Entries - D

dark matter

Lower case. 

physics, style

data

"Data" can mean two rather different things, and this poses a style problem.

dates

Dates should be written 24 April 2010 (not 24th).

Do not add the day of the week.

Use the following construction for spans of time:

Willibald Karl Jentschke was delegate to council for the Federal Republic of Germany from 1964-67.

Though this often reads better if reworded:

style

decades

Use digits:

the 1950s, 1960s etc.

the roaring 20s

a man in his 60s

style

decay

Most often used in the context of particle decay.

The kaon decayed into a pion and a neutrino-antineutrino pair.

physics

decimals

Decimals and percentages use the number, not the word: 2% and 50% and 2.6 kilometres.

style

degrees

When referring to angles, spell out “degrees” (as for any other unit):

The tower at Pisa has a tilt of more than 5 degrees

For temperature, use °C

Ethanol boils at 79 °C

For latitude and longitude use ° (closed up to the numeral)

Switzerland lies at latitude 47° north

(note the lower case for north – or south, east or west)

To make a degree (°) symbol on a Mac or a PC, use the key combination Alt-Shift-8

style

department

Lower case d. Likewise for group, section, etc.

Use capital letters on the name of a department, but not on the word "department". 

CERN has many departments. While Physics is the largest, the Technology department is also substantial. 

style

detectors

All caps for ATLAS, ALICE, CMS, TOTEM. But LHCb, LHCf.

style

Director-General

One of few titles that should be capitalized. Avoid abbreviating to DG.

The hyphen is important. Here's an example from a photo caption which shows why: 

Stephen Hawking (left) with CERN Director General Rolf Heuer. 

The sentence above could be (incorrectly) interpreted to mean that Rolf Heuer is a (military) General, and he is also Director of CERN. 

The hyphen renders the compound adjective unambiguous - Heuer is a Director-General.

The plural of Director-General is Directors-General.

style

disc or disk?

Use disc with a "c" when you are referring to optical media such as a CD or DVD. All discs are removable, meaning when you eject the disc from your desktop, it physically comes out of your computer. 

Use disk with a "k" for magnetic media, such as a floppy disk, the disk in your computer's hard drive, an external hard drive.

spelling, style

discrimination

See non-discriminatory language

style

dosimeter

A device used to measure an absorbed dose of ionizing radiation.

Do not confuse with Geiger counter.

physics

double-check

Note the hyphen.

grammar

Downloads

On Drupal websites at CERN, whenever you add a file field to a page, call it "Downloads". Keep this consistent across CERN websites.

 

 

style

duoplasmatron

Another great physics word.

A duoplasmatron is a type of ion source. It operates as follows: a cathode filament emits electrons into a vacuum chamber. A gas such as argon is introduced in very small quantities into the chamber, where it becomes charged or ionized through interactions with the free electrons from the cathode, forming a plasma. The plasma is then accelerated through a series of at least two highly charged grids, and becomes an ion beam, moving at fairly high speed from the aperture of the device.

physics

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