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Science Finals Vocab

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Speed
The distance that an object travels per unit of time
Average Speed
Calculated by dividing the total distance traveled by the total time of travel
Displacement
The distance AND direction of an object's position from the starting point
Velocity
Includes the speed of an object and its direction of motion.
Acceleration
Occurs when an object changes its speed, its direction, or both
Inertia
The tendency of an object to resist any change in motion
Force
A push or pull that one body exerts on another
Balanced Forces
Forces on a body that are equal in size and opposite in direction.
Instantaneous Speed
The speed at any given point in time
Friction
A force that opposes motion between two touching surfaces
Weight
The gravitational force exerted on an object
Momentum
The product of the mass of an object and its velocity
Static Friction
Exists between two surfaces that are not moving past each other
Gravity
Two masses exert an attractive force on each other
Chemical Potential Energy
Energy stored in the chemical bonds between atoms
Gravitational Potential Energy
Depends on the mass of the object, its height above ground and its acceleration due to gravity
Joule
The SI unit of energy
Kinetic Energy
Energy in the form of motion
Mechanical Energy
Is the sum of the potential and kinetic energy in a system
Elastic Potential Energy
Energy stored by something that can stretch or compress
Resistance Force
Opposing the effort force
Modified Inclined Plane
Wedge, screw
Effort Force
The force applied to a machine
Wheel and Axle
Gears are a modified form of this simple machine
Simple Machine
A machine that does work with only one movement
Inclined Plane
The wedge and screw are modified forms of this machine
Efficiency
W(out) / W(in) X 100
Lever
A bar that is free to pivot, or turn, around a fixed point
Work
This is accomplished when a force acts through a distance
Machine
A device that makes doing work easier
Mechanical Advantage
The number of times a machine multiplies the effort force
Heat
Moves from areas of hot to areas of cold
Convection
The transfer of energy in a fluid by the movement of heated particles
Conduction
Heat transfer by touch
Induction
Charging a material by bringing it close to a charged object
Closed Circuit
An electrical circuit that has only one way to flow
Heat Conductor
Allows for the easy flow of electrons
Heat Engine
A device that converts heat energy into mechanical energy
Temperature
A measure of the average kinetic energy of the particles in a material
Heat Mover
Air conditioner is an example
Solar Energy
Energy from the sun
Specific Heat
Water has a value of 4184[J/(kg K)]
Radiation
Transfer of energy by electromagnetic waves
Conduction
Transfer of thermal energy by direct contact of particles
Thermal Energy
Sum of the kinetic and potential energy of all of the molecules in an object.
Electric Current
Produce by the flow of electrons through a material
Insulator
A material that does NOT allow electrons to easily flow through it
Resistance
Tendency of a material to oppose the flow of electrons through it
Parallel Circuit
A type of circuit that has mor than one branch for current to flow
Power
Equals current X voltage difference
Voltage
The "push" that causes charges to move in a circuit
Series Circuit
A circuit with only one path
Transformer
Can be used to increase or decrease the voltage in an AC
Electrical Generator
Converts mechanical energy into electrical energy
Turbine
A large wheel that rotates when pushed by water, wind or steam
Poles
Region where the magnetic force of a magnet is strongest
Direct Current
Batteries produce this type of electron flow
Galvanometer
Device that uses an electromagnet to measure electric current
Electromagnetic Induction
A generation works based on this principle
Alternating Current
Reverses direction of current flow in a regular way
Electromagnet
Made of a soft iron core surrounded by loops of current-carrying wire
Fossil Fuel
Examples include coal, petroleum and natural gas
Petroleum
Cured oil that is highly flammable and is formed by decayed organisms
Photovoltaic Cell
Converts light energy into electricity
Non-Renewable
Energy source that cannot be replace as fast as it is used
Biomass
Examples include organic matter such as wood and rice hulls
Nuclear Waste
Radioactive by-product resulting from the use of radioactive sources
Geothermal Energy
Thermal energy from the earth that can be used to generate electricity
Hydroelectric
Electrical energy produced from the energy of moving water
Constructive Interference
When two or more waves overlap and combine to form a new wave
Diffraction
The bending of a wave as it changes speed when passing from one medium to another
Wavelength
Measured from crest to crest or trough to trough on a transverse wave
Medium
Matter that waves travel through
Transverse
Matter moves back and forth at right angles to the direction the wave travels
Longitudinal or Compressional
An example of this type of wave is sound
Frequency
The number of wavelengths that pass a given point each second
Rarefaction
The less dense region of a compressional wave
Amplitude
Relates directly to the energy carried by a wave
Sonar
Uses reflected underwater sound waves to detect objects
Decibles
Units used to measure the intensity of a sound
Doppler Effect
Change in pitch or wave frequency due to a moving wave source
Acoustics
The study of sound
Ultrasonic
Sound waves above the normal frequency range of human hearing
Cochlea
Part of ear that converts sound waves into nerve impulses
Resonator
Hollow chamber filled with air that amplifies vibrating sound waves
Visible
The portion of the electromagnetic spectrum that you can see
Infrared
Type of energy used to produce thermograms
Ultraviolet
The ozone layer above the Earth blocks much of this radiation
Photon
Particles whose energy is dependent on the frequency of the light
X-Ray
Often used in medicine to produce images of the human body
Electromagnetic Spectrum
Composed of vibrating electrical and magnetic fields.
Gamma
Very high energy, short wavelength wave that can damage cells
Radio
Short waves often used in communications
Coherent Light
Light of only one wavelength that travels with its crests and troughs aligned
Translucent
Allows some light to pass through, but you cannot see clearly through it
Infrared
Produced when objects become so hot that they give off light
Opaque
Does not allow any light to pass through it
Pigment
Colored material that absorbs some colors and reflects others
Concave or Diverging
Lens that is thinner in the middle than at the edges
Mirror
Flat, smooth surface that reflects and image
Focal Length
Distance from center of lens or mirror to the point of focus
Cornea
Transparent outer covering of the eye
Real Image
Formed when light rays converge to form an image
Optical Axis
Imaginary line drawn perpendicular to the surface of a mirror or lens at its center
Retina
Part of the eye that converts light images into electrical signals
Convex or Converging
Lens that is thicker in the middle than on the edges
Convex Mirror
Reflects an image that is virtual, upright, and smaller than the object