multiplicity

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

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From Latin multiplicitas.

Noun[edit]

multiplicity (plural multiplicities)

  1. The state of being made of multiple diverse elements.
  2. (mathematics) The number of values for which a given condition holds.
  3. A large indeterminate number.
    • 1659, Pearson, John, “Article IV”, in An Exposition of the Creed, 5th edition, published 1683, page 189:
      The coronary Thorns did not only express the scorn of the imposers, by that figure into which they were contrived; but did also pierce his tender and sacred temples to a multiplicity of pains, by their numerous acuminations.
    • 1962 December, “Dr. Beeching previews the plan for British Railways”, in Modern Railways, page 377:
      They saddled themselves with the handling of light flows on a multiplicity of branch lines, and they sacrificed the speed, reliability and low cost of through train operation, even over the main arteries of the system.
  4. (software engineering, UML) The number of instances that can occur on a given end of a relationship, including 0..1, 1, 0..* or *, and 1..*.
  5. (statistical mechanics) The number of microstates associated with a given macrostate.
    • 1999, Ralph Baierlein, Thermal Physics, Cambridge University Press (→ISBN), page 329:
      In short , we are not replacing the old idea that “entropy is the logarithm of the multiplicity (times Boltzmann's constant). ” Rather , we are retaining that idea but are generalizing the notion of multiplicity.
    • 1988, G. Erickson, C.R. Smith, Maximum-Entropy and Bayesian Methods in Science and Engineering: Volume 2: Applications, Springer Science & Business Media (→ISBN), page 357:
      ... the maximum-entropy (maxent) solution is the one which occurs with greatest multiplicity.

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