lost in the underflow

[prev][up][next]
lost in the underflow /adj./ Too small to be worth considering; more specifically, small beyond the limits of accuracy or measurement. This is a reference to `floating underflow', a condition that can occur when a floating-point arithmetic processor tries to handle quantities smaller than its limit of magnitude. It is also a pun on `undertow' (a kind of fast, cold current that sometimes runs just offshore and can be dangerous to swimmers). "Well, sure, photon pressure from the stadium lights alters the path of a thrown baseball, but that effect gets lost in the underflow." Compare epsilon, epsilon squared; see also overflow bit.


[prev][up][next]
Return to Cool Jargon of the Day