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SPM Physics Terms and Definition

# SPM Physics Terms and Definition

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10/04/2013

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(C) Yeo Yih Tang 2009. Mail: yeoyihtang@live.com
Chapter 1: Introduction to PhysicsPhysical quantities
QUANTITIES that are measurable
Base quantities
PHYSICAL QUANTITIES that cannot be defined in terms of other physicalquantities but has its own definition
Derived quantities
PHYSICAL QUANTITIES that are derived from base quantities by multiplication ordivision or both
Scientific notation/standard form
POWERS of the base number 10 to show a very large or small number
Prefixes
GROUP OF LETTERS placed at the beginning of a word to modify its meaning,which act as multipliers
Scalar quantity
QUANTITY which has only magnitude or size(time, temperature, mass, volume, distance, density, power)
Vector quantity
QUANTITY which has both magnitude or size and direction(force, velocity, displacement, acceleration, momentum)
Error
DIFFERENCE between actual value of a quantity and the value obtained inmeasurement
Systematic errors
CUMULATIVE ERRORS that can be corrected, if the errors are known.(zero error, incorrect calibration of measuring instrument)
Random errors
ERRORS that arise from unknown and unpredictable variations in condition, andwill produce a different error every time. Random errors are caused by factorsthat are beyond the control of observers.(human limitations, lack of sensitivity, natural errors, wrong technique)
Zero error
ERROR that arises when the measuring instrument does not start from exactlyzero
Parallax error
ERROR in reading an instrument because the observer’s eyes and the pointer arenot in a line perpendicular to the plane of scale
Measurement
PROCESS of determining value of a quantity using a scientific instrument with astandard scale
Consistency
ABILITY to register the same reading when a measurement is repeated(improve – eliminates parallax error, greater care, not detective instrument)
Accuracy
DEGREE to which a measurement represents the actual value(improve – repeat readings, avoid parallax/zero error, high accuracy instrument)
Sensitivity
ABILITY to detect quickly a small change in the value of a measurement(thermometer – thin wall bulb, narrow capillary)
Inferences
EARLY CONCLUSION that you draw from an observation or event usinginformation that you already have on it
Hypothesis
GENERAL STATEMENT that is assumed to be true regarding the relationshipbetween the manipulated variable and responding variable

(C) Yeo Yih Tang 2009. Mail: yeoyihtang@live.com
Chapter 2: Forces and MotionDistance
how far a body travels during motion
Displacement
CHANGE IN POSITION of an object from its initial position in a specified direction
Speed
RATE OF CHANGE of distance
Velocity
RATE OF CHANGE of displacement
Mass
MEASURE of an object’s inertiaAMOUNT of matter in the object
Acceleration
RATE OF CHANGE of velocity
Inertia
PROPERTY of matter that causes it to resist any change in its motion or state of rest
Momentum
PRODUCT of mass and velocity
Force
pulling or a pushing ACTION on an object
Impulsive force
LARGE FORCE which acts over a very short time intervalRATE OF CHANGE in momentum
Gravity
FORCE originated from centre of the Earth that pulls all objects towards the ground
Free fall
FALLING of an object without encountering any resistance from a height towardsthe earth with an acceleration due to gravity
Forces inequilibrium
An object is said to be in a state of equilibrium when forces act upon an object andit remains stationary or moves at a constant velocity
Resultant force
SINGLE FORCE which combines two or more forces which act on an object
Work
Work is done when a force causes an object to move in the direction of the force.
Energy
CAPACITY of a system to do work
Gravitational P
E

ENERGY STORED in the object because of its height above the earth surface
Elastic P
E

ENERGY STORED in the object as a result of stretching or compressing it
Kinetic energy
ENERGY possessed by a moving object
Power
RATE at which work is done or energy is changed and transferred
Efficiency
ABILITY of an electrical appliance to transform energy from one form to anotherwithout producing useless energy or wastage
Elasticity
PROPERTY of an object that enables it to return to its original shape and dimensionsafter an applied force is removed
Spring constant
FORCE needed to extend a spring per unit length
Elastic limit
MAXIMUM STRETCHING FORCE which can be applied to an elastic material before itceases to be elastic

(C) Yeo Yih Tang 2009. Mail: yeoyihtang@live.com
PRINCIPLEHooke’s Law
Hooke’s law states that the force,
applied to a spring is directly proportional tothe spring’s extension or compression,
x
,

provided the elastic limit is not exceeded.
Principle ofconservation ofenergy
Principle of conservation of energy states that total energy in an isolated system isneither increased nor decreased by any transformation. Energy cannot be creatednor destroyed, but it can be transformed from one kind to another, and the totalamount stays the same.
Principle ofconservation ofmomentum
The principle of conservation of momentum states that, in any collision orinteraction between two or more objects in an isolated system, the totalmomentum of the system will remain constant; that is, the total initial momentumwill equal the total final momentum.
Newton’s firstlaw of motion
Newton’s first law of motion states that a body will either remain at rest orcontinue with constant velocity unless it is acted on by an external unbalancedforce.
Newton’ssecond law ofmotion
Newton’s second law of motion states that the acceleration a body experiences isdirectly proportional to the net force acting on it, and inversely proportional to itsmass.
F =ma

Newton’s thirdlaw of motion
Newton’s third law of motion states that to every action there is an equal butopposite reaction.

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