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PH - Mechanics

Physics: Newtonian Mechanics - KAPLAN/MCAT in a box

QuestionAnswer
Centripetal Acceleration The acceleration of an object traveling in a circle with a constant speed, equal in magnitude to the velocity squared divided by the radius of the circle traversed. The direction of the acceleration always points toward he center of the circle.
Force A vector quantity describing the push or pull on an object. The SI unit for force is the Newton (N).
Friction Force An antagonistic force that points parallel and opposite in direction to the movement (or attempted movement) of an object.
Gravity A ubiquitous attractive force existing between any two objects, whose magnitude is directly proportional to the product of the two masses observed and inversely proportional to the square of their distance from each other.
Mass A scalar quantity used as a measure of an object's inertia.
Newton's First Law If a body has either zero or constant speed, it will remain that way unless a net force acts upon it.
Newton's Second Law When a net force acts on a body it will have a net acceleration pointing in the direction of the net force that is proportional to the body's mass in the following relationship: F[net] = ma[net].
Newton's Third Law If body A exerts a force F[A] on body B, then body B exerts a force that is equal in magnitude but opposite in direction to F[A], called -F[A]; the law of "action and reaction."
Normal Force Perpendicular component of the force caused when two surfaces push against each other, denoted by F[N].
Rotational Equilibrium State where the sum of the torques acting on a body is zero, giving it no net angular acceleration.
Torque The magnitude of a force acting on a body times the perpendicular distance between the acting force and the axis of rotation, denoted by τ with the SI unites N m.
Translational Equilibrium State where the sum of the forces acting on an object is zero, giving it no net acceleration.
Weight A force that measures the gravitational pull on an object, given by the object's mass times its gravitational acceleration (mg, where g is 9.8 m/s^2 as measured on Earth).
Velocity A vector quantity describing an object's displacement over the elapsed time, expressed as v = Δx/Δt.
Acceleration A vector quantity describing a change in velocity over the elapsed time for which that change occurs, expressed as a = Δv/Δt.
Displacement A vector quantity describing the straight-line distance between an initial and a final position of some particle or object.
Scalar A quantity that has only a magnitude but no direction.
Speed A scalar quantity describing the distance traveled over the time required to travel that distance.
Vector A quantity that has both magnitude and direction.
Created by: miibo on 2011-09-25



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