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125 Cards in this Set

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Controlled Experiment
A form of scientific investigation in which one variable, termed the independent or control variable, is manipulated to reveal the effect on another variable, termed the dependent or responding variable, while all other variables in the system are held fixed.
a hypothetical description of a complex entity or process
being reproducible in amount or performance
Significant Figure
The digits in a measurement that are reliable
a group of independent but interrelated elements comprising a unified whole
The rate at which an objects velocity changes over time.
Average acceleration
acceleration over a finite time.
removal from normal position or place
Average velocity
Velolcity measured over a finite time interval
Constant acceleration
acceleration changing by a constant amount each second
Free Fall
falling with acceleration due to gravity acting on a body alone
Free fall acceleration
9.8 meters per second squared
speed/ distance traveled in a unit of time
Components of a vector
magnatude and direction
Frame of reference
a place where position or movement may be specified or referenced from
The quality of being near to a true a value.
Projectile Motion
The motion of a moving object with a constant force acting on it
The resultant of a system of forces is a single force or moment whose magnitude, direction, and location make it statically equivalent to the system of forces.
A quantity, such as mass, length, or speed, that is completely specified by its magnitude and has no direction.
A qantity, such as velocity, completely specified by a magnitude and a direction.
Action-Reaction pair
for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction
Coefficient of Friction
a dimensionless scalar value which describes the ratio of the force of friction between two bodies and the force pressing them together.
Contact force
A force between objects in contact with each other.
a stable situation in which forces cancel one another
Field Force
a vector field indicating the forces exerted by one object on another
The rate of change of momentum with time.
Force Diagram
Graphical solution of axial forces
The tendency of an object to resist change.
Kinetic Friction
The force exerted on one surface by a second surface when the two rub on each other.
Net External Force
outside force resulting in a change in velocity
Normal force
perpendicular force that a surface exerts on an object with which it is in contact.
Static Friction
Friction at rest; a force is required to initiate relative movement between two bodies - static friction is the force that resists such relative movement. Sometimes referred to as stiction.
the vertical force exerted by a mass as a result of gravity
Elastic potential energy
The energy in a solid object when it is stretched or compressed. A stretched rubber band has elastic potential energy.
Gravitational potential energy
a type of potential energy. Gravitational potential energy is associated in the interaction of an object with the earth. It is defined to be equal to the mass of the object times the gravitational acceleration times the distance of the object from the ground.
Kinetic Energy
energy resulting from motion
Mechanical energy
the sum of the kinetic andand gravitational potential energy of a system
potential energy
stored energy
the work done over time
Spring constant
measure of stiffness or strength of a spring
the product of the force exerted on an object and the displacement
Two lines with the same slope. Lines never intersect on a two dimensional plane
Schematic diagram
Illustration of an electrical or electronic circuit with the components represented by their symbols.
the sum of a sequence of terms.
Work-Kinetic Energy Theorem
The kinetic energy of a particle changes by the amount of work done on it.
Elastic Collision
A collision in which no kinetic energy is lost.
The act of applying force suddenly
The product of the mass times the velocity of an object.
Perfectly inelastic collision
A collision in which the colliding objects become distorted and/or generate heat during the collision.
Angular acceleration
Angular acceleration is the rate of change of angular velocity over time.
Centripetal acceleration
The acceleration on a particle moving in a curved path, directed toward the instantaneous center of curvature of the path, with magnitude V 2 /R, where V is the speed of the particle and R the radius of curvature of the path. This acceleration is equal and opposite to the centrifugal force per unit mass.
Gravitational force
the weakest of the four fundamental forces of nature. Described by Newton's universal theory of gravity, and subsequently by Einstein's general relativity.
The measure of an angle in terms of pi. the measure of one radian is approximately 57 degrees
Rotational motion
Rotational motion is similar to circular motion, except that it is unique by which the object involved rotates around itself and not a point of centrifugal force.
tangential acceleration
The component of the acceleration directed along the velocity vector (streamline), with magnitude equal to the rate of change of speed of the parcel dV/dt, where V is the speed. In horizontal, frictionless atmospheric flow, the tangential acceleration is balanced by the tangential pressure force, where is the specific volume, p the pressure, and s a coordinate along the streamline. Thus, flow without tangential acceleration is along the isobars, and the wind is the gradient wind.
Tangential speed
Component of velocity tangent to the trajectory of a projectile.
ANgular momentum
The energy of motion of a spinning body or mass of air or water. Its value depends on the mass of the body, its radius of spin, and its rate of spin.
Center of Mass
The point about which the sum of all the linear moments of mass of the particles in a body is zero
Lever Arm
A lever arm, also called a moment arm or bell crank, is a rigid bar or beam free to turn around a fixed point (fulcrum). Also, when applying torque, lever arm refers to the distance between the point where the force acts and the point of rotation.
Moment of inertia
Moment of inertia has two distinct but related meanings: 1) it is a property of a an object relating to the magnitude of the moment required to rotate the object and overcome its inertia. 2) A property of a two dimensional cross section shape with respect to an axis, usually an axis through the centroid of the shape.
Rotationbal kinetic energy
* Rotating objects contain kinetic energy. An object's rotational energy or angular kinetic energy is part of its total kinetic energy. Looking at rotational energy separately in an object's centre of mass frame, one gets the following dependence on the object's moment of inertia: In SI units, rotational energy is measured in joules.
The force which tends to cause rotation.
Bernoulli's Principle
The law, discovered by Daniel Bernoulli, which states that when air speeds up its pressure is reduced, and when the air slows down its pressure is increased.
Buoyant Force
The upward pressure exerted on an object by a fluid in which the object rests.
A subset of the phases of matter, fluids include liquids, gases, plasmas and, to some extent, plastic solids.
Ideal Fluid
In fluid mechanics, an incompressible fluid is a fluid whose density (often represented by the Greek letter ρ) is constant: it is the same throughout the field and it does not change through time. It is an idealization used to simplify analysis. In reality, all fluids are compressible to some extent.
Mass Density
Density (symbol: ρ - Greek: rho) is a measure of mass per unit of volume. The higher an object's density, the higher its mass per volume. The average density of an object equals its total mass divided by its total volume. A denser object (such as iron) will have less volume than an equal mass of some less dense substance (such as water).
Pressure is the application of force to a surface, and the concentration of that force in a given area. A finger can be pressed against a wall without making any lasting impression; however, the same finger pushing a thumbtack can easily damage the wall, even though the force applied is the same, because the point concentrates that force into a smaller area.
TemperatureA crest is the section of a wave that rises above an undisturbed position.
Temperature is the physical property of a system which underlies the common notions of "hot" and "cold"; the material with the higher temperature is said to be hotter. Temperature is a measure of the average kinetic energy of the particles in a sample of matter.
(physics) the maximum displacement of a periodic wave
The positions on a standing wave where the largest amplitudes occur
Constructive Force
Interference that occurs when waves occupying the same space combine to form a single stronger wave. The strength of the composite wave depends on the how close in phase the two component waves are. For example if you transmitted two waves of the same phase, each with an amplitude of 10, they would combine into a composite wave of amplitude 20, but two waves slightly out of phase would combine into a composite wave of amplitude less than 20.
A crest is the section of a wave that rises above an undisturbed position.
Destructive interference
Combination of waves where crest parts of one wave overlap trough parts of another; resulting in a wave of decreased ampli­tude
Frequency is the measurement of the number of times that a repeated event occurs per unit time. To calculate the frequency, one fixes a time interval, counts the number of occurrences of the event within that interval, and then divides this count by the length of the time interval.
Longitudinal wave
Longitudinal waves, also referred to as compressional waves or pressure waves, are waves that have vibrations along or parallel to their direction of travel and can be a wave in which the motion of the medium is in the same direction to the motion of the wave. Examples of longitudinal waves include sound waves (alternation in pressure, particle displacement, or particle velocity propagated in an elastic material) and seismic P-waves (created by earthquakes and explosions).
Mechanical wave
A wave which needs a medium in order to propagate itself. Sound waves, waves in a Slinky, and water waves are all examples of this. Sound waves need air molecules in order to exist; the Slinky waves need the Slinky, and the waves in the ocean need the water.
Free space is the most simple and elementary electromagnetic medium. A medium is the stuff that waves propagate through. The properties, permittivity and permeability, define how electromagnetic waves travel through a medium. Also, the medium has an ''intrinsic impedance: where is the permeability of the medium and is the permittivity of the medium.
(physics) the point of minimum displacement in a periodic system
the time required for one cycle in a periodic waveform. Period is the inverse of frequency.
Periodic Wave
A wave whose displacement has a periodic variation with time or distance, or both.
Pulse Wave
alternates regularly and instantaneously between two levels, which may or may not include zero.
Simple Harmonic motion
Motion such that the displacement is a sinusoidal function of time
Standing wave
Periodic wave having a fixed distribution in space which is the result of interference of progressive waves of the same frequency and kind. Such waves are characterized by the existence of nodes or partial nodes and antinodes that are fixed in space.
Transverse Wave
A wave in which the vibration is moving in a direction perpendicular as that in which the wave is traveling
the lowest point of a wave
The distance between successive points of equal amplitude and phase on a wave (for example, crest to crest or trough to trough).
pulsate: move with or as if with a regular alternating motion
Compaction: an increase in the density of something
Decibel LEvel
A unit used to convey the intensity of sound.
Doppler Effect
A shift in the frequency of an electromagnetic or sound wave due to the relative movement of the source or the observer.
Fundamental frequency
the predominant frequency in a complex waveform. Typically provides the sound with its strongest pitch reference.
Harmonic Series
The infinite sum of the inverse of all the natural numbers, N. from N = 1 to infinity
In physics, intensity is a measure of the time-averaged energy flux. To find the intensity, take the energy density (that is, the energy per unit volume) and multiply it by the velocity at which the energy is moving. The resulting vector has the units of power divided by area (i.e. watt/m²). It is possible to define the intensity of the water coming from a garden sprinkler, but intensity is used most frequently with waves (i.e. sound or light).
Perceptual correlate of the frequency of a sound wave. In general, the higher the perceived pitch, the higher the frequency.
The part of a longitudinal wave which is stretched out, where as a compression is the part which is pushed together. (longitudinal wave)
the state of a system in which an abnormally large vibration is produced in response to an external stimulus, occurring when the frequency of the stimulus is the same, or nearly the same, as the natural vibration frequency of the system.
This is a subjective quality that enables listeners to tell the difference between two sound of identical pitch at the same volume. Fundamentally it is the difference in frequency content of the sounds.
ANgle on incidence
This is a subjective quality that enables listeners to tell the difference between two sound of identical pitch at the same volume. Fundamentally it is the difference in frequency content of the sounds.
Angle of reflection
The angular measure between a reflected light ray and the normal to the reflecting surface. For any surface, the angle of incidence equals the angle of reflection.
Concave Spherical Mirror
used to collect and concentrate light at a point
Convex Spherical Mirror
In a convex spherical mirror the vertex of the mirror is nearer to the object than the edges—the mirror bulges toward the object. The image formed by it is always smaller than the object and always erect. It is never real because the reflected rays diverge outward from the face of the mirror and are not brought to a focus, and the image, therefore, is determined by their prolongation behind the mirror as in the case of the plane mirror.
Electromagnetic Wave
an electric field spreading in wavelike-fashion through space at a speed of about 300 000 km.sec, with its direction and intensity at any point in space oscillating rapidly back and forth. James Clerk's Maxwell's theory in 1864 suggested that light was such a wave, and today we know that such waves include all forms of light--also infra-red and ultra-violet, as well as radio waves, microwaves, x-rays and gamma rays.
Linear polarization
In electrodynamics, linear polarization or plane polarization of electromagnetic radiation is a confinement of the electric field vector or magnetic field vector to a given plane along the direction of propagation. See polarization for more information.
Real Image
The point(s) to which light rays converge as they emerge from a lens or mirror

# Reflection is the abrupt change in direction of a wave front at an interface between two dissimilar media so that the wave front returns into the medium from which it originated. Common examples include the reflection of light, sound and water waves.
Virtual Image
The point(s) from which light rays converge as they emerge from a lens or mirror. The rays do not actually pass through each image point, but diverge from it. See: real image.
Chromatic aberration
Color shifts and color artifacts in an image caused by faults in a lens, or by the camera’s inability to register all three channels of color information. Single-chip video cameras are especially prone to chromatic abberation.
Critical Angle
The angle at the interface between core and cladding where a guided ray in the core undergoes total internal reflection.
In optics, dispersion is a phenomenon that causes the separation of a wave into spectral components with different frequencies, due to a dependence of the wave's speed on its frequency. It is most often described in light waves, though it may happen to any kind of wave that interacts with a medium or can be confined to a waveguide, such as sound waves.
Index of refraction
the ratio of the speed of light in a vacuum to the speed of light in a substance
A variety of structures that apparently affect the directionality of light are called "lenses." Some of these appear to act like typical optical lenses but the mode of action of others (like those in the illustration to the right) are uncertain.
The bending of light as it passes from one medium to another
Total internal reflection
When a light beam strikes the interface of two media of different diffractive indices, at an angle beyond the critical angle, all of the light energy is reflected back into the incident medium. In this situation, an 'evanescent field' develops at the interface with an energy that decreases exponentially into the medium with the lower refractive index. This allows selective excitation of fluorophores located within ~100 nm of the interface.
a substance that readily conducts e.g. electricity and heat
Electrical Field
In physics, an electric field or E-field is an effect produced by an electric charge that exerts a force on charged objects in its vicinity. The units of the electric field are newtons per coulomb or volts per meter (both are equivalent). Electric fields are composed of photons and contain electrical energy with energy density proportional to the square of the field intensity. .
an electrical phenomenon whereby an electromotive force (EMF) is generated in a closed circuit by a change in the flow of current
Something that does not allow electricity to flow through it easily. Glass and special rubber are good insulators. Insulators do not allow electricity to flow through them easily because the electrons in their atoms do not move easily from atom to atom.
The property of a circuit element that allows it to store an electrical charge
Electrical POtential
Electric potential is the potential energy per unit charge associated with a static (time-invariant) electric field, also called the electrostatic potential, typically measured in volts. Metaphorically, electric potential may be conceived of as "electric pressure" that can push electric charges to different locations.
Electrical potential energy
Energy stored by separating positive and negative electrical charges against electrical forces. A charged battery has electrical potential energy. See Electrical (Electromagnetic) energy.
POtential difference
The voltage difference between two points. Electricity flows from a high to low level of potential
Property of superposed waves generated by a single source. They demonstrate coherence when a defined relationship exists between their phases. The advantage of measurement using coherent radiation is that not only the intensity, but also the phase of the radiation can be measured after scattering by the sample under investigation. The smaller the radiation source, the more coherent the radiation.
The bending of light around objects, such as cloud and fog droplets, producing fringes of light and dark or colored bands.
) A device that concentrates light into an intense, narrow beam used to cut or destroy tissue. It is used in microsurgery, photodynamic therapy, and for a variety of diagnostic purposes.