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1. Either of the two points of intersection of the surface of a sphere or spheroid and its axis, labeled N or S to indicate whether the north pole or south pole. The two points of intersection of the surface of the earth with its axis are called geographical poles. The two points of intersection of the celestial sphere and the extended axis of the earth are called celestial poles. The celestial pole above the horizon is called the elevated pole; that below the horizon the depressed pole. The ecliptic poles are 90° from the ecliptic. Also, one of a pair of similar points on the surface of a sphere or spheroid, as a magnetic pole, definition l; a geomagnetic pole; or a fictitious pole. 2. A magnetic pole, definition 2. 3. The origin of measurement of distance in polar or spherical coordinates. 4. Any point around which something centers.

Related Terms

POINT-BLANK RANGE

Distance to a target that is so short that the trajectory of a bullet or projectile is practically a straight, rather than a curved, line.

PISTON DISPLACEMENT

The volume which a piston in a cylinder displaces in a single stroke, equal to the distance the piston travels times the internal cross section of the cylinder.

PHOTOFLASH BOMB

A missile dropped from aircraft; it contains a photoflash mixture and a means for ignition at a distance above the ground, to produce a brilliant light of short photoelectric effect See photoelectricity.

PHONOTELEMETER

A device consisting essentially of a stopwatch, for estimating the distance of guns in action by measuring the interval between the flash and the arrival of the sound.

PENETRATION NUMBER

The consistency of greases, waxes, petrolatum, and asphalt or other bituminous materials expressed as the distance that a standard needle penetrates the sample under specified American Society for Testing and Materials test.

PEDOMETER

1. An instrument for measuring and weighing a newborn child. 2. An instrument that registers the number of footsteps and distance covered in walking.

PASSIVE RADAR

A technique for detecting objects at a distance by picking up the microwave electromagnetic energy that is both radiated and reflected by all bodies.

PARSHALL FLUME

A calibrated device for measuring the flow of liquids in open conduits by measuring the upper and lower beads at a specified distance from an obstructing sill.

OROGRAPH

A machine that records both distance and elevations as it is pushed across land surfaces; used in making topographic maps.

ODOMETER

1. An instrument for measuring distance traversed, as of a vehicle. 2. The indicating gage of such an instrument. 3. A wheel pulled by surveyors to measure distance traveled.

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