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22 terms

Physics vocab 1

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Kinematics
Description of motion
Dynamics
causes of motion
Vector
Has both magnitude and direction
Scalar
Only magnitude
Distance
The length of path traveled
Velocity
Rate of change in position
Position
location of an object with respect to a reference point
Displacement
Change in position in a particular direction
Aristotle
384-322BC
early thinker, influenced people's thinking for nearly 2000 years
Copernicus
1543
one of first to contradict Aristotle
Galileo
1547-1642
- continued to take issue with Aristotle's ideas
- conducted thought experiments
Mechanics
Study of motion
Speed
The rate of change of distance
Constant velocity
object has the same velocity for the entire trip
(Graph is a straight line)
Changing Velocity
object has many different speeds and directions during a trip
Average velocity
found by dividing total displacement by total time
Instantaneous velocity
the velocity at any moment in time
Acceleration
The rate of change of velocity
Free-Fall
state of an object when the only force acting on it is gravity.
g
Free-fall acceleration
called "the acceleration due to gravity"
9.80m/s/s
Acceleration is Absolute
can be measured without making a comparison to something else; acceleration can be felt
Velocity is Relative
In order to measure it, a comparison must be made to something else.