Now reading: GADZOOKS!, ABRACADABRA, and other SUSPECT acronyms from physics and astronomy

GADZOOKS!, ABRACADABRA, and other SUSPECT acronyms from physics and astronomy

What’s in a name? For the scientists behind these marvelous monikers, it seems a catchy acronym is key.

Science is full of big words and big ideas. That’s great, until you need to talk about them quickly. Enter a sadly overlooked, and we suspect highly competitive, subspecialty in physics: creating hilarious acronyms.

Now, these acronyms fulfill an important purpose: each is intended as a handy alternative to spelling out long, complicated names of concepts, chemicals, and Latin-laden mouthfuls.

But acronyms themselves can present a challenge when they become an alphabet soup of seemingly random letters.

To make things more memorable, some scientists get playful. Some get downright goofy. We compiled some of our favourites from physics and astronomy, with a much-appreciated assist from DOOFAAS (Dumb Or Overly Forced Astronomical Acronyms Site).

TL;DR: STEM acronyms LOL.

Learn more about PIQuIL.

Learn more about ABRACADABRA.

Don’t let the name fool you. This is serious research, as highlighted in Nature.


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