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Señor. Roughly the Spanish equivalent of English Mr.

Shift Register.


Slew Rate. You shoulda seen Achilles go!

Seriously, the rate of change of a voltage with time.

Socialist Revolutionary (Party). Members of the party were known as SR's. This party was roughly contemporary with, and met a fate similar to, the ``Menshevik'' party.

Source Routing.

Southern Railway. For the other mainline railway companies of Britain's Grouping era, see Big Four.

Special Relativity.

State { Route | Road }.

Status Register.

Storage Ring. An evacuated torus with a magnetic field, used to hold and accelerate charged particles for HEP experiments.

Chemical symbol for Strontium, atomic number 38. An alkaline earth. Learn more at its entry in WebElements and its entry at Chemicool.

For some information about the optical spectrum of strontium, see the food loaf entry.

Studies in Religion / Sciences religieuses. A scholarly journal. Don't know a thing about it, but I suspect it's Canadian.

Sum Rule.

(Domain code for) Suriname. Old Dutch Guyana.

Sustained Response. After the end of medical treatment.

Switched Reluctance. Reluctance is to magnetic circuits what impedance is to electric circuits.

Synchrotron Radiation.

System Readiness. Rarely as promised.

Señora. Title and word for a married or older woman. Roughly the Spanish equivalent of English Mrs., except that you can spell it out and it doesn't look silly like Missus. (English Mrs. really abbreviates mistress, which for reasons of semantic drift is to be avoided.)

State Rail Authority. The state is New South Wales, Australia. Operates long-distance trains and Sydney suburban trains.

Scratchpad Random Access Memory (RAM, q.v.). This was an ill-advised acronym coinage, since SRAM is widely understood in the following sense:

Static Random Access Memory (RAM, q.v.). Array memory with each cell consisting of a head-to-tail pair of inverters. [Pron. ``ESS-ram.''] Distinguished from DRAM (dynamic RAM), which stores data as a capacitor charge and must be periodically recharged. SRAM could almost be regarded as a two-step bucket brigade. DRAM was invented afterwards and was originally seen as a denser and cheaper, but slower alternative. However, the speed trade-off is not so great, and DRAM has been more popular than SRAM.

Syndrome respiratoire aigu sévère or Sindrome respiratorio agudo severo. French and Spanish, respectively, for `Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome' (SARS, q.v.). You can learn about it starting at the French- or Spanish-language WHO pages (see OMS).

Sex Ratio at Birth. Conventionally the ratio of boy babies to girl babies, and typically ranging from 1.03 to 1.05. It is common to state this as ``103 to 105 boys per 100 girls.'' Inevitably, people fall into saying things like ``a ratio of 103,'' which might be favorable for the girl looking for a mate. I haven't decided whether this is not as bad as ``give-away take-away ratio'' in absolute or relative terms.

Sex-selective abortion has caused the ratio to increase in much of East Asia and South Asia. In the Chinese regions of Hainan and Guangdong, the SBR was 1.30 in 2005.

Historically, the sex ratio as a function of age has declined as children grow older (i.e., boys exhibit greater mortality than girls), and in the last century, in the West, the ratio has been a continuously decreasing function of age right through adulthood. (Until the nineteenth century, death during childbirth caused women to have a lower life expectancy at birth, and raised the sex ratio of adults.) In many of the same countries and populations that have unusually high SBR, female infanticide apparently increases the sex ratio further. The Chinese census of 2000 determined that the average sex ratio (for people of all ages) was 1.36 in Hainan. That was the highest regional average; the lowest was Tibet (1.03), and the national average was 1.17. In some parts of India, according to its 2001 census, the sex ratio for children aged 6 and under exceeds 1.25.

There are a number of biological and environmental factors that influence SBR, and it is not inconceivable (sorry) that these account partially for the high SBR numbers in Asia. In studies done during the 1950's, the SRB was found to be correlated with the father's profession.

Solid (fuel) Rocket Booster.

Schulman, Ronca & Bucuvalas, Inc. A market and opinion research company founded in 1981 by Mark Schulman, Albert Ronca, and Michael Bucuvalas. By 2004 there was an additional senior partner: John M. Boyle.

Short-Range Ballistic Missile. Ballistic missiles with a range of less than 1000 km. May be understood to exclude the very short-range BSRBM.

Not getting any respect? Isn't it time you moved up to an MRBM?

Society for Research on Biological Rhythms. A girl I dated in college was satisfying curricula in both biology and music. She liked to joke that she was a biorhythm major. She became a lawyer.

SRC, src.
SouRCe. That's kind of a general term. It could mean everything but the kitchen sink. (Sorry -- electrical engineering pun. Couldn't help myself.)

Société Radio-Canada. French for CBC.

State Research Center. One example is the IPPE in Obninsk, Russia. This single example is shared between this entry and an SSC entry. Is that efficient, or what?

Solid Rock / Climbers For Christ. ``A community of Christian climbers offering the Good News of Christ.'' Links from the homepage explain why it is ethically okay to risk your God-given life and your children's chance to grow up in a traditional two-parent family, just so you can experience the momentary worldly pleasures of scraped flesh.

Standard Reference Data.

Step Recovery Diode. [Pioneered by HP; several makers now.] When diodes are switched from forward bias to reverse bias, the diode still conducts for the time it takes to deplete the pn junction. SRD's are optimized to move the charge rapidly, so reverse conduction stops abruptly. This sharp change makes a faster switch and is also more efficient in generating high harmonics.

SuperRadiant Diode. Acronym likely to cause confusion with preceding one (Step Recovery Diode: SRD). Consider using ``SLD.''

Society for Radiological Engineering. I see a lot of listings for the initialism, and indications that it existed at least as recently as 1985, but since I first checked in April 2009, the entity that bore the name has appeared to be long since defunct.

Society of Reliability Engineers. The lower-case Greek letter lambda seems to be a symbol of importance for reliability engineers. It appears on the society logo, and their newsletter is called ``Lambda Notes.''

Southern Regional Education Board.

Southern Regional Electronic Campus.

Shortened Rapid Eye Movement Latency (REML). Delay of an hour or less in onset of first REM episode, after the beginning of sleep. May be caused by sleep deprivation and various psychoactive drugs.

SREML and diminished slow-wave sleep appear to be traits of depressed patients, whereas increased REM density appears to be a more reversible characteristic associated with depressive episodes, according to

Thase, M. E., Reynolds, C. F. 3rd, Frank, E., Jennings, J. R., Nofzinger, E., Fasiczka, A. L., Garamoni, G. and Kupfer, D. J., 1994: ``Polysomnographic Studies of Unmedicated Depressed Men Before and After Cognitive Behavioral Therapy,'' American Journal of Psychiatry 151(11), pp. 1615-22.

Senate RESolution. Vide S.

Scleroderma Research Foundation. (If that link has died, try <sclerodermaresearch.org>.)

Short-Range Force[s].

Society for Reproduction and Fertility. Publisher of Reproduction.

SRF resulted from the mating of the Society for Study of Fertility (SSF) with Reproduction magazine. Evidently they were the same species of magazine.

Synskadades Riksförbund. Preferred English name: `The Swedish Association of the Visually Impaired.' It ``is the main organisation of the blind and partially sighted in Sweden. SRF is a social, non-political organisation where its members actively participate in decision making.''

German, Schweizerische Radio- und Fernsehgesellschaft. `Swiss Radio and Television Society.' Founded in 1931, when the name must have been Schweizerische Radiogesellschaft, which would better have fit the acronym.

SRG is a private nonprofit that transmits ten radio and three TV channels in the four official languages of that country. It's funded by license fees and by advertising. Oh great, the worst of both worlds.

Scottish Resuscitation Group. This sounds so good, I'm not going to spoil it by trying to find out what it really is.

Straight-Run Gasoline. Gasoline obtained simply by distilling crude oil, without cracking of the less volatile components. Crude from the North Sea tends to be high in alkanes, yielding a low octane rating. Cracking increases the rating by increasing the fraction of alkenes.

Shockley-Read-Hall (recombination).

Society for Research into Higher Education.

Stanford Research Institute. Now called SRI International.

Singing Return Loss.

Spanish: Sociedad de Responsabilidad Limitada, `Limited liability company.' Corresponds to French SARL.

Southern Republican Leadership Conference.

Here's the news on March 11, 2006: The Long Wait is over! The campaign for the 2008 US presidential nominations has finally begun in earnest, with the first straw poll. It was reported that delegates from 26 states attended this conference of Southern Republicans, which seems to suggest an unsuspected (susurrate, susurrate) aspect of the Republicans' ``Southern strategy.'' The conference was held in Memphis, Tennessee, and 1427 of the 2000-odd (or is that ``2000 odd'' or ``over 1500'' as others reported?) delegates cast votes in the straw poll. Tennessee Senator Bill Frist ``won'' with 36.9% of the first-place (hence: ``fp'') votes. (This was rounded up to 37% by many news outlets. It was actually just 526 out of 1427; do yer ain math.) ``Mitt'' Romney (I don't know his first name), a former governor of Massachusetts, placed second with 14.4% of fp votes. (This was rounded down to ``14%'' by some news outlets, and rounded further down to 13% by Reuters.)

Everyone seemed eager to stress that the results were not very significant, especially at this point et cetera et cetera, though it might give the two ``winners'' some public-attention oxygen. (Most citizens don't know the names of their own senators, you know? So Frist, the Senate majority leader, is not yet well-known.) Many reports noted that the venue probably helped Frist. Indeed, 52% of all ballots were cast by Tennessee delegates.

In fact, the straw poll numbers are significant. Frist got 430 fp votes from his own state's delegates, or about 58%. Tolerable, though not stellar, for a favorite son. Former Tennessee Senator Albert (``Al'') Gore, son of the late Tennessee Senator Albert Gore, Sr., narrowly lost his home state, and the election, in the 2000 US presidential election. Among the remaining delegates, Frist polled about 14% of fp votes.

The two front-runners nationally, Arizona Senator John McCain and former NYC mayor Rudy Giuliani, used different strategies in the straw poll. Giuliani declined an invitation to speak and did not appear on the ballot. McCain showed up but urged delegates to vote for George W. Bush as a write-in. I really want to make a joke here about ``ineligible'' and ``illegible,'' but it would be too strained. Bush is prevented by the 22nd amendment from being elected to a third term. With 10.3% of the vote, Bush tied for third place with Sen. George Allen of Virginia. McCain placed fifth with 4.6% and former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee sixth with 3.8%. The vote share of the other ``potential presidential candidate'' who spoke at the SRLC, Kansas Senator Sam Brownback, was not reported in anything I saw immediately afterwards, but it was it was very probably less than 3.7%. That leaves at least 16% of the fp votes unaccounted-for.

Société de Réanimation de Langue Française. Gosh, I hadn't realized that the situation was so dire! Oh wait, it might be translated as `French-Speaking Society for Intensive Care.' There's still hope!

Solid (fuel) Rocket Motor.

Standard Reference Materials. ``Material'' in the sense of substance but not literature.

Salem Radio Network. SRN News describes itself as ``Christian Radio's Definitive Source for News.'' Then what is CBN? Chopped liver? Oops, joke of wrong creed. Time-out to visit <CBN.com>. Hmmm. Okay, they seem to be bigger into video and Internet.

``SRN News is the only Christian-focused news organization with fully-equipped broadcast facilities at the U.S. House, Senate, and White House manned by full-time correspondents -- ensuring timely, on-the-spot coverage of breaking news.'' In principle, the notion of ``Christian-focused'' is problematic. In practice, I have no problem with it.

Saskatchewan Registered Nurses' Association.

Soluble RNA.

Self-Regulatory Organization.

Sharable and Read Only.

Short-Range Order.

Single-Room Occupancy. Refers to hotel-like long-term accommodations for people who don't usually have any other place to call home. New York City defines an SRO as a rental unit that lacks its own kitchen and bathroom. I suppose that's a sufficiently precise definition there, but in Europe it might include a large share of less-expensive hotel rooms for travelers. In the 1970's there were over 175,000 SRO's in NYC; the number declined to about 50,000 in 1996, and was at about 35,000 in 2009. Typically a depressing small room lit by a single bare light bulb, with a bed -- correction: surplus army cot -- and probably some other piece of furniture. The late-fifties version, sanitized or normalized for TV, provided the setting for a few Twilight Zone episodes about one or another lonely guy down on his luck. Essentially an extreme economy-class apartment that's not very apart.

With a little sprucing up -- a lampshade, a more comfortable bed, a picture hanging on the wall, a carpet, a coat of paint, tolerably thick walls, a window to open to get rid of the rancid acrid stench of eighty-proof vomit -- one of these could pass for a little room in a London B&B. Okay, a lot of sprucing up. With an attached tiny bathroom and earthquake evacuation instructions, it would resemble a room in a Tokyo ``businessman's hotel.'' It would be the same size, anyway.

In the typical modern New York City version of an SRO hotel, ventilation and musical entertainment are provided by the economized construction: the walls do not reach the ceiling (chicken wire or perf board or something provides desultory security), so you can hear the chorus of your stoned snoring neighbors who haven't showered since they were released. You can sleep through that with a bottle of Ripple in your gut. (I mean the contents of the bottle of Ripple -- the Ripple itself. "[A] bottle" here is used as a quantifier, equivalent to 13 or 17 ounces or whatever.)

An SRO hotel is not a toney place to take your date.

Sleep Research Online. The website seems to have been ``put down'' for a very long night. The libraries at Georgetown University serve this page describing what SRO was like when it was ``up.'' (In 2003, it was a peer-reviewed online-only journal published 3-4 times a year.)

Standing Room Only. Refers to an event with all seated admission sold out.

Society for Radiation Oncology Administrators. The homepage used to say ``The Society for Radiation Oncology Administrators is the authority for radiation oncology operations. It is committed to providing education, advocacy and information to radiation oncology administrators.'' The first of their ``four objectives'' is to ``[i]mprove the administration of the business and nonmedical management aspects of radiation oncology and the practice of radiation oncology as a cost-effective form of health care delivery.'' I take it, then, that by ``administrators'' they mean not the people who administer oncology procedures (the practitioners or oncologists) but the people who administer the people who administer the procedures.

Salt River Project. Water supply for Phoenix, Ariz. The Salt River is completely dammed upstream of the city. Where it flows through northern Tempe and southern Phoenix, it's just dry riverbed for all but about one or two weeks of the year. In fact, the bridge southbound into Tempe's Mill Avenue is one-way most of the year. If you go northbound from Mill Av. you drive on a road across the riverbed, just east (upstream) of the bridge. During the period when the river flows, northbound traffic takes half the bridge.

At that time of year, the teeming masses float down the river in truck-tire inner tubes. I paddled; people commented ``New Yorker.'' At a wide, slow part, naked idiots dive off a cliff. I mean idiots not wearing clothes.

There's an annual charity event that involves a rubber-duck lottery. To participate, you buy a numbered duck. You never actually take possession of this duck -- you simply pay for the duck with a particular number to be ``yours.'' The ducks are dumped almost unceremoniously into the river by a dump truck, and later that day the first duck to cross a downstream finish line wins its purchaser some prize.

Rubber and inert masses drift to success. That's the secret of the Salt.

There's a story that during WWII, some German prisoners escaped from a POW camp with a map and a plan; they made their to the Salt River thinking they'd make good their escape by stealing a boat. Nice story anyway.

Scan Reflectance Profile. Reflectance values as a function of position along a line across the stripes of a UPC code. Perfect black is 0% reflectance.

Signal Recognition Particle. Part of the mechanism in eukaryotes for dragging ribosomes to the site of cotranslational transport: rough endoplasmic reticulum (ER). Stops further translation until destination is reached.

SRP-54 binds GTP

Source Routing Protocol (IBM).

Spreading-Resistance { Probe | Profiling }.

Standard Received Pronunciation (of English). Oxbridge accent.

Superimposed Renewal Process. Model for a system with many repairable parts. See D. R. Cox: Renewal Theory, (London: Chapman and Hall, 1962).

Syndicat des Résidents de Paris. The name until 2004 of what is now the SRP-IMG.

Syndicat représentatif parisien des internes de médecine générale. The new name (since 2004) preserves the original initialism (SRP) with a partly altered expansion. Now it's a little clearer that medical ``residents'' were meant, as opposed, say, to folks who lived in the seventh arrondissement.

Stirling Radioisotope Power System. An RTG which uses a free-piston Stirling engine (FPSE).

At IAOP-2001, R. K. Shaltens, L. S. Mason, and J. G. Schreiber of NASA Glenn reported on their continuing work on SRPS's (title: Stirling Radioisotope Power System as an Alternative for NASA's Deep Space Missions).

Serially Reusable Resource. Like deposit or returnable bottles.

Split-Ring Resonator.

Superfund/RCRA Regional Procurement Operations Division.

Social Responsibilities Round Table (of the ALA). See also EMIERT.

Science Resources Studies. A division of the National Science Foundation (NSF).

Scoliosis Research Society. ``Dedicated to the Education, Research and Treatment of Spinal Deformity.'' Spinal deformity can be educated? It must be the brain connection.

Sequence Retrieval System. Network Browser for Databanks in Molecular Biology.

Sleep Research Society.

Speech Recognition System.

Student[s'] Rating[s] of Teach{ing|er} Effectiveness. The initialism is used most at Penn State (their variant of the expansion has no plurals and uses ``teaching''). Possibly PSU's use of the term dissuades others from using it, since their version is a disaster.

PSU's form consists of two kinds of questions: required, university-wide questions, and department-selected questions. The required questions used to be just two, apparently, asking students their overall evaluation of the course and the instructor. Now (or perhaps this was always, I'm not sure of the history and the questions are forgettable) there are two other required questions, asking whether the course is being taken as an elective and what grade the student expects. The last question is quite useful, since studies have shown that student evaluations are more highly correlated with the grades students expect than with anything remotely resembling an objective measure of instructor effectiveness or course utility. (Of course, if grades were an objective and absolutely calibrated measure of student learning, student grades would give some indication of teaching effectiveness.)

So far, perhaps, so good. The remaining questions, up to fifteen of them, are chosen by each instructional unit (typically a department) from a list of approved questions. This makes sense, since not all the same questions are appropriate for art courses as for economics courses, say. Further, each unit must use the same questions for all its courses. This makes some sense, since it allows different courses and instructors in a unit to be compared (well, it makes sense if this sort of comparison is desirable). A problem arises with departments that offer courses so different that useful questions regarding some courses are meaningless or worse for others (for the sake of argument, we're assuming that the evaluations are of some positive utility; play along now).

I have never taught a lab course since grad school, but for six years my students had to fill out evaluations that asked them to grade (overall) the lab component of the course and the lab TA's in particular. Students faced with this question knew that they were smarter than the form, but had no way to know how stupid the processing of the form might be. So they couldn't know what effect leaving the question unanswered might have. Thus, I normally had at least a couple of students rate the lab and the lab TA's. This was good, since it probably avoided a zero-divide.

I hope the above example suggests how the requirement to use the same questions across the full spectrum of courses in an instructional unit is a surmountable problem. By the same token, it suggests that with a little bit of intelligent wording, it would be possible to use a single form across the entire institution. But let's not quibble about the deck chairs, because here comes the iceberg.

The remaining questions must be selected from a pool of 177. For example,

  1. Rate the instructor's skill in relating course material to real life situations.
  2. Rate the instructor's skill in relating cases and other exercises to practical situations.
  3. Rate the effectiveness of the examples used to clarify difficult concepts.
  4. Rate the clarity of the examples used.
  5. Rate the adequacy of the amount of examples used to clarify difficult concepts.
  6. Rate the question-writer's understanding of grammatical-number concepts. Oops, it's not on there.
  7. Rate the instructor's skill in using examples and illustrations.

For redundant redundancy, see the entire list. According to PSU's SRTE homepage, ``Schreyer Institute for Teaching Excellence supports the SRTE program by generating and processing the survey forms and preparing individual faculty reports.'' Schreyer is a German surname; it's an archaic spelling of the noun Schreier, meaning `crier' (like ``town crier'' or announcer), from the verb schreien, `to shriek.'

It's necessary at this point to say something about how SRTE's and variously named equivalents are used. In principle, one of the main purposes of these is to provide useful feedback to instructors so that they can improve their and their courses' effectiveness. In practice, this is not the case. I have never studied my evaluations and thought -- ``ah yes, this is what I need to work on.'' My deficiencies and limitations as a teacher are clear enough to me, and I can articulate them better than my students. More or somewhat better-designed teaching evaluation instruments would not affect the extent to which I improve what I might but have not improved. This is pretty much the universal view.

That is not to say, however, that teaching evaluations are without any utility and do not affect how courses are taught in subsequent years. Teaching evaluations serve to quantify students' satisfaction with a course. This satisfaction is affected by some factors over which an instructor has little or no control: for example, an instuctor whom students find unpersonable will always suffer in evaluations, and instructors, like noninstructors, cannot very well ``improve'' the persona they project. Most factors affecting student satisfaction, however, might be summarized under the single heading of ``difficulty.'' Students are unhappy if they have to work hard. This is not an entirely unreasonable basis on which to evaluate a course and instructor. A poorly organized course, an ignorant instructor, badly selected problem sets, capricious (but not totally capricious) grading, and most other things that can make a bad course generally do force the conscientious student to work harder.

If poor teaching methods were all that affected students' effort, and hence their satisfaction and the course evaluations, then those evaluations might be genuinely valuable. But this ignores the elephant in the living room, which is content. Differences in teaching methods account for a small part of differences in evaluations. Most of the variation arises from the amount of material covered. In practice, an instructor who receives poor evaluations in a course improves them by making the course easier, or by letting a less demanding instructor teach it.

When I get some time, I'll come back and finish this entry. Then I will

  1. explain why this is not really a cop-out,
  2. explain why this really not a cop-out, and
  3. tell an interesting anecdote or two.

Synchronous Residual Time Stamp.

Society of Radiologists in Ultrasound.

Stevie Ray Vaughan.

SRVC, srvc.
SeRViCe. Also SVC.

Abbreviation of Saints in most major European languages. Plural of S.

Sales Support.

Schutzstaffel. Nazi `Security Squadron.'

Sensu stricto. Latin for `in the strict sense.' Strictly speaking, this is the same as `strictly speaking,' which is genau genommen in German. Also s.str.. Cf. s.l..

SS, ss
Short Stop. Baseball position -- plays between second and third basemen.

Side Switch. That is, a switch on the side of the apparatus.

When volleyball teams switch sides of a court (to cancel the advantage any asymmetry -- as from sun position, say -- might give), it's called ``switching sides,'' as far as I know. A side-out is when the team receiving the serve wins a rally; it is awarded serve for the next play, but no point.

Solid Solution.

Sommersemester. German for `Summer Semester.'

Sparc (work)Station.

Special Services.

Spread Spectrum (system). A communication system in which the transmitted signal has a much broader bandwidth than the message encoded. (The transmitted signal is typically generated by convolution or multiplication with a spreading signal.)

Stainless Steel.


Stop Ship.

[Football icon]

Strong Safety. A defensive position in American football.

Subscriber Station. For cellular, or at least wireless, communications systems. Cf. BS.

SubStation. Where power is extracted from high-tension lines for distribution to customers.

Subthreshold Swing. Units of volts per decade.

Super Sport. See 409 entry for enlightenment.

Seismological Society of America.

Semiconductor Safety Association.

Serial Storage Architecture. Part of SCSI-3.

Small-Signal Analysis. Perturbation theory for circuits.

Social Security Administration. A sort of US government-administered retirement fund.

The first Social Security check, serial number 00-000-001, was issued to Ida Fuller of Brattlesboro, Vermont, in the amount of $22.54, on January 31, 1940.

Soaring Society of America. See Landings: Soaring-Related Links.

Somali Salvation Alliance. Led by Ali Mahdi and contending with the bad guy SNA over which will liberate Somalia.

Specific Surface Area. May be determined by BET method.

Sub-Saharan Africa.

[dive flag]

Scottish Sub-Aqua Club.

That name makes one think: sure, when you're underwater you are under water, but this is almost a surprising way of expressing the idea that you're in the water. In fact, when you're only ``in the water,'' part of you is usually not just above but completely out of the water. And usually when you're under a load of work, the work is all around you! Sooo confusing!

For more stupid reflections of this sort, see the anti- entry.

Social Security Administration Number. Social security number.

Secondary School Admission Test.

Writing standardized tests flatters the authors' conceit that they have knowledge enough to grade them.


The Society for Surgery of the Alimentary Tract.

Single SideBand.

Surface-Skimming Bulk Wave. Not a surface wave.

Spot-Size Converter.

Standard Speech Circuit.

State Scientific Center. One example is the IPPE in Obninsk, Russia. This single example is shared between this entry and an SRC entry because I'm too lazy to find some others.

Superconducting SuperCollider. A name that became obsolete before the project was completed. (The project was cancelled.) Apparently, the official name is in three words (the second super is one word).

An expensive particle accelerator elementary particle research in the multi-TeV range. ``Superconducting'' refers to the magnets. Superconductors are used not to achieve high magnetic fields but to keep power consumption down to earthly levels. Dipole magnets (most of the magnets) keep the particles circling as they are accelerated by electric fields; the magnetic field is ramped to keep the particles in a circle of constant radius as their energy increases. (Quadrupole magnets in pairs keep the particle beams focused.) As the particle energy increases beyond the capacity of a small ring to hold, the particle beam (consisting of bunches of particles) is cascaded through a sequence of rings of increasing radius. Between the initial ion source and linear accelerator and collision ring, the SSC was designed and partially built to use three intermediate rings: low-, medium- and high-energy boosters (LEB, MEB, HEB) with circumferences of 600 m, 4.0 km, and 10.8 km, respectively. The HEB would have fed a collider ring with a circumference of 87.1 km. Only the HEB and the colliding ring would have used superconducting magnets.

In the colliding ring, counter-rotating proton and antiproton beams would move in slightly off-center circles, colliding nearly head on at two intersection points 180 degrees apart.

Using counter-rotating beams is trickier than using a single beam colliding against a stationary target, and because a particle beam is a sparse thing compared to a solid target, the event rates are much higher with a stationary target. However, a stationary target is not an option for relativistic reasons. The relevant energy for interpeting the interparticle dynamics of a collision is the center-of-mass energy. In the nonrelativistic (NRNR) regime, the kinetic energy K of a particle is given in terms of rest mass m and velocity v by the formula

                        1   2
                    K = - mv  .
For a collision between two particles of equal rest mass (like a proton and an antiproton), one stationary (in the ``lab'' frame) and one moving at velocity v, the center-of-mass moves at velocity v/2 in the lab frame, and each particle has kinetic energy K' = K/4. Hence, in the c.m. frame, the total kinetic energy is 2K' = K/2 -- i.e., half the total kinetic energy of the system in the lab frame. Relativistically, the decrease in energy is much more dramatic.

Sodium chloride-Saturated Calomel (reference) Electrode. For electrochemistry.

Society for the Study of Curriculum History. ``[T]o encourage scholarly study of curriculum history and to provide a forum for the presentation and discussion of research inquiries into curriculum history. The Society was founded in April of 1977 at Teachers College, Columbia University. Attendance at the annual meeting, which is always held on the Sunday before and the first Monday morning of the AERA conference, is open to all who are interested.''

Social Science Citation Index. A product of ISI, q.v.

Southern Society for Clinical Investigation. ``On October 5, 1946, representatives from 19 Southern Medical Schools met in New Orleans to organize the formation of a regional society of clinical investigators. The new organization, named the Southern Society for Clinical Research (SSCR), held its first meeting at the Roosevelt Hotel in New Orleans on January 25, 1947. Fifty selected `Founders' attended, 18 abstracts were presented, and Tinsley Harrison was named the organization's first president.''

``The rest,'' as ``they'' say, ``is history.'' I don't know about you, but I find that history can sometimes be a tad tedious.

Single-Strand Conformation Polymorphism. A short-cut method (indirect and incomplete) of measuring viral mutations.

Society for a Science of Clinical Psychology. To which I say: yes, it would be a good thing if clinical psychology were a science. It would even be a good thing if the SSCP were to shell out a couple of bucks and get its own website, instead of depending on the transitory kindness of subdirectories under university domains.

Oh great: they bought <sscpweb.org>... but it autoforwards to <http://sites.google.com/site/sscpwebsite/>.

System-Services Control Point. An SNA term.

Southern Society for Clinical Research. Now the SSCI.

Simultaneous Signal Detection.

Solid-State Drive.

That reminds me that the American Institute of Physics (AIP) has a street address of ``One Physics Ellipse.''

Stochastic Structural Dynamics. A regular conference.

Synthesis Solid Diffusion.

Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers. An independent national labor union.

Social Security Death Index. ``The Social Security Administration Death Master File contains information on millions of deceased individuals with United States social security numbers whose deaths were reported to the Social Security Administration. Birth years for the individuals listed range from 1875 to last year. Information in these records includes name, birth date, death date, and last known residence.'' [Link is not to government site.]

Social Security Disability Insurance.

Space Science Data Operations Office.

Solomon Schechter Day School Association. A voluntary association of some seventy-odd schools in the Schechter network, schools affiliated with the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism. But the United Synagogue Day School is just one member of this network, sponsored by seven United Synagogue synagogues in the Greater Toronto area.

Secondary System Description Table. An ACPI system description table.

South SouthEast. Vide compass directions.

System Soft Error Rate (SER).

Susquehanna Steam Electric Station.

Sampled Servo Format. Described in ANSI X.3191 standard for a two-sided 5.25 '' (130mm) optical disc WORM memory with 650MB per side. (Mentioned here.)

Sjögren's Syndrome Foundation. The site offers the pronunciation guide ``SHOW-grins'' -- an ironic name for any medical syndrome.

``Sjögren's syndrome is a chronic autoimmune disease in which a person's white blood cells attack their moisture-producing glands. Today, as many as 4 million Americans are living with this disease.''

(UK) Society for Study of Fertility. See SRF.

Solid-State Flight Data Recorder (FDR).

The Society for the Study of French History. Based in the nearby UK. SSFH publishes the journal French History, covering from the early Middle Ages to the twentieth century. SSFH also promotes french-history, an electronic mailing list.

The North American counterpart of SSFH is the near anagram SFHS (Society for French Historical Studies).

Solar Spectral Flux Radiometer.

Secondary School Graduation Diploma. Ontario usage; see explanation at the HS entry.

Scalar Spherical Harmonic[s].

Secure SHell. A program for logging into a remote machine and for executing commands on a remote machine. It is intended to replace rlogin and rsh, and provide secure encrypted communications between two untrusted hosts over an insecure network. X11 connections and arbitrary TCP/IP ports can also be forwarded over the secure channel.

Secondary School Honours Graduation Diploma. Ontario usage; see explanation at the HS entry.

Society for the Social History of Medicine. Fnd'd. 1970. ``[P]rimarily based in the UK.''

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. Same as le CRSH.

[dive flag]

Scuba Schools International.

Server-Side Include[s]. This local file has some examples.

Small-Scale Integration (1-10 transistors; lowest scale of integration). A typical TTL chip in any old retail-size lots will run you about a quarter per.

Silicon Systems, Inc. device number prefix.

Social Security Insurance.

Supplemental Security Income.

Service Set IDentifier. The name that identifies a wireless network access point.

Society for the Study of Inborn Errors of Metabolism. By ``inborn'' they apparently mean present at birth but not genetic or associated with a strong genetic predisposition. (The term ``congenital'' would be too general.) For example, the only item I can find on their site that mentions diabetes is an old announcement for a conference on congenital hyperinsulinism and related disorders.

Scanning Secondary-Ion Mass Spectroscopy (SIMS).

Suppressed Sidewall-Injection MagnetoTransistor.

Society for the Study of Islamic Philosophy and Science. Located at the University of Binghamton (part of SUNY).

Sociology of Scientific Knowledge. Strictly speaking, what is meant is the sociology of the human groups that make scientific knowledge. The scientific knowledge itself does not exhibit behaviors and is not described by sociology. Right? Uh-oh: the postmoderns got here before me. Scientific knowledge is socially (de)constructed! It's just another damned discourse of oppressive power! If women's viewpoints had not been suppressed in Queen Anne's England, we would understand that the problem of two bodies moving under the weight of a central attractive force is not solved by an ellipse or ellipsis or whatever, but by communication!

The Beatles warned you're gonna lose that girl. Billy Joel said tell her that you really love her. Bon Jovi, Depeche Mode, Jonny Lang [sic], and other artists have explained: ``Lie To Me!''

Related initialism: STS.

Secure Sockets Layer. Netcraft has a tool to check security certificate and secure server software for particular sites, and other, general security information.

Solid-State Lighting. LED's, mostly.

Spin SuperLattice.

SSL fault
Single Stuck Line fault. The most common model for testable errors at the logic-gate level. An N-input gate generally requires N+1 test sets, and a particular N+1 input combinations are each necessary and collectively sufficient. The small number of primary (i.e., controllable) inputs in a microprocessor is a motivation for implementing BIST.

Society for the Study of Labour History. ``Founded in 1960, the Society is the UK's principal organisation dedicated to the study of labour history. The Society organises meetings and conferences, represents the interests of labour history and labour historians in a number of fora and yadda yadda yadda.'' Don't belabour the point. They publish LHR.

Solid State Lighting Industry Trade Association. I hope the acronym is pronounced with a long i. On the website when I visited in April 2008: SSLITA ``is currently forming an international organization to help speed the worldwide adoption of solid state lighting sources across the breadth of lighting applications.'' The grammar started to flicker after that.

Saab Soul Mate. I haven't looked into this.

Stockpile Stewardship and Management. Stockpile of nuclear weapons is meant.

Spread Spectrum Multiple Access. Less common name for CDMA.

Space Shuttle Main Engine. NASA acronym.

Successful Stuttering Management Program.

Spark-Source Mass Spectro{meter|scopy}.

Southwest Symposium on Mixed-Signal Design. SSMSD '99 is in Tucson, 11-13 April.

Satellite Sports Network.

Servizio Sanitario Nazionale. Ital.: `National Health Service.'

Social Security Number. A nine-digit number assigned by the US Social Security Administration (SSA). The first three digits give some geographic information, and the order in which the numbers are used up gives some information about when the number was assigned. Chris Hibbert has a page explaining the structure of SSN's. See also TIN.

There is a great deal of principled resistance to the use of SSN's as a national form of identification, which shows up in legislation forbidding various organizations from requiring a person to reveal his SSN except for the specific purposes of the SSA. This is motivated in part by a jealous regard for personal freedom and privacy, and by a suspicion of the purposes of government or of powerful businesses. In addition, however, there is a less evident factor that news media appear to have some discomfort in reporting. That is that in various fundamentalist exegeses of the Book of Revelations, the end times will have a world government by the antichrist in which there will be a universal system of personal identification numbers. The end times, of course, will be upon us before you know it.

Space Surveillance Network. Operated by the US Air Force Space Command (AFSPC). SSN maintains a catalog of known ``radar debris'' (orbiting junk that is detectable by radar).

Society for the Study of Neuronal Regulation. An organization founded in 1993. I think I know what you're thinking and I want you to stop.

In 1998 the name was shortened to Society for Neuronal Regulation, in time for the sixth annual meeting that September. (I do know what you're thinking. Now stop!)

In 2002 the name was changed to International Society for Neuronal Regulation. (And if their earlier name had included ``National Society,'' I could understand how a name change might have been warranted.) Their original domain name had been <ssnr.org>. I guess they switched to <isnr.org> in 2002 or not long after.

In 2006 the organization was renamed International Society for Neurofeedback and Research. In 2007 it was named Letterhead Stationers' Customer of the Decade. Well, it should have been, anyway. It's June 2011 and -- hey! I just noticed something: the word ``research'' appears unqualified in the organization name. A person unfamiliar with ISNR might innocently suppose that ISNR is the international society for the practice of neurofeedback and research into onomastodynamics. Time for a name change.

Society of Surgical Oncology.

State Services Organization. (Same machine as AASHTO: http://aashto.org/ also works.)

[NEC chip stereogram]

Shrink Small-Outline Package (SOP). E.g., one 30-pin SSOP package is 10 × 6 × 2 millimeters. An apparent stereograph of a 20-pin SSOP with dimensions 7 × 4.4 × 1.8 mm is at right, from a product that NEC descibes on the web. National Semiconductor publishes a bunch of SSOP specs on the web.

Secretaría de Seguridad Pública. `Secretariat of Public Safety.' (The translation is a matter of judgment, but fwiw, in Spanish a safety belt is called a ``cinturón de seguridad.'') The only country that seems to have any institution so named is Mexico, which has both a federal SSP and SSP's in the various states and the federal district. SSP basically means police and judiciary administration, which are perhaps a little more closely integrated under Roman Law than under Common Law.

I suspect that the name itself is a kind of anglicismo, influenced by the American phrase ``public safety,'' although I also see a few instances of ``seguridad pública'' on a few webpages from outside Mexico (mainly Argentina, Bolivia, and Chile; El Salvador, Costa Rica, and Guatemala; Spain).

I must mention a more distant antecedent, and a poorer one in various respects: the Comité de salut public, which under the leadership of Robespierre conducted a (or ``the'') reign of terror from 1793 to 1794 that killed around 20 or 40 thousand people. The name seems problematic to me, and seems to be problematic for the TLF as well, which mentions the CSP under salut without explaining it, only pointing to a public entry where it is not mentioned at all. Spanish salud pública means `public health,' and is a faux ami of the French salut public. The CSP's name is typically rendered as `committee of [or for] public safety' in English, which is why an English-speaker may make the connection.

However, there don't seem to be other contexts in which salut is translated as `safety.' Safety in English corresponds more closely to sûreté or even securité. (Incidentally, there was also a nominally independent Comité de sûreté générale that was supposed to supervise the police force, though it was effectively an organ of the CSP during La Terreur.) Considering that the CSP was created to defend the revolution against real enemies within and without France, I think that `committee for national salvation' may be a more accurate translation, consistent with similar modern expressions.

The noun salut actually corresponds to two different verbs: sauver, `to save,' which provides the relevant senses here, and saluer, `to salute, greet.' (These are cognate with the Spanish verbs salvar and saludar, which are associated with the distinct nouns salud and saludo, resp. Actually, Spanish reflexes of Latin salvo include not only salud but salvación and various other words.) The saluer-related senses of salut might have been influential in some possibly unconscious way: Salut et fraternité was a standard formula used as a salutation in the revolutionary era. Salutaire, not too incidentally, does mean `salutary.'

[Phone icon]

(Telephone) Service Switching Point.

Signal Switching Point. A signal switching point, in a Signaling System 7 (SS-7) network is a telephone switch (end office (EO) or tandem) [one that is SS7-capable].

Society for Scholarly Publishing.

Solid-State Power Amplifier.

Steel Structures Painting Council.

Self-Scanned PhotoDiode (PD).

Subacute Sclerosing PanEncephalitis.

Space Solar Power System. Alternative name for Satellite Power System. See SPS for a more substantial entry.

Society of St. Pius X. A traditionalist movement of Roman Catholics and former Roman Catholics who reject many or most of the teachings of the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965). Pius X, Pope from August 4, 1903, to August 20, 1914, was a traditionalist and a codifier of church doctrine.

Secondary Surveillance Radar.

Society for the Study of Reproduction. It's not about photocopies.

Solid State Recrystalization.

Solid State Relay.

Soviet Socialist Republic. Linguistically productive, as in A.S.S.R., Ukr.S.S.R., USSR.

Static Shift Register. The usual sort, now.

Sustained Silent Reading.

Social Science Research Council.

Selective Serotonin Re-uptake Inhibitor. (Or Serotonin-Specific Reuptake Inhibitor, which is perhaps a bit clearer.) One of a class of drugs inaugurated by Prozac, and now including Zoloft. Like an MAOI, prevents the re-uptake of neurotransmitter amine, but unlike these, is specific for the neurotransmitter serotonin.

Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory.

Social Science Research Network. ``... devoted to the rapid worldwide dissemination of social science research and is composed of a number of specialized research networks in each of the social sciences.'' Apparently a subsidiary of Social Science Electronic Publishing, Inc.

Slow Slow Quick Quick. These words are intended to summarize the rhythm of the Texas Two-Step. SSQQ is also the name of Houston's largest social dance studio (as of 2004, anyway), according to founder Rick Archer. He explains the specific origin of the name here. It started when he was teaching at Dance Arts Unlimited and holding a graduation dance at the Winchester Club. (The page has no internal links; just scroll down to the sketch of the busty lady.)

Before I could start the class, I was stopped cold in my tracks. My eyes were riveted to a very busty lady wearing a western shirt with "SLOW SLOW QUICK QUICK" written in huge block letters right across her chest.

Due to her ample figure, the letters literally seemed to jump out at you. After I overcame my astonishment, I composed myself enough to ask her to explain the story behind the shirt.

The lady said her Husband had been having trouble keeping the rhythm of Two Step when they danced. (slow slow quick quick, of course). She smiled wickedly as she added that he never could take his eyes off of her chest either.

An elementary school teacher by day, Ms Slow Slow Quick Quick thought a little Kindergarten-level visual aid trick might help her Husband hear the music a little better when they hit the Winchester later on. By now the entire class was rolling on the floor.

It was a very funny joke except for her husband. As she talked, I watched a this poor soul stood next to her staring at the floor in crimson embarrassment. From his body language he clearly didn't think this practical joke was nearly as funny as the rest of us did.

We finished our class as best we could despite the enormous distraction. I have to admit I had to make a special effort not to gawk at the woman throughout the entire night, but most of the men were not so discreet.

As it happens, the two-step is not slow-slow-quick-quick. It's quick-quick-slow-slow. For people with no sense of rhythm this may seem the same thing, except for the first two steps. People with no sense of rhythm probably also wonder why vertical bars are drawn through the stave in sheet music. Pleasant distractions weren't the only reason that guy had trouble keeping to the rhythm.

Selective Service System. The name of the organization that administered the draft. Since the draft ended during the Nixon adminstration, the job of the SSS has mainly been to keep track of who might be eligible for the draft if it were reinstituted. Hence, the law continues to require 18-year-old men to register.

In the summer of 1979 I was working at the cyclotron at Princeton University, which was housed in basement level B of the physics building (Jadwin Hall). While there I got to see the letter sent by the SSS to Mr. B. Cyclotron, reminding him of his legal responsibility to register for the draft. I haven't found out yet exactly when the Jadwin Hall cyclotron was originally commissioned, but Jadwin Hall itself was only dedicated in 1970. Maybe the SSS confused it with the tiny older cyclotron then in Palmer Hall (now Frist Hall). The Jadwin Hall cyclotron was decommissioned in 2004 and 2005.

Side-Side-Side. Shorthand for the theorem that two triangles with corresponding sides of equal length are congruent. Cf. SAS and AAS.

The Society for Skeptical Studies. ``Established in 2000, ... an independent philosophical society which was formed to promote philosophical discussion and research on any topic related to skepticism (construed broadly to include the history of skeptical thought, skepticism regarding mental content, skepticism regarding self-knowledge, and moral skepticism, as well as more traditional topics in skepticism).''


``The society meets annually at the Pacific Division meetings of the American Philosophical Association. If interest warrants, sessions may be organized at the Eastern and Central Division meetings as well. Although the Society for Skeptical Studies is primarily a philosophical society, non-philosophers are also encouraged to become members.''

Solid State Spectrometer (on NASA's Einstein Observatory).

System Support Specialist.

Soil Science Society of America. See also the corresponding international organization, ISSS.

The SSSA serves an Internet Glossary of Soil Science Terms.

Southeastern Symposium on Systems Theory.

Sea-Surface Temperature.

Solid State Technology. A trade mag for the semiconductor electronics industry.

Spectroscopic Survey Telescope.

Spread-Spectrum Technology.

SuperSonic Transport (airplane). [Currently, the only functioning commercial one in service is the British/French Concorde.]

Surface Ship Torpedo Defense.

Satellite-Switched TDMA.

Latin, sensu stricto, `in the strict sense.' Strictly speaking, this is the same as `strictly speaking,' which is genau genommen in German. Also s.s.. Cf. s.l..

Slow Scan TeleVision.

German Sommerschlussverkauf. `Summer close-out sale.'

South SouthWest. Vide compass directions.

Simplified SWEAT (Standard Wafer-level Electromigration Acceleration Test). ``Simplified,'' and improved, by the use of temperature and current monitoring in place of approximate assumptions (parameter values in Black's equation). A technique for accelerated testing of semiconductor device interconnects, whose lifetime is limited by electromigration. See B. Root and T. Turner article, page 100 of IEEE/IRPS 1985. See also BEM.

Small-Scale Yielding. Regime in which craze length is small compared to typical specimen dimensions.

Jeanne M. Dallard has some information on Signaling System #7. Microlegend styles itself ``The SS7 Company'' and has some online tutorial information.

This is also called CCSS7; there are more links at that entry.

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