• WordNet 3.6
    • n nutation uncontrolled nodding
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Nutation (Astron) A very small libratory motion of the earth's axis, by which its inclination to the plane of the ecliptic is constantly varying by a small amount.
    • Nutation (Bot) Circumnutation.
    • Nutation The act of nodding. "So from the midmost the nutation spreads,
      Round and more round, o'er all the sea of heads."
    • Nutation (Bot) The motion of a flower in following the apparent movement of the sun, from the east in the morning to the west in the evening.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n nutation A nodding.
    • n nutation In pathology, a constant nodding or involuntary shaking of the head.
    • n nutation In astronomy, a small subordinate gyratory movement of the earth's axis, in virtue of which, if it subsisted alone, the pole would describe among the stars, in a period of about nineteen years, a minute ellipse, having its longer axis directed toward the pole of the ecliptic, and the shorter, of course, at right angles to it. The consequence of this real motion of the pole is an apparent approach and recession of all the stars in the heavens to the pole in the same period; and the same cause will give rise to a small alternate advance and recession of the equinoctial points, by which both the longitudes and the right ascensions of the stars will be also alternately increased or diminished. This nutation, however, is combined with another motion—namely, the precession of the equinoxes—and in virtue of the two motions the path which the pole describes is neither an ellipse nor a circle, but a gently undulated ring; and these undulations constitute each of them a nutation of the earth's axis. Both these motions and their combined effect arise from the same physical cause—namely, the action of the sun and moon upon the protuberant mass at the earth's equator. See precession.
    • n nutation In botany, same as circumnutation.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Nutation a nodding: :
    • n Nutation (astron.) a periodical and constant change of the angle made by the earth's axis, with the ecliptic, caused by the attraction of the moon on the greater mass of matter round the equator
    • n Nutation (bot.) the turning of flowers towards the sun
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L. nutatio, a nodding, fr. nutare, to nod: cf. F. nutation,
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
L. nutāre, to nod.


In literature:

He resolved to measure anew with his own eye and with his own hand the constants of aberration and of nutation.
"Great Astronomers" by R. S. Ball
Why did he not continue in the same spot, except for the slow change caused by the nutation or nodding of Venus?
"A Trip to Venus" by John Munro
In another place we shall inquire into the cause of the discrepancy as given by the nutation of the earth.
"Outlines of a Mechanical Theory of Storms" by T. Bassnett
The position of the equinox as affected by nutation.
"The Sailor's Word-Book" by William Henry Smyth
"The Story of the Heavens" by Robert Stawell Ball
Nutation is a real "nodding" of the terrestrial axis produced by the dragging of the moon at the terrestrial equatorial protuberance.
"A Popular History of Astronomy During the Nineteenth Century" by Agnes M. (Agnes Mary) Clerke
Sometimes this path is loopy, and its little nods correspond to nutation.
"Pioneers of Science" by Oliver Lodge
Commonly this nutation is slight or hardly observable.
"The Elements of Botany" by Asa Gray
Nutation is one of the great discoveries of James Bradley (1747).
"Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 8, Slice 9" by Various
It is affected by the motions of Precession and Nutation, of which the former has been known since the time of Hipparchus.
"Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 9, Slice 7" by Various

In news:

Of most interest to me is the process of "nutation and "counter-nutation as described by I.

In science:

These total power measurements utilized beam switching to eliminate variable atmospheric emission with a subreflector throw of about 80 arcsec nutating at 10 Hz.
Evaluation of the ALMA Prototype Antennas
The consequence of the r.f. distribution is that not all the nuclear spins in the sample will have the same effective rotation under a nutation field.
Randomized benchmarking of single and multi-qubit control in liquid-state NMR quantum information processing
The role of the environment is in the braking of nutation’s phase.
Prototype model for nuclear spin conversion in molecules: The case of "hydrogen"
Therefore the environment alone does not initiate transitions with nuclear spin value changing, but, destructing quantum coherence, the environment brakes the reversibility of nutations.
Prototype model for nuclear spin conversion in molecules: The case of "hydrogen"
The modulus of Pf is determined by measuring the flipping ratio of the scattered neutrons simply by reversing the field of the nutator after the sample.
Polarized Neutron Scattering