May 22, 2003
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do you actually use the lambda symbol to represent "Half-life" in math/physics formulars?

if would you then translate "lambda2"?(<--puny little 2 up the right corner thank you!)

then it would be the half-life X half-life? well that doesn't really make much sense does it? I mean it wouldn't necesarily end up having anything to do with half-life would it?(I'm no good at math)
If i can remember GCSE physics right, it represents wavelength
I just started taking chemistry this year and we did a unit on Nuclear reactions and equations. Half Life (not the game) was a major part of it, I never saw the Lambda symbol used once in it.

I just can't remember what it is used for....
It's a standard for wavelength, but you could use it for whatever the hell you want. If you have two lambdas, then you'd distinguish them between using a subscript 1 and 2.
Used the lambda symbol a lot last semester in a Wavelet analysis and fourier transform class.
ok if the lambda don't represent it half-life then just forget it...what would you get from halflife X halflife?
Just a question, do you actually know what half life is used to describe?
Halflife * Halflife, then you would get Halflife^2

Which happens to be the Halflife 2 symbol


heh heh
the ammount of time for something to degenerate into half the mass/protons/or whatever

like you take some Uranium235(or whatever, this is just an example) and say that it will take like 50years for it to be reduced to half it's mass(or protons/electrons or whatever...never really paid much attention in physics etc.(numbers are boring))

...something like that anyways...

can't really remember if it's linear or exponential though...

It just means L

It's awsome to travel to Greece and see the half-life logo everywhere :dork:
Originally posted by figge

It just means L

It's awsome to travel to Greece and see the half-life logo everywhere :dork:

yes because it's definitly not like any of those symbols got math meaning aswell...duh!
Go here for a mathematical tutorial involving Lambda.

note: only for those who know there math well.
and biological meanings

- psi = water potential

and chemistry relevances

- delta (capital) = change in
(lower case) = 'slightly' (when talking about atomic charges ;))
Although its use in physics is most likely more significant, lambda is also used to represent eigenvalues of matrices in Linear Algebra. Subscripts are again used to indicate multiple eigenvalues. it's puzzling why a superscript is used. Any ideas?

In chemestry we used t as in time to indicate a substance's half-life in years.
Dont worry, i'll piss on you in the gutter after i've graduated from Cambridge ;) :p
and nobody answered my original question...

lets have a geek fight!

who's the first to answer!!!?

Well...yeah I am. Don't ask me physics questions though. My major goal in life is being able to make it through college with a double major and not take a single physics class.

Not that I don't like physics...I won't get into the physics department at BSU.
hmmm nevermind I think I've figured it out...

I guess I forgot that the halflife value can't be any other than 0,x(sorry I'm too lazy to find the English term...but you geeks probably understand it anyways), since otherwise it would increase instead of decrease...or?
*bump* whine whine!!!1!!

my thread needs to be on top...whine whine!!!

well at least I actually haven't got my original question answered yet...although I think I figured it out myself...but I would like teh g33ks to answer!!!11!
Does anyone ever get the feeling we're totally overanalyzing a simple kick-ass name of a video game?

Not that I don't love nerding about physics all day...
OK, here's my 2 cents.

What does radioactive decay have to do with the game?...who the hell knows. But halflife is a term that most people know of, and most people equate it with sub-atomic physics (ie, the hard sciences). I don't know what they used it for but there certainly was a hell of a lot of radioactive material around in Black Mesa.

Now, what does Lamda have to do with the game? - quite a bit actually. The scientists are constantly whining about "resonnance cascades". So what is a resonnance cascade? - well it's something that valve made up of course. However, resonnance occurs due to the superposition of waveforms. The most common usage of lambda in science is for wavelength - so there we have it! Also, keep in mind that the heart of the Black Mesa research program was the Lambda lab. Perhaps they were dabling in theoretical gravity waves or such such nonsense and stumbled upon teleportation (and perhaps the gravity gun).

But perhaps most importantly, a nice fat lambda looks really sweet on the cover of a game box.

BTW, in my field (molecular biology) we sometimes use lambda to represent microlitres (just thought I'd through in some nerdatude of my own).
I totally agree. But Gordon wasn't part of the Lambda complex and he has it on his HEV suit. I still think it all has to do with the science/physics/research idea.
Well it was the lambda complex that was colonizing Xen and they had the big ass teleporter (the one Gordon rides to Xen). The anamolous materials experiment took place in a smaller 'reactor' and was apparently done just to analyse the material (it went horribly wrong because the Xen crystals have some sort of inherent teleportation properties...well, duh).

In any case, the Lambda lab guys are the big geeks on campus, and they obviously are in charge of ordering the suits for Black Mesa :cheers:
The lambda is also a symbol used to represent homosexuality... :cheese:

I'm not saying that Half-life is gay...
but the lambda complex probably is!:p

thats why i don't wear my HL badge when in pubs...
(That and because its nerdy)

over and out.
I can only think of one reason why Half-Life used the Lambda symbol. Albert Einstein used it in his general theory of relativity to describe the 'cosmological constant' in his theory!
Einstein believed such a force was necessary because in the static Universe he depicted, it would be needed to prevent gravity dragging everything together. He put it in his equations as the "cosmological constant" and gave it the Greek letter lambda. When, rather late in the day, he was convinced by Edwin Hubble's evidence that the Universe was actually expanding and lambda was not needed, he called it his greatest blunder.
Although he called it his greatest blunder it turns out he may have been right after all and that one of the other fundemental elements of his theory may have been wrong.... The speed of light is NOT constant!

This URL sheds a little light on the matter...
half life is the term for decay in elements, like if uraniums half life was 20 million years(i dont really know what it is) then if you had a peice of uranium in your hand, in 20 million years it would be half way decayed, then in another 20 million years that half would be half, then in another 20 million years, that half of the half would be half. So really, nothing can be destroyed, only shrunken down millions of times.