1) General: Not limited by restrictions or exceptions; perfect in quality
or nature; unqualified in extent or degree; complete.
From M.Fr. absolut, from L. absolutus "unrestricted," p.p. of absolvere "to set free," from ab- "away" + solvere "to loosen," from PIE *leu-. → solve.
Avast from negation prefix → a- + vast, variant of bast, basté "tied, bound," from Mid.Pers. bastan/vastan "to bind, shut," Av./O.Pers. band- "to bind, fetter," banda- "band, tie," Skt. bandh- "to bind, tie, fasten," PIE *bhendh- "to bind," cf. Ger. binden, E. bind, → band.
Fr.: accélération absolue
For a body that moves with respect to a rotating → reference frame, the vector sum of the observed acceleration, the → Coriolis acceleration, and the → centrifugal acceleration. See also the → Coriolis theorem.
Fr.: datation absolue
Any method of measuring the age of an event or object in years. For example, in geology, this method can, unlike → relative dating, give us the age of a rock or fossil in x number of years. The most widely used and accepted method of absolute dating is → radioactive dating. See also: → radiocarbon dating, → radiometric dating.
Fr.: erreur absolue
The difference between the measured value of a quantity x0 and its (true) actual value x, given by Δx = x0 - x. See also: → relative error.
Fr.: humidité absolue
In a system of moist air, the ratio of the mass of water vapor to the total volume of the system. → humidity.
Fr.: luminosité absolue
A star's → intrinsic brightness, i.e. the total amount of energy radiated by the star per second. → Luminosity is often expressed in units of watts or erg/sec. The Sun's absolute luminosity is 3.86 × 1033 erg/sec.
Fr.: magnitude absolue
1) The → magnitude a star would have if it were at a
distance of 10 → parsecs in a void space, without
→ interstellar absorption.
The absolute magnitude is usually deduced from the
→ visual magnitude, measured through a V filter
(→ UBV system), when it is written as MV. If
it is defined for another wavelength, it gets another index (U, B, etc).
If the radiation on all wavelengths is included, it becomes absolute
→ bolometric magnitude, Mbol.
The Sun has the absolute magnitude + 4.8. Most of the stars have absolute magnitudes ranging
between -9 (→ supergiants) and + 19
(→ red dwarfs)
Fr.: mesure absolue
A measurement in which the comparison is directly with quantities whose units are basic units of the system. For example, the measurement of speed by measurements of distance and time is an absolute measurement, but the measurement of speed by a speedometer is not an absolute measurement. Note that the word absolute measurement implies nothing about → precision or → accuracy (IEEE Standard Dictionary of Electrical and Electronics Terms).
Fr.: perméabilité absolue
Fr.: espace absolu
A fixed space in which physical phenomena occur and whose properties do not depend on what occupies it, nor on the observer. It is a distinguished frame of reference that could show bodies to be truly moving or truly at rest. Absolute space is one of the basic assumptions of → Newtonian mechanics, but it was abandoned in Einstein's → special relativity. See also → absolute time; → space-time.
Fr.: température absolue
Fr.: tenseur absolu
Fr.: temps absolu
A universal time supposed to be the same for all observers at any place in the Universe. Absolute time is one of the foundations of → Newtonian mechanics, but it fails to account for physical phenomena in → reference frames with relative motion. Its abandoning was one of the starting points of → special relativity. See also → absolute space; → space-time.
Fr.: valeur absolue
For any → real number a, the non-negative value of
a without regard to its sign; denoted by |a|. Same as
→ modulus. The absolute value of a is always either
→ positive or → zero,
but never negative. The absolute value of a number may be thought of
as its → distance from zero. The following rules hold:
Fr.: viscosité absolue
Fr.: zéro absolu