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148 Cards in this Set

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  • Back


The distance from a fixed point along a particular direction


The rate of change of displacement (m/s)


The rate of change of velocity (m/s2)

Scalar quantity

A quantity that has no direction eg mass

Vector quantity

A quantity that has direction and magnitude associated with it (eg velocity)


Something that can cause acceleration (N)


A force that opposes the movement of one surface over another


Mass × velocity (kgm/s)

Conservation of momentum

In any interaction with no external forces the total momentum before is equal to the total momentum after

Newton's first Law of motion

An object remains in a state of rest or in uniform motion in a straight line unless an external force acts on it

Newton's second law of motion

The resultant force on an object is proportional to its rate of change of momentum

Newton's third law of motion

If A exerts a force on B then B exerts an equal and opposite force on A


The weight of a body is the force of gravity acting on it

Newton's universal law of gravitation


The mass per unit area (kg/m3)


The force per unit area (Pa)

Archimedes' Principle

When a body is partially or wholly immersed in a fluid the upthrust is equal in magnitude to the weight of the fluid displaced

Law of floatation

The weight of floating body is equal to the weight of fluid displaced


Perpendicular distance × force


A system of forces which have a turning effect only and the resultant is zero


When a body's acceleration is zero

Law of Equilibrium 1

The sum of the forces acting on the body is zero

Law of Equilibrium 2

The net total clockwise moment equals the net total clockwise moment


The ability to do work

Principle of Conservation of energy

Energy can neither be created nor destroyed merely converted from one form to another


Force × distance moved


Work done per second


One joule per second


Power in÷power out


The measure of energy (Joules)


A measure of the hotness of a body (Kelvin)

Specific Heat Capacity

The amount of energy needed to change the temperature of 1kg of that substance by 1 Kelvin

Specific Latent Heat

The heat energy needed to change the state of 1kg of a substance with no change in temperature

Thermometric property

A physical property that changes measurably with changing temperature


The transfer of energy through a substance without the movement of the particles of the substance


The transfer of energy through a substance by the movement of the particles


The movement of energy in straight lines from the surface of a hot body without the need for a medium to pass through

Solar constant

Amount of solar energy per second per 1m2 of area (Watts per m2)


The u-value of a building material is the amount of heat energy that will escape per second through 1m2 of the material for each 1K temperature difference across it


Kelvin temperature - 273.15

Boyle's Law

When a fixed mass of gas is kept at a constant temperature its pressure is inversely proportional to its volume

Stationary wave

A wave with no net transfer of energy formed by interference of two waves of equal frequencies and amplitudes moving in opposite directions


Frequencies which are whole number multiples of a fundamental frequency


Transfer of energy between bodies with similar natural frequency

Sound intensity

Sound energy per second crossing each square metre of area (Watts per m2)

Threshold of hearing

The smallest intensity that can be heard by a human ear (1x10-12 W per m2)

Threshold of pain

Intensities above 1W/m2 cause pain and permanent damage

Sound intensity level

The change in sound intensity level is 1 Bel when the second sound intestinal is 10 times the first

dB(A) scale

dB except has been adapted to take into account of how the human ear responds differently to different frequencies

The Doppler Effect

The apparent change in frequency of a wave due to the relative motion between the source of the wave and the observer

The first Law of reflection

The angle of incidence is equal to the angle of refraction

The second law of reflection

The incident ray, the normal and the reflected ray are all in the same plane

The first Law of refraction

Sin i/sin r = the refractive index a constant

The second law of refraction

The incident ray the normal and the refracted ray all lie in the same plane

Power of a lens

1/focal length in m

Critical angle

The angle of incidence in the denser medium for which the angle of refraction will be 90°

Total internal reflection

Occurs when the angle of incidence in the denser medium is bigger than the critical angle

Transverse wave

The vibrations are at right angles to the direction the particle travels in

Longitudinal waves

The vibrations are parallal to the direction in which the wave travels


The distance between two crests (m)


The max displacement from the baseline (m)


The number of complete cycles of a wave passing a point per second (Hz)


The time taken for a complete cycle of a wave (s)




The rebounding of a wave/light off a surface


The bending of a wave as it passes from one medium to next (n=c1/c2)


The spreading out of a wave in the space behind an obstacle or after going through an opening



When two or more waves meet and combine to form a resultant wave

Coherent sources

Sources that are in phase and have the same frequency


This is when the vibrations of a wave are in one plane only: only happens with transverse waves


The separation out of white light into its constituent colours

Primary colours

Red green blue-produce white light

Secondary colours

Yellow cyan magenta-when primary colours are mixed in equal intensity

Complementary colours

A primary and secondary colour mixing to give white light


A substance that allows charge to flow through it


A substance that does not allow charge to flow through it

Electric field

A region where a charged particle experiences a force

Electric field strength

The force per unit charge (E=F/q)

Potential difference

Work done per unit charge (V=W/q)


The work done in bringing unit charge around a complete circuit (V)


The ratio of charge to potential difference (C=Q/V)

Coulomb's law

Electric current

A flow of charge (A= 1 Coulomb per second)


The ratio of voltage to current R=V/I


Ohm's Law

The current flowing through a wire is proportional to the potential difference across it



Residual Current Device


Miniature Circuit Breaker


Resistivity between that of a conductor and an insulator

Intrinsic vs Extrinsic conduction

Conduction in a pure vs doped semiconductor

Thermionic emission

Emission of electrons from the surface of hot metal


The amount of energy gained by an electron being accelerated across a potential difference of 1 Volt

Photoelectric emission

The emission of electrons from the surface of a metal when light of a suitable frequency falls on it


A packet of electromagnetic energy (energy=hf)

Work function

The minimum energy required by a photon to remove an electron from the surface of a metal by photoelectric emission (J or eV)

Threshold frequency

The minimum frequency required for photoemission to occur

Einsteins photoelectric law

Photon energy=work function +max kinetic energy of emitted electron

X rays

High frequency photons of electromagnetic radiation

Atomic number

Number of protons in the nucleus of an atom of that element


Atoms that have the same atomic number but different mass numbers


The decay of a nucleus of an atom with the emission of one or more types of radiation


The number of nuclei of a radioactive substance that is decaying per second


The unit of activity = one radioactive disintegration per second

Law of radioactive decay

The number of disintegrations per second is directly proportional to the number of nuclei present

Half life

The time taken for half of the nuclei present to decay

Decay constant

Nuclear fission

The splitting of a large nucleus into two smaller nuclei with the emission of neutrons and large amounts of energy

Chain reaction

A self sustaining reaction where the release of one or more neutrons causes further fission

Nuclear fusiin

The joining together of two light nuclei to form a larger nucleus with the emission of a large amount of energy


A point particle that does not experience the strong force


A particle made of three quarks= proton neutron


A particle made of a quark and an anti quark (eg pion)


A particle with the same mass as a particle but opposite charge

Pair production

A particle and it's anti particle are created from high energy (gamma-ray) photon (hf=2mc2)

Pair annihilation

A particle and an anti particle are converted into two equal photons of energy (travelling in opposite directions) (2hf=2mc2)

Four forces in order of decreasing strength

Strong nuclear force


Weak nuclear



A semiconductor whose resistance decreases rapidly with an increase in temperature


When an electron breaks free from a covalent bond it leaves behind a gap in the atom from whence it came.

Intrinsic Conductor

Conduction in a pure semiconductor with an equal number of holes moving from positive to negative and electrons moving in the opposite


The apparent movement of an object relative to another due to the motion of an observer



Short sighted

A short sighted cannot bring far away objects into an object fixed with concave lens

Long sight

Can't see up close objects fixed with convex lenses


When waves combine to create a resultant wave

Pressure in a fluid


Cathode Rays

Streams of high speed electrons moving from the cathode


The amount of energy used by a 1000W appliance in one hour


Light Dependent Resistor is a semiconductor whose conductivity is increased when light shines on it


The adding of a small controlled amounts of certain impurities to a pure semiconductor to increase its conductivity

N-type semiconductor

One which the impurity added produces more free electrons available for conduction (eg phosphorus)

P type semiconductor

A semiconductor in which the impurity added produces extra hokes which are available for conduction (eg boron)

Intrinsic conduction

Conduction in a pure semiconductor due to electrons move from negative to positive and an equal number of holes move in an opposite direction

Extrinsic conduction

Increased conduction in a semiconductor due to the addition of impurities is called extrinsic conduction

Junction voltage

The P. D. that exists across a p-n junction caused by holes and electrons moving across the junction when it was formed is called the junction voltage

Forward biased p-n junction

Conducts current when positive terminal is connected to the P type

Reverse biased p-n junction

Doesn't conduct current

Magnetic Field

A region of space where magnetic forces can be felt in the direction of the force on the north pole if it were placed at that point

Magnetic Field Line

A line drawn in a magnetic field so that the tangent to it at any point

Magentic Flux Density

A vector whose magnitude is equal to the force that would be experienced by a conductor of length 1m carrying a current of 1 A at right angles to the field

The Ampere

The current which, if maintained in two straight parallel conductors of infinite length, of negligible cross section and placed 1m apart in a vacuum would produce a force of 2x10(-7) N per metre length

Electromagnetic Induction

Whenever the magnetic passing through a coil changes, an emf appears in the coil


Electromotive Force

Faraday's Law

The size of the induced emf is directly proportional to the rate of change of flux

Lenz's Law

The direction of an induced current is always such as to oppose the change producing it

Electric Generator

A device that converts mechanical energy to electrical energy

Mutual Induction

When a changing magnetic field in one coil causes an induced emf to appear in a nearby coil

Self induction

Whenever the current passing through a coil changes, the magnetic field surrounding that coil changes. This changing magnetic field induces an emf in the coil that opposes the changing current (back emf)


A transformer is a device used to change the value of alternating voltage