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# Physics: DC and AC Circuits - KAPLAN/MCAT in a box

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Permittivity of Free Space, ε0   A term denoted by ε0 used in the calculation of capacitance, give by the equation C = ε0 A/d, where A is the area of one plate and d is the distance between the plates.
Node   The point of zero displacement in a standing wave
Longitudinal Wave   Type of wave, such as sound, whose oscillation is along the direction of it's motion
Dieletric Constant   A dimensionless number that indicates the factor by which capacitance is increased when a dielectric is placed in between the plates of a capacitor, given by C' = KC, where C' is the new capacitance.
Direct Current   Current that flows through a conductor in one direction only.
Electric Circuit   A conducting pathway that contains one or more voltage sources that drive an electric current along that pathway and through connected passive circuit elements (such as resistors).
Electromotive Force   The energy gained by an electron when it is accelerated through a potential difference of 1 volt, given by qV where q is 1.6 x 10^-19 C and V is 1 volt.
Electron Volt   The voltage created by a potential difference between the two terminals of a cell when no current is flowing.
Insulator   A material in which electrons canot move freely.
Kirchhoff's Laws (A)   A) In accordance with the conservation of electric charge, the sum of currents directed into a node or junction point in a circuit equals the sum of the current directed away from that point.
Kirchhoff's Laws (B)   B) The sum of the voltage sources in a circuit loop is equal to the sum of voltage drops along that loop.
Ohm' Law   Law stating that the voltage drop across a resistor is proportional to the current flowing through it, given by the equation V = I R.
Resistivity   Intrinsic property of a conductor denoted by R = ρ L/A, where L is the length of the conductor and A is its cross-sectional area.
RMS Current   A quantity used to calculate the average power dissipated in an AC circuit, given by I[max] = √2. This equation must be used because the average current, when calculated by conventional means, equals 0 as a result of the periodic nature of that current.
RMS Voltage   V[max] = √2; the average voltage in an AC circuit, where the voltage alternates in a sinusoidal pattern.
Amplitude   The point of maximum displacement from the equilibrium position.
Conductor   A material in which electrons can move with relative ease.
Dielectric   An insulating material placed between the two plates of a capacitor. If the circuit is plugged into a current source, more charge will be stored in the capacitor. If not plugged into a current source, the voltage of the capacitor will decrease.
Power Dissipated by Resistor   The rate at which the energy of flowing charges through a resistor is dissipated, given by the equation P = I V.
Resistance   The natural tendency of a conductor to block current flow to a certain extent resulting in loss of energy or potential. Resistance is equal to the ratio of the voltage applied to the resulting current.

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Created by: miibo on 2011-09-24