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Caminhos de ferro Portugueses. Portuguese (.pt) national railways. Since they're different gauge and different continents, confusion between this CP and the next is somewhat unlikely.

Canadian Pacific (railway)/ Canadien Pacifique.

Thanks to a Canadian informant, we are able to give you all the juicy details: Traditionally the abbreviation was CPR. In the 1960's they decided to emphasize their nature as a multi-modal transportation company and adopted ``CP'' for the whole and ``CP Rail,'', ``CP Air,'' ``CP Ships,'' etc. for the parts. This had the further advantage that ``CP Rail'' works in French, as Rail is the same and CP can be Canadien Pacifique. Today CP Air is gone, and the railway and company may have different names, but CP is what you see in big letters on the side of the cars.

Canadian Press.

Central Processor. Equiv. CPU.

Cerebral Palsy.

Chemical Polish.

Chemically Pure.


Classical Philology, a journal. See CPh.

Code Page.

Código Postal. Spanish, `postal code.'

Cold Pudding. In America, pudding is served cold. Isn't that weird? Okay, I admit it; I made it up (the part about the acronym being ``cp''). Look, we're not likely to have anything interesting to say here anytime soon. Why don't you visit the plum pudding entry? That's the happening entry!

No! No! That's so passée. So yesterday. Now the hot spot is hp.

French, Colis de Poste, Colis Postaux, `Parcel Post.' International mail is divided into the three general categories of LC (letters and cards), CP, and AO (other).

Command Post. Military usage. Occurs as a noun and as a part of other initialisms, such as CPX.

Command Processor.

Commercial Paper. (Financial Instrument.)

Communist Party. (No longer used.)

Compression Point. Sounds like a Vulcan clavicle wedgie, but it's a term used by the wastewater treatment folk.

Concurrent PROLOG.

Connection Processor.

CoPy. Name of Unix command for copying files and directories.

Creatine Phosphate.

Critical Point. The most common thermodynamic critical point is that where two phases become one. The liquid-gas critical point is the end of the liquid-gas coexistence curve (Clausius-Clapeyron) in a p-T plot. At temperatures above that critical point, there is only one fluid phase.

Customer Premises.

Canadian Paraplegic Association. (L'Association canadienne des paraplégiques.)

Canadian Philosophical Association. (L'Association canadienne de philosophie.)

I see definite comic possibilities here.

Canadian Psychiatric Association. Necessary because Canadians are biologically different from their neighbors to the South.

You know, I've been trying to figure out where to put some information that I might want later, that I probably wouldn't find under its own name (because I couldn't remember it). I give up. I'm gonna drop it here.

Librería Paidós is an Argentine bookstore dedicated to ``la psicología y el psicoanálisis.'' I'll come back and fix this just as soon as I can get that translated. If I remember where I put the entry. 18000 books -- that's crazy! (043120 books -- that's octal.)

Certified Public Accountant.

Yaaaawn. I don't have anything to add here. Why don't you visit the AICPA entry?

Chirped Pulse Amplifier. Used in compressed laser-pulse generation.

Coherent Potential Approximation.

In principle, the (macroscopic) properties of an alloy or other microscopically disordered system are best found by computing the properties of a randomly chosen system which is microscopically disordered. If the system is ``self-averaging,'' then the macroscopic properties of all large enough systems are indistinguishable, and any randomly chosen system will do for calculational purposes. (If the system is not self-averaging -- i.e. if the measured properties of the system vary from sample to identically prepared sample -- then one needs more information about the microscopic configuration than that it is randomly selected: the selection matters.)

It is difficult in formal work to specify a single random system, and a single random system that is large, however chosen, has little symmetry and is therefore hard to compute the properties of. To overcome these two difficulties, it is usually much more convenient to compute the average properties of the whole ensemble (all possible microscopically random configurations, appropriately weighted). For a self-averaging system, by definition, this averaging process yields the same macroscopic predictions as would be found in the limit of a very large single sample (typical single element of the ensemble).

Although it would seem that averaging over an infinite or large ensemble is more work than computing the properties of a single configuration, in practice it usually is not. The reason is that symmetry, particularly translation symmetry, is an almost indispensable crutch of theory. One may think of the process of computing macroscopic properties as being a kind of multiple integration (or summation). In principle as the problem is set up, there is an integration which corresponds to computing a macroscopic property from microscopic configuration (concretely, this may be thought of as integrating a differential equation like the Schrödinger equation, although the situation is usually rather more involved). A further integration is introduced by the ensemble average. The initial integration is difficult to do immediately, because the integrand is essentially random. The great advantage of ensemble averaging is that it's sometimes possible to perform a kind of interchange of order of integration: one may be able to average over the distribution first, and then perform the ``integration'' that yields macroscopic properties. In this order-of-integration-switched approach, the integrand for the properties evaluation now may have enough symmetry to make the problem computationally tractable.

[I haven't described CPA yet; more later.]

The Composite Panel Association. According to the official site: ``Founded in 1960, CPA represents the North American composite panel and decorative surfacing industries and brings together the entire value chain affiliated with composite panels.'' It's based in Leesburg, Virginia, and it represents companies responsible for 95% of the particleboard, MDF, and hardboard manufactured in the US, Canada, and Mexico. What about Guatemala? That's in North America, isn't it?

Comprehensive Peace Agreement. This might be used generically, but it mostly refers to the peace agreement (comprehending a collection of documents known separately as protocols and agreements) between the Government of the Sudan and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A), finally agreed to on December 31, 2004, and signed Jamuary 9, 2005. Pursuant to those agreements, the Republic of South Sudan declared its independence on July 9, 2011.

Charged Particle Activation Analysis.

Conservative Political Action Conference. Pronounced ``SEE-pack.''

Comprehensive Perl Archive Network. The only ftp site you'll ever need for Perl documentation, utilities, recorded hints, source distribution...

Continuous Positive Airway Pressure. Achieved by having patient wear a mask to sleep. ``Gold-standard treatment'' for sleep apnea. New, improved version, BI-level Positive Airway Pressure (BIPAP), applies a higher pressure during inspiration.

Center for the Preservation of Ancient Religious Texts. A BYU organization that in 2002 or so merged with FARMS to form ISPART.

Charged-Particle Beam.

Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Created by Congress in 1967 as one of the components of LBJ's ``Great Society.'' CPB provides funding, for PBS, NPR, and their affiliates.

In 2004, about a seventh of its revenues came from the US government. If I understand correctly (and budgets are not models of clarity) the Bush administration request for FY2004 proposed to slash CPB funding to $80 million from its $365 million appropriation for FY2003. Never mind the merits of this proposal; the interesting thing is, this helps put the budget request closer to balance by $285 million. That's in principle. In reality, there was a negligible chance that the budget would be thus slashed (the eventual budget appropriated about $380 million).

Canada Post Corporation. Normally called ``Canada Post'' or ``Postes Canada.''

Canadian Pallet Council. ``The Canadian Pallet Council is an organization of over 1300 members which manages a low cost, highly efficient, ECR [not defined at site] friendly means of pallet ownership and interchange for the North American consumer products industry.''

The CPC has over eight million distinctive orange pallets in circulation as of 2002. ``The Canadian Pallet Council is a non-profit organization which sponsors the CPC pallet. The CPC system was established in 1977. It is now recognised throughout the world for providing a low cost industry wide pallet interchange system for its members. Although based in Canada, the CPC has members in Canada, the U.S.A. and Europe. Members include: suppliers and manufacturers; distributors and wholesalers; public warehouses; transport carriers; and pallet manufacture, repair, rental and retrieval companies. More and more pallet users are taking advantage of our cost effective system based on the ownership and rental of pallets.''

Canadian Publishers' Council. They were doin' alright, with a properly constructed plural possessive in the title (ess followed by apostrophe), and then they go and ruin the effect by writing ``representing Canadian Publishers' [sic] since 1910.'' You'd think by now they might have mastered the minor intricacies of punctuation conventions that are universal in the literate anglophone world.

Central Processor Complex.

Certified Professional Coder (for medical records). Certified by the AAPC.

College Preparatory Curriculum.

Communist Party of Canada. Founded in 1921. Hey, the Maple Leaf is Red.

``The Communist Party of Canada is the Marxist-Leninist party of the working class dedicated to the cause of socialism.''

Not to be confused with the Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist) [abbreviated CPC(M-L)].

Compound Parabolic Concentrator. A nonimaging concentrator of sunlight for solar cells. So called because different elements of the concentrator mirror do not lie on the surface of a single paraboloid.

Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist). Also known as the Marxist-Leninist Party of Canada. Not to be confused with the Communist Party of Canada [abbreviated CPC], which explains ``The Communist Party of Canada is the Marxist-Leninist party of the working class dedicated to the cause of socialism.'' Got that? In contrast, the ``the Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist)'' is the Maoist party.

The CPC(M-L) is widely supposed to have started as a splinter group out of the CPC. I've been informed that it was begun independently. I just had a very liberating thought: I don't care.

Common Part Convergence Sublayer.

Concurrent Product Development. The commercial equivalent of sending your abstract in to the program committee before you've done the research you offer to present.

Continuing Professional Development. Cf. CT+E.

Also expanded Continuous Professional Development by people who haven't considered that some time might be set aside for other things.

George Bernard Shaw's ``Man and Superman'' has an appendix of ``Maxims for Revolutionists'' that includes

He who can, does. He who cannot, teaches.

(The usual expression now is ``those who can't do, teach.'') Although I am a teacher myself, I can set aside my personal feelings and inform you quite authoritatively that this is grossly unfair and untrue! However, out of some dangerous compulsion to pass along inaccurate information, I must also say (or write, or impress upon the keyboard) that there are extended versions of this, such as (probably Woody Allen's)

Those who can't do, teach.
Those who can't teach, teach gym.

This is funny (particularly when you consider Woody Allen's physique) but it misses or corrupts the point of the original: if you can't do, then you probably don't know, and hence probably can't teach. (Unless it's something whose doing is not a matter of knowing, in which case, if you can't do, then you can't demonstrate, and hence still can't teach.)

Today I received some spam for a CPD management product. The final lap of the first sentence reads

``necessary for the execution of professional and associated technical duties throughout ones [sic] working life.''

Sentence two holds out the hope of an

``opportunity for personal progression.''

This probably means that you get to take a walk. Exercise! Just like gym.

(MOSFET conduction-) Channel Piezoresistance Effect.

Chlorinated PolyEthylene (plastic).

ComPuter Engineer[ing]. Also known as CE, an acronym that suffers severe namespace collision problems.

French: contrat première embauche. First employment contract. Early in 2006, French prime minister Dominique de Villepin introduced legislation to modify the Code du Travail by introducing the CPE, which would make it possible for employers to hire those under age 26 on probationary status, with the right to fire them without stating a reason at any time in the first two years. Hundreds of thousands of high-school and university students protested; many high schools and a majority of universities were closed by student strikes (sit-ins and blockades).

Customer-{ Premises | Provided } Equipment. Productive: see B-CPE.

ComPuter EngineerinG. The CSE department at Notre Dame offers two undergraduate programs: computer science and computer engineering. The abbreviations used for these are CS and CPEG, respectively. The latter appears to be patterned on CHEG.

Conference on Precision Electromagnetic Measurements.

Center for Positron Emission Tomography (at Buffalo).

The ComPlete Fax. (And nothing but the fax, so help me God. To be recited with a hand on a thick user's manual.) A fax filename extension.

Cherokee Preservation FounDatioN. ``We are helping members of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and our neighbors preserve Cherokee culture, create economic development opportunities, and renew the environment in the Qualla Boundary and the seven counties of North Carolina in which tribal lands are located.''

Collaborative Planning Forecasting and Replenishment.

Controlled Pore Glass.


Classical PHilology. ISSN 0009-837X. The ``journal presents papers on Greek and Roman languages and literatures, history , philosophy, religion, art, and society.'' Since 1906. Journal catalogued by TOCS-IN (since 1992) with this abbreviation (the journal uses CP for itself). Email at <clph@uchicago.edu>. Published by The University of Chicago Press, Journals Division.

California Psychological Inventory.

Chemical Process Industries.

Common Part Indicator.

Computer-PBX Interface.

Consumer Price Index. The most commonly cited index of inflation, computed by the US government and reported for each month around the middle of the next month (i.e. June inflation reported mid-July, etc.). The number is actually available a couple of days before it is announced, and the Fed chairman makes sure to find out before the next meeting of the board to decide whether to tighten the tourniquet on the economy.

The CPI is widely believed to overstate, and even contribute to, inflation, because the index ignores the most fundamental market realities:

  1. Remember how in the old days, communist countries sold meat in stores that had a sign that said only ``MEAT''? When they had stock, you had a choice: `yes' or `no.'

    That's how the price of goods is established for the purposes of CPI computation. They are not ``quality-adjusted.'' In 1984 or '85 I bought my first computer; an ATT 6300 (8086 processor, two 5.25 in. floppies, 640k RAM) for $2K. If I buy another computer for $2K in 2004, a laptop with a pentium running a clock rate at what used to be called microwave frequencies, and all the standard bells and whistles, the CPI figures that there has been zero net inflation, whereas in reality there has been more like 99% deflation. Examples can be multiplied.

  2. People buy more of things that are on sale at a reduced price. They do this to save money. It is a market mechanism: price falls, demand rises, etc. Economics 101. You would imagine that a hoity-toity macroeconomic indicator would be designed to take account of this. No. They use an old list (a representative ``market basket''). One computed in 1987 was used through 1995 or 1996; a market basket based on purchases in 1993-5 is in use in 2004. Every month, peripatetic bureaucrats go shopping with the same list and try to determine the price they'd have to pay to buy the same items today. Every product that priced itself into a shriveled corner of the market in the last decade, they loyally continue to count.

    And it's the same basket all the time. Fruit out of season, buy yellow corn in February. Washington's birthday white sales coming up? Never mind, I need new sheets today. In principle, the buying on-sale ought to average out and only lower the price index but not affect the rate of inflation computed. Still, this is usually listed as a reason that the CPI overestimates inflation, and here I have too.

The overestimate resulting (at least from the lack of ``quality adjustment'') is variously estimated to be a percentage point, or maybe a third of the stated inflation rate (or half, as of 1999-2000). Because many transfer payments are indexed to the CPI, the over-estimate in the CPI increases transfer payments disproportionately, to say nothing of spooking the Fed, whose chairman claims to know better. Of course, since the CPI is used to correct all dollar figures for inflation, an error in this figure creates errors in all others.

Vide COLA.

The core CPI is the CPI computed on everything except the ``volatile'' food and fuel components. What counts as a quality improvement in food? As far as economists can quantify, a quality improvement is something you'd be willing to pay more for, or take more of at the same price. So New! Sour-sweets! are a quality improvement over plain old Sour-sweets!, if the advertising works.

Corruption Perceptions Index. ``[A] non-governmental organisation dedicated to increasing government accountability and curbing both international and national corruption.''

Computed annually for many countries by Transparency International (TI).

Crude Protein Intake.

Cumulative Performance Index. Grade point average (GPA). This terminology is used, for example, by the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT).

Cycles Per Instruction.

Common Programming Interface Communications.

Certified in Production and Inventory Management. A cert program introduced by APICS in 1973.

Consumer Price Index for all Urban consumers.

The Committee to Protect Journalists.

Chicago Public Library.

Circularly Polarized Light. Cf. LPL.

Combined Programming Language. However, according to Bjarne Stroustrup's FAQ,
... CPL is the name of a rather large (for its time) and elegant programming language developed jointly by the universities of Cambridge and London. Before the London people joined the project "C" stood for Cambridge. Later, "C" officially stood for Combined. Unofficially, "C" stood for Christopher because Christopher Strachey was the main power behind CPL.

The first published description of the language, afaik, was this article: ``The main features of CPL,'' by D.W. Barron, J.N. Buxton, D.F. Hartley, E. Nixon, and C. Strachey, in The Computer Journal, vol. 6, #2, pp. 134-143 (1963). CPL was at that time ``being implemented for the Titan at Cambridge and the Atlas at London University,'' and this was an informal account of the new language. [Mythologically, of course, Atlas was one of the Titans. All I know about these computers is what is written in the article, which includes this: ``In those features which affect the language (e.g. word length and arithmetic facilities) these two machines are identical....'']

According to the article, CPL was developed ``to produce a language which could be used for all types of problem, numerical and non-numerical, and [which] would allow programmers to exploit all the facilities of a large and powerful computer without having to `escape' into machine code.'' In my limited experience, the stated aims of those who create a new programming language are not well correlated with the ultimate role they serve. Ultimately, the importance of CPL was as an ancestor of C. For a short summary of the genealogy, see our ALGOL entry.

Here is what the article abstract says about the relationship between CPL and ALGOL:

CPL is based on, and contains the concepts of, ALGOL 60. In addition there are extended data descriptions, command and expression structures, provision for manipulating non-numerical objects, and comprehensive input-output facilities. However, CPL is not just another proposal for the extension of ALGOL 60, but has been designed from first principles and has a logically coherent structure.

One insufficiently anticipated problem for CPL was the uneasy coexistence of recursive procedure declarations with side effects. There was apparently some difficulty assuring that the side effect occurred only once, rather than each time the procedure recursed. Maybe that should be ``accursed.''


Committee for the Promotion of Latin (of CAMWS).

Council of Planning Librarians.

Complex PLD. Consists of logic equivalent to a few ordinary-size PLD's, with some interconnection. That is, any PLD with more than about 500 gates.

Cents Per Minute. I've seen this unit used to state phone call charge rates.

Certified { Property | Purchasing } Manager. Certifying authority is the { IREM | NAPM }, q.v.

Clinical Practice of Medicine.

Colliding Pulse Mode-locking. A technique that can achieve 100 ps laser pulses without pulse compression, and femtosecond pulses with.

Continuous Passive Motion. A therapy to promote the recovery of cartilage, particularly following knee reconstruction.

Control Programs/Microcomputer. Operating system created by Digital Research, used on early (Z80-, 8088-based) personal computers. Not very different from MS-DOS, or vice versa. See the FOLDOC entry for CP/M.

See the comp.os.cpm newsgroup, where an faq appears regularly, as well as the FILES listing from TCJ.

Cora P. Maloney College. A division of UB, but there's no point bothering about it: it's located at Ellicott Complex, so you'll never find it anyway.

Cost Per thousand impressions (Latin Mil, `thousand'). Internet advertising term.

For a top-of-page banner, 400x40 to 468x60 pixels (file-size up to about 15K), rates range from half to five cents a hit -- i.e., $1 CPM to $50 CPM, depending on the demographic that the content-provider pulls in. Smaller ads are cheaper (duh). Run-of-site banners also get lower rates, since the same ad seen a second time by the same set of eyeballs presumably makes a less profitable impression.

This kind of advertising is where the money comes from for click-to-donate sites like the Hunger Site (the original, from June 1999) and <4GoodnessSake.org> (Goodness! It's 2008 and the hunger site hasn't yet starved to death from lack of attention. But it's way slow.)

See also CTR.

Critical-Path Method. Like PERT (q.v.), a network-based method in Operations Research (OR).

Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. An umbrella group that includes 51 organizations.

Cross Polarization - Magic Angle Spinning. Some NMR hocus-pocus.

Colliding Pulse Mode-locked Laser Diode. laser pulses without pulse compression, and femtosecond pulses with.

Customer Premises Network.

Calling Party Number.

Centre for Philosophy of Natural and Social Science. Dancing about cathedrals and huts. (If this doesn't ring a bell, see the Burroughs quote at the SAM entry.)

Chief Petty Officer.

Cable Patch Panel.

Calling Party Pays (for phone call).

Canada Pension Plan. Something like US Social Security system, probably.

Career Planning & Placement. Here's the center for UB students.

Current Perpendicular to Plane. A dangerously misinterpretable acronym. Terminology used in discussion of GMR, to distinguish from the orientation in which the effect was originally observed.

Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation.

Community, Personalization, and Response. ``CPR Pricing'' is advertising rates based on these factors.

Crosby, Pevar, and Raymond. A rock group that seems to have arisen primarily from the meeting of Crosby and Raymond in 1995. CPR started touring in 1997 and put out a debut self-titled album in June 1998. Since Crosby is David Crosby -- formerly of the Byrds and still part of CSN/CSNY after all these years -- you figure they'll always be able to find someone to risk releasing their work. Pevar is guitarist Jeff Pevar, and Raymond is keyboardist James Raymond, David Crosby's son. James was given up for adoption at birth, and reunited with his father after he had become a professional musician himself. Crosby also donated sperm to country music singer Melissa Etheridge so she and her lesbian partner Julie Cypher could have kids. (I think they were both born to Cypher. Cypher is an interesting word, particularly in other languages than English. I may write about that, but why should I waste time trying to find out who was ``the mother''? The couple later separated and Cypher decided that she wasn't lesbian after all. This sort of thing seems to happen a lot, proportionately speaking; they ought to develop a blood test, so one could be as sure of homosexual tendency as one is now of love.)

CPR came out with a double CD (Live at the Wiltern) in September 1999 (it included some of the debut album material, plus covers of ``Eight Miles High,'' ``Almost Cut My Hair,'' ``(Four Dead In) Ohio,'' etc.) I've seen the reasonable suggestion that CPR is a pun referring to therapy for the heart, but I haven't seen it officially and I don't care to check. I just had a big meal and I feel sluggish. This entry is only here at all because the group's third release, another studio album that came out in June 2001, was entitled Just Like Gravity (the same as the twelfth and final track). The thing that is locally just like gravity is acceleration. A full stomach is more like an increase in the gravitational constant. The thing that is just like gravity in the song is the lyrics. Heavy, man. Oh yeah, and sexual attraction at a distance. Fat hippies don't age very gracefully, and disconnected lyrics that sounded deep and allusive in 1969 just sound disconnected in 2006. You wonder if these people ever read any decent poetry in their whole lives, just to have an idea of what lyrics could be.

This official profile concludes, ``CPR creates echoes with every listening, because the heart has a memory of its own.'' Awwwww. If (whichever) memory serves, Crosby is currently out of jail.

Consortium for Policy Research in Education. ``Created in 1985, ... unites researchers from five of the nation's leading universities to improve elementary and secondary education through research on policy, finance, school reform, and school governance.''

The five universities are (with CPRE links) University of Wisconsin-Madison, University of Pennsylvania, and (general links) Stanford University, University of Michigan, Harvard University.


Chicago Public School[s].

Comparative Political Studies. A journal published by SAGE Publications.

Current (US) Population Survey.

Customer-Premises System.

Cyber-Physical System. CPS's are systems that integrate physical processes with computation and communication. That is, systems in which embedded computers and networks monitor and control physical processes.

Cycles Per Second. A unit of circular frequency equal to sixty revolutions per minute (RPM). Cf. Hz.

(US) Consumer Product Safety Commission.

The CPSC is headed by a three-member commission headed by a chairman. In July 2006, chairman Hal Stratton left the commission and Nancy A. Nord, the vice chairman, became acting chairman. The CPSC is allowed to function with just two commissioners for only six months, so as of January 2007 the ``temporary quorum'' expired and the commission was no longer able to vote on new federal rules or civil penalties.

At the beginning of March 2007, President George W. Bush nominated Michael E. Baroody to head the CPSC. Baroody had served as assistant secretary of policy in the Labor Department during the Reagan administration. More immediately interesting was the fact that because at the time of his nomination, he was executive vice president of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM). As of June 2007, he still was. In the face of strong Democratic opposition, Baroody withdrew the day before his scheduled May 24 appearance before a Senate confirmation panel. Senators had planned to ask him, among other things, about how he might handle possible conflicts of interest in dealing with the NAM. It may be that in legal terms, Baroody would have had no conflict of interest had he become CPSC chairman. Still, did the Bush administration really expect this to fly? It's possible to interpret this nomination as a roundabout way of extending the CPSC's commissions no-quorum period.

Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility. Sort of a Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) for computer professionals (if that term is not now as redundant as ``literate professionals'').

Communist Party of the Soviet Union. Some day soon this expression is going to require some explanation.


Consumer Project on Technology. This is another Nader-inspired organization. I can't be bothered to examine the site, so I'm gonna guess and say that their attitude is (1) technology is evil and (2) everyone should have equal access to it, free, so that (3) we won't have any more of it. Hmmm, okay, looks like it might be more complicated than that, but after Nader gave the election to Bush, his friends should expect a little ``friendly fire.''

Current Procedural Terminology. A listing of codes and descriptions for procedures, services, and supplies, published by the American Medical Association (AMA) and used by medical service providers to bill insurance carriers.

(British) Commonwealth Partnership for Technology Management.

Central Processing Unit. Cf. MPU.

Communist Party of the Ukrainian S.S.R.

Conférence des présidents d'université.

Communist Party of the United States of America.

In 1964, Senator Barry Goldwater of Arizona ran for President of the US on the Republican ticket and a conservative platform, and lost in a landslide. In 1996, he noted that ``we're now the liberal wing of the Republican Party, can you imagine that!'' [This is pretty close; I'm working from memory here.] The CP-USA platform, to judge from what they say online, is now where the center of the Democratic party used to be. Of course, the left of the Democratic party may have drifted off in a different direction.

Relevance is hard to dissimulate.

Chlorinated PolyVinyl Chloride (plastic).

(UK) Certificate of Pre-Vocational Education.

Pre-vocational education must be British for vocational education (Amer.), as postgraduate education is British for graduate education.

CoPlanar Waveguide.

Cache-Processor CROSSbar. These items are directional; a CPX controls data flow from a cache to a processor; the other direction is handled by a PCX.


Command-Post eXercise. Military usage. Cf. FTX.

Communist Party Youth. Komsomol. If you need this letter sequence for some other acronym, you can probably consider it available.


Chicago Pile No. 1. The graphite-moderated nuclear reactor built in a squash court under the West Stands of Stagg Field at the University of Chicago.

In Summer 1941, research into the design of a nuclear reactor was begun at Columbia University, by a group led by Enrico Fermi and Walter Zinn. In December of that year (pause and think: what happened in early December 1941?) the uranium project was reorganized under the OSRD, and the decision made to concentrate research at a ``Metallurgical Laboratory'' to be headed by Arthur H. Compton at the University of Chicago. Columbia and Princeton University groups were transferred there early in 1942.

Prior to the construction of CP-1, some 30 subcritical experimental piles were made to measure parasitic absorption rates and other parameters. The modules to be used in CP-1 were long blocks of graphite, each holding two cylinders (approximately fist-size ``pellets'') of uranium oxide. As designed, they could be arrayed in a dense configuration that located the pellets in a cubic lattice (Fermi and Leo Szilard's proposal), the overall shape of the pile being approximately spherical to minimize surface leakage. By July the necessary measurements had been performed with accuracy sufficient to determine the dimensions of CP-1, and the dimensions die was cast, so to speak, when dies for pressing uranium oxide pellets were ordered to be made from Zinn's design at that time.

Under the direction of Fermi, construction of CP-1 began on November 15. Two ``construction'' crews, one each under Zinn and Herbert L. Anderson, worked nearly round-the-clock to machine graphite blocks and press pellets. Instrument work was led by Valney C. Wilson (``Bill Wilson''). [When the reactor was being designed, uranium metal of adequate purity was not available. Usable amounts had begun to arrive in early November and in the tons by mid-November. It was placed at the center of the pile.]

Measurements were taken as the pile grew, and Fermi fine-tuned his estimates of when criticality would be achieved. The pile was completed at 4:00 pm on December 1, and as Fermi had predicted, activity rates with the control rods in indicated that the reaction would be self-sustaining with the rods withdrawn. The next day, with some theatricality appropriate to the momentous nature of the occasion, Fermi methodically demonstrated the first controlled, self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction. Our Martinmas entry mentions one way that the news was transmitted. The SCRAM entry mentions an enduring detail of the CP-1 construction.

Correct though Queer(-looking spelling). Newspaper jargon; see Bil.


Classical Quarterly. Founded in 1906. Published until 2005 by OUP on behalf of the (British) Classical Association and afterwards by CUP. (No, that's not Cornell University Press; I'll give you a second try.) Each issue is about 300 pages long, with about 20 articles and more than a dozen short notes. A companion journal to Classical Review (CR). There's a special discount rate if you subscribe to both CQ and CR, and that way you actually get four issues per year, since the Quarterly (like the Review) is published only twice yearly. For related literal contretemps, see CW entry. CQ and CR are catalogued by TOCS-IN.

International telegraph distress signal used until 1911, when it was replaced by SOS, which the Titanic got to use immediately. According to the OED, which dates the switch to the end of 1908, CQ meant `all stations,' and D meant `urgent.' The folk interpretation, in any case, seems to have been Come-Quick-Danger. Not very inviting, if you ask me.

CQD is -.-. --.- -..

There's no period at the end of the previous line. Those are two dits.

[Image: CQFP from http://www.nsc.com/packaging/gifs/cqfp.gif]

Ceramic Quad Flat-Pack. Similar to plastic same.

National Semiconductor publishes some description and specs on the web. Their illustration is at right.

Continuous Quality Improvement. A local implementation of hell.

[Image: CQJB from http://www.nsc.com/pkg/gifs/cqjb.gif

Ceramic Quad J-Bend. Very similar to PLCC.

National Semiconductor publishes some description and specs on the web. Their illustration is at right.

Corrector-Quadrupole-Sexupole. A focusing magnet configuration. Check this for not much further enlightenment.

Coupled Quantum Wells. A wide quantum well and a narrow one are separated by a narrow barrier. To the extent that one can regard the QW's as independent, the lowest energy level (ground state) of the wider well (WW) is deeper (lower in energy) than the lowest energy level of the narrow well (NW). Interesting things happen if one grows the wider well wide enough to accommodate a second energy level (a first excited state). In typical designs, the wells are shaped so that the narrow-well ground state is near or below the wide-well excited state. Photoexcited WW electrons have two competing relaxation paths (direct, and through NW state) that can be studied with time-resolved spectroscopy to reveal information about electron-phonon coupling. See

B. Deveaud, A. Chomette, A. Regreny, J.-L. Oudar, D. Hulin and A. Antonetti, pp. 101ff, in High Speed Electronics, edited by B. Källbäck and H. Beneking (Springer Verlag, 1986).
Y. J. Chen, E. S. Koteles, B. S. Elman and C. A. Armiento, PRB 36, 4562 (1987).
R. Sauer, K. Thonke, and W. T. Tsang, PRL 61, 609 (1988).

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