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Physics Vocabulary
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Gravity
Key Concepts:
Terms in this set (75)
Physics
is a branch of science that involves the study of the physical world: energy, matter and how they are related.
Scientific Method
patterns of investigation procedures
Independent Variable
the factor that is changed or manipulated during an investigation
Dependent Variable
the factor in an investigation that depends on the independent variable.
Model
is a representation of an idea, event, structure, or object that helps people better understand it.
Scientific Theory
is an explanation of things or events based on knowledge gained from many observations and investigation; by experimental results
Scientific Law
is a statement about what happens in nature and seems to be true all the time.
Accuracy
A characteristic of a measured value that describes how well the results of a measurement agree with the "real" value, which is the accepted value, as measured by competent experimenters.
Precision
A characteristic of a measured value describing the degree of exactness of a measurement.
Particle Model
A simplified version of a motion diagram in which the moving object is replaced by a series of single points
Origin
The point at which both variables in a coordinate system have the value zero.
Vector Quantity
A quantity, such as position, that has both magnitude and direction.
Scalar Quantity
A quantity, such as temperature or distance, that is just a number without any direction.
Magnitude
a measure of size.
Time Interval
The difference between two times.
Displacement
A change in position having both magnitude and direction; equal to the final position minus the initial position.
Position-Time Graph
A graph that can be used to determine an object's velocity and position, as well as where and when two objects meet, made by plotting the time data on a horizontal axis and the position data on a vertical axis.
Instantaneous Position
The position of an object at any particular instant.
Average Speed
The distance traveled divided by the time taken to travel that distance; for uniform motion, it is the absolute value of the slope of the object's position time graph.
Average Velocity
The quotient of an object's change in position to the time interval during which the change occurred; for uniform motion, it is the slope of the object's position-time graph
Instantaneous Velocity
A measure of motion that tells the speed and direction of an object at a specific instant
Acceleration
The rate at which the velocity of an object changes.
Position
The distance and direction from the origin to an object.
Velocity-Time Graph
A graph that has velocity plotted on the vertical axis and time plotted on the horizontal axis; its slope is the acceleration of the object whose motion is described by the graph.
Average Acceleration
The change in an objects velocity during a measurable time interval divided by that specific time interval, measured in m/s^2.
Instantaneous Acceleration
The change in an object's velocity at a specific instant.
Free-Fall
The motion of an object body when air resistance is negligible and the motion can be considered due to the force of gravity alone.
Free-Fall Acceleration
The acceleration of an object due only to the effect of gravity
Force
A push or pull exerted on an object; has both magnitude and direction and may be a contact or a field force.
System
Object or objects of interest that can interact with each other and the external world.
Free-Body Diagram
A physical model that represents the force acting on a system.
Net Force
The vector sum of all the forces on an object.
Newton's Second Law of Motion
States that the acceleration of an object is proportional to the net force and inversely proportional to the mass of the object being accelerated.
Newton's Third Law of Motion
States that all forces come in pairs and that the two forces in a pair act on different objects, are equal in strength, and are opposite in direction.
Inertia
The tendency of an object to resist changes in velocity.
Equilibrium
The condition in which the net force on an object is zero.
Weight
The gravitational force experienced by an object.
Gravitational Field
A vector quantity that relates the mass of an object to the gravitational force it experiences at a given location; represented by the symbol g.
Weightlessness
An object's apparent weight of zero that results when there are no contact forces supporting the object.
Apparent Weight
The support forces acting on an object.
Drag Force
The force exerted by a fluid on an object that opposes the object's motion through the fluid; depends on the object's motion and properties and the fluid's properties.
Terminal Velocity
The constant velocity of an object that is reached when the drag force equals the force of gravity.
Interaction Pair
A pair of forces that are equal in strength but opposite in direction and act on different object.
Tension Force
The specific name for the force exerted by a rope or a string.
Normal Force
The perpendicular contact force exerted by a surface in an object.
Buoyant Force
The upward force exerted on an object immersed in a fluid, due to an increase in pressure with increasing depth.
Force of Spring
force exerted by a compressed or stretched spring upon any object that is attached to it. A restoring force, that is, the push or pull the spring exerts on an object.
Thrust
A general term for the forces that move objects such as rockets, planes, cars, people.
Gravity
all mass attracts all other mass
Electrostatic Force
charges attract and repel other charges
Weak Nuclear Force
The interaction that acts in the nucleus during beta (B) decay; much weaker than the strong nuclear force.
Strong Nuclear Force
An attractive force between nucleons that binds the nucleus together; is of the same strength between all nucleon pairs.
Contact Forces
can rise when one thing actually touches another as in the of a force transmitted through a solid spring or the handle of a wagon or the momentary contact between foot or football.
Field Forces
are forces that can act "at a distance" for example the gravitational force that one mass exerts on another
Vector Resolution
The process of breaking a vector into its components.
Components
Projections of a vector parallel to the x-axis and another parallel to the y-axis.
Kinetic Friction
The force exerted on one surface by a second surface when the two surfaces rub against each other because one or both of the surfaces are moving.
Static Friction
The force exerted on one surface by a second surface when there is no motion between the two surfaces.
Coefficient of Kinetic Friction
The slope of a line on a kinetic friction force v. normal force graph. (Weird looking nk symbol) Relates frictional force to normal force and depends on the two surfaces in contact.
Coefficient of Static Friction
A dimensionless constant depending on the two surfaces in contact. It is used to calculate the maximum static frictional force that needs to be overcome before motion begins.
Uniform Circular Motion
The movement of an object at a constant speed around a circle with a fixed radius.
Centripetal Acceleration
The center-seeking acceleration of an object moving in a circle at a constant speed.
Centripetal Force
The net force exerted toward the center of the circle that causes an object to have a centripetal acceleration.
Inertial Mass
A measure of an object's resistance to any type of force.
Gravitational Mass
Mass as used in the law of universal gravitation; the quantity that measure an object's response to gravitational force.
Momentum
The product of the object's mass and the object's velocity' measured in kg x m/s.
Impulse-Momentum Theorem
States that the impulse on an object equals the object's final momentum minus the object's initial momentum.
Power
The rate at which energy is transformed.
Work
The transfer of energy that occurs when a force is applied through a distance; equal to the product of the system's displacement and the force applied to the system in the direction of displacement.
Joule
(JEWL) The SI unit of work and energy (J); 1 J of work is done when a force of 1 N acts on an object over a displacement of 1 m.
Energy
The ability of a system to produce a change in itself or in the world around it; represented by the symbol E.
Work-Energy Theorem
States that when work is done on a system, a change in energy occurs.
Kinetic Energy
The energy of a system that is associated with its motion.
Gravitational Potential Energy
The stored energy in a system resulting from the gravitational force between objects; represented by the symbol GPE.
Elastic Potential Energy
Stored energy due to an object's change in shape.
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