Sunteți pe pagina 1din 8

Physics Definitions and Concepts

Chapter 1: Introduction To Physics


Physical
quantities

QUANTITIES that can be measured.

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

QUANTITY which has magnitude only.

Vector quantity

QUANTITY which has both magnitude and direction.

Consistency

ABILITY to register the same reading when a measurement is repeated.

Accuracy

DEGREE of closeness of the measurements to the actual value.

Sensitivity

ABILITY to detect a small change in the value of measurement.

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

The shortest distance between two points in a specific direction.

Speed

The RATE of change of distance.

Velocity

The RATE of change of displacement.

Acceleration

The RATE of change of velocity.

Inertia

PROPERTY of matter that causes it to resist any change in its motion or


state of rest.

Mass

QUANTITY of matter in the object.

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

Pulling or a pushing ACTION on an object.

Frictional force

FORCE that opposing motion.

Impulse

The change in momentum.

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

FALLING of object with acceleration due to gravity only.

Weight

The gravitational force acting on the object.

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

ENERGY STORED in the object(spring) because of stretching or


compressing it.

Power

RATE of energy transferred./Amount of work done per second.

Elasticity

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


dimensions after applied force is removed.

Spring constant

FORCE needed to extend a spring per unit length.

Elastic limit

MAXIMUM STRETCHING FORCE which can be applied to an elastic


material before it ceases to be elastic.

PRINCIPLE & LAW


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.

Newtons second law


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.

CHAPTER 3 FORCES AND PRESSURE


Pressure

FORCE acting normally on a unit surface area.

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

Upward force acting on an object which is immersed in a fluid.

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

DEGREE of hotness of an object./Amount of kinetic energy in an


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

Amount of heat energy required to raise the temperature of a material


by 1 0C.

Specific heat capacity

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.

Specific latent heat of


fusion

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


without a change in temperature.

Specific latent heat of


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

Image that can be projected onto a screen.

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

The refractive index, of a material is given by:

c
v

, where c is speed of light in vacuum, v is speed of light in the


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

MAXIMUM DISPLACEMENT from its equilibrium position.

Period, T

TIME TAKEN to complete one oscillation.

Frequency, f

NUMBER of COMPLETE OSCILATION made in one second.


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

Wavelength,

HORIZONTAL DISTANCE between two successive crests or troughs.

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

Waves that have same wavelength, frequency and constant phase


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

POINT where constructive interference occurs.

Node

POINT where destructive interference occurs.

Monochromatic light

LIGHT which has one color and one wavelength.

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

Conductors that obey Ohms Law.

Non-ohmic
conductor

Conductors that do not obey Ohms Law.

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

CURRENT produced by changing of magnetic field.

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.

Faradays Law

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

To determine the direction of the magnetic field of current-carrying


conductor.

Flemings Left Hand


Rule

To determine the direction of magnetic force acting on the wire carrying


current.

Flemings Right
Hand Rule

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

CHAPTER 9 ELECTRONICS
Thermionic
emission

PROCESS of emission of electrons from heated metal surface.

Cathode ray

Fast moving ELECTRONS travel in a straight line in vacuum.

Cathode ray
oscilloscope(CRO)

INSTRUMENT that converts electronic and electrical signals to a visual


display.

Conductor

MATERIAL which allows current to flow through them.

Semiconductor

MATERIAL which has electrical conductivity between a conductor and an


insulator.

Insulator

MATERIAL which does not conduct electric current.

Doping

Process of adding specific impurities to a pure semiconductor to increase


its conductivity.

Diode

A DEVICE that allows current to flow in one direction only.

Rectification

Conversion of alternating current to direct current by diode.

Logic gates

ELECTRONIC CIRCUIT with one or more inputs and one output.

CHAPTER 10 RADIOACTIVITY
Atom

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


with electrons orbiting the nucleus.

Proton number

NUMBER of protons in the nucleus of an atom.

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.

Radioactivity

The spontaneous and random decay of unstable nucleus into more


stable nucleus with the emission of energetic particles or photons.

Radioactive decay

PROCESS where unstable nucleus becomes a more stable nucleus by


emitting radiations.

Alpha particles ( )

Positively charged HELIUM nucleus, He2+.

Beta particles ( )

Negatively charged fast moving ELECTRON.

Gamma rays ( )

Neutral electromagnetic wave.

Radioisotope

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.

Atomic mass unit


(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.