Using math formulas to predict earthquakes

A team of researchers at Lyell Centre in Edinburgh, has developed a way to use math formulas to help predict when an earthquake is likely to happen. In their paper published in Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth, ...

Food scientists slice time off salmonella identification process

Researchers from Cornell University, the Mars Global Food Safety Center in Beijing, and the University of Georgia have developed a method for completing whole-genome sequencing to determine salmonella serotypes in just two ...

Innovation is widespread in rural areas, not just cities

Conventional measures of innovation suggest that only big cities foster new ideas, but a more comprehensive measure developed at Penn State shows that innovation is widespread even in rural places not typically thought of ...

Stalled weather patterns will get bigger due to climate change

Climate change will increase the size of stalled high-pressure weather systems called "blocking events" that have already produced some of the 21st century's deadliest heat waves, according to a Rice University study.

Making infant formula more like human breast milk

U.K.-based scientists have engineered plants to produce an oil that mimics the chemical structure of human milk fat, a major component of breast milk. Previous studies suggest the human form of this molecule, triacylglycerol, ...

New statistical formulas for assigning sex to fossils

The CENIEH researcher Adrián Pablos is co-author of a paper which offers a methodology for assigning the sex to fossils of Homo sapiens and opens up the possibility of applying it to species other than our own, as well as ...

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Formula

In mathematics, a formula (plural: formulae or formulas) is an entity constructed using the symbols and formation rules of a given logical language.

In science, a formula is a concise way of expressing information symbolically (as in a mathematical or chemical formula), or a general relationship between quantities. Colloquial use of the term in mathematics often refers to a similar construct.

Such formulae are the key to solving an equation with variables. For example, determining the volume of a sphere requires a significant amount of integral calculus; but, having done this once, mathematicians can produce a formula to describe the volume in terms of some other parameter (the radius for example). This particular formula is:

Having obtained this result, and knowing the radius of the sphere in question, we can quickly and easily determine its volume. Note that the quantities V, the volume, and r the radius are expressed as single letters. This convention, while less important in a relatively simple formula, means that mathematicians can more quickly manipulate larger and more complex formulae.

Expressions are distinct from formulae in that they cannot contain an equals sign; whereas formulae are comparable to sentences, expressions are more like phrases.

In a general context, formulae are applied to provide a mathematical solution for real world problems. Some may be general: F = ma, which is one expression of Newton's second law, is applicable to a wide range of physical situations. Other formulae may be specially created to solve a particular problem; for example, using the equation of a sine curve to model the movement of the tides in a bay. In all cases however, formulae form the basis for all calculations.

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