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Thread: What is "iso"

  1. #1 What is "iso" 
    Forum Sophomore GrowlingDog's Avatar
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    O'k this may upset some of the non science fiction fans of the forum and they may feel it frivolous but after watching a few episodes of Star Trek Voyager recently, i noticed that the prefix "iso" appears a lot. "isoton", "isogram", i think even "isotopes" (also on the Simpsons).
    What does "iso" mean in relation to weight. I know it was just science fiction but Star Trek fans are pretty clued on and i doubt the writers could get away with something without it having some factual basis.


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  3. #2  
    Moderator Moderator Dishmaster's Avatar
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    This prefix is Greek and means "equal" or "same". No idea how this relates to the techobabble in Star Trek, but isotope means literally "same place". In nuclear physics, this expression is used for atoms having the same nuclear charge (they are the same elements) but possessing a different weight, because they have different neutron numbers. They are located at the "same place" in the periodic table of chemical elements. So for example, Carbon 14 is an isotope of the commonly abundant Carbon 12. The same with Uranium 235 and Uranium 238.


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  4. #3  
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    Isothermal means no change in the temperature when we're talking about changes in pressure etc.
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  5. #4  
    Forum Sophomore GrowlingDog's Avatar
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    So is an Isotonne or Isogram possible and how much would they weigh? Or, if Iso means same, maybe an isoton is just a ton.
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  6. #5  
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    Well, the makers of Star Trek mostly aren't science people anyway. They just want the non-science people watching the series to feel that the characters are talking something related to advanced science or something. Anyway, the names are purely made up and mean nothing specific- at least to a scientist who isn't a fan of star trek) :wink:
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  7. #6  
    Time Lord
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    Quote Originally Posted by GrowlingDog
    if Iso means same, maybe an isoton is just a ton.
    Exactly.
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  8. #7  
    Forum Ph.D.
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    Not to be confused with “isotonic” however.
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