Mathematics and physics are awash in concepts known by multiple names. It would be super cool to have a sort of technical thesaurus to reveal all of these, demystifying science in the process.
Long Version: Last week, I stumbled across a word that means 'the electrical voltage developed across any resistive circuit element as a function of the current flowing through it'. Colloquially, it is "IR drop" or "I^2 R drop". I will be darned if I can remember it. Seems like it was the name of a physics giant like Faraday.... But that's not it. It's Kirchhoffian.
This points up a need for a technical reference work that can accept a multi-word concept and reveal a word that adequately encompasses it. I've wanted one of those like, forever.
Wolfram Alpha reveals the contrary nature of English, where a phrase can mean exactly the opposite of what it appears to. (I could care less) (No! It's true!):
of voltage along a conductor through which current is flowing as a linear function of it's resistance (times current). (I understand why they define it that way but I consider their definition sloppy at best.)
Google is closest, but it is like drinking from the proverbial fire hose with over a million and a half hits.
Thesaurus.com suggests that I really meant "valedictory"! Thefreedictionary.com repeats Wolfram's misleading definition.
This 'Reverse Dictionary' seems like a glaringly obvious need.
I suppose onelook.com comes closest (without actually revealing my word!) :)
Can anyone point me to a site that addresses this please?