KW Physics

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Absolute refractive index
The ratio between the speed of light in a vacuum and the speed of light in a material.
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Absorption (fibre optics)
Where some of the energy of a fibre-optic signal is absorbed by the material of the fibre optic.
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Acceleration
The rate of change of velocity.
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Alpha decay
Type of decay in which an unstable nucleus of an atom emits an alpha particle.
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Ammeter
Component used to measure the current flowing through a circuit- always attached in series.
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Amplitude
The maximum displacement of a wave, i.e. the distance from the undisturbed position to a crest or trough.
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Angle of incidence
The angle that incoming light makes with the normal of a boundary.
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Angle of refraction
The angle that refracted light makes with the normal of a boundary.
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Annihilation
The process by which a particle and its antiparticle meet and their mass gets converted to energy in the form of a pair of gamma ray photons.
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Antimatter
The name given to all antiparticles.
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Antinode
A point of maximum displacement on a stationary wave.
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Antiparticle
A particle with the same rest mass and energy as its corresponding particle, but equal and opposite charge.
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Atom
A particle made up of protons and neutrons in a central nucleus, and electrons orbiting the nucleus.
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Atomic number
The number of protons in an atom of element.
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Baryon
A type of hadron made up of three quarks. E.g. protons and neutrons.
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Baryon number
The number of baryons in a particle. It is conserved in all particle interactions.
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Beta-minus decay
A type of decay in which an unstable nucleus of an atom emits a beta-minus particle (an electron) and an antineutrino.
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Beta-plus decay
A type of decay in which an unstable nucleus of an atom emits a beta-plus particle (a positron) and a neutrino.
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Breaking stress
The lowest stress that's big enough to break a material.
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Brittle
A brittle material doesn't deform plastically, but snaps when the stress on it reaches a certain point.
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Brittle fracture
When a stress applied to a brittle material causes tiny cracks at the material's surface to get bigger until the material breaks completely.
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Calibration
Marking a scale on a measuring instrument or checking a scale by measuring a known value.
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Centre of mass
The point which you can consider all of an object's weight to act through.
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Cloud chamber
A chamber filled with a vapour which is used to track the motion of charged particles.
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Coherent
Sources (or waves) that have the same wavelength and frequency and a fixed phase difference between them, are coherent.
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Compressive force
A force which squashes something.
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Principle of Conservation of Energy
Energy cannot be created or destroyed. It can be transferred from one form to another, but the total amount of energy in a closed system will not change.
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Constructive interference
When two waves interfere to make a wave with a larger displacement.
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Cosmic ray showers
Lots of high-energy particles that are produced from cosmic rays interacting with molecules in the atmosphere.
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Cosmic rays
Radiation in the form of charged particles that come from space and hit earth.
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Coulomb (C)
A unit of charge. One coulomb is the amount of charge that passes in 1 second when the current is 1 ampere.
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Couple
A pair of forces of equal size which act parallel to each other but in opposite directions.
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Critical angle
The angle of incidence at which the angle of refraction is 90 degrees.
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Crumple zone
Part of a car or other vehicle designed to deform plastically in a crash so less energy is transferred to the people inside.
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Current
The rate of flow of charge in a circuit (amps).
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Density
The mass per unit volume of a material or object.
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Destructive interference
When two waves interfere to make a wave with a reduced displacement.
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Diffraction
When waves spread out as they pass through a narrow gap or go round obstacles.
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Diffraction grating
A slide or other thin object that contains lots of equally spaced slits very close together, used to show diffraction patterns of waves.
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Diode
A component designed to allow current flow in one direction only.
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Dispersion
A form of signal degradation that causes pulse broadening of a fibre-optic signal as it travels.
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Displacement
How far an object has travelled from its starting point in a given direction.
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Drag
Friction caused by a fluid (gas or liquid).
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Elastic
An elastic material returns to its original length/shape once the forces acting on it are removed.
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Elastic limit
The force (or stress) beyond which a material will be permanently stretched.
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Elastic strain energy
The energy stored in a stretched material.
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Electromagnetic force
A fundamental force that causes interactions between charged particles. Virtual photons are the exchange particle.
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Electromagnetic spectrum
A continuous spectrum of all the possible frequencies of electromagnetic radiation.
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Electromotive force (e.m.f.)
The amount of electrical energy a power supply transfers to each coulomb of charge.
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Electron
A lepton with a relative charge of -1 and a relative mass of 0.0005. Sometimes called a B- particle.
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Electron capture
The process of a proton-rich nucleus capturing an electron to turn a proton into a neutron, emitting a neutrino.
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Electron-proton collision
The process of an electron colliding with a proton and producing a neutron and a neutrino.
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Electron volt
The kinetic energy carried by an electron after it has been accelerated from rest through a potential difference of 1 volt.
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Equilibrium
An object is in equilibrium if all the forces acting on it cancel each other out.
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Exchange particle
A virtual particle which allows forces to act in a particle interaction. They are also known as gauge bosons.
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Excitation
The movement of an electron to a higher energy level in an atom.
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First harmonic
The lowest frequency at which a stationary wave is formed where the wavelength is double the length of the vibrating medium.
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Freefall
The motion of an object undergoing an acceleration of 'g'.
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Frequency
The number of whole wave cycles (oscillations) per second passing a given point. Or the number of whole wave cycles (oscillations) given out from a source per second.
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Friction
A force that opposes motion. It acts in the opposite direction to the motion. It arises when two objects are moving past each other, or an object is moving through a fluid.
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Fundamental particle
A particle which cannot be split up into smaller particles.
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Geiger counter
A device used to measure the amount of ionising radiation,
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Gravitational force
A fundamental force which causes attraction between objects with a force proportional to their mass.
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Ground state
The lowest energy level of an atom or lowest energy level for an electron in an atom.
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Hadron
A particle made up of quarks that is affected by the strong nuclear force.
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Hooke's Law
The extension of a stretched object is proportional to the load or force applied to it. This applies up to the limit of proportionality.
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Hooke's law limit
The point beyond which force is no longer proportional to th
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Hooke's law limit
The point beyond which force is no longer proportional to th
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Hooke's law limit or Limit of proportionality
The point beyond which force is no longer proportional to extension.
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Impulse
The impulse acting on an object is equal to the change in momentum of the object.
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Instantaneous velocity
The velocity of an object at a particular moment in time.
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Intensity
Power per unit area.
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Interference
The superposition of two or more waves.
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Internal resistance
The resistance created in a power source when electrons collide with atoms inside the power source and lose energy.
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Ionisation
The process where an electron is removed from (or added to) an atom.
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Ionisation energy
The energy required to remove an electron from an atom in its ground state.
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Isotopic data
The relative amounts of isotopes in a substance.
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Lepton
A fundamental particle that is not affected by the strong nuclear force.
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Lift
An upwards force on an object moving through a fluid.
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Line absorption spectrum
A light spectrum with dark lines corresponding to different wavelengths of light that have been absorbed.
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Line emission spectrum
A spectrum of bright lines on a dark background corresponding to different wavelengths of light that have been emitted from a light source.
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Line spectrum
A pattern of lines produced by photons being emitted or absorbed by electrons moving between energy level in an atom.
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Longitudnal wave
A wave in which the displacement of particles/fields (vibrations) is in the direction of energy propagation.
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Lost volts
The energy wasted per coulomb overcoming the internal resistance of a power source.
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Mass number
The number of nucleons in an atom of an element.
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Maximum (interference)
A point in an interference pattern where the intensity is locally brightest. A location of constructive interference.
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Meson
A type of hadron made up of a quark and an antiquark. E.g. pions and kaons.
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Minimum (interference)
A point in an interference pattern where the intensity is locally lowest. A location of destructive interference.
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Moment
The turning effect of a force around a turning point.
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Moment of a couple
The moment caused by two equal forces acting parallel to each other but in opposite direction around a turning point.
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Monochromatic
A light source that is all of the same wavelength (or frequency).
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Neutrino
A lepton with almost zero mass and zero charge.
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Newton's 1st law of motion
The velocity of an object will not change unless a resultant force acts on it.
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Newton's 2nd law of motion
The acceleration of an object is proportional to the resultant force acting on it.
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Newton's 3rd law of motion
If an object A exerts a force on object B, then object B exerts an equal but opposite force on object A.
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Node
A point of minimum amplitude on a stationary wave.
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Nucleon number
The number of nucelons in an atom of an element.
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Optical density
The property of a medium that describes how fast light travels through it. Light moves slower through a medium with a higher optical density.
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Optical fibre
A thin flexible tube of glass or plastic that can carry light signals using total internal reflection.
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Pair production
A process of converting energy to mass in which a gamma ray photon has enough energy to produce a particle-antiparticle pair.
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Path difference
The amount by which the path travelled by one wave is longer than the path travelled by another wave.
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Period
The time taken for one whole wave cycle to pass a given point.
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Phase
A measurement of the postion of a certain point on a wave cycle. (Measured as an angle in degrees or radians, or in fractions of a cycle).
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Phase difference
The amount by which one wave lags behind another. (Measured as an angle in degrees or radians, or in fractions of a cycle).
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Photoelectric effect
The emission of electrons from a metal when light of a high enough frequency is shone on it.
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Photoelectron
An electron released through the photoelectric effect.
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Photon
A discrete wave-packet of EM waves.
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Plastic
A plastic material is permanently stretched once the forces acting on it are removed.
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Polarised wave
A wave in which all the vibrations are in one direction or plane.
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Polarising filter
A fliter that only transmits vibrations of a wave in one direction or plane, called the plane of transmission.
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Potential difference
The work done moving a unit charge between two points in a circuit.
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Potential divider
A circuit containing a voltage source and a pair of resistors. The voltage across one of the resistors is used as an output voltage. If the resistors aren't fixed, the circuit will be capable of producing a variable output voltage.
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Power
The rate of transfer of energy or the rate of doing work. Measured in watts (W), where 1 watt is equivalent to 1 joule per second.
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Progressive wave
A moving wave that carries energy from one place to another without transferring any material.
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Projectile motion
Motion with a constant horizontal velocity and a vertical velocity affected by acceleration due to gravity.
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Pulse broadening
When signal in an optical fibre gets wider (broader) as it is transmitted, due to dispersion.
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Quark
A fundamental particle that makes up hadrons.
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Reflection
When a wave bounces back as it hits a boundary.
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Refraction
When a wave changes direction and speed as it enters a medium with a different optical density.
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Relative refractive index
The ratio of the speed of light in one material to the speed of light in a second material.
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Resistivity
The resistance of a 1m length of a material with a 1m^2 cross-sectional area. Measured in ohm-metres.
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Resonant frequency
A frequency at which a stationary wave is formed because an exact number of waves are produced in the time it takes for a wave to get to the end of the vibrating medium and back again.
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Scalar
A quantity with a size but no direction.
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Semiconductor
A group of materials which conduct electricity (but not as well as metals). When their temperature rises, they can release more charge carriers and their resistance decreases.
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Spark counter
A device to detect ionising radiation.
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Specific charge
The charge per unit mass of a particle.
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Stationary wave
A wave created by the superposition of two progressive waves with the same frequency (or wavelength) and amplitude, moving in opposite directions.
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Stiffness constant
The force needed to extend an object per unit extension. The units are Nm^-1. Each object has its own stiffness constant.
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Stopping potential
The potential difference needed to stop the fastest moving photoelectrons in the photoelectric effect..
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Strain
The change in length divided by the original length of the material.
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Strangeness
A property which particles that contain strange quarks have. Strange particles are always produced in pairs.
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Stress
The force applied divided by the cross-sectional area.
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Strong nuclear force
A fundamental force with a short range which is attractive at small separations and repulsive at very small separations. Counteracts the electromagnetic force to holds the nucleus together.
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Superconductor
A material that has zero resistivity when cooled below a critical temperature.
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Superposition
The combination of displacements experienced in the instant that two waves pass each other.
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Tensile force
A force which stretches something.
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Terminal potential difference
The potential difference between the two terminals of a power supply. This is equal to e.m.f. when there is no internal resistance.
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Terminal speed
The speed at which the driving force(s) match the frictional force(s).
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Threshold frequency
The lowest frequency of light that when shone on a metal will cause electrons to be released from it.
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Total destructive interference
Destructive interference in which the waves completely cancel each other out.
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Total internal reflection
When all light is completely reflected back into a medium at a boundary with another medium, instead of being refracted. It only happens at angles of incidence greater than the critical angle.
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Transitional temperature
The critical temperature at and below which a superconductor has zero resistivity.
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Transverse wave
A wave in which the displacement of particles/fields (vibrations) is perpendicular to the direction of energy propagation.
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

Where some of the energy of a fibre-optic signal is absorbed by the material of the fibre optic.

Back

Absorption (fibre optics)

Card 3

Front

The rate of change of velocity.

Back

Preview of the back of card 3

Card 4

Front

Type of decay in which an unstable nucleus of an atom emits an alpha particle.

Back

Preview of the back of card 4

Card 5

Front

Component used to measure the current flowing through a circuit- always attached in series.

Back

Preview of the back of card 5
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