Physics Edexcel Glossary/key terms

  • Created by: Emma
  • Created on: 07-11-12 12:13
Alternating current ( a.c)
A current that repeatedly changes direction
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Meter used in an electric circuit for measuring current
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amperes (amps)
units used to measure electrical current
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maximum displacement of a wave measured from the mean postion
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the layer of gases surrounding a planet
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Big Bang
an explosion some 14 billion years ago that created both space and time.
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Big Bang theory
a theory that proposes the creation of the universe from the Big Bamg
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black drawf
the final stage of a white dwarf, when it has lost all its energy
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black hole
an extremely dense core of a supermassive star left behind after the supernova stage; light cannot escape its strong gravitational pull
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regions where particles are pushed together and create a region of higher pressure in a sound wave.
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converging lens
a lens that focuses parallel rays of light to a point
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cosmic mircowave background(CMB) radiation
the 'left-over' radiation from the Big Bang- radiation coming very faintly form all directions in space
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the spreading of a wave at an opening
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direct current
an electric current that flows in one direction only
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diverging lens
a lens that makes parallel rays of light spread out rather than focus to a point
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doppler effect
the change in the wavelength or frequency of a wave as a result of relative motion between the source and observer
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a technique similar to sonar used by some animals to navigate and find their prey
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the proportion of input energy that is transferred to useful form, calculated using equation: efficiency = (useful energy transferred by the device/ total energy supplied to the device) x 100%
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elastic potential energy
energy from the flow of electrons through q circuit(eg devices with plugs of batteries use electrical energy)
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electrical power
the rate of energy transfer
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electrochemical cell
a device for converting chemical energy into electrical energy, consisting of a container, electrodes and and electrolyte
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electromagnetic spectrum
electromagnetic waves ordered according to wavelength and frequency, ranging from low frequency radio waves to high frequency gamma rays
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electromagnetic waves
a group of transverse waves that carry different amounts of energy, ranging from radio waves to gamma rays- the can travel through a vacuum at 300 million m/s
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eye piece
the end of a telescope you look through
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when materials emit intense visible light upon exposure to ultraviolet
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focal length
the distance between the center of the lens and the focal point
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force of gravity
an attractive force between all parti
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the number of vibrations per second or number of complete waves passing a set point per second
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a collection of billions of stars held together by the force of gravity
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a device used for producing electrical energy by moving wires through a magnetic field
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Other cards in this set

Card 2


Meter used in an electric circuit for measuring current



Card 3


units used to measure electrical current


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Card 4


maximum displacement of a wave measured from the mean postion


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Card 5


the layer of gases surrounding a planet


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