By John C. Holden and Donald E. Simanek
This document is made available as a public service to promote greater precision and
clarity in the use of physics terms and concepts.
John C. Holden, who also goes by the name of Jack Holden, received his training in
geology at San Diego State University and in paleontology at the University of California
at Berkeley. He served as a marine geologist and geophysicist intermittently for the U. S.
Coast and Geodetic Survey, ESSA, and NOAA. He has also been employed in private industry
as an exploration geologist and paleontologist, as a consult, and as a scientific
illustrator. To lighten his work load he founded and directed the Mazama Institute of
Geotectonic Redundancies, and also founded and served as President of the International
Stop Continental Drift Society (ISCDS). This organization valiantly campaigned to stop
continental drift and sea-floor spreading. It's efforts to reunite Gondwanaland, have,
however not yet achieved the desired results.
Through all of this he has managed to retain his sense of humor, and has demonstrated
time and time again that sacred cows make pretty tasty hamburger.
The Physics Teacher's Dilemma.
A typical physics course introduces more new technical terms than a foreign language course.
Pity the poor student who must learn these.
Pity the poor professor who must juggle these with precision.
Chemists talk about moles and weighing moles.
Physicists speak of charge-carrying wires.
Textbooks even speak of cutting field lines.
One supposes special scissors are required to do the cutting.
One must never confuse a foot-candle with a foot pound or a pound foot.
This material is © 2001 by
The Institute of Physics Publishing
and appears in the
book of science humor
by Donald E. Simanek and John C. Holden, titled
available in October 2001 at fine bookstores worldwide.
Input and suggestions are welcome at the address shown.
When commenting on a specific document, please reference it
by name or content.
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