-ics, -tics [-ac after i]
(Greek: a suffix that forms nouns and is usually used to form names of arts and sciences)
2. In physics, the study of sounds, including their productions, transmissions, and general effects: The laboratory for acoustics at the university was outfitted with the latest technology and equipment for analyzing audible and inaudible vibrations.
Acoustics often determines how well sounds can be heard in the structural features of a room, a hall, an auditorium, etc.3. In architecture:
- The sum of the qualities, as absence of echo or reverberation, that determine the value of a room or auditorium with respect to distinct hearing: The famous symphony conductor tested the acoustics of the newly build performance hall and announced that the sound was very good.
- The science of planning and building an enclosure so that sound will be perfectly transmitted to the people who are in it: The newly hired engineer for the architecture firm had her engineering degree in acoustics and seemed the ideal candidate to work on the new performance hall.
Go to this Word A Day Revisited Index
for a list of additional Mickey Bach illustrations.
Here is a special article about acoustics.
2. In dermatology, ultraviolet light therapy.
2. A system of physical conditioning to enhance circulatory and respiratory efficiency that involves vigorous, sustained exercise; such as, jogging, swimming, or cycling; thereby improving the body's use of oxygen.
2. A branch of dentistry concerned with the prevention and treatment of aerodontalgia.
2. The study of the effects of air in motion on an object; either objects moving through air; such as, aircraft or automobiles, or stationary objects affected by moving air; for example, bridges or tall buildings.
The two primary forces in aerodynamics are lift and drag.
Lift refers to, usually upward, forces perpendicular to the direction of motion of an object traveling through the air; for example, airplane wings are designed so that their movement through the air creates an area of low pressure above the ling and an area of high pressure beneath it. The pressure difference produces the lift needed for flight which is typical of airfoil design.
Drag forces are parallel and opposite to the object's direction of motion and are caused largely by friction.
Large wings can create a significant amount of lift, but they do so at the expense of generating a great deal of drag. Extended "spoilers" on aircraft wings make the the wings capable of high lift even at low speeds; so, low landing speeds can still provide enough lift for a gentle "touchdown".