## Physics Honors: Semester Exam Vocabulary

##### Created by:

vanillaflourish  on May 22, 2011

##### Description:

This will cover Chapters 11-22 for our school's final exam. Bear in mind that I can't find all the lists, and so some of this vocab will be from the textbook. If anyone wants to pitch in, I would be eternally grateful. :D The password is our school's initials (no caps).

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Last Message: 24 months ago
lalaladriana : should we make a separate one for the test questions?
lalaladriana : ...i think i will, and it can be combined with this one. to keep the vocab separate from the test questions.
vanillaflourish : Okay! Good idea.

# Physics Honors: Semester Exam Vocabulary

 Amplitudethe maximum displacement from the equilibrium
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#### Definitions

Amplitude the maximum displacement from the equilibrium
Antinode a point in a standing wave, halfway between two nodes, at which the largest displacement occurs
Complete destructive interference When two waves interfere and the displacements are added, the resultant wave has a displacement of zero.
Compression The positions in the conducting medium at which the molecules of the medium are bunched together; particles are moved closer together; pressure is above normal.
Constructive Interference A superposition of two or more waves in which individual displacements on the same side of the equilibrium potion are added together to form the resultant wave.
Crest The highest point above the equilibrium position
Damping Friction retards the motion of a vibrating object and brings it to rest.
Density or pressure wave The wave creates regions in the medium where the medium is compressed, high pressure (crests) and regions where the medium is expanded and low pressure regions (troughs).
Destructive interference A superposition of two or more waves in which individual displacements on opposite sides of the equilibrium position are added together to form the resultant wave
Frequency (f) the number of cycles or vibrations per unit of time
Hooke's Law the spring force equals the negative product of the spring constant and the displacement
Interference Waves meet and overlap.
Longitudinal wave A wave whose particles vibrate parallel to the direction the wave is traveling.
Mechanical wave a wave that requires a medium through which to travel
Medium A physical environment through which a disturbance (i. e., a wave) can travel
Node a point in a standing wave that maintains zero displacement
Period the time that it takes for a complete cycle to occur
Periodic motion a repeated motion
Periodic wave a wave that consists of a series of similar pulses being repeated
Pulse wave a wave that consists of a single traveling pulse
Rarefaction The positions in the conducting medium at which the molecules of the medium are spread apart; particles are spread farther apart; pressure is below normal
Reflection The change in direction of a wave at a surface causes it to move away from the surface.
Restoring force pushes or pulls a vibrating object toward its original equilibrium position
Simple harmonic motion vibration about an equilibrium position in which a restoring force is proportional to the displacement from equilibrium
Sine wave a wave whose source vibrates with simple harmonic motion
Speed of a wave equals the frequency times the wavelength
Spring constant a measure of the stiffness of a spring
Standing wave a wave pattern that results when two waves of the same frequency, wavelength, and amplitude travel in opposite directions and interfere
Superposition the combination of two overlapping waves
Superposition principle When two or more waves travel through a medium at the same time, the resultant wave is the sum of the displacements of the individual waves at each point.
Transverse wave a wave whose particles vibrate perpendicularly to the direction the wave is traveling
Trough The lowest point below the equilibrium position
Waveform a picture of a wave that represents either the displacements of each point of the wave at a single moment in time or the displacements of a single particle as time passes
Wavelength the distance between two adjacent similar points on wave, such as from crest to crest or trough to trough
Sound wave back and forth vibration of particles with simple harmonic motion
Compression (sound wave) region of a longitudinal wave in which the density and pressure are at a maximum
Rarefaction (sound wave) region of a longitudinal wave in which the density and pressure are at a minimum
Audible sound waves that the average human ear can hear; frequencies between 20 and 20,000 Hz
Infrasonic sound waves with frequencies less than 20 Hz
Ultrasonic sound waves with frequencies above 20, 000 Hz
Pitch Measure of how low or high a sound is perceived to be, depending on the frequency of the sound wave
Number of dimensions in which sound waves propogate 3 dimensions
Wave fronts In a diagram, the lines representing the compression of a wave radiating out from a point
Rays in a diagram, the lines representing the direction of wave motion
Plane waves At distances from the source that are great relative to the wavelength, spherical wave fronts are approximated with parallel planes
Doppler effect observed change in frequency when there is relative motion between the source of the wave and an observer
Intensity rate at which energy flows through a unit area perpendicular to the direction of wave motion
Threshold of hearing softest sounds that can be heard by the average human ear; frequency = 1000 HZ and intensity of 1.0 × 10⁻¹² W/m²
Threshold of pain Loudest sounds that can be heard by the average human ear; intensity of 1.0 W/m²
Relative intensity Ratio of the intensity of a given sound wave to the intensity at the threshold of hearing
Decibel (dB) dimensionless unit that describes the ratio of two intensities of sound; the threshold of hearing is commonly used as a reference intensity
Decibel level Measure of loudness
Forced vibration vibrations in one object are transferred to other objects
sympathetic vibrations vibrating strings of a guitar force the bridge and body of a guitar to vibrate
Natural frequency certain frequency an object would normally have when it vibrates
Resonance Phenomenon that occurs when the frequency of a force applied to the system matches the natural frequency of vibration of the system, resulting in a large amplitude of vibration
Eardrum thin, flat piece of tissue at the end of the human ear canal
Hammer, Anvil, and Stirrup three small bones of the human middle ear
cochlea Snail-shaped tube about 2 cm long in the human inner ear
Basilar membrane runs through the coiled cochlea, dividing it roughly in half
fundamental frequency lowest frequency of vibration of a standing wave
Harmonic series series of frequencies that includes the fundamental frequency and integral multiples of the fundamental frequency
Spectrum of sound In music, the mixture of harmonics that produces the characteristic sound of an instrument
Timbre musical quality of a tone resulting from the combination of harmonics present at different intensities
Beat periodic variation of a wave's amplitude that is the superposition of two waves of slightly different frequencies
Visible spectrum six elementary colors: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and violet
Electromagnetic wave a wave that consists of oscillating electric and magnetic fields, which radiate outward from the source at the speed of light; in order of increasing frequency: radio waves, microwaves, infrared, visible, ultraviolet, X rays, and gamma rays
Wave fronts (light) Lines of particles in any type of wave that is perpendicular to the wave's motion
Wavelet Circular or spherical wave produced by point sources on the wave front
Huygen's Principle a wave front can be divided into point sources: the line tangent to the wavelets from these sources marks the wave front's new position
Ray a straight line perpendicular to the wave front representing the propagating wave
Luminous flux the rate at which light is emitted from a source
Lumens (lm) unit of measurement for luminous flux
Illuminance the luminous flux divided by the area of the surface
Lux unit of measurement of illuminance (lm/m²)
Reflection Change in direction of an electromagnetic wave at a surface that causes it to move away from the surface
diffuse reflection light reflected in many different direction; light reflected from a rough, textured surface
Specular reflection light reflected in one direction only; light reflected from smooth, shiny surfaces
Angle of incidence The angle between a ray that strikes a surface and the line perpendicular to that surface at the point of contact
Angle of reflection the angle formed by the line perpendicular to a surface and the direction in which a reflected ray moves
Normal the line perpendicular to the reflecting surface
Flat mirror a mirror whose reflecting surface is a plane
Object distance (p) distance of the object from the mirror
Image distance (q) Distance of the image from the mirror
Virtual image an image that forms at a point from which light rays appear to come but do not actually come
Ray diagrams Drawings that use simple geometry to locate an image formed by a mirror
Real image An image formed when rays of light actually pass through a point on the image
Concave spherical mirror a mirror whose reflecting surface is a segment of the inside of a mirror
Radius of curvature equals the radius of the spherical shell of which the mirror is a small part
Center of curvature (C) the center of the spherical shell of which the mirror is a small part
Spherical aberration occurs when parallel rays far from the principal axis converge away from the mirror's focal point
Parabolic mirrors In this type of mirror, parallel rays converge at the mirror's focal point
Paraxial rays Light rays that are very near the principal axis of the mirror
Mirror equation 1/p (object distance) + 1/q (image distance) = 2/R (radius of curvature; 1/p + 1/q = 1/f (focal length)
Focal point (F) the point where light rays parallel to the principal meet after reflecting from the mirror
Focal length (f) the distance from the mirror to the focal point
Magnification the ratio of the height of the image to the object's height; the negative ratio of the image distance to the object distance
Convex spherical (diverging) mirror a mirror whose reflecting surface is an outward-curved segment of a sphere
Linear polarization the alignment of electromagnetic waves in such a way that the vibrations of the electric fields in each of the waves are parallel to each other
Transmission axis the line along which light is polarized
Refraction the bending of a wave front as the wave front passes between two substances in which the speed of the wave differs
Angle of refraction the angle between the refracted ray and the normal
Light ray The direction of propagation of the wave perpendicular to the wave front
Index of refraction the ratio of the speed of light in a vacuum to the speed of light in a given transparent medium
Snell's Law The index of refraction of the first medium x sine of the angle of incidence= index of refraction of a second medium x sine of the angle of the refraction
Lens a transparent object that refracts light rays such that they converge or diverge to create an image
Converging (positive) lens thicker at the middle than at its rim; positive focal length
Diverging (negative) lens thinner at the middle than it is at the rim; negative focal length
Focal point (for lenses) For a converging lens, it is the location where the image of an object at an infinite distance from the lens is focused; for a diverging lens, it is the point from which the diverged rays appear to originate
Focal length the distance from the focal point to the center of the lens
Thin lens the thickness of the lens is small compared tot he radius of curvature of the lens or the distance of the object from the lens
Front of the lens the side of the lens that the light rays first encounter
Back of the lens The side of the lens opposite where the light rays first encounter the lens
Thin-lens equation 1/p (object distance) + 1/q (image distance) = 1/f (focal length)
Positive image distance Distance from the lens to a real image in the back of the lens
Negative image distance Distance from the lens to a virtual image in front of the lens
Magnification (for lenses) The ratio of image height to object height; ratio of image distance from lens to object distance from lens
Cornea the transparent front of the human eye; acts like a lens
Retina the light-sensitive area in the back of the eye
crystalline lens small lens between the cornea and the retina
Hyperopia (or farsightedness) a condition in which distant objects are seen clearly; near objects are focused behind the retina
Myopia (or nearsightedness) distant objects are not seen clearly; light is focused in front of the retina
Compound microscope consists of two lenses: an objective lens near the object and an eyepiece lens
Total internal reflection the complete reflection that takes place within a substance when the angle of incidence of light striking the surface boundary is greater than the critical angle
Mirage produced by the bending of light rays in the atmosphere when there are large temperature differences between the ground and the air
Dispersion the process of separating polychromatic light into its component wavelengths
Rainbows produced because of dispersion in raindrops. Sunlight is spread into a spectrum upon entering a spherical raindrop, then internally reflected on the back side of the raindrop
Spherical aberration (lenses) focal points of light rays far from the principal axis are closer the lens
Chromatic aberration the focusing of different colors of light at different distances behind a lens
Coherence the correlation between the phases of two or more waves
Coherent When phase difference between two waves is constant, these waves are said to be...
Diffraction a change in the direction of a wave when the wave encounters an obstacle, an opening, or an edge
Energy levels different levels of energy possessed by atoms
excited When atoms acquire added energy and go from a lower to a higher energy level, they are said to be ______.
First-order maximum The first bright band on either side of the central maximum
Minimums the series of dark bands in between the bright bands on either side of the central maximum
Fringes series of bright and dark parallel bands
Incandescent light Light from a glowing source, i.e. lightbulbs, candle flames, or the sun; incoherent light
Incoherent When the phase difference between two waves is not constant, the waves are said to be....
In phase When the crest of one wave overlaps the crest of another wave and there is a phase difference of 0°, they are said to be...
Laser a device that produces coherent light at a single wavelength
maser a device similar to lasers, except it operates in the microwave region of the spectrum
Monochromatic light light that has a single wavelength
Order number the number assigned to interference fringes with respect to the central bright fringe
Out of phase When the crest of one wave overlaps the trough of another wave and there is a phase difference of 180°, they are said to be ___ __ _____.
Path difference the difference in the distance traveled by two beams when they are scattered in the same direction from different points
Resolving power the ability of an optical instrument to form separate images of two objects that are close together
Secondary maxima Series of narrower, less intense bright bands on either side of the broad, intense central band
Spectrometer a device which separates light from a source into its monochromatic components
Zeroeth order maximum or central maximum the central bright fringe
Rules of electric charge like charges repel each other; unlike charges attract each other
Protons positively charged particles
electrons negatively charged particles
neutrons uncharged particles
Nucleus center of an atom; contains neutrons and protons
Ions atoms that are positively or negatively charged
conservation of charge When an object is charge, no charge is created or destroyed.
quantization of charge When an object is charged, its charge is always an integral multiple of a fundamental unit of charge.
Coulomb (C) SI unit of charge
Fundamental unit of charge (e) the magnitude of the charge of single electron or proton; 1.60 × 10⁻¹⁹ C.
Electrical conductor a material in which electrical charges can move freely
Electrical insulator a material in which electrical charges cannot move freely
Semiconductors In their pure state, they are electrical insulators; adding other atoms as impurities they become conductors.
Superconductors At or below a certain temperature, they can conduct electricity indefinitely without heating
Charging by contact process of charging objects by rubbing them together
Grounding a conductor is connected to Earth by means of a conducting wire or copper pipe
Induction process of charging a conductor by bringing it near another charged object and grounding the conductor
Sink system a system which can absorb a large number of charges without becoming charged itself
Polarization a surface charge is induced on an insulator; the charge within the individual molecules are realigned such that the molecule has a slight charge separation
Electric force Force between charged particles
Coulumb's Law Electric force is proportional to the magnitude of the product of the charges and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between them.
Principle of superposition resultant force on a charge is the vector sum of the individual forces on that charge.
Equilibrium The net external force acting on a body is zero.
Field force force that is exerted by one object on another even though there is no physical contact between the objects
Electric field (E) a region where an electric force on a test charge can be detected
Newtons per Coulomb (N/C) SI unit of electric field strength
Electric field direction (E) the direction of the electric force that would be exerted on a small positive test charge
Electric field strength (E) Coulomb's constant times charge producing the field divided by the distance squared
Electric field lines drawn pointing in the direction of the electric field; the number of lines is proportional to the electric field strength and tangent to the electric force vector at any point; outside a charged conductor they are perpendicular to the conductor's surface
Electric dipole the charge configuration between two point charges of equal magnitudes but opposite signs
Electrostatic equilibrium no net motion of charge is occurring within a conductor; the electric force is zero everywhere inside the conductor
Excess charge On an isolated conductor, this resides entirely on the conductor's outside surface; on an irregularly shaped conductor tends to accumulate where the radius of curvature of the surface is smallest i.e. at sharp points
Alternating current In this type of current, charges move back and forth in 2 different directions
Ampere SI unit of current; 1 Coulomb of charge passing through a cross-sectional area in a time interval of one second
Battery an energy storage device that provides a constant potential difference between two locations, called terminals, inside the device; does work to move charges; converts chemical energy into electrical energy
Capacitance (C) The ability of a conductor to store energy in the form of electrically separated charges; depends on the size and shape of the conductor; the ratio of charge to potential difference; equals Q/ΔV
Capacitance in a Parallel Plate Capacitor in a vacuum Equals ε₀A/d
Capacitor a device that is used to store potential energy
Conventional current the flow of positive charges
Dielectric an insulating material between a capacitor's plates; increases capacitance
Direct current In this current, charges move in a single direction.
Drift velocity the net velocity of a charge carrier (positive and negative charges) moving in an electric field
Electric current (I) The rate at which electric charges can pass through a given area; equals ΔQ/Δt
Electric energy transfer At high potential difference to minimize energy loss
Electric potential (V) The work that must be performed against electric forces to move a charge from a reference point to the point in question, divided by the charge
Electrical potential energy Energy associated with a charge due to its position in a field
Electric power The rate of conversion of electrical energy; equals IΔV, I²R, (ΔV)²/R
Generator supplies energy to charge carriers; converts mechanical energy to electrical energy
Mechanical energy KE + PE (gravitational) + PE (electric) + PE (elastic)
Joule SI unit for electrical potential energy
Kilowatt-hour energy measurement used by power companies
Non-ohmic In this kind of materials, resistance is not constant over a range of potential differences.
Ohm SI unit for resistance
ohmic this kind of material has a resistance that is constant over a range of potential differences; it obeys Ohm's Law
Parallel plate capacitor two parallel plates separated by a small distance
permittivity of a vacuum a constant that equals 8.85 × 10⁻¹² C²/N∗m
Potential difference (ΔV) The work that must be performed against electric forces to move a charge between two points in question, divided by the charge
Potential difference between a point at infinity and a point near a point charge equals kq/r; it is (ΔV)
Potential difference in a uniform electric field varies with the displacement from a reference point; equals -Ed
Potential energy stored in a charged capacitor Depends on the charge and the potential difference between the capacitor's two plates; equals 1/2 Q ΔV
Potentiometer has variable resistance; has a fixed and an adjustable contact
Resistance the opposition presented to electric current by a material or device
Resistors used to control the amount of current in a conductor
Volt (V) SI unit for potential energy and potential difference (joule/coulomb); also equals IR
Circuit breaker triggers a switch when current reaches a certain value
Closed circuit a complete loop for electrons to follow
Electric current a set of electrical components connect such that they provide one or more complete paths for the movement of charges
Emf The energy per unit charge supplied by a source of electric current
Equivalent parallel circuit resistance Together, this is always less than the smallest resistance in the group of resistors.
Equivalent series circuit resistance Always greater than any individual resistor in the circuit
Equivalent resistance The total resistance of all the individual resistors in a circuit
Fuse a small metallic strip that melts if the current exceeds a certain value
Load any element or group of elements in a circuit that dissipates energy
Open circuit no complete loop for electrons to follow
Parallel circuit describes two or more components of a circuit that provides separate conducting paths for current because the components are connected across common points or junctions
Schematic diagram a representation of a circuit that uses lines to represent wires and different symbols to represent components
Series circuit describes two or more components of a circuit that provides a single path for current
Short circuit circuit contains little resistance to the movement of charges
Source of emf any device that increases the potential energy of charges circulating in a circuit
Terminal voltage the potential difference across the battery's terminals; slightly less than emf
Poles Ends of a bar magnet (north and south); like poles repel each other, and unlike poles attract each other
Ferromagnetic materials such as iron, cobalt, and nickel, in which the magnetic field produce by the electron spins in atoms do not cancel completely
Magnetic domain a region composed of a group of atoms whose magnetic fields are aligned in the same direction
Permanent magnet material that retains its magnetism; magnetically hard
Temporary magnet material that does not retain its magnetism; magnetically soft
Magnetic field (B) a region in which a magnetic force can be detected
Tesla (T) SI unit of magnetic field strength
Magnetic flux (Φ) the number of field lines that cross a certain area at right angles to that area; Φ= A B cos θ
Magnetic declination the difference between true north, which is defined by the axis rotation of the Earth, and north indicate by a compas
Magnetic south pole Approximately 1500 km from the Earth's geographic north pole
Source of the Earth's magnetic field Movement of charges in the convection currents in the Earth's core; Earth's rate of rotation
Right hand rule used to find the direction of a magnetic field around a current carrying (flow of positive charge) wire
Alternative right-hand rule used to find the direction of the magnetic force on a positive charge
Force on a current-carrying conductor F=B I L
Solenoid a long, helically wound coil of insulated wire; acts as a magnet when it carries a current
Electromagnet device with an iron rod inserted inside a solenoid; acts like a bar magnet
Galvanometer Device used in the construction of both ammeters and voltmeters; when current enters the coil, which is in a magnetic field, the magnetic force causes the coil to rotate.
Electromagnetic induction the process of creating a current in a circuit loop by changing the magnetic flux in the loop
Lenz's law The magnetic field of the induced current is in a direction to produce a field that opposes the change causing it
Faraday's law the average induced emf equals the negative of the number of loops in the circuit times the time rate of change of the magnetic flux; emf= -NΔΦ/Δt; emf = -NΔ(A B cos θ)
Motor a machine that converts electrical energy into mechanical energy
Generator a machine that converts mechanical energy into electrical energy
Back emf the emf induced in a motor's coil that tends to reduce the current in the coil of the motor
Mutual inductance the ability of one circuit to induce an emf in a nearby circuit in the presence of a changing current
RMS (root-mean-square) current the value of alternating current that gives the same heating effect that the corresponding value of direct current does
Transformer a device that increases or decreases the emf of alternating current
Fundamental forces strong, electromagnetic, weak, and gravitational
electromagnetic radiation the transfer of energy associated with an electric and magnetic field; it varies periodically and travels at the speed of light
Photon a unit or quantum of light; a particle of electromagnetic radiation that has zero rest mass and carries a quantum of charge

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