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Physics Vocab Pre-AP

TermDefinition
force a push or a pull on an object
unbalanced force forces that cause a change in motion
balanced force forces that do not cause a change in motion
kinetic energy the energy of motion or moving objects
potential energy stored energy due to either position/gravity, elasticity, or chemical bonds
reference point the object to which you compare another object to see if it's in motion
motion when the distance between an object and a reference point is changing
inertia tendency of an object to resist a change in motion
friction a force that opposes motion
Newton's 1st Law objects in motion or at rest tend to stay that way unless acted on by an unbalanced force
Newton's 2nd Law the force of an object is equal to its mass times its acceleration
Newton's 3rd Law for every force or action there is an equal and opposite force or reaction
speed distance traveled per unit of time
acceleration a change in velocity of an object (speed up, slow down, change direction)
velocity distance traveled per unit of time, going in a specified direction
Centripetal force a force that makes a body follow a curved path
Centrifugal force a force that pushes a body outward, when it is being spun around
Air resistance a type of friction involving air
Rolling friction friction occurring by a rolling object (wheels)
Sliding friction friction occurring between two solid surfaces
Fluid friction friction between surfaces involving a liquid between them
Static friction friction between surfaces of two objects not moving in relation to each other
Gravity a force that attracts two objects to each other... gravity is increased by an increase in mass or a decrease in distance
Normal force a force that opposes gravity, holding objects upward in opposition to gravity
Applied force a force applied to an object (most likely in order to move it)
Thrust an accelerating force
Drag a decelerating force
Tension a force transmitted through a string, rope, or wire as it is pulled from both sides
Buoyant force the upward force that acts on an object when it is put in a liquid, causing it to float
Torque a force that causes an object to pivot or twist around a focal point
Created by: fordi