2656: Scientific Field Prefixes

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Scientific Field Prefixes
Massage: Theoretical (10), Quantum (6), High-energy (2), Computational (1), Marine (1), Astro- (None)
Title text: Massage: Theoretical (10), Quantum (6), High-energy (2), Computational (1), Marine (1), Astro- (None)

Explanation[edit]

Ambox notice.png This explanation may be incomplete or incorrect: Created by a Quantum Dentist - Fill in this table with explanations. Do NOT delete this tag too soon.
If you can address this issue, please edit the page! Thanks.
Google Scholar is a search engine for academic publications, and Randall has been having fun with it.

Randall searches for various terms that are composed of some common prefixes and common suffixes, but not always commonly associated with each other in each possible combination, and tabulates the results. See this table with numbers for easy overview.

This reveals some very commonly used full terms like "Theoretical Physics", the most discovered, which represents almost four million hits compared to the next highest, "Computational Biology", with almost 3 million hits and Astrophysics with 2 million hits. Ducking just below 1 million hits is fourth placing Marine Biology. Of the 42 possible fields just 14 have more than 100,000 hits, and only four more have over 10,000.

But there are also some that have much lower numbers, eight with fewer than 10 hits in the table. "High-Energy Psychology" and "Marine Dentistry" have just one apparent occurrence each (equivalent to a Googlewhack), whilst there are no hits at all recorded for four of the initially combined terms. In total (with the title text) there are 48 fields, see a full list of scientific fields below.

An explanation for both existing and fictive scientific fields can be given below in the table with explanations.

In the caption to the table Randall list four potential research opportunities i.e. those with no hits in the table: Quantum Dentistry, High-Energy Dentistry, Astrodentistry, and High-Energy Theology

He thus suggests that, because of the (apparent) lack of current studies in these specialized sub-fields, there may be unexplored potential for a study. This could be that the more "used" areas have far too much competition and be might already be "used up" for potentially useful discoveries. (This does not account for how much 'study space' might be available in a given box of research, even though Randall has previously hinted that anything "Astro"-related is potentially full of many things to study.) Of course the real reason for no one studying these fields are that they make no sense. Dentistry is related to fixing peoples teeth. The quantum world has no effect on human teeth[citation needed], and high-energy bombardment of a human's mouth may also be a bit dangerous (although x-rays and radiation treatment in the mouth could be seen as high energy). Astrodentistry is not really relevant if seeing this as something used on humans. Of course astronauts might need dentistry while in space, but it would be a stretch to call the study of dentistry in zero-G, "astrodentistry". "High-energy Theology" as a term, seems more likely to have been used...

In the title text Randall lists the figures for another 'major' field suffix, Massage, and the numbers of its prefixed forms. From this, we learn that Astromassage is another 'open' field that is currently unstudied, but none of the five others have more than 10. Actually the most surprising aspect of the title text is that there are hits for both quantum massage and high-energy massage... Massage has been added to the tables below and the list of fields.

Table with numbers[edit]

  • Here the table is presented with only numbers, so it can be sorted.
    • Massage from the title text has been added.
Physics Chemistry Biology Engineering Psychology Theology Dentistry Massage
Theoretical 3990000 445000 553000 2460 15500 726 41 10
Quantum 478000 740000 7620 21100 699 447 0 6
High-Energy 844000 9600 3 119 1 0 0 2
Computational 510000 599000 2910000 67400 4620 40 11 1
Marine 3920 136000 945000 108000 35 6 1 1
Astro- 2010000 20600 226000 430 64 580 0 0

List of Scientific fields[edit]

This is included for easy reading of the numbers:

  • Theoretical Physics: 3,990,000
  • Theoretical Chemistry: 445,000
  • Theoretical Biology: 553,000
  • Theoretical Engineering: 2,460
  • Theoretical Psychology: 15,500
  • Theoretical Theology: 726
  • Theoretical Dentistry: 41
  • Theoretical Massage: 10
  • Quantum Physics: 478,000
  • Quantum Chemistry: 740,000
  • Quantum Biology: 7,620
  • Quantum Engineering: 21,100
  • Quantum Psychology: 699
  • Quantum Theology: 447
  • Quantum Dentistry: None
  • Quantum Massage: 6
    • 5 of these are objections to pseudoscientific healing nonsense. The last is from a Dutch medical text in which one sentence ends with "quantum" and the next begins with "massage", published in 1895 and having nothing to do with quantum mechanics.
  • High-Energy Physics: 844,000
  • High-Energy Chemistry: 9,600
  • High-Energy Biology: 3
    • Two of these are for the same conference proceedings about use of accelerators in biological research. The third is from an article which mentions a list of research areas: "extensive programs in chemistry, physics (other than high energy), biology".
  • High-Energy Engineering: 119
  • High-Energy Psychology: 1
    • Job ad from October 31st, 2001, asking for "high energy psychology, speech pathology or special education majors to work with our mildly autistic son"
  • High-Energy Theology: None
  • High-Energy Dentistry: None
  • High-Energy Massage: 2
  • Computational Physics: 510,000
  • Computational Chemistry: 599,000
  • Computational Biology: 2,910,000
  • Computational Engineering: 67,400
  • Computational Psychology: 4,620
  • Computational Theology: 40
  • Computational Dentistry: 11
  • Computational Massage: 1
    • This is an article about modular wearable electronic devices, in the form of clothing, which provide massage.
  • Marine Physics: 3,920
  • Marine Chemistry: 136,000
  • Marine Biology: 945,000
  • Marine Engineering: 108,000
  • Marine Psychology: 35
  • Marine Theology: 6
  • Marine Dentistry: 1
    • The paper mentions the application of something in "Transportation, Marine, Dentistry, Electronics" and other fields
  • Marine Massage: 1
    • Article in "Professional Beauty" of 2021, mentioning "An exceptional massage technique with the professional-only Oligo-Marine Massage Cream includes smoothing, relaxing and stretching movements for total relaxation and optimal skin"
  • Astrophysics: 2,010,000
  • Astrochemistry: 20,600
  • Astrobiology: 226,000
  • Astroengineering: 430
  • Astropsychology: 64
  • Astrotheology: 580
  • Astrodentistry: None
  • Astromassage: None

Table with explanations[edit]

  • Here all 48 fields can be explained in a table:
Field Number of Searches Explanation of field
Theoretical Physics 3990000 Theoretical Physics is a whole field in itself, with journals made only for that type of physics. Also the one with by far most hits.
Theoretical Chemistry 445000
Theoretical Biology 553000
Theoretical Engineering 2460
Theoretical Psychology 15500
Theoretical Theology 726
Theoretical Dentistry 41
Theoretical Massage 10 Theoretical Massage is not a real scientific field[citation needed], but rather the theory about it, in contrast to the practical application of massage. This term is most likely to be used in the context of learning or studying massages, for example during the process of becoming a massage therapist. Alternatively this term could refer to the studying of the masses of matter, (or its massage if you will). This would make it a field of physics.
Quantum Physics 478000 As with Theoretical Physics, above, Quantum Physics is an entire field within itself.
Quantum Chemistry 740000 A field within chemistry, quantum chemistry is the study of how quantum-level effects extrapolate to chemical properties, such as the shape of electron orbitals.
Quantum Biology 7620
Quantum Engineering 21100
Quantum Psychology 699
Quantum Theology 447
Quantum Dentistry None
Quantum Massage 6
High-Energy Physics 844000
High-Energy Chemistry 9600
High-Energy Biology 3
High-Energy Engineering 119
High-Energy Psychology 1
High-Energy Theology None
High-Energy Dentistry None
High-Energy Massage 2
Computational Physics 510000 The field of using computational models to simulate physical systems. Such models are commonly used in both theoretical and applied physics, hence the large number of hits.
Computational Chemistry 599000 The field of using computational models to simulate chemical systems. Commonly used in the field of theoretical chemistry.
Computational Biology 2910000
Computational Engineering 67400
Computational Psychology 4620
Computational Theology 40
Computational Dentistry 11
Computational Massage 1
Marine Physics 3920
Marine Chemistry 136000
Marine Biology 945000
Marine Engineering 108000
Marine Psychology 35
Marine Theology 6
Marine Dentistry 1
Marine Massage 1
Astrophysics 2010000
Astrochemistry 20600
Astrobiology 226000
Astroengineering 430
Astrophychology 64
Astrotheology 580
Astrodentistry None
Astromassage None

Transcript[edit]

[A table is drawn with seven columns and six rows. Above each column and to the left of each row there is a label. All 42 fields are filled out with a number, except when the number is 0, then is says none in a red font. Above the table there is a large header:]
Number of search results on Google Scholar
Physics Chemistry Biology Engineering Psychology Theology Dentistry
Theoretical 3,990,000 445,000 553,000 2,460 15,500 726 41
Quantum 478,000 740,000 7,620 21,100 699 447 None
High-Energy 844,000 9,600 3 119 1 None
None
Computational 510,000 599,000 2,910,000 67,400 4,620 40 11
Marine 3,920 136,000 945,000 108,000 35 6 1
Astro- 2,010,000 20,600 226,000 430 64 580 None
[Caption below the panel:]
Potential research opportunities: Quantum Dentistry, High-Energy Dentistry, Astrodentistry, and High-Energy Theology


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Discussion

I think Mr. Monroe made up these numbers rather than researching them 172.71.22.105 17:07, 9 August 2022 (UTC) anon, a mouse.

Given how easy it is to look them up, I think this is unlikely. I haven't checked all of them, but each of the eight or so that I have checked were correct. BunsenH (talk) 19:14, 9 August 2022 (UTC)
Checked it out of curiosity: The data's correct, however, the searches must be done with quotes

Interestingly enough, the last time I was at a dentist, I ask them if they had seen any research work on how to do dentistry in zero-g, like if you got a toothache halfway to Mars. 162.158.107.56 01:58, 9 August 2022 (UTC) BCS

Comment on comment: there should have been work done on dental procedures aboard orbiting stations, and also on e.g. Antarctic bases. 162.158.134.25 04:39, 9 August 2022 (UTC) Pär Leijonhufvud
That's "Space Dentistry". Or, in the other case, something that surely should involve the term "Polar Molar" somewhere in the paper abstract! :-p
'Astro-' is "of the stars", or of the things that are more in their vicinity than not. If it isn't dentristrying (or massaging) the stars themselves, it'd be learning how to apply the parent field to astrozoological subjects (assuming xenodentristry and xenomassage aren't the best terms for the otherwise xenobiological clientelle). 172.70.91.128 11:55, 9 August 2022 (UTC)

Those who say that there's no such thing as High-Energy Theology should be taken with a pinch of salt. Or even a Lot! 172.70.91.80 02:05, 9 August 2022 (UTC)

I'm a little concerned with Theoretical Theology. How much more theoritical can base theology be? 108.162.250.198 02:22, 9 August 2022 (UTC) Beechmere

'Theoretical theology' is a tautology. So the first word is redundant. MarquisOfCarrabass (talk) 06:47, 9 August 2022 (UTC)

Theoretical theology returns 1.6 million results, so the comic is wrong, and high energy theology is wrong as well, searching on these three terms results in 602,000 results, not 0. I think perhaps Scholar.google.com has detected your skepticism, and is returning incorrect results for you, in accordance with the Copenhagen interpretation of Quantum Theology, in which God only exists for those who are not atheists.Seebert (talk) 13:29, 9 August 2022 (UTC)
"high energy theology" in quotes returns zero. "theoretical theology" actually returns 726 results, as in the comic. Searching without quotes is a double-edged sword: On one hand it would get results in which the terms are mentioned in separate sentences, and thus aren't relevant to the (non-existant[citation needed]) scientific field called "high energy theology". On the other it would get results about fields similar to what one would imagine these combinations would describe. For example there's only one result for "marine dentistry", but there's several articles on dentistry on sea mammals, which would use both "marine" and "dentistry" in the same article. In any case, Randall used quotes in his search and his numbers look correct to me. 256.256.256.256 (talk about me behind my back) 14:19, 9 August 2022 (UTC)

I'd love to conduct research on Marine Massage! How do I find the link? (Purposes.)

We need another dimension for Theoretical Marine Massave Barmar (talk) 04:03, 9 August 2022 (UTC)

Unfortunately the "Marine dentistry" one appear to be a false positive: it contains the test string "...Marine, Dentistry..." in a list of possible fields where AR technology could be useful (Novakova, N.G., 2019. Innovation potential of augmented technologies in industrial context. Industry 4.0, 4(1), pp.24-28). Also the "high-energy psychology" one was similarly a dud: student newspaper with a help wanted ad for a "high energy psychology student" (https://core.ac.uk/download/pdf/217247671.pdf). The lack of manual curation of Scholar sometimes gives you these finds. Thirdly, Randall definitely searched with quote marks: https://scholar.google.com/scholar?hl=en&as_sdt=0%2C5&q=marine+dentistry yields over 100 k results while https://scholar.google.com/scholar?hl=en&as_sdt=0%252C5&q=%22marine+dentistry%22 only yields one, with at least one of the former being papers on marine mammal dentistry (I have for practical porpoises no interest in dentistry, but I *want* to read https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/9781119545804.ch11). In summary: by searching for the exact phrase Randall eliminated a large number of false positives, but also missed a large number of interesting papers. 162.158.134.157 04:32, 9 August 2022 (UTC) Pär Leijonhufvud

honestly I'm mostly worried about computational theology 172.71.6.65 04:40, 9 August 2022 (UTC)

It's a fairly common subject in science fiction. Fredric Brown's short story "Answer", for example. BunsenH (talk) 04:46, 9 August 2022 (UTC)
Could have sworn that was Asimov's _The Last Answer_Seebert (talk) 13:35, 9 August 2022 (UTC)
I think you're thinking of Asimov's "The Last Question", about Multivac and its descendants. His "The Last Answer" is a different story, and doesn't involve a computer. BunsenH (talk) 19:24, 9 August 2022 (UTC)
Isn't that better known as numerology? 172.70.85.221 08:49, 9 August 2022 (UTC)
Of course, you meant to write "The Nine Billion Names of God" by Arthur C. Clarke. Nitpicking (talk) 11:35, 9 August 2022 (UTC)

I wouldn't be surprised if there was some research into use of synchrotron radiation in treating cancers in the jaw. Doesn't that count as "high energy"? BunsenH (talk) 04:46, 9 August 2022 (UTC)

'High Energy Theology' sounds like an area of study extremely NOT conducive to the long-term survival of the human race. See this quote from the PRINCIPIA DISCORDIA:

'Mal-2 was once asked by one of his Disciples if he often prayed to Eris. He replied with these words: "No, we Erisians seldom pray, it is much too dangerous. Charles Fort has listed many factual incidences of ignorant people confronted with, say, a drought, and then praying fervently -- and then getting the entire village wiped out in a torrential flood."

We got ourselves into enough trouble when we split the atom. Gods only know what would result if we ever manage to split the thaum.

MarquisOfCarrabass (talk) 06:58, 9 August 2022 (UTC)

Isn't that what happened to Soddom and Gemorrah? Genesis 19. Certainly enough energy to transmute Lot's wife into a pillar of salt. External to scripture, there's a recent theory about the image on the Shroud of Turin as well that is based in high energy physics.Seebert (talk) 13:35, 9 August 2022 (UTC)

Why is the "explanation" someone nitpicking the search method (and mixing up the "former" and "latter" order of unquoted vs. quoted), rather than an explanation of the joke? Conster (talk) 08:13, 9 August 2022 (UTC)

Because sadly after ParL did their nitpicking, nobody else felt qualified to actually explain the joke 256.256.256.256 (talk about me behind my back) 10:09, 9 August 2022 (UTC)

I worked on giving actually competent editors a base to modify, but then someone else had already made an explanation. Here's my attempt:

"Within each branch of science, like physics, chemistry or biology, there are different scientific fields. Some of the prefixes, like theoretical, quantum or astro-, are used across multiple branches of science. For example quantum physics is about the physical properties of nature at the scale of atoms and subatomic particles, while Quantum chemistry is about the application of quantum mechanics to chemical systems.

Randall combines a bunch of different Scientific Field Prefixes with another bunch of scientific branches, creating combinations that form several real fields of science, but also nonsense ones. To get a grasp on whether that scientific field is real and/or well-known, he searches for the combinations on Google Scholar, a web search engine that indexes the contents of scholarly literature across an array of publishing formats and disciplines, counting the number of results for each combination. Some term combinations are common, and can thus be assumed to be real scientific fields, while others are uncommon, suggesting that those fields are not well known. Four combinations are not found even once, suggesting that they are "potential research opportunities", as the title text says.

There are problems with Randall's method though:"

Maybe some of this may be useful, I don't know 256.256.256.256 (talk about me behind my back) 11:21, 9 August 2022 (UTC)

Ah, that was me. Apologies. And you ECed the following attempt to post into here, so hete it is repasted. ;) Still applies. Your contribution also clearly appreciated...
I hated it so much, I rewrote it ("/* Explanation */ Nixing the downer 'explanation'. Perhaps some points can be extracted from it, even as my attempt is improved or (in turn) overwritten with something better."). Was going to suggest a table of prefixes/suffixes to describe each, but someone added the (sortable) tables in for the full forms (caused me much edit-conflict pain, hope I didn't cause someone else ECs in return) so maybe that's overkill. But "what exactly is 'Astro-Dentistry'?", etc, might be a useful addition in there, if it doesn't make the table(s) hard to read... 172.70.162.155 11:28, 9 August 2022 (UTC)
Postscript to above: Yes, your explanation does things that I was going to do if I hadn't had my first attempt to nix/rewrite hit the table-adding. i.e. go into the major-suffix/minor-prefix sets, or even whole-term where it exists, and spell out and wikilink accordingly. I would be honoured to see your blocked text integrated into mine (or satisfied with yours going there again with barely a smidgen of mine still remaining). Up to you/the others, though, as I'm not wanting to add further ECs to the rush... ;) 172.70.85.13 11:35, 9 August 2022 (UTC)
I like that idea, maybe as an additional table? I can imagine it would take up a whole screen so maybe putting it at the end of the page could help so those that don't need it don't have to scroll over it. I don't feel capable enough to make such a big table (especially with 48 explanations) but I do support that idea. 256.256.256.256 (talk about me behind my back) 11:36, 9 August 2022 (UTC)
I have added all three tables now. Both with plain numbers, for explanation and the one in the transcript (which should not be sort-able and not include massage!) Feel free to fill out the table. I have put it in a new section so editing that section or the explanation section does not edit conflict! --Kynde (talk) 11:52, 9 August 2022 (UTC)
It feels like the current explanation is rather burying the core of the joke, which is about research students deliberately selecting topics in the most obscure sub-fields they can find (which are probably unstudied for a reason), more for the fact that it gives them more opportunity to produce something novel than to add something useful to the body of knowledge. 172.70.85.221 08:15, 10 August 2022 (UTC)

High energy magic is definitely a legitimate scientific subject, see for example https://wiki.lspace.org/High_Energy_Magic_Building --172.71.114.7 13:28, 9 August 2022 (UTC)

Worth noting is that all these prefixes are those found commonly on physics and chemistry! Would you find "cosmetic physics", "veterinary physics", "paediatric physics" and so on... which are probably as common in medical field as "high-energy" or "quantum" might be in physics/chemistry. 162.158.146.41 15:47, 9 August 2022 (UTC)

Interestingly enough, "pediatric physics" gets hits. So does "pediatric theology". --Comsmomf (talk) 12:49, 10 August 2022 (UTC)

Considering some of the pseudoscientific woo that my late mother-in-law believed in, and the shelves of books of "healing energy" babble she had, I'm not in the least surprised that there are hits on "quantum massage". Quantum anything is going to pop up eventually. There were books about homeopathic colour, and about magic trampolining. BunsenH (talk) 15:57, 9 August 2022 (UTC)

  • "theoretical linguistics": 64,100
  • "quantum linguistics": 148
  • "high-energy linguistics": None
  • "computational linguistics": 887,000
  • "marine linguistics": 3 (two french-language results and a paper on the "development of the maritime mentality")
  • "astrolinguistics": 70 (most seem to focus on designing a way to communicate with aliens)

--172.69.33.175 23:47, 9 August 2022 (UTC)

Randall missed some even more interesting prefixes here. Such as: "forensic", "structural", "poststructural", "civil", "Biblical", "feminist", "postcolonial", "pediatric". Open research areas include "forensic massage", "poststructural engineering", "Biblical dentistry", "postcolonial physics".--Comsmomf (talk) 12:46, 10 August 2022 (UTC)


Expansion plans

Given that multipie editors have reported differing results, one or more people need to double-check them on Scholar, Books Ngrams, and Trends for both web and news, and combine it all into a database that users can click through to some Pandas and plotting code on Colab for analysis and visualization. Maybe if I have time later. I'm thinking of using, e.g., a CSV embedded in a Colab notebook, but it would be great if those services don't require any API keys so everyone can generate and examine the results from their respective locales.

Also, is there a way we can work the simulation hypothesis into high-energy theology? I'm on the fence about that last one. 172.70.214.105 21:05, 9 August 2022 (UTC)

Why Colab and not Pyodide? 172.69.33.83 00:57, 10 August 2022 (UTC)

Doesn't fall the Higgs under High-Energy Theology, "The God Particle" and such? :-) (Not even trying to list all pop physic books with "God" in the title, for increased sales...) 198.41.242.115 07:01, 10 August 2022 (UTC)

Three of the theology ones (in parenthesis) are covered by the first sentence of the Nicene Creed, as well as a couple other possible combinations [in brackets]: "We believe in one God, the Father Almighty (high-energy theology), Maker of heaven (astrotheology) and earth [geotheology], and of all things visible [phototheology] and invisible (theoretical theology)." 172.71.22.109 17:42, 10 August 2022 (UTC)