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Moment of truth
The Voyager I spacecraft is the most distant man-made object in the universe. It was launched in 1977 and as in 2002, it was more than 8 billions miles from the Earth.

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flame temperature Eng.
The temperature at the hottest spot of a flame.

flame test Chem.
A simple test for the detection of the presence of an element (usually a metal) in a chemical substance. A small amount of a test substance (usually moistened with hydrochloric acid) is placed on the end of a small platinum wire loop and held in a Bunsen flame. The substance burns with a characteristic coloration according to the type of metal presents: sodium (yellow), calcium (brick red), potassium (lilac), barium (green), etc.

Flamsteed numbers Astron.
A numbering system that is used to label stars in each constellation. The western-most star in a given constellation is labelled the number '1' and the next star (to the east) is labelled '2', then '3' and so on. In other words, the stars are listed by right ascension within the constellation boundaries. The north-south position, or declination, is ignored. For example, the brightest star in the constellation Lyra is catalogued as 3-Lyrae (Vega) - third western-most star in the constellation.

flash point Chem.
The lowest temperature at which vapors above a volatile combustible substance will ignite in air when expose to a flame. For example, petrol has a flash point of normally less than 45C.

flavor Phys.
In particle physics, flavor is a label that distinguishes different types quarks and leptons of identical charges, normally from different generations in the Standard Model. Different flavors have identical charges but different masses. For example, the electron and muon are different flavors of lepton that belong to the first and second generations respectively. Both have the charge of -1.

flavor symmetry Phys.
An internal symmetry that interchanges different flavors of a particular particle category. If two particle types have the same charge and mass the flavor symmetry will be exact and the two particles can be completely interchangeable. But in reality, the mass is always different and the flavor symmetry is not exact. Nevertheless, the difference can still be small enough to make useful predictions. Example of flavor symmetry which interchanges electron and muon.

flocculation Chem., Geol.
The process of aggregating into larger clump. For example, in geology, it is the process by which small particle soils and sediments aggregate into larger lumps.

Abbreviation for FLOating Point arithmatic operations per second (or clock cycle). A measure of speed of a computer processor, especially in scientific and real time processing applications. The higher the number the faster the computational processing time.

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