Study your flashcards anywhere!

Download the official Cram app for free >

  • Shuffle
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off
  • Alphabetize
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off
  • Front First
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off
  • Both Sides
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off
  • Read
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off

How to study your flashcards.

Right/Left arrow keys: Navigate between flashcards.right arrow keyleft arrow key

Up/Down arrow keys: Flip the card between the front and back.down keyup key

H key: Show hint (3rd side).h key

A key: Read text to speech.a key


Play button


Play button




Click to flip

177 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
absolute index of refraction
the ratio of the speed of light in a vacuum to the speed of light in a medium
absolute temperature
the temperature as measured on the Kelvin scale; a measure of the average kinetic energy of the molecules of a body
absolute zero
the temperature at which the internal energy of an object is at a minimum (0K or -273° C)
the time rate of change in velocity. The SI unit is meters per second squared.
The agreement of a measured value with an accepted standard.
alternating current
an electric current that varies in magnitude and alternates in direction
a device used to measure electric current. It is constructed by placing a low-resistance shunt across the coil of a galvanometer.
The maximum displacement in periodic phenomena such as wave motion, pendulum motion, and spring oscillation.
angle of incidence
the angle made by the incident wave with the surface of a medium; the angle made by the incident ray with the normal to the surface of the medium.
angle of reflection
the angle made by the reflected wave with the surfaces of a medium; the angle made by the reflected ray with the normal to the surface of the medium.
angle of refraction
the angle made by the refracted wave with the surface of a medium; the angle made by the refracted ray with the normal to the surface of the medium.
the point or locus of points on an interference pattern (such as a standing wave or double slit pattern) that results in maximum constructive interference
atomic mass unit (u)
a unit of mass defined as 1/12 the mass of an atom of carbon-12
a combination of 2 or more electric cells
the condition in which the liquid and gaseous phases of matter are in equilibrium. A synonym for boiling is vaporization
Boyle's Law
the volume of an ideal gas is inversely proportional to the pressure at constant temperature
celsius scale (°C)
the temperature scale that fixes the (atmospheric) freezing point of water at 0° and the boiling point of water at 100°.
centripetal acceleration
the acceleration that is directed along the radius and toward the center of a curved path in which an object is moving.
centripetal force
the force that causes centripetal acceleration. It is responsible for changing an object's direction, not its speed
Charles's law
The volume occupied by an ideal gas is directly proportional to the Kelvin temperature at constant pressure
chromatic aberration
a lense defect in which different colors of light are focused at different points.
coefficient of kinetic friction
the ratio of the force of kinetic friction on an object to the normal force on it.
conduction band
the energy band that contains the electrons that are able to carry an electric current
the reciprocal of a material's resitivity. the SI unit of conductivity is the mho, which is equivialent to the ohm ^-1 times meter^-1
a material that allows electrons to flow through it freely. Metals such as copper and silver are conductors
constructive interference
the combination of two in-phase wave disturbances to produce a single wave disturbance whose amplitude is the sum of the amplitudes of the individual disturbances
the part of a fission ractor that is the focus of the fission reaction
coulomb (C)
the SI unit of electric charge, approximately equal to 6.25 x 10^18 elementary charges
coulombs law
the electrostatic force between two point charges is directly proportional to the product of the charges and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between the charges
critical angle
the angle of incidence for which the corresponding angle of regraction is 90°
one complete repetition of the pattern in any periodic phenomenon
destructive interference
the combo of two out-of-phase wave disturbances to produce a single wave disturbance whose amplidtude is the difference of the amplitudes of the individual disturbances.
the bending of a wave around a barrier
diffuse reflection
the reflection of parallel light rays by irregular surfaces
direct current
THE SEperation of polychoromatic light into its individual colors
dispersive medium
a medium in which the speed of a wave depends on its frequency
a change of position in a specific direction
Doppler effect
an apparent change in frequency that results when a wave source and an observer are in relative motion with respect to each other.
the degree to which a device such as a transformer or machine compares with an ideal device. efficiency is usually expressed as a percentage
Einstein's postulates of special relativity
1) The laws of physics are valid in all inertial frames of reference.
2) the speed of light has the same value in all frames of regerence.
elastic potential energy
the energy stored ina spring when it is compressed or stretched
electric current
the time rate of flow of charged particles. The SI unit of electric curren is the ampere (A)
electric field
the region of space around a charged object that affects other charges
electric field intensity
the ratio of the force that an electric field exerts on a charge to the magnitude of the charge
electric potential
the total work done by an electric field in bringing 1 coulomb of positive charge from infinity to a specific point. The potential is a positive number if the charge is repelled by the field and a negative number if the charge is attracted by the field. At infinity, the potential is taken to be zero. Electric potential is measured in volts.
a solenoid whose magnetic field is intensified by the insertion of certain ferromagnetic materials
electromagnetic induction
the process by which the magnetic field and the mechanical field and the mechanical energy are used to generate a potential difference
electromagnetic radiation
the propagation of electromagnetic waves in space
electromagnetic spectrum
the entire range of electromagnetic waves from the lowest to the highest frequencies.
electromagnetic wave
a periodic wave, consisiting of mutually perpendicular electric and magnetic fields, that is radiated away from the vicinity of an accelerating charge.
electromotive force
the potential difference produce as a result of the conversion of other forms of energy into electrical energy.
elementary charge
the magnitude of charge present on a proton or an electron. approx. equal to 1.6 X 10^-19 coulomb
emission spectrum
a series of bright spectral lines or bands formed by the emission of certain wavelengths of light by excited atoms falling to hower energy states
a measure of the disorder or randomness present in a system
field lines
a series of lines used to represent the magnitude and direction of a field
first law of thermodynamics
a change iin the internal energy of a system is equal to the difference of the heat energy absorbed by the system and the work done by it. Itk is a statement of the law of conservation of energy.
the process of splitting a heavy nucleus, such as uranium-235, into lighter fragments. Fission is accompanied by the release of large quantitiies of energy.
a push or pull on an object. If the force is unbalenced, an acceleration will result.
free fall
a motion in the Earth's gravitational field without regard to air resistance
the number of repetitions produced per unit time by periodic phenomena
the force present as the result of contact between two surfaces. The direction of a frictional force is opposite to the direction of motion
1) The process of uniting lightER NUCLEI, SUCH AS deutrerium, into a heavier nuclues. Fusion is accompanied by the release of large quantities of energy.
2) In the study of heat and thermodynamics, a synonym for melting.
Gallilean-Newtonian relativity principle
the laws of mechanics are valid in all inertial frames of reference
gamma radiation
very high energy photons of electromagnetic radiation. Gamma photons have the highest frequencies in the electromagneic spectrum.
geosynchronous orbit
An orbit in which the period of a satellite is equal to the period of the Earth's rotation. A satellite in a geosynchronous orbit remains continually in the same position above the Earth's surface
gravitational field
the region of space around a mass that affects other masses.
gravitational field intensity
the ratio of the force that a gravitational field exerts on a mass to the magnitude of the mass, numerically equal to the acceleration due to gravity.
gravitatational force
the universal attraction between two masses
gravitational potential energy
the energy that an object acquires as a result of the work done in moving the object against a gravitational field
ground state
the lowest energy state of an atom
heat energy
the energy that is transferred from warmer objects to cooler ones because of a temperature difference between them.
heat of fusion
the quantity of heat energy needed to convert a unit mass of a solid entirely into a liquid at its melting temperature
heat of vaporization
the quantity of heat energy needed to convert a unit mass of liquid entirely into a gas at its boiling temperature.
the product of the net force acting on an object and the time during which the force acts. the impulse delievered to an object is equal to its change in momentum. The direction of the impulse is the direction of the force. the SI unit of impulse is the newton • second, which iis equivalent to the kilogram•meter per second.
incident ray
a ray of a wave impinging on a surface
incident wave
a wave impingin on a surface
1) a method of charging a neutral object by using a charged object and a ground. the induced charge is always opposite to the charge on the charged object. 2) See induced current and induced emf.
Induced current
an electric current that is the result of an induced electromotive force.
induced emf
a potential difference created when a magnetic field is interupted over a time period.
the property of matter that resists changes in motion. Mass is the quantitive measure of inertia
instantaneous velocity
the ratio of displacement to time at any givien instant; the slope of a line tnagent to a displacement-time graph at any given point
a material taht is very poor conductor because it has afew conduction electrons. Wood and glass are examples.
internal energy
the total kinetic and potential energy associated with the atoms and molecules of an object
ionization potential
the quantity of energy needed to remove a single electron from an atom or ion.
atoms with identical atomic numbers but different mass numbers. Two isotopes of the same element have identical numbers of protons but different numbers of neutrons.
Kepler's first law
the orbits of all the planets are elliptical, with the sun placed at one focus of the ellipse.
Kepler's second law
a line from the sun to a planet sweeps out equal areas in equal periods of time
Kepler's third law
the ratio of the cube of the mean radius of a planet's orbit to the square of its period of revolution about the sun is the same for all planetary bodies in the solar system.
kinetic energy
the energy that an object possesses because of its motion
kinetic-molecular theory of gasses
a simplified model of gas behavior based on the properties of an ideal gas
longitudinal wave
a wave in which the disturbance is parallel to the direction of the wave's motion. sound waves are longitudinal
any material that alignms itself when free to do so, in an approximate north-south direction. Magnets exert forces on one another and on charged particles in motion.
magnetic field
the region of space around a magnet or charge in motin that exerts a force on magnets or other moving charges
magnetic induction
the force that a magnetic field exerts ona 1-meter-long wire in the field when the wire carries a current of 1 A. The unit of magnettic induction is the TESLA.
1) the measure of an objects ability to obey Newton's second law of motion. 2) The measure of an object's ability to obey newton's law of universal gravitation. Thee SI unit of mass is the kilogram
the product of mass and velocity. The direction of an object's moementum is the direction of its velocity. The SI unit of momentum is the Kilogram•meter per second
natural frequency
a specific frequency with which an elastic body may vibrate if disturbed
net force
the unbalenced force present on an object; the accelerating force.
newton (N)
the SI unit of force, equivalent to the unit kilogram•meter per second squared
Newton's first law of motion
objects remain in a state of uniform motion unless acted upon by an unbalenced force
newton's law of universal gravitation
any 2 bodies in the universe are attracted toe ach other with a force that is directly proportional to their masses and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between them.
Newton's second law of motion.
the unbalenced force on an object is equal to the product of its mass and acceleration
Newton's third law of motion
if object A exerts a force on object B, then object B exerts and equal and opposite force on object A
the point or locus of points on an interference pattern, such as standing wave or double-slit pattern, that results in total destructive interference.
a line perpendicular to a surface
normal force
the force that keeps two surfaces in contact if an object is on a horizontal surface the normal force on the object is equal to the weight.
ohm (Ω)
The SIK unit of electrical resistance, equivalent to the unit volt per ampere.
Ohm's law
a relationship in which the ratio of the potential difference across certain conductors to the current in them is constant at constant temperature.
parallel circuit
an electric circuit with more than one current path
particle accelerator
a device used t accelerate charge nuclear particles
the time for one complete repition of a periodic phenomenon. The SI unit of period is the second.
periodic waave
a regularly repeating series of waves.
1) A form in which matter can exist, including liquid, solid, gas, and plasma. 2) in wave motion, the points on the wave that have specific time and space relationships.
photoeleclectric effect
a phenomenon in which light causes electrons to be ejected from certain materials (see photo emissive)
electrons that have been emitted as a result of the photoelectric effect
referring to materials whose surface can eject electrons on exposure to light
the fundamental particle of eltromagnetic radiation
planck's constant
a universal constant (h) relating the energy of a photon to its frequency; its approximate value is 6.662 x 10^-34 joule•second
a process that produces transverse waves that vibrate in only one plane. Polarization is limited to transverse waves: light can be polarized; sound cannot (longitude)
referring to light waves of different colors (frequencies)
potential difference
the ratio of the work required to move a test charge between two points in an electric field to the magnitude of the test charge. the unit of potential difference is the volt.
potential energy
the energy that a system has because of its relative position or condition.
the time rate at which work is done or energy is expended. The SI unit of power is the watt, which is equivalent to the unit joule per second
the limit of the ability of a measuring device to reproduce a measurement
the force on a surface per unit area. The SI unit of pressure is the pascal
a positively charged subatomic particle with a charge equal in magnitude to that of the electron.
a discrete quantitiy of energy
the particles of which protons, neutrons, and certain other subatomic particles are composed. Quarks carry a charge of either 1/3 or 2/3 of an elementary charge and come in six "flavours": top, bottom, up, down, charm, and strange.
radioactive decay
a spontaneous change in the nuclues of an atom
the change in the direction of a wave when it passes obliquely from one medium to another in which it moves at different speed.
regular reflection
the reflection of parallel light rays incident on a smooth plane surface.
the opposition of a material to the flow of electrons through it; the ratio of potential difference to current.
a device that supplies resistance to a circuit
the process of determining the magnitude and direction of the components of a vector
the spontaneous vibration of an object at a frequency equal to that of the wave that initiates the resonant vibration
a vector sum
a body that revolves around a larger body as a result of a gravitational force.
scalar quantity
a quantity, such as mass or work, that has magnitude but no direction
second law of thermodynamics
Heat energy will not flow spontaneously from a cooler body to a warmer body unless work is done. Alternatively, it is impossible to convert heat energy entirely into work
a metalloid whose conductivity can be increased either by raising its temperature or by adding certain impurities. Silicon and germanium are examples of semiconductors
series circuit
a circuit with only one current path
the occurrence of two or more events at the same time. According to special relativity, events that are simultaneous in one frame of reference need not be simultaneous in another
a coil of wire wound as a helix. When a curren is passed through the solenoid, it becomes an electromagnet.
specific heat
the amount of heat energy absorbed or liberated by a unit mass of a substance as it changes its temperature by one unit
the time rate of change of distance; the magnitude of velocity. The SI unit of speed is the meter per second
spring constant
the ratio of the force required to stretch or compress a spring to the magnitude of the stretch or compression
standard pressure
one atmosphere; approx 1.01 x 10^5 pascals
standard temperature
approx. 273 kelvins
standing wave
a wave pattern created by the continual interference of an incident wave with its reflected counterpart. The standing wave does not travel, but soscillates about an equilibrium position
static equilibrium
the condition of a body when a net force of zero is acting on it
a material with no electrical resistance
the "hotness" of an object, measured with respect to a chosen standard
tesla (T)
The SI unit of flux density, equal to the units weber per squiare meter and newton per ampere•meter.
thermal equilibrium
the point at which materials in contact reach the same temperature
thermionic emission
the emission of electrons from substances such as metallic filaments when these substances are heated.
the study of the interrelationships among heat energy, work and other forms of energy.
third law of thermodynamics
it is imposible to reach absolute zero in a finite number of operations.
total internal reflection
the reflection of a wave inside a relatively dense medium produced when the angle of the wave with the boundary exceeds the critical angle
total mechanical energy
the sum of the potential and kinetic energies of a mechanical system
transister (bipolar)
a smiconducting device in which one type of semiconductor is sandwiched between two semiconductors of the opposite type. Transistors serve as amplification devices.
transverse wave
a wave in which the distrubance is perpendicular to tha direction of the wave's motion. Light waves are transverse.
valence band
the energy band that contains electrons from the outermost energy levels of a group of atoms in a crystal.
a representation of a vector quantityl an arrow in which the length represents the magnitude of the quantity and the arrowhead points in the direction of its orientation.
vector quantity
a quantity, such as force or velocity, that has both magnitude and direction
the time rate of change of displacement
another term for potential difference
a device used to measure potential difference and contstructed by placing a large resistor in a series with the coil of a galvonometer
watt (W)
the SI unit of power, equivalent to the unit juoule per second
a series of periodic oscillations of a particle or a field both in time and in space
wave front
all points on a wave that are in phase with each other
the length of one complete wave cycle
weber (Wb)
The SI unit of magnetic flux, equivalent to the unit joule per ampere.
the gravitational force present on an object.
the product of the force on an object and its displacement. The SI unit of work is the joule.
work function
the minimum radiant energy required to remove an electron from a photoemissive surface.