40 terms

# PreCollege Vocabulary: Physics

#### Terms in this set (...)

matter
(Roughly 80 percent of matter in the universe cannot be directly observed.)
(n) something that takes up space

mass
( An object on the Moon would weigh less than on Earth because of less gravity, but it would still have the same mass.)
(n) the amount of matter in something

massive
(The children loved playing with the massive soccer ball.)

charge
(Flow batteries store charges in liquid electrolytes that sit in external tanks.)
(v) to transmit power

particle
(Microscopic dust particles are larger than the air pollutants released by cars and power plants.)
(n) tiny fragment, small piece of matter

atom
(John Dalton theorized that each kind of element is composed of identical atoms.)
(n) smallest unit of matter

conduct
(Copper is one of the metals that conduct heat most easily.)
(v) transfer heat

conduction
(Cooking on a stove top works by conduction.)
(n) process by which heat or electricity passes through or along something

thermal
(The colorful thermal underwear was warm without being bulky.)

elevate
(Hot air is used to elevate this balloon.)
(v) raise

elevation
(From an elevation of 12 km, the airplane passenger could see the clouds below.)
(n) how high something is raised above a surface or ground line

accelerate
(Richards-Ross, the bronze medalist at the 2008 Beijing Games, accelerated her pace to pass her opponents and win the women's 400-meter dash.)
(v) speed up; antonym: decelerate

acceleration
(The acceleration from 0 to 100 km/hr took less than 3 seconds in the new sports car.)
(n) increase in speed

velocity
(The cheetah can run at a velocity of 109.4 to 120.7 km/h (68.0 to 75.0 mph), greater than any other land animal.)
(n) speed

flux
(A low rate of particle flux suggests that Saturn's rings could be more older than previously thought.)
(n) continuous change or succession of changes

attract
(Clean glass is an example of a material that attracts water, as can be seen by how easily spilled water spreads.)
(v) ability to pull towards

attraction
(The surface of a water droplet is held together by the attraction between molecules.)
(n) quality of pulling something towards something or someone else

repel
(A smartphone app uses ultrasound waves to repel insects.)
(v) push or drive away

repulsion
(When sodium is dropped in water, the repulsion of positive charges rips it apart, causing an explosion.)
(v) action of pushing something away

fluctuate
(If your energy levels fluctuate a lot, you might need to focus on achieving more balance.)
(v) change continually

magnetism
(Baby eels have tiny crystals of iron in their brain that enable them to use magnetism to navigate.)
(n) force of attraction or repulsion

reflect
(Sunlight reflected off the glacier like a mirror.)
(v) bounce light off a surface

reflection
(My photo of the painting was ruined by reflections from the bulletproof glass that protects the work from damage.)
(n) light and/or image bounced back from a surface

reflective
(Mirrored glass is one of the most useful reflective materials.)
(adj) describes surface or material that emits lights

elastic
(The experiment showed that when a rubber band is heated, it becomes more elastic.)

elasticity
(Fabrics with elasticity are now being used to make athletic clothing.)
(n) ability of a material to bounce back after being disturbed

illuminate
(He wants to see children in villages doing homework on computers, illuminated by electric lights, rather than the oil lamps that he once used.)
(v) to light up

illumination
(1.3 million lights create brilliant illumination at an annual festival held on the Japanese island of Okinawa.)
(n) lighting

vibration
(The amount of vibration and its speed will determine the nature of a sound.)
(n) shaking motion

vibrate
(When the strings of a violin are plucked, they vibrate and sound is produced.)
(v) move back and forth rapidly; synonym: shake

(The sun radiates light and heat.)
(v) send out rays, heat or energy

(Photovoltaic energy works by generating electricity from panels that absorb solar radiation.)
(n) energy transmitted in waves and particles

pivot
(The sail pivoted around the axis of the boat's mast.)
(v) move around a fixed point

friction
(When you walk, friction is what prevents your feet from slipping on the floor.)
(n) force that two surfaces exert on each other when they rub against each other

momentum
( The ice hockey team has the momentum and it is going to take some effort to stop.)
(n) measure of how hard it is for something to stop moving

inertia
(When the engine stalled before the hill, I had to press on the gas pedal to overcome the inertia.)
(n) tendency of objects to resist any change in motion

mechanics
(Companies already sell systems that use quantum mechanics to block eavesdroppers.)
(n) science of motion; inner workings of a machine

static
(Graphene, valued for the static strength that comes from its honeycomb structure, is being used in body armor.)
(adj) not moving or changing; antonym: dynamic

kinetic
(The kinetic energy from peddling a bicycle can fuel electronic devices.)