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The topic is explanatory enough. (<- by the way, is this sentence correct?)

I've been reading a physics book recently and here's the context which I came accross this word in:

According to this theory, these waves travel through a vacuum at a velocity given by two constants, and this velocity is the same as the velocity of light. This was a revelation: it showed that light ....

Wouldn't 'discovery' mean exactly the same in this context?

Thank you.
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is it the Planck constant (h) and frequency (f)?
anyway, discovery would fit in perfectly here, IMO.
Well, no actually, it's electric constant and magnetic constant.
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? have never heard about them -- but I should have

are they epsilon and mu?
permittivity and permeability?
NO, discovery would not do in that particular sentence.
It's a total surprise, this is what the author wants to accentuate there.

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revelation

3 : something that tends (as by its unexpectedness, excellence, charm, or worth) to create surprise <her alert keenness was a revelation> <the ease of handling of the new machine was a revelation to me>


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Yes, Inchoateknowledge, now you are right.

And Marius Hancu, thank you for clearing this up.
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5 results for: discover


to see, get knowledge of, learn of, find, or find out; gain sight or knowledge of (something previously unseen or unknown): to discover America; to discover electricity.

to notice or realize: I discovered I didn't have my credit card with me when I went to pay my bill.
.Archaic. to make known; reveal; disclose.

Dictionary.com

Hi Marius,

Discovery is definitely correct here, and the difference, IMO, is very subtle. it would be hair splitting to differentiate between them
InchoateknowledgeHi Marius,

Discovery is definitely correct here, and the difference, IMO, is very subtle. it would be hair splitting to differentiate between them
It is not. We're here to perform hair-splitting about the words and their meaning in context. Otherwise, we close shop.

The writer wants to say "(total) surprise", and that's not the current and the main meaning of "discovery." Of course, a discovery was made here, but not every discovery is called by a writer a "revelation." That sentence was meant to accentuate that.
The word revelation does not, from what I can see indicate surprise any more than the word discovery. I do think grammatically in the context of that sentence the word revelation is more appropriate but the sentence could be rewritten with the word discovery an mean the same thing. However, in the natural use of the word revelation suggests divine intervention and that would be surprising.
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