MPC GLOSSARY

  • Bacteria- Microscopic living organisms, usually single-celled, that can be found in all kinds of environments on Earth.  Some are harmful, but others are vital to human health.
  • Beetle in a Box- a thought experiment by Ludwig Wittgenstein, Austrian philosopher, that attempts to show that the language used to describe our private experiences, such as emotions, feelings, and thoughts, can never fully represent or express our true experiences to others.
  • Brownian Motion- The seemingly random motion of microscopic particles (such as pollen grains) suspended in a liquid or gas, which is caused by fast-moving atoms and molecules colliding with the particle. This phenomenon was famously observed by Robert Brown (and named after him) and later explained in detail by Albert Einstein.
  • Callisto-  “kuh-LIST-oh” One of the Galilean moons. Jupiter’s second-largest moon and the third-largest moon in our solar system.  Named after a spirit, or nymph, who was loved by Zeus and transformed into a bear by Hera in Greek mythology.
  • Copernicus- “kuh-PUR-ni-kuhs” 1473–1543 Nicolaus Copernicus was a mathematician and astronomer famous for proposing a model of the universe that placed the sun instead of the earth at the center.
  • Euler’s Identity-  The equation e^iπ=-1 , which is named after Swiss mathematician Leonhard Euler.
  • Europa- “yew-ROH-pah” the smallest of the Galilean moons.  Named after the mother of King Minos of Crete in Greek mythology.
  • Galileo Galileo- “GAL-ih-LAY-oh GAL-ih-LAY” (1564-1642) Italian mathematician and astronomer who made many great discoveries with the refracting telescope that he perfected.
  • gas giant- Believed to be failed stars, gas giants are planets that are giant in size but have a relatively low density and a small rocky core and are mainly composed of gases, such as hydrogen and helium.
  • Ganymede- "GAN-ih-meed" One of the Galilean moons.  Jupiter’s largest moon and also the largest moon in our solar system. Named after a Trojan prince who became the cup-bearer of the Olympian gods in Greek mythology.
  • gravity- traditionally considered to be a force of attraction that exists between two objects that have mass or energy, it can be better thought of as a field of influence that results from the curvature of spacetime.  The nature of gravity still largely remains a mystery.
  • Io- “eye-oh”  One of the Galilean moons.  The most volcanically active celestial body in our solar system.  Named after a priestess of Hera who was loved by Zeus and turned into a cow by him for protection in Greek mythology.
  • Jupiter- a gas giant that is the fifth planet from the sun and also the largest planet in our solar system.  Named after the supreme god in the pantheon of Roman mythology.
  • mass- A constant property of a physical object that relates to how much matter it has.  Also a measure of its resistance to acceleration, or inertia.  It is measured in kilograms.
  • Pi - “PY” An irrational number represented by the Greek letter π that is defined as the ratio of the circumference of any circle to its diameter and is equal to approximately 3.14159.
  • René Descartes- "ruh-NEY day-KART” (1596–1650) French mathematician and philosopher who invented the Cartesian coordinate system and who is known as the father of analytical geometry.  His most famous philosophical statement is “I think, therefore I am”, which is found in his work, Discourse on the Method.