inverse square law


Definition of inverse square law

: a statement in physics: a given physical quantity (such as illumination) varies with the distance from the source inversely as the square of the distance

Examples of inverse square law in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web This inverse square law, which arises from geometry, is an idealization that strictly applies to nonphysical point masses. Quanta Magazine, "Does Natural Law Need Elegant Mathematics?," 5 Dec. 2019 This is because of a mathematical relationship called the inverse square law. Ben Finio, Scientific American, "Science with a Smartphone: Measure Light with Lux," 3 Oct. 2019 Power law distributions are seen in many physical situations, like the inverse square laws of gravitation and electric fields. Quanta Magazine, "How Network Math Can Help You Make Friends," 20 Aug. 2018 Most of the time, crowds flow along this way, each person using this inverse square law to avoid collisions while getting to their own destination. Evelyn Lamb, Smithsonian, "How Fluid Dynamics Can Help You Navigate Crowds," 17 Jan. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'inverse square law.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of inverse square law

1921, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of inverse square law was in 1921

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Cite this Entry

“Inverse square law.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Sep. 2020.

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