Advanced Subsidiary Physics Definitions

All the required definitions during the AS Physics course.

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  • Created on: 02-05-16 17:38
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Physics Advanced Subsidiary Level
List of Definitions
Scalar : Has magnitude only. Examples are Mass, Volume and
Vector : Has magnitude and direction. Examples are Force,
Velocity and acceleration.
Accuracy : Is how close to the `real value' a measurement is.
Precision : Is that part of accuracy that the experimenter controls
by the choice of measuring instrument and the skill with which it
is used.
Uncertainty : Is the range of values in which a measurement can
Distance : Is the length between two points measured along the
straight line joining the two points.
Displacement : Is the distance of an object from a fixed reference
point in a specified direction.
Speed : Is the distance travelled per unit time.
Velocity : Is the change in displacement per unit time.
Acceleration : Is the rate of change of velocity.
Mass : Is the total amount of matter in a body. Mass is a base
quantity and the base unit is the kilogram (kg).
Weight : Is the gravitational pull on a body. Weight is a type of
force and like all forces its unit is the newton (N).
Linear momentum : Is defined as the product of mass and

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Newton's 2nd law : A resultant force acting on a body will cause a
change in momentum in the direction of the force. The rate of
change of momentum is proportional to the magnitude of the
Conservation of momentum law : The total momentum of a
closed system before an interaction is equal to the total
momentum of that system after the interaction.
Centre of gravity : Is the point through which all the weight of the
body may be considered to act.…read more

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Displacement of a particle : Is its distance from its equilibrium
position. The unit is the metre (m).
Amplitude : Is the maximum displacement of a particle from its
equilibrium position. The unit is metre (m).
Period : Is the time taken for one complete oscillation of a particle
in the wave. The unit is the second (s).
Frequency : Is the number of complete oscillations of a particle in
the wave per unit time. The unit is Hertz (Hz).…read more

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Constructive interference : Is if the two sets of waves are exactly
in phase, the combined wave has an amplitude equal to the sum
of the two amplitudes.
Destructive interference : Is if the two sets of waves are 180* out
of phase, the two waves will subtract.
Electric Field Strength : Is the force per unit positive charge on a
stationary point charge. The unit of electric field strength is
newtons per coulomb (NC1).
Current : Movement of electric charge.…read more

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Nucleon number : Is the total number of protons plus(+) neutrons
in a nucleus.
Isotopes : Have the same number of protons in the nucleus but
different numbers of neutrons.
Nuclide : Is a single type of nucleus with a specific nucleon
number and a specific proton number.
Leptons : Are electrons, positrons, neutrions and antineutrions
which have no further structure.
Hadrons : Are protons, neutrons and their antiparticles.…read more


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