alternation


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Related to alternation: alternation of generations

alternation

[‚ȯl·tər′nā·shən]
(mathematics)
(physics)
Variation, either positive or negative, of a waveform from zero to maximum and back to zero, equaling one-half of a cycle.
References in classic literature ?
Even now, her mind, with that instantaneous alternation which makes two currents of feeling or imagination seem simultaneous, is glancing continually from Stephen to the preparations she has only half finished in Maggie's room.
When Laurie first went to college, he fell in love about once a month, but these small flames were as brief as ardent, did no damage, and much amused Jo, who took great interest in the alternations of hop, despair, and resignation, which were confided to her in their weekly conferences.
The change of movement and position, the sight of the lamps twinkling to the rear, and the smell of damp and mould and rotten straw which clung about the vehicle, wrought in him strange alternations of lucidity and mortal giddiness.
The alternations of night and day grew slower and slower, and so did the passage of the sun across the sky, until they seemed to stretch through centuries.
Amidst all these alternations of hope and fear, the clock struck ten.
When we moved off in this order, the natives struck up a musical recitative, which with various alternations, they continued until we arrived at the place of our destination.
No more of the girlish alternations of timidity and petulance, the adorable naivete, the reveries, the tears, the playfulness.
As usual, when she found herself in talk with Katharine, she began to feel rapid alternations of opinion about her, arrows of sensation striking strangely through the envelope of personality, which shelters us so conveniently from our fellows.
She had no intention of dying till Tom's visit was over, however, and as the time drew near, she went through such alternations of hope and fear, and lived in such a state of feverish excitement, that spirits and color came back, and she saw that the interesting pallor she had counted on would be an entire failure.
Undergoing these alternations of hope and misgiving, which no one, placed in a situation of ordinary trial, can fail to have experienced, Nicholas at length reached his poor room, where, no longer borne up by the excitement which had hitherto sustained him, but depressed by the revulsion of feeling it left behind, he threw himself on the bed, and turning his face to the wall, gave free vent to the emotions he had so long stifled.
In her actual state, with her surrounding atmosphere certainly very much reduced, her seas for the most part dried up, her insufficient supply of water restricted, vegetation, sudden alternations of cold and heat, her days and nights of 354 hours-- the moon does not seem habitable to me, nor does she seem propitious to animal development, nor sufficient for the wants of existence as we understand it.
Lyell in a striking passage has speculated, in language almost identical with mine, on the effects of great alternations of climate on geographical distribution.

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