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Archaic Scientific Words & Definitions Answers to RF Cafe Quiz #18(Title)

All RF Cafe quizzes would make perfect fodder for employment interviews for technicians or engineers - particularly those who are fresh out of school or are relatively new to the work world. Come to think of it, they would make equally excellent study material for the same persons who are going to be interviewed for a job.

Click here for the complete list of RF Cafe Quizzes.

Note: Many answers contain passages quoted in whole or in part from the text.



Return to RF Cafe Quiz #18


1. Gutta percha
 
c) Cable insulation

Gutta percha is a natural form of rubber that was the first successful insulation for undersea communications cables in the 19th century.



2. Condenser

a) Capacitor


Condensers were so-called due to their ability to collect and "condense charges into a given volume.



3. Luminiferous aether

b) Medium that supports the transmission of light particles

As early as the days of Newton, it was believed that a special medium existed that accommodated the movement of light particles (prior to their wave nature being discovered). That medium was dubbed luminiferous aether.



4. Thermionic valve

a) Vacuum tube diode

Thermionic comes from the boiling off of electrons from the cathode, and valve, of course, derives from the devices' ability to switch current on or off.



5. Dephlogisticated air

d) Molecular oxygen

To deflogisticcate means to render burnable. Oxygen supports combustion, hence the name.



6. Corpuscle

d) Light particle

So-named by Isaac Newton.



7. Audion

c) Vacuum tube triode

Lee De Forest called his newly discovered amplifying device an Audion (not sure why).



8. Caloric

d) Fluid responsible for heat flow

It used to be thought that caloric was a fluid that transferred head from bodies of higher temperatures to bodies of lower temperatures. Canon boring experiments debunked the belief.



9. Leyden jar

b) Energy storage device (capacitor)

Benjamin Franklin used a Leyden jar as part of his kite flying experiment to prove that lightning was a form of electricity (no he didn't "discover" electricity).



10. Voltaic pile

a) Battery

All four answers are proper definitions of a pile, but the one that fits the spirit of this quiz is, of course, a battery. Alessandro Volta, inventor of the first practical wet-cell battery, so-named it because it looked like a pile - a 5th definition for the word "pile" that means a long rod-like beam used to support structures.