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capitalization: scientific names containing personal names

In scientific terms that contain a proper noun (or a proper noun with an apostrophe s, or an adjective derived from a proper noun) followed by a common noun, capitalize the proper noun or the adjective, but not the common noun.

  • Becquerel rays
  • Bohr radius
  • Hodgkin’s disease
  • Ohm’s law
  • Reiter’s syndrome
  • Gaussian curve

For a law or theory named after its originator, capitalize the proper noun, but do not capitalize the name of the law or theory, whether it is used together with the name or alone:

  • Hubble’s law
  • Euclid’s theorem
  • Einstein’s theory of relativity
  • Carnot’s principle
  • the general theory of relativity
  • the second law of thermodynamics

Note that certain personal names begin with a small letter:

  • van’t Hoff equation
  • van Willebrand disease

Do not capitalize the names of minerals, particles or elements derived from personal names:

  • forsterite
  • boson
  • germanium