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Q & A: number of properties

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Most recent answer: 10/22/2007
Q:
Hi there, I’m hoping you can settle an argument I had with my brother. Just exactly how many properties of air are there, & what are they please? Thanks a million.
- Lesley
Canada
A:
You're kidding, right? How could you possibly expect there to be some finite list of properties which everyone could agree on? Say you wanted to give how much light of different frequencies air absorbed. Would you call the absorption spectrum one property? Or would you say that it's an infinite list of properties- specific absorption rates for an infinite list of frequencies? etc.

This is a symptom of schooling in which teachers make up little lists and present them as facts of nature rather than as convenient choices of descriptions, at best.

Mike W.

(published on 10/22/2007)

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