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Size. Magnitude being purely relative, nothing is large and nothing small. If everything in the universe were increased in bulk one thousand diameters nothing would be any larger than it was before, but if one thing remain unchanged all the others would be larger than they had been. To an understanding familiar with the relativity of magnitude and distance the spaces and masses of the astronomer would be no more impressive than those of the microscopist. For anything we know to the contrary, the visible universe may be a small part of an atom, with its component ions, floating in the life- fluid (luminiferous ether) of some animal. Possibly the wee creatures peopling the corpuscles of our own blood are overcome with the proper emotion when contemplating the unthinkable distance from one of these to another.
See magnitude of a star, below.
The strength or size of an event. Usually used when discussing earthquakes or hurricanes. seismic
A quantity characteristic of the total energy released by an earthquake, as contrasted with intensity, which describes its effects at a particular place. A number of earthquake magnitude scales exist, including local (or Richter) magnitude (ML), body wave magnitude (Mb), surface wave magnitude (Ms), moment magnitude (Mw), and coda magnitude (Mc). As a general rule, an increase of one magnitude unit corresponds to ten times greater ground motion, an increase of two magnitude units corresponds to 100 times greater ground motion, and so on in a logarithmic series. Commonly, earthquakes are recorded with magnitudes from 0 to 8, although occasionally large ones (M = 9) and very small ones (M = -I or -2) are also recorded. Nearby earthquakes with magnitudes as small as 2 to 3 are frequently felt. The actual ground motion for, say, a magnitude 5 earthquake is about 0.04 millimeters at a distance of 100 kilometers from the epicenter; it is 1.1 millimeters at a distance of 10 kilometers from the epicenter.
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A property common to both vectors and scalars. In the graphical representation of a vector, the vectorÃ¢â‚¬(tm)s magnitude is equal to the length of the arrow.
The "amount" associated with a vector; the vector stripped of any information about its direction.
The magnitude indicates the current value of a quantity.