Physics and Astronomy Writing - Part II. Physics 695 2011 Some material courtesy of Dr. William Wing, Phys. Dept., U. of Arizona Dr. Celia Elliott, Physics Dept., U. of Illinois Chem. Eng. Dept., Texas Tech. Style Manuals. AIP style manual (4th edition)
Physics and Astronomy Writing - Part II
Some material courtesy of
Dr. William Wing, Phys. Dept., U. of Arizona
Dr. Celia Elliott, Physics Dept., U. of Illinois
Chem. Eng. Dept., Texas Tech.
Notation k (kilo), as in kV, kW, kA, kg, keV, is always written in lower case.
Elements not capitalized when written as words (oxygen, lead, vanadium)
Abbreviations for chemical elements are capitalized (O, Pb, V, Cf, Am, Cm).
Same rules for units, e.g., curie (Ci), watt (W), volt (V), joule (J), tesla (T).
Proper noun used as an adjective is capitalized, e.g., Poisson’s equation, Fourier transformation, Monte Carlo method.
However, if the proper noun is used to name an entirely new class of things, the resulting new things are treated as common nouns and are not capitalized. Thus, we have Fermi energy level and Fermi-Dirac statistics, but fermions and fermium.
Acronyms and Abbreviations
Common nouns not capitalized when written as words; only acronyms capitalized, e.g., very large scale integration (VLSI), ballistic core radius (BCR), superconducting quantum interference device (SQUID).
Proper nouns are capitalized, e.g., National Science Foundation (NSF).
Some common acronyms not capitalized, e.g., alternating current (ac), direct current (dc), electromotive force (emf), radio frequency (rf).
Acronyms and abbreviations must be defined at their first usage.
Apostrophe not used to make acronym or abbreviation plural—just add lower-case s, e.g., AFMs (atomic force microscopes), Eqs. (equations).
Do not begin sentence with an acronym, abbreviation, numeral, or symbol. Wrong: “Fig. 1 shows …” “TEM was used …” “α-particle transport occurs” “50 samples were prepared …”
Right: “Figure 1 shows ” “Tunneling electron microscopy was used …” “Alpha-particle transport occurs …” “Fifty samples were prepared …”
Numbers that begin a sentence are always written as words; thus, a sentence that begins with a quantity that was measured or calculated must be recast.
For clarity, adjacent numbers should be written in a combination of numerals and words:
fifteen 10-mg doses twelve 20-percent doped samples
15 one-dose oral vaccines 6 six-hour runs
Qualifiers (“about,” “approximately,” “of order of”) should not be used with exact numbers; e.g., not “Approximately 17 of the samples were contaminated with iron filings.”
Only metric prefixes for 10+6 or more have upper-case abbreviation (e.g., M = 10+6, G = 10+9, etc.). In particular, note that the prefix m indicates 10-3 and M indicates 10+6.
The abbreviation for "kilohertz" is "kHz": only the "H" is upper case. Note that the proper abbreviation for "second" is "s", not "sec". The same abbreviation is used for the singular and plural form of a unit. A period is not placed after an abbreviated unit, unless it is at the end of the sentence.
Spaces with units:
There should always be one blank space between a number and a unit: "5 kHz", not "5kHz"
There is no space between the metric prefix and the base unit.
Less water feed will be vaporized due to heat losses and this affects steam economy
While trying to read the mass flow rate of air to the engine, the rubber hose from the venturi to the manometer melted shut.
After obtaining results for the infrared spectrometer and comparing it to the predicted calculations, we concluded there was a problem.
The way to improve your grades is to take good class notes, to study effectively, and preparing carefully for exams.
The type of failure can be determined by a tensile test. For example, whether the failure was due to a ductile or brittle fracture.
The % difference for the two methods of obtaining the heat transfer coefficient was 52% and the measured values were 10 and 20% lower than the theory predicted respectively.
And we see that the experimental result agrees well with theory.
But this is not the final solution.
Note how equations are always punctuated, with a full stop or a comma as appropriate.
The equation should read as part of the text – although displayed. It would be very rare for there to be any other form of punctuation. Here is an example of an equation that can be punctuated with a full stop:
Another equation follows, which is punctuated with a comma:
because there is text following it, just as if it were part of a sentence, which it is.
Statement of Experimental Results
Our value was
kB=1.379±0.012 x 10-23 J/K
at a 95% confidence level.