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Basic physics needed to know in the aeronautics field. Terms relating to gas laws and etc.

The 3 States of Matter

Solid, Liquid, Gaseous

Substance that exist in all 3 states


Solids under pressure

Little heat energy, molecules are close together, and incompressible

Liquids under pressure

Molecules are farther apart, still incompressible, no definite shape

Gas under pressure

Molecules are loosened, compressible, no definite shape

The 8 characteristics of matter

Weight, mass, attraction, porosity, impenetrability, density, volume, and specific gravity


Mass of a substance per unit of its volume

Specific gravity

The ratio between the weight of a given volume of a material to the same volume of pure water


Level of agitation


Form of energy/Energy that is associated with the motion of molecules within a material

3 ways pressure is measured

Gauge pressure (psig), Absolute pressure (psia), Differential pressure (psid)

Kinetic theory of gases

Molecules spread apart are always in constant motion due to agitation caused by heat

Boyle's Law

Changing volume of a confined gas held at a constant temperature is direct to gas pressure changing or if the temperature of a gas is held constant, the volume is decrease, the pressure will increase.

Charles Law

The volume of a gas held constant, but the pressure increases and decreases in direct proportion to the change in absolute temperature

Pascal's Law

Pressure applied to a confined liquid, that liquids then exerts an equal amount of pressure in right angles to the container that encloses it

Standard Day/ISA

Standard atmosphere defined at sea level with pressure, temperature and density

3 classes of lever

First-class lever, second-class lever, and third-class lever


Force applied to an object causes the object to move (W=FxD or Work = Force x Distance)


Amount of work done in time (P=FxD/T or Power = Force x Distance/Time)


Capacity of an object to perform work

2 Types of energy

Kinetic Energy and Potential Energy

Kinetic energy

Energy in motion

Potential energy

Energy at rest


Force of an object in motion, and the tendency of a body to continue in motion after being placed in motion

Heat measurement

BTU or British Thermal Unit (1BTU = 778 ft-lbs), or Metric System is Calories = 0.42 meter-kilogram or 3.09 ft-lbs of work


Physical contact between a body having a high level of heat and a body having a lower level of heat


Heat is transferred by movement


Requires no matter to form energy transfer


Vibration of/between bodies

What affects the speed of sound?

The density and elasticity of the medium and the temperature

Sound Reflection

When a longitudinal sound wave strikes a flat surface, sound is then reflected in a consistent manner if the dimension of the reflective surface is large compared to the wavelength of the sound

Sympathetic Sound

One solid body starts to vibrate due to sound being produced transfers its wave energy to the other causing it to vibrate as well

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