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# Physics Definitions and Concepts

Physical
quantities

Base quantities

## PHYSICAL QUANTITIES that cannot be defined in terms of other physical

quantities but has its own definition.
(length, time, mass, electric current, temperature)

Derived
quantities

## PHYSICAL QUANTITIES that are derived from base quantities by

multiplication or division or both.

Scalar quantity

Vector quantity

Consistency

Accuracy

Sensitivity

Error

## DIFFERENCE between actual value of quantity and the value obtained in

measurement.

Zero error

ERROR that arises when the measuring instrument does not start from exactly
zero.

Systematic
errors

## CUMULATIVE ERRORS that can be corrected, if the errors are known.

(zero error, incorrect calibration of measuring instrument)

Random errors

## ERRORS that arise from unknown and unpredictable variations in condition,

and will produce a different error every time.
(human limitations, lack of sensitivity, natural errors, wrong technique)

## Chapter 2 Forces and Motion

Distance

The TOTAL PATH travelled by an object from one point to the other.

Displacement

Speed

Velocity

Acceleration

Inertia

state of rest.

Mass

Momentum

## PRODUCT of mass and velocity.

Elastic collision

The collision where the kinetic energy is conserved after the collision.

Inelastic collision

The collision where the kinetic energy is not conserved after the
collision

Force

Frictional force

Impulse

Impulsive force

## RATE of change of momentum.

Force of Gravity/
Gravitational force

FORCE originated from centre of Earth that pulls objects towards the
ground.

Free fall

Weight

Resultant force

## SINGLE FORCE which combines two or more forces which act on an

object.

Force in equilibrium/
Balanced forces

## Forces act upon an object causes it remain stationary or moves with

constant velocity.// Resultant force acting on object is ZERO.

Work

## The PRODUCT of applied force acting on object and displacement in the

direction of force.

Energy

ABILITY to do work.

Kinetic energy

## ENERGY possessed by a moving object.

Gravitational
potential energy

ENERGY STORED in the object because of its height above the earth
surface.

Elastic potential
energy

compressing it.

Power

Elasticity

## PROPERTY of an object that enables it to return to its original shape or

dimensions after applied force is removed.

Spring constant

Elastic limit

## MAXIMUM STRETCHING FORCE which can be applied to an elastic

material before it ceases to be elastic.

Principle of
conservation of
momentum

## The total momentum in a closed system always remains constant;

that is, total momentum before collision will equal to the total momentum
after collision.

Principle of
conservation of
energy

## Energy CANNOT be created or destroyed, but it can be transformed from

one kind to another, and the total energy remains constant.

## Newtons first law of

motion

A body will either remain at rest or continue with constant velocity unless
it is acted by an external force.

of motion

## The rate of change of momentum of a body is directly proportional to

the resultant force acting on the body and is in the same direction.

## Newtons third law of

motion

To every ACTION, there is a reaction with the same magnitude but in the
opposite direction.

Hookes law

## The extension of a spring is directly proportional to the applied force

provided the elastic limit is not exceeded.

Pressure

Density

## Mass per unit volume

Gas pressure

Force per unit area exerted by the gas particles as they collide with the
walls of the container.

Atmospheric pressure

The force per unit area exerted against a surface by the weight of the
air molecules above that surface.

Buoyant force/
Upthrust

## PRINCIPLE & LAW

Law of Floatation

## The weight of an object floating on the surface of a liquid is equal to the

weight of water displaced by the object.

Pascals Principle

## PRESSURE applied to an enclosed fluid is transmitted uniformly in all

directions throughout the fluid.

Archimedes Principle

## The buoyant force on a body immersed in a fluid is equal to the weight

of the fluid displaced by that object.

Bernoullis Principle

## The pressure of a moving fluid decreases as the speed of the fluid

increases, and vice versa.

CHAPTER 4 HEAT
Temperature

object.

Heat

## A form of energy transferred from hot to cold object.

Thermal equilibrium

## A STATE where objects in thermal contact reach the same

temperature and the net of heat flow between the objects are zero.

Heat capacity

by 1 0C.

## Amount of heat energy required to raise the temperature of 1 kg

material by 1 0C.

Latent heat

## Heat absorbed or released when a substance changes its state without

a change in temperature.

fusion

## Amount of heat required to melt 1 kg of a solid at its melting point

without a change in temperature.

vaporisation

## Amount of heat required to change 1 kg of a liquid at its boiling point to

gas without a change in temperature.

LAW
Boyles Law

## The pressure of a fixed mass of gas is inversely proportional to its

volume, provided the temperature of gas is constant.

Charles Law

## The volume of a fixed mass of gas is directly proportional to its absolute

temperature, provided the pressure of gas is constant.

Pressure Law

## The pressure of a fixed mass of gas is directly proportional to its

absolute temperature, provided the volume of gas is constant.

CHAPTER 5 LIGHT
Real image

Virtual image

## Image that CANNOT be projected onto a screen.

Focal point(mirror)

The POINT to which all rays parallel to principal axis converge or from
which they appear to diverge.

Focal length(mirror)

The DISTANCE between the focal point and the pole of mirror.

Refraction

## The bending or change of direction of light due to a change in speed

as it enters a medium of different optical density.

Refractive index

c
v

medium.
Total internal
reflection

## Total reflection of a beam of light at the boundary of two mediums, when

the angle of incidence in the denser medium exceeds a specific critical
angle.
#Two conditions for total internal reflection to occur:
1. Light ray must travel from optically denser medium to less dense
medium.
2. The angle of incidence must greater than critical angle.

Critical angle

## The ANGLE OF INCIDENCE which produces an angle of refraction of

90o as light travels from denser medium to less dense medium.

Focal point(lens)

The POINT to which all rays parallel to the principle axis converge/
diverge after refraction by the lens

Focal length(lens)

## The DISTANCE between focal point and optical centre of lens.

Linear magnification

## RATIO of the image distance, v to the object distance, u.

Power of lens

Power

1
, where f is focal length(measured in meter).
f

## PRINCIPLE & LAW

Law of Reflection

The angle of incidence is equal to the angle of reflection (i = r), and the
incident ray, normal and reflected ray lie in the same plane.

Snells Law

## For light passing from air into a medium of refractive index, :

sin i
(a constant)
sin r
where i is the angle of incidence and r is the angle of refraction.
Lens formula

1 1 1
, u is object distance, v is image distance, f is focal length
u v f

CHAPTER 6 WAVES
Waves

## PROCESS of transferring energy from one location to another produced

by an oscillating or vibrating motion.

Wavefront

An imaginary LINE that join all the points on the crest of a wave.

Transverse wave

## WAVE in which the vibration of particles in a medium is perpendicular to

the direction of propagation of the wave.
(water waves, light waves, microwaves)

Longitudinal wave

## WAVE in which the vibration of particles in a medium is parallel to the

direction of propagation of the wave.
(sound waves, ultrasound)

Amplitude, a

Period, T

Frequency, f

## NUMBER of COMPLETE OSCILATION made in one second.

[SI unit = Hertz(Hz)/s-1]

Wavelength,

Wave speed, v

## MEASUREMENT of how fast a crest is moving from its fixed point.

Wave speed, v=f where f is frequency and is wavelength

Damping

## Occurred when an oscillating system loses energy to the surrounding

results the DECREASE in amplitude.

Resonance

## Occurs when a system is made to oscillate at a frequency equivalent to its

natural frequency by external force.

Natural frequency

## The frequency of a system which oscillates freely without external force.

Reflection of waves

PHENOMENON where the return of all or part of the waves when they
strikes on an obstacle.
[direction ; v =; =; f =]

Refraction of waves

## PHENOMENON where there is a change of direction in waves motion

when waves travel from one medium to another due to change in speed.
[direction ; v ; , f =]

Diffraction of waves

## PHENOMENON in which waves spread out as they passed through a gap

or an obstacle.
[direction ; v =; =; f =]

Interference of
waves

## PHENOMENON where SUPERPOSITION of two waves originating from

two coherent sources.

Coherent source

difference.

Constructive
interference

## Occurs when crests or troughs of both waves coincide to produce a wave

with crests and troughs of maximum amplitude.

Destructive
interference

Occurs when the crest of one wave coincides with the trough of the other
wave, thus canceling each other with the result that the resultant
amplitude is zero.

Antinode

Node

## POINT where destructive interference occurs.

Monochromatic light

Electromagnetic
waves

## Propagating waves in space with electric and magnetic component.

These components oscillate at right angle to each other and to the
direction of propagation of wave.

PRINCIPLE
Principle of
superposition

## When two waves overlap, the resultant displacement is equal to the

sum of the displacement of the individual wave.

CHAPTER 7 ELECTRICITY
Electric current, I

## The rate of flow of electric charge.

[Unit: Ampere(A)/Cs-1]

Electric field

## A region in which an electric charge experiences an electric force.

Potential difference,
V

## WORK DONE in moving one coulomb of charge from one point to

another in an electric field.
[Unit: Volt(V)/JC-1]

Ohmic conductor

Non-ohmic
conductor

Resistance, R

## RATIO of the potential difference across the conductor to the current

flowing through it.
[Unit: Ohm()/VA-1]

Superconductor

## A MATERIAL whose resistance becomes zero when its temperature

drops to a certain value called critical temperature.

Electromotive force
(e.m.f.)

## Work done by a SOURCE in driving one coulomb of charge around a

complete circuit.
[Unit: Volt(V)]

Internal resistance, r

The resistance against the moving charge due to the electrolyte in the
source.

Electrical energy

## ABILITY of the electric current to do work.

Electric power, P

## The rate of electrical energy dissipated or transferred.

[SI unit: Watt(W)/Js-1]

Power rating

## An electric kettle which is marked 240 V 1500 W means that:

The electric kettle will consume 1500 J of electrical energy every one
second if it is connected to the 240 V power supply.

LAW
Ohms Law

## The electric current flowing through a conductor is directly

proportional to the potential difference across it if the temperature and
other physical conditions are constant.

CHAPTER 8 ELECTROMAGNETISM
Electromagnet

## TEMPORARY MAGNET which acts as a magnet when the current is

switched on and loses its magnetism when current is switched off.

Magnetic field

## REGION in which a magnetic material experiences a force as the result of

a magnet or current-carrying conductor.

Electromagnetic
induction

## PRODUCTION of an electromotive force(e.m.f.)/electric current by

changing magnetic field.

Induced current

Transformer

## ELECTRICAL DEVICE which increases or decreases an alternating

voltage based on the principle of electromagnetic induction.

LAW
Lenzs Law

## The direction of the induced current in a solenoid is such that its

magnetic effect always opposes the change producing it.

## The magnitude of the induced electromotive force(e.m.f.) is directly

proportional to the rate in which the conductor cuts through the magnetic
field lines.

RULE
Right Hand Grip Rule

conductor.

Rule

current.

Flemings Right
Hand Rule

## To determine the direction of induced e.m.f. (and induced current).

CHAPTER 9 ELECTRONICS
Thermionic
emission

Cathode ray

## Fast moving ELECTRONS travel in a straight line in vacuum.

Cathode ray
oscilloscope(CRO)

display.

Conductor

Semiconductor

insulator.

Insulator

Doping

## Process of adding specific impurities to a pure semiconductor to increase

its conductivity.

Diode

Rectification

Logic gates

Atom

## An atom consists of a nucleus which is made up of protons and neutrons,

with electrons orbiting the nucleus.

Proton number

Nucleon number

## NUMBER of protons and neutrons in an atom.

Isotopes

Atoms of an element which have the same proton number but different
nucleon number.

## The spontaneous and random decay of unstable nucleus into more

stable nucleus with the emission of energetic particles or photons.

## PROCESS where unstable nucleus becomes a more stable nucleus by

Alpha particles ( )

## Positively charged HELIUM nucleus, He2+.

Beta particles ( )

Gamma rays ( )

## Unstable isotopes which decay and give out radioactive emissions.

Half-life

TIME TAKEN for the number of undecayed nuclei to reduce to half of its
original number.

(a.m.u.)

## 1 atomic mass unit or 1 u is

1
of the mass of the carbon-12 atom.
12

Nuclear fission

The splitting of a heavy nucleus into two lighter nuclei with release large
amount of energy.

Nuclear fusion

The combining of two lighter nuclei to form a heavier nucleus with release
large amount of energy.

PRINCIPLE
Einsteins Principle
of Mass-Energy
Conservation

The relationship between the mass and the energy is given by equation:
E = mc2
where E = energy released(J);
m = loss of mass or mass defect(kg);
c = speed of light = 3.00 108 ms-1.