On the impossibility of defining anything whatsoever (as Rob might have you believe) (Was: Re: New issue?: vocabulary maintenance
Alasdair J G Gray
agray at dcs.gla.ac.uk
Thu Feb 7 01:47:26 PST 2008
Brian Thomas wrote:
> On Wednesday 06 February 2008 11:50:23 am Alasdair Gray wrote:
>>> Gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) are the most luminous events occurring in the universe since the Big Bang.
>>> They are flashes of gamma rays emanating from seemingly random places in deep space at random times.
>>> The duration of a gamma-ray burst is typically a few seconds, but can range from a few milliseconds to
>>> minutes, and the initial burst is usually followed by a longer-lived "afterglow" emitting at longer wavelengths
>>> (X-ray, ultraviolet, optical, infrared, and radio). Gamma-ray bursts are detected by orbiting satellites
>>> about two to three times per week, but their actual rate of occurrence is much higher because not all
>>> bursts are pointed at Earth.
>> This is somewhat long-winded for a definition in a vocabulary. Ideally
>> we want a sentence or two to succinctly convey the idea of the concept
>> without pinning down the definition too far that it is controversial.
> Actually, thats fine with me. I'd be happy with the first 2 sentences. Is that short enough?
That would be about the right length and seem to cover the right sort of
information. I leave it for others to say whether it is an accurate
definition of a gamma ray burst as I have no expertise in that field.
Dr Alasdair J G Gray
Tel: +44 141 330 6292
Postal: Computing Science,
17 Lilybank Gardens,
University of Glasgow,
G12 8QQ, UK.
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