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Physical Science

Physical Science Vocab

TermDefinition
Distance how far you have traveled between two positions. It is always positive. It is a scalar quantity.
Displacement change in position. It is the straight line distance between your starting position and ending position. It is equal to Final position minus initial position. It can be positive or negative. It is a vector quantity.
Scalar quantity that only requires magnitude (how big)
Vector quantity that requires both magnitude (how big) and directions
Speed how fast something is moving. It is equal to distance divided by time. It is a scalar quantity
Velocity rate at which position changes. It is equal to displacement divided by time. It is a vector quantity
Newton's First Law AKA the law of inertia. An object at rest will stay at rest and an object in motion will stay in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.
Mass measure of the amount of matter an object contains. Also, a measure of the amount of inertia an object has.
Inertia the resistance an object has to changes in its motion.
Force any push or pull (interaction) that can cause a change in motion.
Balanced Force When the net force in both the horizontal and vertical directions is 0 N. These cause motion to remain unchanged.
UnBalanced Force When the net force in both the horizontal and vertical directions is not 0 N. These cause motion to change.
Gravitational Force/ Weight (Fg) A non-contact force between two objects that is most apparent close to a large object, such as a planet, The direction of the force is general towards the center of the other object. Eg. Towards the center of the earth.
Applied Force (Fa) the support force exerted upon an object that is in contact with another stable object. It is in the direction of the push or pull.
Normal Force (Fn) A contact force that is exerted by a surface against an object that is pressing against the surface. It is perpendicular to the surface and present whenever atoms are being “crunched”. AKA “crunchy force”
Tension Force (Ft) Contact force exerted by a taut string, rope, or wire on an object . It is along the rope and present whenever a rope is taut.
Friction Force (Ff) The force exerted by a surface as an object moves across it or makes an effort to move across it. It is parallel to the surface in the direction opposite of the motion or attempted motion.
Air Resistance/Drag (Fd or Fair) a special type of frictional force that acts upon objects as they travel through the air/fluid. It is in the opposite direction of the motion of the object.
Spring (Elastic) Force (Fs) A contact force exerted on an object by a spring or elastic object when it is stretched or compressed . It is along the spring in a direction that would restore the spring/elastic material to its relaxed position.
Thrust (Fthrust) A contact force that is exerted in the opposite direction of an exhaust gas being expelled.
Created by: Randy Swartz