General Topics

1e12
One trillion.
1e15
One quadrillion.
1e18
One quintillion.
1e21
One sextillion.
1e3
One thousand
1e6
One million.
1e9
One billion.
24 Hour Clock
The convention of time keeping in which the day runs from midnight to midnight and is divided into 24 hours numbered from 0 to 23.
a
Prefix representing a multiplication of 10-18
Abort
To terminate or stop a process prematurely.
About Us
We are a small consultancy formed from a group of people with very different skills in engineering, physics and software engineering.
Abrasive Cleaner
A cleanser with some hard grit used to remove the grime and oils from a surface.
Absolute Error
The uncertainty in a measurement, expressed with appropriate units.
Absolute Measurement
A measurement made without a direct reference to a second signal or measurement.
ac in
Abbreviation of acre inch, a volume one inch deep covering an area of one acre.
ac
Abbreviation of acre.
Access Hole
An opening through which you can reach something.
Accidental Error
In experimental observations, an error which does not always recur when an observation is repeated under the same conditions.
AD
Abbreviation of Anno Domini.
Admiralty Mile
Equal to 1852m.
Aft
The back of a vessel.
Air Gap
The distance between two parts with air as the medium between the two parts.
Altitude
Height in space of an object or point relative to sea level or ground level.
am
Abbreviation of attometre a distance of 10-18m.
Ambiguity
The properties of something that allow it to have more than one possible meaning.
Anno Domini
Latin for "year of the Lord," the traditional designation for years of the common or Christian era.
Anthropogenic
Resulting from or produced by human beings.
Approximate
Lists all Approximate topics in the Encyclopaedia
Architect
A person who designs all kinds of structures.
Arithmetic Operators
Symbols and signs used in mathematics.
as
Abbreviation of attosecond a time of 10-18seconds.
Assemble
The action of putting something together from a number of component parts.
Assembly
A unit made from many parts. May refer to a molecule, machine tool, or any grouping of objects to form a larger entity.
Assembly Line
The production line where an assembly is put together from its component parts.
Asymmetric
A pattern in which one side does not correspond to the other side.
Atomus
Latin word used in medieval times to mean "a twinkling of the eye", the smallest amount of time imaginable, defined in a precise way as 1/376 minute.
attosecond
A time of 10-18seconds.
Backup
An item kept available to replace an item which fails to perform satisfactorily.
Baker′s Dozen
Thirteen pieces of something.
Balthazar
The name of a wine bottle equivalent to the volume of 16 standard bottles or 12 litres.
Barrique
A large French wine barrel holding 225 litres.
Bearing
Primarily two types, rolling element and sleeve or plain bearing.
bell
Traditional unit of time used on ships. There are 8 bells in one watch of 4 hours.
Bicron
Obsolete unit of distance referencing the double prefix micron-micron and equal to 10-12m.
bil
Abbreviation of billion, a number equal to 109.
Billion
A number equal to 109.
Bimester
A unit of time equal to 2 months.
Bimillennium
Unit of time equal to 2000 years.
Binary
Pertaining to a characteristic that involves the selection, choice, or condition in which there are only two possibilities.
Blind Experiment
The subjects do not know whether they are in the treatment group or the control group.
Blunder
A gross mistake caused by carelessness or poor judgement.
Boiler Suit
Heavy-duty one-piece protective clothing.
Bolt of Cloth
A standard unit of length used in the fabric industry.
Bottle
A unit of volume.
Bound of a Function
A curve that encloses the major peaks of the envelope of a function.
bu
Abbreviation of Bushel.
By-Product
Material, other than the principal product, generated as a consequence of an industrial process or as a breakdown product in a living system.
Canal
An artificial channel of water used by boats and originally designed for the transportation of goods.
Capacity
The maximum amount that can be obtained.
Captive
Something that is permanently located in the desired position.
Cardinal Points
North, South, East and West are known as the Cardinal Points.
Cause and Effect Diagram
Also known as Fish Bone Diagram.
CE mark
A mandatory conformance mark on many products placed on the market in the European Economic Area.
CE
Abbreviation of Common Era.
Centillion
A number equal to 10303.
Centre
A point or axis around which anything revolves or rotates.
Century
One hundred of something.
ch
Abbreviation of chain, an old unit of length.
Character
A letter, digit, or other symbol that is used as part of the organization, control, or representation of information.
Ci
Abbreviation of curie, a unit of radioactivity.
Civil Engineer
An engineer who plans, designs, and supervises the construction of facilities essential to modern life.
Climate Change
The average global temperature is rising sharply. Humans are contributing to the greenhouse effect by emitting greenhouse gases that trap energy and warm the atmosphere.
cm3
Abbreviation of Cubic Centimetre.
Collateral Points
North-East, North-West, South-East and South-West are known as the Collateral Points.
Common Era
Replaces AD especially in countries where Christianity is not a dominant religion.
Conversion Factor
A conversion factor is a fraction that relates one unit to another.
Core
Central region.
Cross Sectional Area
The area of a slice of an object.
Cunit
Measure of wood volume used in forestry equal to 100 cubic feet.
cy
Abbreviation of Cubic Yard.
dam
Abbreviation of decametre, unit length equal to 10m.
Data Mile
Unit of distance used in radar technology. The data mile equals exactly 6000 ft.
Day
Traditional unit of time marked by one rotation of the Earth on its axis.
Decennium
A unit of time equal to 10 years.
Decillion
A number equal to 1033.
Design Pressure
Highest or most severe pressure expected during operation.
Design Working Pressure
The maximum allowable working pressure for which a specific part of a system is designed.
dl
Abbreviation of decilitre, unit volume equal to 10-1litre.
dm
Abbreviation of decimetre, unit length equal to 10-1m.
Dozen
Twelve pieces of something.
dpi
Abbreviation of Dots Per Inch.
dwt
Abbreviation of pennyweight.
Elevation
Vertical distance of a point on or affixed to the surface of the ground.
Elevation Angle
The angle between the horizon and a point above the local horizon in the celestial sphere, measured along the great circle that passes through both the zenith and the point in question.
Enamel Paint
A paint which dries to a hard gloss or semi-gloss smooth finish.
Encapsulated
Imbedded in solid material or enclosed in glass or metal.
Engineers
A list of famous scientists and engineers.
Environmental Engineer
An engineer who designs and operates systems to provide safe drinking water and to prevent and control pollution in water, in the air, and on the land.
Epoch
The beginning of an era or event or the reference date for a system of measurements.
Equinox
The two times of the year when the sun crosses the equator and night and day are of equal length; usually occurs on March 21st (spring equinox) and September 23rd (autumn equinox).
Erratic Error
An error caused by an incomplete element in an instrument.
Errors
No measurement is exact, they all contain some degree of errors.
Experiment
A process or study that results in the collection of data, the outcome of which is unknown.
Fabricate
To make a part, sometimes from several parts.
Feather Edge
A fine tapered edge of material or where one blends into another.
Female Part
A concave piece of equipment which receives a mating male, convex, part.
femtosecond
Abbreviated as fs, unit of time equal to 10-15s.
Fish Bone Diagram
Fish bone shaped map of inputs, sub-inputs and root causes.
fl oz
Abbreviation of Fluid Ounce.
fm
Abbreviation of fathom.
fm
Abbreviation of femtometre, unit of length equal to 10-15m.
fpm
Abbreviation of Feet per Minute.
fs
Abbreviation of femtosecond, unit of time equal to 10-15s.
Function
A specific purpose of an entity; its characteristic action.
fur
A distance of one-eight of a mile.
g
Abbreviation of gram, the CGS unit of mass equal to 10-3kg.
gal
Abbreviation of gallon.
Gantt Chart
Graph showing steps of plan and durations.
GMT
Abbreviation of Greenwich Mean Time, local mean time at the Greenwich meridian.
Googol
A number equal to 10100.
Googolplex
A number equal to 10googol. Where a googol is 10100.
Greenwich Mean Time
Local mean time at the Greenwich meridian.
Greenwich Meridian
The meridian through Greenwich, the reference for Greenwich time.
Gross
One hundred and forty four pieces of something.
Gross Error
Undetected mistakes that cause a measurement to be very much farther from the mean measurement than other measurements.
h
Abbreviation of hour, a unit of time equal to 60 minutes or 3600 seconds in length.
Half a Dozen
Six pieces of something.
Half Century
Fifty of something.
Hand
Unit of measure. Used for measuring the height of a horse.
Herring Bone Diagram
Also known as Fish Bone Diagram.
Hour
A unit of time equal to 60 minutes or 3600 seconds in length.
hr
Abbreviation of hour, a unit of time equal to 60 minutes or 3600 seconds in length.
Hybrid
Of mixed origin or composition.
Inhale
To take into the lungs by breathing.
Inherited Error
The error in initial values used in a computation; especially the error introduced from the previous steps in a step-by-step integration.
Instant Glue
More formally known as Cyanoacrylate.
Intellectual Property
Referring to protected proprietary information, usually in the form of a patent, a copyright, a trade secret, or a trademark. Often misused to mean many different things.
International Date Line
The line on the Earth, generally located at 180° longitude, that separates two consecutive calendar days.
Inventor
A person who thinks up new ideas or processes.
Inversely
Inverted or reversed in position or relationship.
Inversion
Referring to something being upside down.
Invert
To change a physical or logical state to its opposite state.
Ishikawa Diagram
Also known as Fish Bone Diagram.
ISO Paper Sizes
A series is mainly used for standard book print and stationery.
Isogram
Another name for an Isopleth.
Isopleth
On a chart or graph, a line of constant value of a given quantity with respect to either space or time.
Isotimic
Pertaining to a quality which has equal value in space at a particular time.
Jeroboam
The name of a wine bottle equivalent to the volume of 4 standard bottles or 3 litres.
kCal
The calorific value of food and values presented on diet sheets are normally in kCal.
kip
Abbreviation of kilo pounds force.
ksi
Abbreviation for kilo pounds per square inch.
League
An old imperial unit of distance.
Leap Day
The extra day added to a year to make it have 366 days. Leap days are added on in February creating the 29th day of the month that only exists during leap years.
Line of Sight
A straight line between two points.
Linear Density
Mass per unit length.
Local Time
Time based upon the local meridian as reference, as contrasted with that based upon a zone meridian, or the meridian of Greenwich.
m3
SI unit of volume.
m3s-1
A unit of flow rate.
Magnum
The name of a wine bottle equivalent to the volume of 2 standard bottles or 1.5 litres.
March Equinox
Also known as the Vernal Equinox.
Mask
A device used to deposit materials on a substrate in the desired pattern.
Mcf
A unit of volume in the oil and gas industry for natural gas and equal to 1000 cubic feet.
Measurand
A physical quantity, force, property or condition which is to be measured.
Methuselah
The name of a wine bottle equivalent to the volume of 8 standard bottles or 6 litres.
Metric Ton
Through common usage the 1000kg has been named the Tonne.
mi
Abbreviation of mile.
Microsecond
One-millionth of a second.
Millennium
Unit of time equal to 1000 years.
Million
A number equal to 106.
min
Abbreviation of minute.
Mistake
An error, usually large, resulting from a human failing or an equipment malfunction.
Mockup
A full-sized replica or dummy of something.
Model
A copy of an object that is n times smaller than the fullsize object.
Monolithic
An object that is one piece and not composed of several pieces connected together.
Morse Code
The International Morse Code used to transmit signals by wire or by radio using short and long duration signals.
Myria
Prefix representing a multiplication of 104.
Myriagram
A unit of weight equal to ten thousand grams or 10kg.
Nato Alphabet
Used when communicating over the radio to ensure there is no miscommunication of important information.
Natural Law
Natural laws summarize patterns that recur in a large amount of data.
Nautical Chain
A unit of length equal to 15 feet.
Nebuchadnezzar
The name of a wine bottle equivalent to the volume of 20 standard bottles or 15 litres.
Neutral
In a normal condition.
Nomenclature
A system for naming things.
Nonillion
A number equal to 1030.
Null Experiment
An experiment which, after being executed, yields no result.
Numeric
Composed wholly or partly of digits.
Octillion
A number equal to 1027.
OEM
Abbreviation of Original Equipment Manufacturer.
Omni
Prefix meaning all.
Omnidirectional
Every direction.
Original Equipment Manufacturer
Products supplied by the company which first created the product.
Paint
A generally opaque coating including resin, a solvent and additives.
Paper Glue
Many different forms of paper glue, the most common being the solid stick form.
Paper Sizes
There are a number of different systems and standards for paper sizes. The most common is the ISO Paper Size system, but there are others in use.
Parts Per Million by Volume
Used to describe the amount of a trace element or substance present in the main substance as measured by volume.
Parts Per Million by Weight
Used to describe the amount of a trace element or substance present in the main substance as measured by weight.
Patent
A document granting an inventor sole rights to an invention.
Payback Time
The number of years an improved system must be operated to offset the increased cost of the technology.
Per Diem
A traditional unit of frequency equal to once a day.
Per Mensem
A traditional unit of frequency equal to once a month.
Perimeter
The distance around the outside of a shape.
Perspective Drawing
A drawing in which, in order to show perspective, oblique parallel lines will meet.
Phonetic Alphabet
Used when communicating over the radio to ensure there is no miscommunication of important information.
Planform
The shape or form of an object as seen from above, as in a plan view.
Plate
One of the electrodes in a storage battery or A planar body whose thickness is small compared with its other dimensions.
Point Type Face
Unit of measurement for type faces.
ppmv
Abbreviation of Parts Per Million by Volume.
ppmw
Abbreviation of Parts Per Million by Weight.
Preventive Maintenance
Visual, mechanical, electrical, and electronic checks that are made to determine whether or not equipment is functioning properly.
Protoscience
In the philosophy of science, a protoscience is any new area of scientific endeavor in the process of becoming established.
Quad
Unit of energy equivalent to 1e15 BTU.
Quadrillion
A number equal to 1015.
Quarter
One of four equal parts. An outdated British unit of weight 1 quarter = 28 pounds (lb).
Quartet
A group of four items.
Quintillion
A number equal to 1018.
Random Errors
Errors that remain after blunders and systematic errors have been removed.
Ream
500 sheets of paper.
Recycling
The re-use of material.
Reference Line
A line to which other parts of the system are measured.
Reference Point
A point to which are other parts of the system are measured.
Rehoboam
The name of a wine bottle equivalent to the volume of 6 standard bottles or 4.5 litres.
Relative Bearing
Bearing of a target measured in a clockwise direction from "dead ahead".
Relative Error
The uncertainty in a measurement compared to the size of the measurement.
Relative Position
A point defined with reference to another position, either fixed or moving.
Relaxation Time
The time required for a system, object, or fluid to recover to a specified condition or value after disturbance.
Renewable Parts
Those parts that must be replaced during maintenance as a result of wear.
Report
To document technical, economic and other issues surrounding a particular subject.
Safety Pin
A simple pin that clips shut most commonly used to fasten two pieces of fabric.
Salmanazar
The name of a wine bottle equivalent to the volume of 12 standard bottles or 9 litres.
Scientific Method
An inefficient but highly successful method of knowledge construction based on experimental testing of hypotheses.
Scientists
A list of famous scientists and engineers.
Score
Twenty pieces of something.
Seiche
An oscillation of a fluid body in response to a disturbing force having the same frequency as the natural frequency of the fluid system.
Septillion
A number equal to 1024.
Service Life
The length of time a part can be used in a given application.
Sextillion
A number equal to 1021.
Sextuple
A group of six items.
sh cwt
Abbreviation of Short Hundredweight.
Shelf Life
The period of time that a part or system may be stored and still be useful.
Shipping
Complex systems such as vehicles may be held in certain states for shipping.
Short Hundredweight
Old imperial unit of weight, equal to 100lb.
Short Ream
A quantity of paper equal to 480 sheets.
Slant Range
The direct line-of-sight distance between two objects not necessarily at the same altitude.
Slot
A narrow aperture.
Sluggish
Unresponsive, functioning at below normal rate or level.
Solar Noon
The time of the day, at a specific location, when the sun reaches its highest, apparent point in the sky; equal to true or due geographic south.
Spark
Electrically the bridging or jumping of a gap between two electrodes by a current of electricity. A physical spark could be from a small hot particle or ember.
Spectra
Plural of spectrum.
SPF
A rating for lotions used to protect the skin against sunburn.
Splice
A joint formed by the connecting of two or more parts.
Square Mil
The area of a square, the sides of which are each equal to 1 mil.
Stability
The ability to maintain normal characteristics.
Subassembly
Consists of two or more parts that form a portion of an assembly or a unit.
Substrate
The underlying or base material.
Sun Protection Factor
A rating for lotions used to protect the skin against sunburn.
Sundial
A device for telling time of day by the shadow which sunlight produces on the instrument.
Super Glue
More formally known as Cyanoacrylate.
System
A combination of sets, units, assemblies, subassemblies, and parts joined together to form a specific operational function or several functions.
Systematic Errors
Cumulative errors that can be compensated for, if the errors are known.
Tape
A strip of long, thin, narrow material that may be rolled up.
Technical Report
A document that discusses the technical issues of a subject.
Technology Readiness Level
A measure used to assess the maturity of evolving technologies prior to incorporating that technology into a system or subsystem.
Technology Roadmap
A plan that matches short-term and long-term goals with specific technology solutions to help meet those goals.
Technology Validation
Confirming that technical targets for a given technology have been met.
Template
A pattern to guide the marking or cutting of a shape.
Tetrad
Unit of quantity equal to four.
Tex
The unit of linear density equal to the mass in grams per 1000 m of fibre, yarn, or other textile strand.
Theory
Theories are well-established explanations for experimental data.
Thousand
A number equal to 103.
Time Scale
Characteristic time for a process to be expressed.
Time Zones
The Earth is divided into 24 time zones so that everyone in the world can be on roughly similar schedules.
Tinstone
Another name for Cassiterite, a dark coloured mineral that is an important ore of Tin.
Tithe
A tenth part of something.
tnf
Abbreviation for ton force, 1 tnf=9964.02 N.
Ton Force
1 ton-force = 9964.02 N
tonf
Abbreviation for ton force, 1 tonf=9964.02 N.
tonf in-2
Abbreviation of Tons per Square Inch.
Top Coat
A final paint coat.
toz
Symbol for the troy ounce.
Transmission
Propagation or the passing of something through or onwards.
Triad
A unit of quantity equal to three.
Trillion
A number equal to 1012.
Triple
A group of three items.
Trouble Tables
Tables of trouble symptoms and probable causes, furnished by many manufacturers to help technicians isolate problems.
Troubleshooting
The process of locating and diagnosing faults in equipment by means of systematic checking or analysis.
True Bearing
Angle between a target and true north measured clockwise in the horizontal plane.
True North
Geographic north.
Trueness
The closeness of an average measurement to a "true" value, while accuracy is the the closeness of a single measurement to the true value.
Tsi
Abbreviation of Tons per Square Inch.
Twenty Four Hour Clock
The convention of time keeping in which the day runs from midnight to midnight and is divided into 24 hours numbered from 0 to 23.
Unidirectional
In one direction only.
Unit
A standard for comparison in measurements. For example, the metre is a standard length which may be compared to any object to describe its length.
Universal Time
Time defined by the rotational motion of the earth and determined from the apparent diurnal motions which reflect this rotation.
Vernal Equinox
The point at which the ecliptic intersects the celestial equator. Days and nights are most nearly equal in duration.
watch
A traditional unit of time equal to 4 hours.
Week
Traditional unit of time equal to seven days.
Winter Solstice
That point on the ecliptic occupied by the sum at maximum southerly declination.
Yardstick
A wooden rule 36" long.
Zenith Angle
The angle between the direction of interest and the zenith.
Zulu Time
Another name for the 24 hour clock.

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