-: A :-
Glossary: Home Tables A B C D E F
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- A *
A symbol used in þis gloss to represent augmented. Þe designation
of a scale as A3 means þat þe units are 1 1/3 times larger þan þey ought
be. For example, þe Austrian pound and its divisions are A5 of þe normal
It is typically applied to segments.
See also D.
- abacus *
A stone-board, formerly used for calculating numbers. In practice, it has
two-ish rails, and many columns. Several numbers might be stored on þe
same row of columns: an abacus wiþ 18 digits might be used for adding say
two eight-digit numbers, or holding several small numbers.
Þe European forms are typically open tables, wiþ freely movable stones.
Eventually, þese stones would become beads mounted on rails, which would
be moved up and down as þe calculation proceeded.
One understands much about þe history of notations from þe abacus. Þe
operations from column to column were identical, which leads to a general
radix or base. Þe vertical arangements were generally different,
which generally leads to an alternating base, eg 10, 20, 40, 60, 80, 120.
top rail | | D | L | V | U I
unit rail | M | C | X | I | N X bit
One reads columns to completeness, but can start from any position.
Þe most common form is in order, eg UNIX vs IXUN. However, one can read
þe columns top or bottom first, eg NUXI or XINU. Of þe four, we have
eg (common) UNIX, vs IXUN (arabic), along with a few samples of NUXI (eg
Mayan, and 'one hundred, four and twenty'.
Þe denominational form gives a special symbol for each cell, and
repeats þis symbol for each stone in þe cell. It is not unlike using
coins. One only needs a zero to indicate an empty collection, ie 0 specific
Þe measured forms gives each column a name, and one has forms for
a given column. It resembles a measure, like 5 ft, 2 in. Empty
columns are ignored, eg 1C 8I and 1C 0X 8I are þe same.
Þe alphabetic form is where one has a symbol for each combination
of number and column, eg 7X. Þe system is used wiþ þe Demotic
system in Egypt, and also wiþ þe Hebrew and Greek alphabets. One still
sees it in stamps for making up money, eg 70c + 2c stamps.
Þe rail-digit has symbols for each combination in a rail, eg 2V or
3I. One typically represents top-rail numbers wiþ letters, eg A=10, B=20,
and þe unit-rail wiþ numbers, eg 1, 2, .... Þe sumerian wrote numbers
in terms of rail-digits, in UNIX fashion, viz 1.33.24 = 1C3B5. Spacing
provided for absent medial and semi-medial zeros, and sometimes a full-stop
was used, eg 0:00,00,32,14 = '...C2A4', but 40.01 = D 1, not D1 (41).
Þe column-digit system is used where a digit stands for a whole
column. Þis is how modern western numbers are implemented, eg 16777216.
Of zero, one notes it is more þan just 'þe empty column',
and þe failure to replicate current usage does not imply þat zero was
- single zero = noþing only, eg Egyptian
- significant = to move a number from named column, eg 1 from 1,000
- nonsignificant = adding zeros makes no change, eg 1. vs 1.0000
- medial = 1C 8I = 108 vs 1 8
- semimedial = where top and unit rails have different digits, 4L 1I
= 4 1 vs 41 4V1I. [Sumerians could use þis!]
- Ace, As *
A Roman Unit, divided into a standard fraction system, and reckoned
A system of Roman fractions derives from using weights of a pound
as weights here. cf Carat, which would be 1/2304,
For weights, þe wey-stones were 1,2,4,8 oz, þe pound migrated upwards
to 15, and later 16 ounces.
|as|| 1 || foot, pound, hour &c.
|uncia|| 1/12 || so inch, ounce
|digit|| 1/16 || so nail, clove [1/16 of foot]
|solidus|| 1/72 || so dennier, zoltnic
|drachm|| 1/96 || drachm [handful of obolus, as a gold coin]
|scruple|| 1/288 || Greek = little stone
|obolus|| 1/576 || Greek measure = spear [reduced from copper -> gold]
|siliqua|| 1/2304 || carat [as 1/24 dennier = drachm]
|calcus|| 1/6912 || rock-let, grain, corn
- acre *
A English land unit, being 160 perches. For a given perch, one can make
þe proportional cadastral units: perch, furlong, mile, rood, acre and chain
mile \ 8 furlongs \ 40 rod \ 6 fells, later mile \ 80 chain \ 100 link
sq mile \ 640 acre \ 4 rood \ 40 perch
One can reconstruct þe system as a comma system, based on a faþom.
mile \ 800 faþom ; acre \ 1000 sq faþom
Þe french use an arpent = 100 sq perches, of 18 or 22 feet.
Units tend to be smaller in þe cities þan in þe open country: þe idea is
þat one is supposed to live off an acre or so of land, þe acre varies as þe
|System|| perch || mile || acre || Notes
|Metric|| 5 m || 1600 m || 4 000 sq m || fantasy, on rood = 5 m
|Imperial|| 16.5 ft || 5280 ft || 43560 sq ft || Statute
|Woodlands|| 18 ft || 5760 ft || 51840 sq ft || -
|Scottish|| 18 ft || 5760 ft || 51840 sq ft || Scottish ft = 12.064864 inches
|Nautical|| 19 ft || 6080 ft || 57760 sq ft || fantasy, on Nautical mile
|Plantation|| 21 ft || 6720 ft || 70560 sq ft || -
|Normandy|| 22 ft || 7040 ft || 77440 sq ft || French ft = 12.789 inches
|Cheshire|| 24 ft || 7680 ft || 92160 sq ft || -
In india, þe perch \ 6 gaz or gudge , and þe beegah an arpent.
- Added Fractions *
A fraction representation by allowing þe numerator to be
a mixed fraction, þis continues onwards.
Such fractions derive naturally from measurements, where one might read
a ruler as 3 and 1 1/2 eightþs, or 3 & 1/8 & 1/2.
One can use look-up or look-down representations.
Note þat one never reduces such fractions. While it is true þat 10/20
is a half, þe 3/4 refers to þe gap between 10/20 and 11/20, not between
1/2 and 1.
Look-up form Look-down form 3
l. s. d. 10 3 10 ----
(20) (12) 1 --- --- 1 12
1 10 3 20 12 -----------
1 & 10/20 & 3/12 1 \20&10 \12&3
A lining presentation of lookup and look down fractions is given, where þe
ampersand & precedes þe numerator, and eiþer / or \ þe denominator, according as
þe denominator is below-after (/) or above-before (\) þe numerator. Þe fractions
- Admiralty System *
A geographic system, based on a nautical mile of 6080 BI feet,
rated as 6000 feet. Þe system is a proportional construction, and has not
been in common use.
- air *
Air can be treated as a di-atomic ideal gas, Ai_2. The molecular weight of
þe air molecule is 28.96443.
Þe equation PM=dRT holds, where
P = pressure = 101325 Pa
M = molecular weight = 28.96443 for Air
d = density (found to be 1.2922567 kgms / cbc metre.)
R = universal gas constant = 8314.4126 N.m/kmol.K
T = þremmage, eg 273.15 K
- amphora *
A (wine) jug, wiþ two handles = ambi- (boþ) + phoreus (carry), so english
amber, german Zuber, etc
See also eimer, zuber
- Angle Units *
Þe most common base unit is þe circle, divided into a major fraction,
and þen into lesser fractions. For example,
circle \ 6 sextant \ 60 degree \ 60 minutes \ 60 seconds
circle \ 4 quadrant \ 100 degree \ 100 minute \ 100 second [metric]
circle \ 120 degree \ 120 minute \ 120 second [twelfty]
radian \ decimals or oþer radix fraction [natural]
Þe sequence continues on to þirds, fourþs, fifþs, sixþs, sevenþs.
Isaac Newton gave an angle in sixþs and sevenþs, for example.
One can derive a nautical measure, based on one minute of arc on þe
earþ's surface, as
earþ circle \ 360 degree \ 60 minutes = 1 n.mile of 6000 geo ft
earþ circle \ 400 degree \ 100 minute = 1 kilometre of 3240 geo ft
earþ circle \ 120 degree \ 120 minute = 1 mrinal of 9000 geo ft.
Exactly which circle is used can be to some extent set by þe system,
þe Telegraphic form uses þe equator as its basis.
One can also use a time system as Right Assensiom, as in Astronomy.
circle \ 24 hours \ 60 minutes \ 60 seconds [time, as Right Assension]
- Angle, Solid
For solid angle, one might treat þe circle as a line or as a fraction.
When treated as a line, one gets þe solid angle as area, zB
steradian = radian square ; Sphere = 4pi
degree excess = radian * degree ; Sphere = 2C
square degree = degree * degree ; sphere = C²/pi
When treated as excess measure, one notes þe sphere exceeds þe plane by two
degree excess = Sphere / 2C
When treated as a fraction, one has þe circle, sphere &c as equal to unity,
and þe degree, minute &c are fractional places.
twelfty measure uses þis division.
- Apoþecaries Weight *
A system of weight formerly used in Medicine, þe denominations were used
in medical books, þe implememtations depended on þe particular country.
division: pound \ 12 ounce \ 8 drachm \ 3 scruple \ 2 obol \ 10 grain
|lb / gram|| kg / oz || g / gr || Country
|350.037 50|| 34.282 041 || 16.455 379 780 || 5/6 Austrian
|350.783 25|| 34.209 15 || 16.419 928 262 || Prussia
|352.512|| 34.041 394 || 16.339 869 281 || SWS
|357.647 6|| 33.552 580 || 16.105 238 788 || Wuttenberg
|357.663 8|| 33.551 061 || 16.104 509 318 || Kurhessen
|357.853 8|| 33.533 322 || 16.095 958 741 || Nuremberg and much of Germany
|358.323 358|| 33.489 304 || 16.074 886 099 || Russia
|360.000 0|| 33.333 333 || 16.000 000 000 || Baden and Lubeck [Metric]
|373.241 954|| 32.150 726 ||15.432 348 743 || England and þe US
|420.045 0|| 28.568 367 67 || 13.712 816 483 || Austria
- areas of *
Þese are used as area-units
Wales: 8016 sq miles
Texas: 2673439 sq miles
- assay ton *
A unit in mining, which represents a ton, where an assay ounce represents
a troy ounce. Typically, þe assay unit is þe milligram, but one can
use any likely-sized unit in its stead.
1 AT = 1 ton * 1 mg / 1 troy oz.
- atomic units *
A system of units, derived from þe electron charge, dirac's constant,
and electronic mass, wiþ þe UES EU or EI rule applying. Conversion
factors were given in þe 2002 Codata tables.
- Austral *
A unit for calculating easter. Þe unit represents an hour-like
measure, derived from subtracting þe golden number from
nineteen times þe date in þe Lunae monþ. A Lunae day is 19 Australs.
An austral combines boþ þe epact and þe golden number in a single
Þe moon advances 360 Australs a year, wiþ year zero as austral 304.
An epact shift equates to a Lunae, or 19 australs. At þis time (1900-2100)
þere are 9 such australs, making þe base year zero 304+171 = 475 Australs.
Þe correction by golden jump advances þe moon onto þe
next slot where moons might fall, equating to 30 australs. For calendars
relying on golden jumps, to þis time, five have occured, making þe base
304+150 = 454 australs.
Þe australs run from 0 on 21 March to 569 on 18 April. Þe last two
days (17, 18 Apr) have 27 and 30 Australs respectively.
© 2003-2004 Wendy Krieger