłą chorobę popromienną, jeśli napromieniowanie trwa przez dłuższy czas. Obydwa te terminy mogą być nazywane "chorobą popromienną".
Promieniowanie Czerenkowa
Rodzaj promieniowania, wywoływany radioaktywnym rozpadem cząsteczek poruszających się szybciej od światła w wodzie. Jest widzialne jako niebieska poświata.
Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP)
Contra most video games, an EMP is not an electronic "stun" that temporarily disables an electronic device. An EMP is a burst of electromagnetic radiation that uses electromagnetic induction to generate a destructively large current in electronics. Loosely speaking, an EMP causes a region of space to suddenly have a lot of magnetism, and then very little. "Amount" of magnetism (the technical term is magnetic flux) is equal to the area of the region times the strength of the magnetic field (technically, magnetic flux density) in it. Now if you have a closed circuit in a magnetic field, a change in the flux density of the field will increase the magnetic flux, which in turn produces a current in the circuit proportional to the rate of change. So if you have the magnetic flux density change by a large amount in a small period of time, which is what happens when you use an EMP, there's going to be a correspondingly large, quick change in magnetic flux, and you're going to have a very big current. And when you have a very big current, your circuit gets very hot, and tends to melt or cause things around it to burn. This is why we have fuses: so that, if there's too much current in the circuit for some reason, the circuit is broken before anything melts or catches fire. The upshot is, electronics exposed to EMPs have their circuits melted and thus permanently destroyed, NOT temporarily deactivated. Also, since magnetic flux is a product of flux density and area, a small circuit such as that in a wristwatch may not be affected by a weaker EMP, unless its electronics are particularly sensitive. It is also possible to "harden" electronics through a variety of means to protect them against weaker EMPs, there's no way to make them completely immune to an arbitrarily strong EMP. As a side note one of the most reliable ways to produce an EMP is with a nuke exploded in the air, because of some funky stuff that happens with the ionosphere. So if your story or SCP involves nukes exploding, you might want to take that into account.

Chemistry

Atoms vs. molecules
Atoms are the building blocks of normal matter. They consist of protons, usually neutrons (hydrogen-1 has none) and electrons. A molecule is a simply two or more atoms that are joined together to form a specific structure, which can be either a solid, liquid, gas or plasma depending on pressure and temperature. When describing something, "atomic" and "molecular" do not mean the same thing.
Isotopes
Isotopes are atoms of the same element that have a variable number of neutrons. Deuterium, for example, is an isotope of hydrogen, with one neutron (as opposed to hydrogen-1’s zero). Convention for writing isotopes is element-(mass number), eg. uranium-235, californium-252.
Ions
Ions are atoms that have a net charge, caused by the loss (increasing positive charge) or gain of electrons (increasing negative charge). Atoms can be ionised by transferring electrons to other atoms, extremes of temperature and very extreme pressures, or by being bombarded with ionising radiation (high UV to gamma and the various alpha and beta radiations- neutrons can also indirectly ionise).
pH
pH , or the potency of Hydrogen, is -1 times the decimal logarithm of H+ concentration. (so for example, 0.1 molar concentration of H+ (1 mol/litre) corresponds to a pH of 1.) In neutral water at RTP, due to self-dissociation (H+ OH- and H2O exist in a balance very favouring the second), the concentration of both OH- and H+ is 10^-7, hence the pH of a neutral solution is 7. Rising pH corresponds to lower concentrations of H+ and higher concentrations of OH- (the product of the two is 10^-14 at RTP), hence, basic solutions; lower pH corresponds to higher concentrations of H+ and hence acidic solutions.
RTP, STP
RTP - room temperature and pressure - 25 degrees Celsius temperature, 1 atmosphere pressure. STP - standard temperature and pressure - 0 degrees Celsius temperature, 1 atmosphere pressure.
acid
The Bronsted-Lowry definition of an acid states that it is a substance able to donate a proton (H+ ion). Acids are generally divided into strong acids and weak acids. Strong acids (such as HCL, hydrochloric acid) dissociate completely in solution, while weak acids (such as CH3COOH, acetic acid) don't - undissociated acid will remain in solution at equilibrium. Acids tend to react with bases in a reaction known as "neutralization", usually forming H2O as one of the products, the other being called a salt.
base
The Bronsted-Lowry definition of an base states that it is a substance able to accept a proton. A common base is sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO3)1 Once again, a strong base (such as lye, NaOH) dissociates completely, while a weak base, (such as ammonia, NH3) doesn't.
alkali
A base that contains releases OH- ions into solution. An example would be lye - NaOH, which dissociates into Na+ and OH- when dissolved in water. An example of a base that isn't an alkali would be CaCO3 , or chalk. Direct alkali exposure can also cause burns, similar to exposure to concentrated acids.
salt
The product of a neutralization - reaction between an acid and an alkali. The most well-known salt is probably "table salt" NaCl, (NaOH + HCl -> NaCl + H2O) but as just an example, most soaps are a salt, made by a reaction of a lye (usually KOH or NaOH) with fatty acids present in animal or plant fats)

Geology

minerals vs. rocks
A mineral is a naturally formed chemical composition that has specifically defined characteristics and a molecular structure. All known minerals are solids. Common examples of minerals are quartz, diamond and aragonite. Rocks are basically mineral aggregates. They have no specific composition. Examples include granite and basalt.

Biological Sciences

Biology

evolution
First of all, we are discussing evolution from a biological standpoint here. Now: evolution is something that refers to changes in a species, not an individual. It's the accumulation of changes to a population that results in a total overall, average drift in the characteristics of the species as a whole that results in the species being better able to survive in its environment. Evolution is neither good nor bad and, in the real world, does not have a goal. Evolution does not think. Saying something is "more evolved" than something else is a meaningless phrase and does not mean "is better/more complex/more powerful". Humans evolved from ancient monkeys, but that doesn't mean that we're "more evolved" than chimpanzees. It just means that we evolved differently than they did.
enzymes
Basically, these guys are biological catalysts. That is, they speed up the rate of a reaction without changing the equilibrium of said reaction or being changed themselves in the process. Virtually all known enzymes are proteins.
parasitic vs. parasitoid

To quote Wikipedia:
"Parasitism is differentiated from the parasitoid relationship, though not sharply, by the fact that parasitoids generally kill or sterilise their hosts."
If your object usually consumes or is otherwise fatal to the host, use "parasitoid", otherwise use "parasitic". Both types can use parasitic as a page tag.

binomial nomenclature (courtesy of Photosynthetic)

There is a very specific set of rules for formatting organisms' scientific names. Please use them correctly.

Species names are always italicized. They consist of two words: the first word is the genus name and the second is the specific epithet. The genus name is always capitalized, and the specific epithet never is: Homo sapiens, Cymothoa exigua, Hypsibius dujardini. Names of genera may be used alone, to refer to all species in the genus: Homo, Cymothoa, Hypsibus. Names of higher-level taxa — families, orders, classes, phyla, kingdoms — are capitalized, but not italicized: Hominidae, Hymenophyllaceae, Malacostraca, Tardigrada.

To denote a subspecies, just add the second specific epithet: Homo sapiens sapiens, Ursus arctos horribilis. To denote a variety, add "var." (not italicized) before the second specific epithet: Hebe salicifolia var. stricta.

When a species is mentioned several times in the same report, or when two species of the same genus are referred to in quick succession, the genus name can be abbreviated — but only after the first time it is fully spelled out. At that point, you can replace it with its initial: H. sapiens, C. exigua, H. dujardini.

For further details, see Wikipedia's articles on binomial nomenclature and biological classification.

Venom vs poison; venomous vs poisonous
Though both venoms and poisons are toxins, the terms are not interchangeable. Venoms are animal toxins delivered via active injection, generally through fangs, stingers, cnidocysts, or the like. Poisons can be biological in origin or purely chemical. Poison enter the body via inhalation, ingestion, or direct contact, such as with poison ivy, newt skin, and so on. If you were to eat the venom glands of a rattlesnake, you'd be poisoned, not envenomated.

Neurology & Mental

sentient vs. sapient
This pair gets confused to mean the same thing A LOT, so don't feel too bad for using them interchangably. Just learn to not do it. Technically speaking (which is what we're going for here), "sentient" just means that the creature has the ability to sense and react to its environment. Animals are sentient, some plants are sentient, objects can be sentient if they're obviously reacting to environmental cues. "Sapient" means that it can think (it's right in the name of our species: Homo sapiens sapiens). Most animals are not sapient, no regular plants are, but electronic intelligences might be. A short-hand might be to ask whether or not the creature is capable of being aware that it's thinking about something.

IQ (courtesy of Quikngruvn)

The statistic called IQ (Intelligence Quotient) is defined as a normal distribution with mean μ=100 and standard deviation σ=15. The upshot is that you can calculate what percentage of a population should have an IQ above (or below) certain values, especially when Wikipedia provides these values out to 6σ. Anyway, the percentage of population with greater than a given IQ:

100: 50.00%, 1 out of every 2
115: 15.87%, 1 out of every 6
130: 2.275%, 1 out of every 44
145: 0.1350%, 1 out of every 741
160: 0.003167%, 1 out of every 31,574
175: 0.00002867%, 1 out of every 3,488,557
190: 0.00000009865%, 1 out of every 1,013,684,744

So right now, there should be six or seven people in the whole world with an IQ of at least 190. (Conversely, there should also be six or seven people in the world right now with an IQ of less than 10.) How IQ is actually quantified is left as an exercise to the reader (though the method used isn't so important if they all use the same scale).

What about Marilyn vos Savant and her record high IQ? Essentially, her score of 228 came from older testing methodologies (using the ratio of mental age to chronological age) and so she wouldn't score so high on newer tests, in addition to the inherent difficulties in measuring extremes of intelligence. On this scale, she would score at least 185.

(Drewbear's addition) Also note that essentially all mainstream IQ tests in use nowadays rate on several scales which address different functional areas such as working memory, processing speed and verbal comprehension. They do NOT test things such as personality or creativity, as these are much, much harder to quantify. IQ testing is also sensitive to environmental conditions like how the testee is feeling that day, what the weather is like (seriously. It influences mood and performance), and how recently the testee has had a similar test. It's perfectly common to see scores vary a bit, so someone could get a score of 101 one time and 98 another.

Finally, keep in mind that IQ testing is based on average human populations and experiences. It would be very difficult to say a non-human intelligence has an IQ score of X.

memetic vs. cognitohazard
Read this for a more detailed explanation & treatment of memetics.
amnesiacs vs. amnestics
Technically, an amnesiac is someone with amnesia and an amnestic is something that causes amnesia. HOWEVER, in many older articles these words were used interchangeably to refer to something that causes amnesia. Don't insist that an author use "amnestics" if they've specifically stated they prefer to use "amnesiacs", and don't edit older articles to change this. In both cases, it's treated as a stylistic choice.
schizophrenia and other mental disorders
Too often, schizophrenia is used as a stand-in for a generic or unknown mental disorder or trauma. In actuality, schizophrenia is a specific mental illness marked by a diverse collection of symptoms, not all of which need be present in any one patient. These symptoms include delusions, 'word-salad', catatonia, hallucinations, disjointed thought processes as well as behaviour, and unusual or inappropriate emotional responses, among others. but schizophrenic does not automatically mean violent or dangerous. (It also doesn't mean "split personality"— 'split personality' would be one form dissociative identity disorder might take- if it exists.) Unless you're referring to that particular mental illness (or another specific disorder), you should use a more general term, such as psychosis (a term which covers a broad range of mental disorders, including schizophrenia). Schizophrenia can be treated by 'talk therapy' as well as a huge variety of drugs. In rare cases it may be 'cured', but it is typically regarded as a life-long condition after onset. Given the diversity of symptoms of schizophrenia it is often classified into a wide variety of subtypes and there is considerable debate as to whether it is really just one disease or many. If schizophrenia forms a major part of your article you should at minimum read the whole wikipedia article on it, or the entry in the diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders.

Medicine and Diseases

Foreword
In general, all diseases are mostly different. Symptoms, advancement, and how the virus/bacteria function are not consistent from disease to disease. The point is that you know the details of whatever ailment you are talking about. This can refer to genetic disorders as well.
Cancer
"Cancer" is not a single kind, strain, genus, etc. Cancer is a mutation of cells that grow exponentially. Cancer is not an organism. There are thousands of kinds of cancers, and Wikipedia as well as other scholarly journals can give you specifics. Both genetic predisposition and environmental conditions contribute to whether or not someone could develop cancer.
Prions
A prion is essentially a misfolded protein. The reason they cause diseases such as BSE is that their presence causes similar proteins to misfold in a similar way (the process how isn't known precisely at the moment), resulting in a chain reaction. Misfolded proteins don't quite work as they should, which causes tissue damage (all known prion-induced diseases damage the central nervous system) - for example, the holes and sponge-like structure that give BSE its name. The main problem with them is they are hard to denature - the WHO standard sterillisation procedure involves applying caustic soda solution, then putting it in autoclave. The immune system doesn't recognise them as infectious agents either - as a result, prion infections don't get better, and aren't curable, either.
And well, that's kind of it. Prions aren't alive - they exhibit even less characteristics of living things than viruses do. As such, pencil-thick strands of prion that behave like worms or similar nonsense are a one-way ticket to Stumptown.


Engineering & Technology

stress
Force per unit area of cross-section it's applied at. Usually measured in megapascals (MPa). Related to strain by Young's modulus.
strain
Change in length of an object per unit length, usually in response to stress. No unit.
failure strain
A measure of how far can a material be stretched before it ruptures. Subtly different from tensile strength - while in general, materials rate high (metals) or low (ceramics) on both properties, composites (such as wood or CFRP) are tough (high tensile strength), but their failure strain is low.
tensile strength
Maximum tensile stress a sample can withstand - a measure of how strongly can a material be stretched before it ruptures. Spider silk has a higher tensile strength than steel, and rubber has a higher tensile strength than glass fibers.
hardness
Hardness is the measurement of how difficult it is to permanently deform a piece of a given material by the application of force. The usual way to measure it is Vickers Hardness (HV)2 - this is done by forcing a pyramid made of a very hard material into the tested sample's surface with a predefined load, measuring the indent's size, and reading the corresponding hardness off a table. A harder material will normally also be more brittle, as they usually can't deform plastically very well. (rubber is an exception). For example, obsidian is harder than copper, but shatters very easily.
nanotechnology
Nanotechnology and "nanobots" are not magic. Let me repeat that: NANOTECHNOLOGY AND "NANOBOTS" ARE NOT MAGIC. First, nanotechnology is already in use today in manufacturing and medicine in order to design and build new materials that are difficult to create on a macroscale. Second, "nanobots" are machines, first and foremost, only on a very tiny scale. And size restrictions mean that they don't have very complicated instructions. Most nanomachines in use today rely on manipulating the natural responses of certain molecular/atomic interactions in order to move around other atoms or molecules. Their "programming" tends to be very simple due to their size and info-storage capacity, and they tend to specialize at a very few activities (although multiple different types of machines would be able to work together). And while having a few million nanomachines working in concert could definitely fuck some shit up hardcore, they ultimately operate fully under the known laws of physics.

Computers, Computing & Software

upload vs download vs transfer
The difference between "upload" and "download" is as subtle as the prefix of each word: upload implies that you are sending information from the source you are working on to another location, while download implies you are taking it from another location to your own. The terms "upload" and "download" are most commonly used in networking situations (such as from a server or the general internet). With attached devices such as external hard drives and "USB keys", the term transfer is more commonly used (as in "the data was transferred to the external hard drive") although this is personal preference. With optical media, such as CDs, DVDs and Blu-Ray, the term "burn" is used for putting data on the disc.
Hardware Terminology
The "CPU" is the Central Processing Unit - it does all the processing/thinking. RAM means "Random Access Memory" and acts as a form of short term storage for running programs - when the PC loses power, the data in RAM is generally lost (it is known as "volatile memory"). The HDD is the "Hard Disk Drive" - it is usually the traditional spinning magnetic platters style (what you would have in most PCs), but can also be used to describe SSDs (or Solid State Drives), which are made using "flash" memory (similar to USB sticks and SD cards, but on a much grander scale). HDDs and SSDs are not volatile, and retain the data stored on them when power is lost. HDDs are extremely susceptible to shock damage, while SSDs are not. The "motherboard" is the large system board, which contains the various ports and bridges. The PSU (or "Power Supply Unit") is essentially an AC to DC converter. USB stands for "Universal Serial Bus" and is used for connecting external drives and peripherals. The term "tower" usually refers to the shape of the stereotypical computer, but can colloquially refer to the whole package. A monitor or screen is the display device - these are generally made from LCD/"Liquid Crystal Display" panels - these, too, are fragile.
Software Terminology
The Operating System is the layer between the raw hardware and your applications. The most common ones are Windows, Mac OS X and Linux. A program is a file containing compiled code that is run on the CPU and interfaces with the OS to do meaningful work (such as read data, process pictures, etc). Encryption is where data is changed to obscure its original state. This is generally done by encryption algorithms such as Blowfish, and should be reversable. Non-reversable "encryption" is better described as a cryptographic hash (which outputs a fixed length string of bytes), commonly used for password storage and file integrity verification.
Things to Avoid
Computers are not magic. Software is not magic. If there is an ancient/otherwise alien computer, it is very unlikely we can instantly decode anything - since not only would we have language barriers and need a sort of Rosetta Stone to understand the information, but we would have to figure out the architecture of the computer and the method that it stores things to get any data off it anyway. Without any readable manuals or instructions, a completely unknown computer system is a very large paperweight. Remember that, like most things that have specialists on the site, making up random junk as part of your computer-based SCP will not fly well, and you will get downvotes for it. If you are at all unsure with terminology or opinions on how plausible something is with technology, please ask people who know these things! (Please see Expert Witnesses for those that do.)

Materials Science

Titanium, Ti
The holy grail of hollywood metallurgy, this metal is often treated as the Superman of materials. In reality it's a lot more like Xander Harris - reliable and useful, but it's not magic, and rarely works well on its own.

Pure titanium has a tensile strength - basically, the maximum pulling force per surface area a specimen can withstand - of about 434 MPa. For comparison, Al-Cu-Mg alloys (dural) typically reach 450 MPa, and medium carbon steels go up to 1200 MPa. As such, designing a containment cell with titanium walls makes about as much sense as importing a Trabant via airlift would make for an American - you aren't getting the value for your money, and the only people it'll impress are those with no idea what you are talking about.

Titanium alloys have far better properties in this respect, matching steels, but with a far lower density.3 As such, it is well suited for aerospace applications, but given that mass is rarely an issue in containment cell design, steel is most likely a better option.

There's a couple of cases where titanium plating on the inside of a containment cell would work well - titanium is resistant to most dilute acids and chemical corrosive agents, and has a high melting point - around 1900 K.4 Therefore, using such designs to contain heat-based entities, or objects that chemically attack their surroundings works well as an alternative to ceramic plating in cases where the latter's mechanical properties (low fracture toughness for one) might pose a problem.


Linguistics

Foreword
Not every language has a written form or spoken form. Be VERY careful when you write about someone speaking/writing in another language. Just because you slapped an "ancient" on the front does not justify this, as some don't have ancient writing systems. Be sure to look up the basic history of a language before you mention it in your articles. If you are writing about a language in a historical sense, make sure you look up their histories, even if it is just a passing reference. Additionally, there are several thousand languages in use today (wikipedia says between 6000 and 7000), and even more dialects thereof (for instance, English has British, Canadian, Australian and American dialects, among others).
Mandarin and Chinese
Never, never, NEVER say "spoken Chinese" or "written Mandarin". Writing these show that you never learned any Chinese and makes people think you included it because it looks cool. Chinese has around 300 dialects, and while some are mutually intelligible, most are not. Most people refer to Mandarin when they talk about "spoken Chinese". Mandarin is the official language of many Chinese speaking countries, but it is not interchangeable with "Chinese". Other large Chinese dialects include Cantonese, Hokkien, and Shanghainese. Most modern Chinese dialects take the form of two written systems: Simplified and Traditional. Modern Chinese was established around 700 AD until the middle of the 20th century, when the Chinese civil war pushed Chiang Kai-shek and his forces to Taiwan while Chairman Mao started the communist regime. Mao and several Chinese scholars came up with the Simplified Chinese text for the illiterates of China while Chiang and the Taiwanese remained using Traditional Chinese. Currently, both systems are still in use and they are mutually interchangeable. If you wish to write about China before the 1940s, it's always Traditional. Currently, Traditional Chinese is only officially used in Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau. The rest uses Simplified.


Tactical

Squad
9-13 personnel. This isn't just a random conglomeration of guyz with gunz. Grouped into smaller elements called fire teams, which are composed of four personnel each, plus a squad leader, giving the extra odd man.
Platoon
Three squads, plus a platoon commander, platoon sergeant, and support personnel.
Cartridge
A cartridge is what goes into a gun to be fired, the complete assembly of the casing (which has a primer at the bottom that is struck by the firing pin to make it go off), propellant inside the casing, which burns and produces hot gas, and the bullet, which is the actual piece that flies out the barrel. Commonly (and equally as appropriately) called rounds. Ammunition for shotguns is similarly constructed, with a few differences, and is commonly referred to as a "shell." As a heads up, the shiny part that flies out of the side or top of the weapon as it's fired, the casing, is also commonly referred to as a "shell," as in "There were shells all over the crime scene." This is also frequently referred to as "brass." It can also be noted that most of the time, shotguns aren't firing "bullets." Most of the ammunition fired from a shotgun disperses a cloud of pellets called "shot," hence the name, instead of a single, solid slug. They can be loaded with what are called "slugs," though, which is a single, large "bullet."
Magazine
This is what ammunition goes into before it's loaded into a firearm, the blocky, somewhat banana-shaped, hollow piece of metal that you see being shoved into the weapon in video games and movies. Rounds are fed into the weapon from the magazine. Some weapons have what is called a fixed magazine, like most shotguns, where you see them being loaded into a tube that extends below and along the length of the barrel. Clips, a different thing entirely, are a simple strip or block of metal that holds rounds together in some way, and are most commonly used to quickly load a magazine by holding the clip against the top, and shucking the rounds down into the spring-loaded magazine. A few older weapons use clips to load rounds into the weapon directly; these are commonly called "stripper clips," as the rounds are "stripped" off into the weapon's internal magazine.

This is by no means a comprehensive list, and we welcome other people making additions (please double-check with staff first through forums and/or PM!) of egregiously abused words or concepts, but remember to keep it civil. We reserve the right to remove or rewrite sections that are abusive or unhelpful.

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