superposition

[soo-per-puh-zish-uhn]
noun Geology.
the order in which sedimentary strata are superposed one above another.


Origin:
1790–1800; < French superposition; see super-, position

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World English Dictionary
superposition (ˌsuːpəpəˈzɪʃən)
 
n
1.  the act of superposing or state of being superposed
2.  geology the principle that in any sequence of sedimentary rocks which has not been disturbed, the oldest strata lie at the bottom and the youngest at the top

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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
superposition   (s'pər-pə-zĭsh'ən)  Pronunciation Key 
  1. The principle that in a group of stratified sedimentary rocks the lowest were the earliest to be deposited.

  2. The principle by which the description of the state of a physical system can be broken down into descriptions that are themselves possible states of the system. For example, harmonic motion, as of a violin string, can be analyzed as the sum of harmonic frequencies or harmonics, each of which is itself a kind of harmonic motion; harmonic motion is therefore a superposition of individual harmonics.

  3. The combination of two or more physical states, such as waves, to form a new physical state in accordance with this principle. See also wave, See Note at Schrödinger.


The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
Some letters were said even to stand the test of superposition.
The cool thing about the electric field is that it obeys the idea of
  superposition.
The result is a superposition of different levels of information that are
  integrated to the real objects.
It is based on superposition, a condition that cannot be observed by definition.
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