# Physics

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- Created on: 19-05-16 14:33

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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Absolute uncertainty

The uncertainty of a measurement given as a fixed quantity

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Absorption (fibre optics)

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

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Acceleration

The rate of change of velocity

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Accurate result

An accurate result is really close to the answer

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Alpha Decay

A type of decay in which an unstable nucleus emits an alpha particle

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Alpha Particle

A particle made up of two protons and two neutrons (same as helium-4)

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Ammeter

A component used to measure the current flowing through the circuit (assumed to have no resistance, so no P.d)

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Amplitude

the maximum displacement of the wave ie the distance between the undisturbed position and the crest/trough

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Angle of incidence

The angle that incoming light makes with the normal of the boundary

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Angle of refraction

The angle that refracted light makes with the normal of the 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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Anomalous result

A result that doesn't fit in with the pattern of the other results in a set of data

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Antimatter

The name given to all antiparticles

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Antineutrino

The antiparticle of a neutrino

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Antineutron

The antiparticle of a neutron

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Antinode

A point of maximum amplitude 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 an element

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Average velocity

The change in displacement of an object divided by time taken

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Baryon

a type of hadron made up of three quarks. For example protons and neutrons

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Baryon number

The number of baryons in a particle

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Beta-minus decay

A type of decay in which an unstable nucleus of an atom emits a beta-minus particle 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 (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 of checking a scale by measuring a known value

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Categoric data

Data that can be sorted into categories

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Centre of mass

The point which you can consider all of an objects weight to act through

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Circuit symbol

A pictorial representation of an electrical component

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Cloud chamber

A chamber filled with vapour that is used to track the motion of charged particles

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Coherent

Sources 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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Conservation of energy (principle of)

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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Continuous data

Data that can have any value on a scale

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Control Variable

A variable that is kept constant in an experiment

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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

A unit of charge. One colomb is the amount of charge that passed in one second when the current is one 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 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 people inside

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Current

The rate of flow of charge in a circuit, measured in amperes

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Density

The mass per unit volume of a material or object

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Dependent variable

The variable that you measure in an experiment

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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 obstacpes

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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 pattern of waves

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Diode

A component designed to allow current to flow in one direction only

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Discrete data

Data that can only take certain values

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Dispersion

A form of signal degradation that causes pulse broadening of fibre optics signal as it travels

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Displacement

How far an object has travelled from its starting point in a given direction. In the case of a wave it is the distance a point on a wave has moved from its undisturbed position

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Drag

Friction caused by a fluid (gas or liquid)

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Efficiency

The ratio of useful energy given out by a machine to the amount of energy put into the machine

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Elastic

An elastic material returns to its original shape/length once the forces acting on it are removed

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Elastic limit

The force beyond which a material will be permanently stretched

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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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Elastic strain energy

The energy stored in a stretched material

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Electromagnetic spectrum

A continuous spectrum of all the possible frequencies of em radiation

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Electromotive force (emf)

The amount of electrical energy a power supply transfers to each colomb 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- particale

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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 to produce a neutron and 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 one 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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Evidence

Valid data arising from an experiment which can be used to support a conclusion

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Exchange particle

A virtual particle wich allows forces to act in a particle interaction. They are also know an guage bosons

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Excitation

The movement of an electron to a higher energy level in an atom

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Fair test

An experiment in which all variables are kept constant apart from the independent and dependent variables

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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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Fractional uncertainty

The uncertainty given as a fraction of the measurement taken

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Freefall

The motion of an object undergoing acceleration 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 given out from a source per second

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Friction

A force that opposes motion. It acts in the opposite direction to motion, It arises when two objects are moving past each other or an object is moving through a fluid

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Fundemental Particle

A particle that cannot be split up into smaller particles

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Gauge boson

A virtual particle which allows forces to act in a particle interaction. They are also known as exchange particles

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Geiger counter

A device 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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Gravitational potential energy

The energy an object gains when lifted up in a gravitational field due to its position

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Ground State

The lowest energy level of an atom or the 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 extension. Also known as the limit of proportionality

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Hypothesis

A suggested explanation for a fact of observation

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I-V characteristic

A graph which shows how the current flowing through a component changes as the portential difference across it is increased

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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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Independent variable

The variable that you change in an experiment

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Instantaneous velocity

The velocity of an object at a particular moment in time

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Intensity

The power per unit area

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Interference

The superposition of 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 (or added to) from 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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Isotope

One of two or more forms of an element with the same proton number but a different nucleon number

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Isotopic data

The relative amounts of isotopes in a substance

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Kinetic energy

The energy possessed by a moving object due to its movement

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Lepton

A fundamental particle that is not affected by the strong nuclear force

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Lepton number

The number of leptons in a particle, lepton number is counted separately for different types of leptons

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Lever

A structure made of a rigid object rotating around a pivot, in which an effort fornce works against a load force

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Lift

An upwards force in an object moving through a fluid

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Light-dependent resistor

A resistor with a resistance that depends on the intensity of light falling on it. The resistance decreases with increasing light intensity

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Limit of proportionality

The point beyond which force is no longer proportional to extension. Also known as the Hooke's law limit

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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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Longitudinal waves

A wave in which the displacement of particles is in the direction of energy propogation

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Lost volts

The energy wasted per coulomb overcoming the internal resistance of a power source

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Mass

The amount of matter in an object

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Mass number

The number of nucleons in an atom of an element

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Material dispersion

Dispersion caused by different wavelengths of light travelling at different speeds through the material of an optical fibre

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Matter

The name given to all particles

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Maximum (interference)

A point in an interference pattern where the intensity is locally brightest

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Meson

A type of hadron made up of a quark and an antiquark. ex 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 interference0

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Modal dispersion

Dispersion caused by reflected light taking paths of different lengths in an optical fibre

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Moment

The turning effect of a force around a pivot

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Moment of a couple

The moment caused by two equal forces acting parallal to each other but in opposite directions around a pivot

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Momentum

The product of an objects mass and velocity

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Monochromatic

A light source that is all the same wavelength(or frequency)

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Neutrino

A lepton with zero mass and zero charge

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Neutron

A neutral baryon with a relative mass of 1

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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 will exert an equal but opposite force on onject A

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Node

A point of minimum amplitude on a stationary wave

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Nuclear decay

The process of an unstable nucleus emitting particles in order to become more stable

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Nucleon

A particle in the nucleus of an atom

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Nucleon number

The number of nucleons in an atom of an element

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Nucleus

The centre of an atom, containing protons and neutrons

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Nuclide notation

A notation, that tells you the nucleon number, A, and proton number, Z, of an element, X

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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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Ordered/ordinal data

Categoric data where the categories can be put in order

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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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Peer review

The evaluation of a scientific report by other scientists who are experts in the same area. They go through it bit by bit, examining the methods and data, and checking it's all clear and logical

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Percentage uncertainty

The uncertainty given as a percentage of the measurement taken

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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 position 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 vibrations are in one direction or plane

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Polarising filter

A filter that only transmits vibrations of a wave in one direction or plane, called the plane of transmission

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Positron

The antiparticle of a electron, sometimes called a B+ particle

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Potential difference

The work done moving a unit of 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. Its measured in Watts, where 1 watt is equivalent to 1 joule per second

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Precise result

The smaller amount of the spread of your data from the mean, the more precise it is

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Prediction

A specific testable statement about what will happen in an experiment, based on observation, experience or a hypothesis

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Principle of conservation of energy

Energy cannot be created or destroyed. Energy 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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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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Proton

A positively charged baryon with a relative mass of 1

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Proton number

The number of protons in an atom of an element

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Pulse broadining

When signal in an optical fibre gets wider (broader) as is transmitted, due to dispersion

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Quantum number

A number that represents a property of a particle that must be conserved in all interactions: for example baryon and lepton number (strangeness is an exception to this as it is not conserved in weak interactions)

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Quark

A fundemental particle that makes up hadrons

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Random error

An error introduced by variables which you cannot control

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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 refraction index

The ratio of the speed of light in one material to the speed of light in second material

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Repeatable result

A result is repeatable if you can repeat an experiment multiple times and get the same result

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Reproducible result

A result is reproducible if someone else can recreate your experiment using different equipment or methods and get the same result you do

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Resistance

A component has resistance on 1 ohm if a p.d of 1 v across it makes a current of 1 A through it

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Resistivity

The resistance of a 1m length of material with a 1m^2 cross sectional area. It;s measured in ohm metres

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Resolution

The smallest change in what's being measured that can be detected by the equipment

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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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Rest energy

The amount of energy that would be produced if all of a particle's mass was transformed into energy

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Resultant vector

The vector that's formed when two or more vectors are added together

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Ripple tank

A shallow tank of water in which water waves are created by a vibrating dipper

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Scalar

A quantity with size but no direction

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Second harmonic

A resonant frequency at which the wavelength is the length of the vibrating medium. It has twice the frequency of the first harmonic

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Semiconducter

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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Signal degradation

Where an optical signal loses amplitude or is broadened whilst travelling. This can lead to information loss

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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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Speed

How fast something is moving regardless of direction

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Stationary wave

A wave created by the superposition of two progressive waves with the same frequency 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 N/m. 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 photoelectic 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 fundemental force with a short range which is attractive with small seperation and repulsive at very small separations. Responsible for the stability of the nucleus

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Superconducter

A material that has zero resistivity when cooled below a critical (transitional) tempurature

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Superposition

The combination of displacements experienced in the instant that two waves pass each other

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Systematic error

An error introduced by the experimental apparatus or method

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Tangent

A line drawn on a graph that is perpendicular to the curve at the point that it meets it. Used to calculate the gradient of a curve at a point

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Tensile force

A force which stretches something

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Tensile strain

The change in length divided by the original length of the material

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Tensile Stress

The force applied divided by the cross sectional area

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Terminal potential difference

The potential difference between the two terminals of a power supply. This is equal to the emf when there is no internal resistance

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Terminal speed

The speed at which driving forces match the friction forces

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Thermistor

A resistor with a resistance that depends on its temperature- it is a type of semiconductor

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Third harmonic

A resonant frequency at which one a half wavelengths fit along the vibrating medium. It is three times the frequency of the first harmonic

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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 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 that the critical angle

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Transitional tempurature

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 is a right angles to the direction of energy propagation

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Ultimate tensile stress

The maximum stress that a material can withstand

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Uncertainty

An interval in which the true value of a measurement is likely to lie, given with a level of confidence or probability that the true value lies in that interval

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Valid conclusion

A conclusion supported by valid data, known as evidence

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Valid result

A valid result arises from a suitable procedure to answer the original question

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Validation

The process of repeating an experiment dome by someone else, and using the theory make to make new predictions and then testing them with new experiments, in order to provide evidence for or refute the theory

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Variable

A quantity in an experiment or investigation that can change or be changed

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Vector

A quantity with a size and direction

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Velocity

The rate of change of displacement

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Vibration transducer

A piece of equipment which has a moving plate that is able to oscillate rapidly at a set frequency

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Virtual particle

A particle that only exists for a short period of time ex an exchange particle

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Volt

The unit of p.d. The p.d across a component is 1 volt when you convert one joule of energy imoving 1 coulomb of charge through a component

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Voltage

Another name for p.d. The work done in moving a unit of charge between two points in a circuit

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Voltmeter

A component used to measure the p.d across another component in a circuit

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Watt

The unit of power. A watt is rate of energy transfer equal to 1J per second

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Wave-particle duality

All particles have both particle and wave properties. Waves can all show particle properties

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Wave speed

The speed that a waves travels at

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Wavelength

The length of one whole wave oscillation or wave cycle e.g. the distance between two crests of a wave

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Weak interaction

A fundemental force that has a short range and can change the character of a quark

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Weight

The force experienced by a mass due to a gravitational field

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Work

Work is the amount of energy transferred from one form to another when a force moves an object through a distance

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Work function

The minimum amount of energy required for an electron to escape a metal's surface

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Worst lines

Lines of best fit which have the maximum and minimum possible slopes for the data and which should go through all of the error bars

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Yield point

The stress at which a large amount of plastic deformation takes place with a constant or reduced load

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Young modules

The stress divided by strain for a material up to its limit of proportionality

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Zero error

When a measuring instrument falsely reads a non-zero value when the true value being measured is zero

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Zero order line

The line of maximum brightness at the centre of a diffraction grating interference pattern. It's in the same direction as the incident beam

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## Other cards in this set

### Card 2

#### Front

The uncertainty of a measurement given as a fixed quantity

#### Back

Absolute uncertainty

### Card 3

#### Front

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

#### Back

### Card 4

#### Front

The rate of change of velocity

#### Back

### Card 5

#### Front

An accurate result is really close to the answer

#### Back

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