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# Physics 1

### Vocabulary for the first half of Physics

Term | Definition |
---|---|

Physics | Study of the physical world |

Scientific Method | Step-by-step method used to solve problems |

Model | Idea, system, or structure that represents reality |

Hypothesis | Testable prediction |

Theory | Explanation based on observations and experiments |

Scientific Law | Rule of nature without an explanation |

Accuracy | How close a measurement is to an accepted value |

Precision | Refinement of a measurement |

Mechanics | Physics of motion and forces |

Standard | Exact quantity used for comparison |

Independent Variable | Variable changed by the experimentor |

Dependent Variable | Measurable outcome in an experiment |

Mass | Amount of matter in an object |

Volume | Amount of space occupied by an object |

Density | Mass per unit volume |

Significant Figures | Numbers in a measurement that carry meaning |

Scientific notation | Method for sharing large and small numbers (*10^x) |

Dimensional Analysis | Multiplying measurements by ratios to change units |

Mechanics | Physics of motion and forces |

Kinematics | Describing motion without regard to forces |

Distance | Total length of path traveled |

Displacement | Change in position including direction |

Speed | Distance divided by time |

Velocity | Rate of change in position |

Acceleration | The rate of change in velocity |

Frame of Reference | Point of comparison used to describe motion |

Free Fall | Occurs under the influence of gravity only |

Scalar | Physical quantity with magnitude but no direction |

Vector | Physical quantity with magnitude but no direction |

Resultant | Vector that represents the sum of 2 or more vectors |

Pythagorean Theorem | A^2 + B^2 = C^2 |

sin θ | Opposite / Hypotenuse |

cos θ | Adjacent / Hypotenuse |

tan θ | Opposite / Adjacent |

X-Component | Projection of a vector along the X-axis |

Y-Component | Velocity compared to a particular reference frame |

Projectile | Object under influence of gravity only |

Trajectory | Parabolic path followed by a projectile |

Range | Horizontal displacement covered by a projectile |

Relative Velocity | Velocity compared to a particular reference frame |

Force | Push or pull |

Inertia | Resistance to a change in motion |

Newton's 1st Law | Objects maintain a constant velocity without net force |

Newton's 2nd Law | Net force = mass * acceleration |

Newton's 3rd Law | Every action has an equal and opposite reaction |

Net Force | Vector sum of all forces acting on an object |

Equilibrium | Condition that exists when net force equals 0 |

Weight | The effect of gravity on mass |

Normal Force | Force perpendicular to a surface |

Kinetic Friction | Force opposing motion of sliding objects |

Coefficient of Friction | Ratio of the friction force to the normal force |

Energy | Ability to cause change |

W-KE Theorem | Net work is equal to change in kinetic energy |

Gravitational PE | Stored energy due to mass, gravity, and height |

Elastic PE | Energy stored when objects are compressed or stretched |

Spring Constant | Stiffness of a spring |

Mechanical Energy | Total KE and PE for an object |

Conservation of ME | In the absence of friction, ME remains constant |

Power | Rate at which work is done |

Contact Force | Force between two objects that are touching |

Field Force | Force acting over a distance |

Static Friction | Force opposing a horizontal force for stationary objects |

Work | Product of force and distance |

Kinetic Energy | Energy associated with motion |

SI Unit of Force | Newton (N) |

SI Unit of Work | Joule (J) |

SI Unit of Energy | Joule (J) |

SI Unit of Power | Watt (W) |

SI Unit of Weight | Newton (N) |

SI Unit of Coefficient of Friction | There is none |

SI Unit for Distance | meters (m) |

SI Unit for Displacement | meters (m) |

SI Unit for Speed | meters per second (m/s) |

SI Unit for Velocity | meters per second (m/s) |

SI Unit for Acceleration | meters per second squared (m/s^2) |

SI prefix for 1,000 | Kilo |

SI prefix for 1,000,000 | Mega |

SI prefix for 0.01 | centi |

SI prefix for 0.001 | milli |

SI prefix for 10 | Deca |

SI prefix for 1*10^-9 | nano |

SI prefix for 0.1 | deci |

SI prefix for 1*10^9 | Giga |