The thing you have to measure because you can’t measure what you really want

I’ve been wracking my brain for the term for this all week. I’m almost certain there is a single word for the quantity that you make in an experiment, where you can’t (easily) measure what you really want.

For example:

When measuring the specific heat of an object using a calorimeter, we are taking temperature data, instead of directly measuring the specific heat. The temperature is called the …..

Not “indicator”, “stand-in”. Might begin with “pseudo”, but don’t remember.

Thanks in advance!


Consider calling ‘temperature’ a proxy or measure of ‘heat’.

It is a measure in the sense that there is a relationship between temperature and heat. It is a proxy in the sense that you have something standing in place of the real thing.

measure noun
3.1 An indication of the degree, extent, or quality of something.
‘his resignation is a measure of how angry he is’
– lexico

(NB: the noun’s definition 1 is also relevant, but applies more to a unit such as Celcius as a measure of a quantity such as temperature.)

proxy noun
A figure that can be used to represent the value of something in a calculation.
‘the use of a US wealth measure as a proxy for the true worldwide measure’
– lexico

Source : Link , Question Author : costrom , Answer Author : Lawrence

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