Science and SF Glossary ~ K - O


A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

~P~

parsec
[word derived from blending parallax and second] a unit for measurement of distances of stars (from Earth) that equals 3.26 light-years (19 billion miles)
plasma
a collection of particles with equal numbers of positive ions and electrons that exhibits some properties of gas, but is also a good conductor of electricity and is affected by magnetic fields
psi
of or relating to psychic powers or phenomena
psion
a person of creature who is noted for psi abilities - telepathic and empathic [often found in Catherine Asaro books]
pulsar
a celestial source of pulsating electromagnetic radiation characterized by short relatively constant interval between pulses that is held to be a rotating neutron star

~Q~

quark
any of several elementary particles that are postulated to come in pairs of similar mass with one member having a +2/3 charge and the other having a -2/3 charge
quantum (pl. quanta)
any of the small increments or parcels into which many forms of energy are subdivided. quantum theory, quantum physics, quantum mechanics...

~R~

replicator
SF - A device that exactly duplicates an inanimate object from information input or a databank.
robotics
the branch of technology dealing with the design, construction and use of robots

~S~

shape-shifter
one that seems able to change form or identity at will
solar system
a sun/star with a group of celestial bodies (meteors, comets, planets, asteroids) that are held in orbit around it by means of gravitational attraction.
solar wind
charged particles from the sun traveling at about 1.5 million kph.
sophont(s)
[word derived from sophmore + ontogeny] SF - a sentient being in its middle stages of Uplift development.
Used in writings by Azimov, P. Anderson, Brin and others
stasis
a slowing or stoppage of the normal flow of bodily fluids and primary functions.
string theory
a premise in physics that all elementary particles are manifestations of the vibrations of one-dimensional stings.

~T~

tachyon
a [theoretical] particle that moves faster than light.
telekinesis
the production of motion in objects with out contact or other physical means.
telepathy
communication from one mind to another by extrasensory means.
terraform
SF - the introduction of biological agents to transform a portion to a land mass.
teleportation
the act of moving an object or person by psychokinesis

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