"Noncentral forces, which are as much the rule as the exception but are more difficult to emulate, produce even greater anisotropy."

In this sentece, what does "as much the rule as the exception" mean?


1 Answer 1


The more idiomatic phrase using rule and exception is to say that something is the exception rather than the rule. This means that the thing you're talking about is exceptional in the sense of being rare and unusual, as opposed to the more typical case (the rule).

This is a less idiomatic formulation of a different situation: saying that something that appears to be an exception is actually more common than you might have thought.

In this excerpt, the writer is saying that, while you may think that most forces are central forces and noncentral ones are rare and exceptional because they haven't been discussed very much, this is not true. Instead, a large proportion of forces are noncentral, but the text you are reading has presumably spent most of its time talking about central forces because they are simpler and easier to emulate, not because they are the typical situation (i.e., "the rule").


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