a single packet

  • dojibear

    Senior Member
    AE (US English)
    English doesn't have words for sub-atomic units. If you want to explain things in English, you have to invent phrases for them, using words with a similar meaning.

    This writer uses "packet" , which most people think means "a small contained fixed-amount unit" or something like that.
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    Packet is a standard word used to describe energy, and other things that come in discrete units in science and technology. The internet sends all it's information via discrete packets of data. A big message is broken down into small pieces which are sent separately. If you have a bad internet connection you might be experiencing packet loss - packets that are sent but don't arrive.

    A classic physics example is a photon. It's a packet of energy that has a distinct, measurable value. Photons emitted from an atom can't have just any value. It has to be a specific value based on the structure of the atom and the number and position of the electrons.
     

    LVRBC

    Senior Member
    English-US, standard and medical
    In reference to electromagnetic energy, packet means a photon. Telecommunications and computer technology have other meanings for the term, as does everyday language, but for straight-up physics it's a photon.
     
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