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# complicated sentence

Wed 6 May, 2015 11:04 am
"Anionic surfactants, typically lignin sulphonates produced as a by-product of the Kraft paper making process, are used extensively. These large surfactant molecules, which are several orders of magnitude larger than any disperse dye molecule, adhere to and encapsulate the large dye pigment particle and form a stable dispersion."

If I omit "several orders of magnitude", and say "which are larger than .........", this sentence makes sense to me. But due to presence of "several orders of magnitude" makes this sentence awkward to me.

Please, help me to clarify this problem.
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Type: Question • Score: 2 • Views: 555 • Replies: 9

View best answer, chosen by Nousher Ahmed
Tes yeux noirs

4
Wed 6 May, 2015 12:05 pm
"Order of magnitude" is a scientific term. If two numbers differ by one order of magnitude, one is about 10 times larger than the other. If they differ by two orders of magnitude, they differ by a factor of about 100, and so on. Two numbers of the same order of magnitude have roughly the same scale: the larger value is less than ten times the smaller value.

"Several" means "more than two but not many", so if the the large surfactant molecules are several orders of magnitude larger than any disperse dye molecule, then they are at least 100 times larger, and maybe 1000 times or 10000 times larger, so you could say "very much larger", but in scientific writing it is better to be as precise as you can.
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neologist

1
Wed 6 May, 2015 12:54 pm
@Nousher Ahmed,
Tes nailed it. Sentences very understandable as writtten.
dalehileman

1
Wed 6 May, 2015 01:39 pm
@neologist,
Quote:
understandable as writtten
Yea Neo but you gotta give Ahmed credit for his determination and persistence
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Tes yeux noirs

1
Wed 6 May, 2015 01:51 pm
Quote:
larger than any disperse dye molecule

Shouldn't that be "larger than any dispersed dye molecule"?
neologist

1
Wed 6 May, 2015 02:03 pm
@Tes yeux noirs,
Possibly not
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dalehileman

1
Mon 11 May, 2015 05:01 pm
@Nousher Ahmed,
... a byproduct of the Kraft-(?)paper-making process, are used extensively. ...molecules, several orders of magnitude... any disperse-dye molecule,.. large dye-pigment particle....

The "which are" being redundant
Hyphens often used in compound adjectives
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dalehileman

1
Mon 11 May, 2015 05:05 pm
@Tes yeux noirs,
Quote:
Shouldn't that be "..... dispersed dye molecule"?
Apparently not Tes

But I gotta admit Tes that I had the same reaction
Tes yeux noirs

1
Tue 12 May, 2015 12:18 pm
@dalehileman,
Yup. I asked my wife, who does batik and tie dyeing, and she said "Yes, disperse dyes, I use them all the time."
dalehileman

1
Tue 12 May, 2015 12:24 pm
@Tes yeux noirs,
Aha thanks Tes. Then it needs the hyphen doesn't it
0 Replies

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