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P1 Glossary AW

Glossary of key words for P1- Energy for the Home

Amplitude The maximum displacement of a point on a wave from its rest position.
Analogue signal A signal that shows a complete range of frequencies; sound is analogue.
CFCs Gases which used to be used in refrigerators and which harm the ozone layer.
Conductors Materials which transfer thermal energy easily; electrical conductors allow electricity to flow through them.
Critical angle Angle at which a light ray incident on the inner surface of a transparent glass block just escapes from the glass.
Diffraction A change in the directions and intensities of a group of waves after passing by an obstacle or through an opening whose size is approximately the same as the wavelengths of the waves.
Digital signal A signal that has only two values- on and off.
Efficiency Ratio of useful energy output to the total energy input; can be expressed as a percentage.
Electromagnetic spectrum Electromagnetic waves ordered according to wavelength and frequency- ranging from radio waves to gamma rays.
Endoscope Device using optical fibres which allows doctors to look inside the human body.
Energy The ability to “do work”- the human body needs energy to function.
Finite resource Resources such as oil that will eventually run out.
Fossil fuels fuels such as coal, oil and gas.
Frequency The number of waves passing a set point per second.
Gamma rays Ionising electromagnetic waves that are radioactive and dangerous to human health- but useful in killing cancer cells.
Hertz Units for measuring wave frequency.
Infrared waves Non-ionising waves that produce heat- used in toasters and electric fires.
Insulation A substance which reduces the movement of energy; heat insulation in the loft of a house slows down the movement of warmth to the cooler outside.
Insulator A material that transfers thermal energy only very slowly.
Interfere Waves interfere with each other when two waves of different frequencies occupy the same space; interference occurs in light and sound and can produce changes in the intensity of the waves.
Ionosphere A region in the Earth’s atmosphere where ionization caused by incoming solar radiation affects the transmission of radio waves; it extends from 70km (43 miles) to 400km (250 miles) above the surface.
Joule A unit of energy.
Kinetic energy The energy that moving objects have.
Laser A special kind of light beam that can carry a lot of energy and can be focussed very accurately; lasers are often used to judge the speed of moving objects or the distance to them.
Latent heat The energy needed to change the state of a substance.
Light emitting diode (LED) A very small light in electric circuits that uses very little energy.
Longitudinal wave In longitudinal waves, the vibration is in the same direction in which the wave travels.
Microwaves Non-ionising waves used in satellite and mobile phone networks- also in microwave ovens.
Morse code A code consisting of dots and dashes that code for each letter of the alphabet.
Multiplexing Combination of multiple signals into one signal transmitted over a shared medium.
Non-renewable energy Energy which is used up at a faster rate than it can be replaced, e.g. fossil fuels.
Optical fibre A flexible optically transparent fibre, usually made of glass or plastic, through which light passes by successive internal reflections.
Ozone layer Layer of the Earth’s atmosphere that protects us from ultraviolet radiation.
p wave Longitudinal seismic wave capable of travelling through solid and liquid parts of the Earth.
Payback time The time it takes for the original cost outlay to be recovered in savings.
Phase Fraction of a complete wave that one wave disturbance is different to another.
Power The rate that a system transfers energy, power is usually measured in watts (W).
Radiation Thermal energy transfer which occurs when something is hotter than its surroundings radiates heat from its surface.
Radio waves Non-ionising waves used to broadcast radio and TV programmes.
Receiver Device which receives waves, e.g. a mobile phone.
Refraction When a light ray travelling through air enters a glass block and changes direction.
Renewable energy Energy that can be replenished at the same rate as it is used up, e.g. biofuels.
s wave Transverse seismic wave capable of travelling through solid but not liquid parts of the
Seismic wave Vibration transmitted throuth the Earth.
Seismometer A device used to detect movements in the Earth’s crust.
Specific heat capacity The amount of energy needed to raise the temperature of 1kg of a substance by 1 degree Celsius.
Specific latent heat The amount of energy needed to change the state of a substance without changing its temperature; e.g. the energy needed to change ice at 0 degrees Celsius to water at the same temperature.
Stratosphere A layer in the atmosphere starting at 15km above sea level and extending to 50km above sea level; the ozone layer is found in the stratosphere.
Temperature A measure of the degree of hotness of a body on an arbitrary scale.
Themogram A picture showing differences in surface temperature of a body.
Total internal reflection The reflection of light inside an optically denser material at its boundary with on optically less dense material (usually air)
Transmitter A device which gives out some form of energy or signal, usually used to mean a radio transmitter which broadcasts radio signals.
Transverse wave In transverse waves, the vibration is at right angles to the direction in which the wave travels.
Ultraviolet radiation Electromagnetic waves given out by the Sun which damage human skin.
Watt A unit of power, 1 watt equals 1 joule of energy being transferred per second.
Wavelength Distance between two wave peaks.
Created by: Brimsham
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