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principal axis

Syllabification: prin·ci·pal ax·is

Definition of principal axis in English:

noun

Physics
1Each of three mutually perpendicular axes in a body about which the moment of inertia is at a maximum.
Example sentences
  • The rotation axis was the principal axis of the largest moment of inertia of the helix.
  • Taking all these assignments into account, we can now calculate a rotational diffusion coefficient for the three principal axes of the inertia tensor, the two-tail vectors, the PN vector, and the intramolecular vector.
  • The principal axes of the moment of inertia tensor will be used to give us an idea of the overall rotation of the molecule.
1.1 another term for optical axis.
Example sentences
  • This specimen resembles those of Diagoniella cyathiformis because the skeletal net is composed of diagonally arranged stauractines and diactines, oriented at approximately 45° to the principal axis of the sponge.
  • We suspect that the new species described here may be transitional between the two genera, because it contains spicules that are diagonal and others that are parallel to the principal axis.
  • The second is the orientation of the amino acid with respect to the principal axis of the other helix; the more the amino acid is directed toward the other helix, the better its burial.

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