Hello everybody, it’s Vera.
I’ll be giving you some science later, but first, something about me. I’ve been preparing for qualifying exams lately. I’m taking them next week. These are mildly terrifying exams. I have to take two written exams, three orals, and do a presentation on the research I’ve done so far. This is terrifying, because if I don’t pass, I am asked to leave the PhD program. I’ve never had so much riding on a single set of exams. While I do have a second chance, in six months, it’s still nerve-wracking. To take a break from studying for exams, I have some books on the ocean to read. (These are related to my work, but I find them very interesting.)
Here are some interesting scientific words relating to the ocean. (Good for trivia!)
syzygy: three astronomical bodies in line. Ex. When the sun and moon are in syzygy with the Earth, there are spring tides (higher than usual tides)
quadrature: astronomical bodies making 90 degrees. Ex. When the sun and moon are in quadrature, there are neap tides (lower than usual)
abyssal plains: The basically flat part of the bottom of the ocean
floc: a clump
amphidromic system: a system where the crest of the tide moves around an amphidromic point (where there is no tidal range) The tide is not the same at the same latitude. Since the oceans are basins affected by the Coriolis force, the tidal wave is deflected, and moves in quasi-cicular paths. The paths set up in this manner compose the amphidromic system
I think that’s enough for now. Science words can be very strange. I haven’t gotten over syzygy yet. It has no vowels!
Also having to do with tides, one of the books I was reading had many mistakes. First, it showed apogee (when the moon is furthest from the earth) and perigee(when the moon is closest to the earth) to be 90 degrees apart from each other in the orbit. According to Keplers laws, they are 180 degrees apart, since the earth is at a focus of the orbital ellipse. The author of the book had displayed the earth at the center of the ellipse. Focus and center are not the same thing for an ellipse.
here is a link
that gives a good explanation.
You’ll probably be hearing more about errata in books from me. There are several more examples coming up from that book alone.
edit: fixed perigee/apogee closest/furthest thing