Sunday, April 1, 2012

Alpha




In the phonetic alphabet, Alpha represents the letter A. According to my dictionary - a very old but perfectly serviceable American Heritage circa 1969 - Alpha is also 1. the first letter in the Greek alphabet 2. the first of anything; beginning 3. the brightest or main star in a constellation 4. first in order of importance. [Greek, from a Phoenician word akin to Hebrew aleph, ALEPH.]

Here are a few Alphas you may or may not be familiar with...


Alpha Centauri - if you're a Geek like me you know this is a double star in Centaurus, the brightest in the constellation, 4.4 light years away from Earth.

Alpha Crucis - but I'll wager you didn't know this was a double star, too, in the constellation Crux, approx. 230 light years away.

Alpha Leonis - Also a star, known as Regulus, in the constellation Leo.

Alpha particle - a positively charged composite particle.
Alpha privative - the Greek negative prefix

Alpha ray -  a stream of alpha particles
Apha rhythm - the most common electroencephalographic waveform found in recordings of the electrical activity of the adult cerebral cortex, characteristically 8 to 12 smooth, regular oscillations per second in subjects at rest. also called 'alpha wave.'

26 comments:

  1. Nice :) The Aleph is also the first letter of the ancient Egyptian alphabet (written as 3)

    Jamie Gibbs
    Mithril Wisdom

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  2. Thanks for sharing. Didn't know what most of those were.

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  3. Always love learning new things. :-) I feel like an alpha particle today...maybe too much coffee and charged for the A-Zing!

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    1. me too! And believe me, I'm learning right along with everyone else!

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  4. Yay for alphas!! Take care
    x

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  5. That's a lot of alphas. Where was the alpha male? Sorry, just kidding.

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    1. my dictionary didn't have that one but if it had I'd have included it!

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  6. I didn't know any of these, that is except for the word itself, Alpha. I look at the stars a lot but never know which is which.

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    1. I only know a few, not as many as I would like.

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  7. I can already tell that April is going to be a really interesting month and if I'm not careful I might actually learn something! :)

    Great start!

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    1. That's my hope, that we all learn something together - including me!

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  8. Ooh, love this word and the examples you put down. Awesome.

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  9. Oh, to look at the stars and know something about them!
    And I love the photos of your cats. I have an orange kitty at my house named Dodge and he looks just like your UNA MAE HONEY BEAUTY GIRL TROPICANA. (I had to copy and paste that name because it's so lovely and, er, extravagant!)
    Happy A to Z!

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    1. thank you, Cathy, she was a good kitty. I miss her. And I think that extravagant name suited her now that I think about it :)

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  10. So many words and definitions I don't know. Great alpha words. Exciting topic.

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  11. I knew Alpha meant "first" but the examples you provided were really interesting. DL Hammons is right--I might learn something this month if I'm not careful!

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  12. Looking forward to this topic! Great Alpha post :)

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  13. Really cool info. I've got a smile from my brain soaking up new stuff. Looking forward to more exciting posts.

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  14. "I am the Alpha and the Omega."
    Great start to the Challenge!

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  15. Delicious post, I love the stars. Greetings.

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  16. Alphas = TV show I loved. (wonder if they cancelled it)

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  17. Congratulations on being the first person to use the term "electroencephalographic waveform" in the A to Z blogfest!

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  18. Very interesting post! I didn't know all the extra info - thanks for sharing.
    (In last last years challenge, Alpha was my A-post).

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  19. I didn't realize there were so many alpha stars. :)

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