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Physics Vocabulary
Mr.Weis Oglethorpe County
61
Physics
01/10/2017

Term
 physics
Definition
 a science that deals with matter and energy and their interactions in the field of mechanics and etc
Term
 meter
Definition
 basic unit for measuring length
Term
 liter
Definition
 basic unit for measuring volume
Term
 gram
Definition
 basic unit for measuring mass
Term
 accuracy
Definition
 how close a measurement is to the actual value being measured
Term
 precision
Definition
 degree of exactness
Term
 scalar
Definition
 a measurement that includes magnitude only
Term
 vector
Definition
 a measurement that includes magnitude and direction
Term
 displacement
Definition
 measurement that indicates a change in position from the point of origin to the final position
Term
 magnitude
Definition
 size of a measurement
Term
 velocity
Definition
 change in displacement over a period of time
Term
 acceleration
Definition
 change in velocity over a period of time
Term
 force
Definition
 push or pull exerted upon an object
Term
 inertia
Definition
 tendency of an object to resist change
Term
 normal force
Definition
 force that is exerted upon an object by a surface. perpendicular to the surface
Term
 friction
Definition
 force that resists motion by acting in the opposite direction of applied force
Term
 tension
Definition
 force that is transmitted by a taut rope or cord
Term
 terminal velocity
Definition
 maximum velocity a falling object can attain due to a balancing of the forces of gravity and air resistance
Term
 component
Definition
 a one dimensional part of a two dimensional vector
Term
 resultant
Definition
 sum of 2 component vectors
Term
 projectile
Definition
 an object that once in motion is under the influence of gravity
Term
 trajectory
Definition
 curved path followed by a projectile
Term
 centripetal acceleration
Definition
 change in direction of an object as it moves around a circular path. acceleration is always directed towards the center
Term
 centripetal force
Definition
 force directed towards the center of a circle to keep an object traveling along a circular path
Term
 work
Definition
 using force to displace an object
Term
 power
Definition
 rate at which work is done
Term
 kinetic energy
Definition
 energy of an object in motion
Term
 potential energy
Definition
 stored energy in an object
Term
 mechanical energy
Definition
 sum of an objects potential and kinetic energy that could readily be involved in motion
Term
 momentum
Definition
 amount of motion an object has
Term
 impulse
Definition
 amount of time a force is applied. it is equal to the change in an object's momentum
Term
 inelastic collision
Definition
 the touching of two objects that does not conserve kinetic energy after the interaction
Term
 elastic collision
Definition
 touching of 2 objects conserving kinetic energy before and after interaction
Term
 atomic number
Definition
 the number of protons found in the atom of an element
Term
 atomic mass
Definition
 number of protons and neutrons found in the atom
Term
 mass defect
Definition
 difference between the mass and the individual nucleons and the actual mass of an atom
Term
Definition
 process of a nucleus breaking down and releasing atomic particles and energy
Term
 fission
Definition
 splitting of 1 nucleus into 2 nuclei
Term
 fusion
Definition
 combining of 2 nuclei into 1 nucleus
Term
 wave
Definition
 transfer of energy through a medium or vacuum caused by a disturbance
Term
 wavelength
Definition
 the distance from a point on a wave to the next identical point (crest to crest)
Term
 amplitude
Definition
 maximum displacement of a wave from its position of rest
Term
 frequency
Definition
 the number of waves produced per second
Term
 period
Definition
 the time needed for 1 wavelength to pass
Term
 mechanical wave
Definition
 wave that must pass through a medium such as a sound wave
Term
 electromagnetic wave
Definition
 wave can pass through a medium or a vacuum such as a light wave
Term
 constructive interference
Definition
 occurs where two overlapping waves have a displacement of the medium in the same direction
Term
 destructive interference
Definition
 occurs where two overlapping waves have a displacement of the medium in the opposite direction
Term
 reflection
Definition
 wave bounces off an object
Term
 refraction
Definition
 wave goes through an object but changes direction
Term
 diffraction
Definition
 wave goes around an object
Term
 diffraction
Definition
 wave goes around an object
Term
 real image
Definition
 image formed from the actual convergence of light rays
Term
 virtual image
Definition
 image formed from the apparent convergence of light rays
Term
 Insulator
Definition
 material that resists electron flow
Term
 conductor
Definition
 material that easily allows electron flow
Term
 electric current
Definition
 flow of chargers through a wire or other type of conductor
Term
 voltage difference
Definition
 push on charges created by difference in charges between 2 different areas
Term
 resistance
Definition
 tendency for a material to oppose the flow of electrons, charging electrical energy into thermal energy and light energy
Term
 series circuit
Definition
 only one path for current to flow
Term
 parallel circuit
Definition
 two or more paths for current to flow
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