physics key words and definitions


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error ero
any indication that a measuring system gives a false reading when the true value of the measuried quanity is ero, for exsample, the needle on an ammeter failing to return to ero when no current flows.
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evidence
data which have been shown to be valid
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fair test
a fair test is one which only the independant variable has been allowed to affect the dependant variable.
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falling water
water that transfers gravitational potential energy to kinetic energy.
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frequency
the number of waves crests passing a fixed point every second.
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generator
a machine that produces a voltage.
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geothermal energy
energy from hot under ground rocks.
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gravitational potential energy
energy of an object due to its position in a gravitational field. near the earth's surface, change of g.p.e. (in jouls,j) = weight (in newtons,n) times vertical distance moved (in meters,m). weight ( in jouls,j)
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ground heat
geothermal energy that heats buildings directly.
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haard
a haard is something (for exsample, an object, a property of a substance or an activity) that can cause harm.
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hyothesis
a proposal intended to explain certain facts or observations.
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infrared radiation
electromagnetic waves between visible light and microwaves in the electromagnetic spectrum.
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input energy
energy supplied to a machine.
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insulator
material/object that is a poor conductor.
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interval
the quantity between readings, for exsample, a set of 11 readings equally spaced over a distance of 1 m would give an interval of 10 cm.
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joule (j)
the unit of energy.
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kilowatt (kw)
1000 watts.
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kilowatt-hour (kwh)
electrical energy suppliedto a 1kw electrical device in 1 hour.
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kinetic energy
energy of a moving object due to its motion; kinetic energy (in jouls, j) =1/2 times mass 9in kilograms, kg) times (speed) square (in m squared/s squared).
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kingdom
the highest group in the classification system, for exsample, animals, plants.
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line graph
used when both variables are continuous. the line should normally be a line of best fit, and may be straight or a smooth curve. (exceptionally, in some (mainly biological) investigations, the line may be a 'point-to-point' line).
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longitudinal wave
wave in which the vibrations are parallel to the direction of energy transfer.
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machine
a device in which a force applied at a point produces another force at another point.
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mass
the quantity of matter in an object; a measure of the difficulty of changing the motion of an object (in kilograms, kg).
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maximise
make as big as possible.
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mean
the arthmetical average of a series of numbers.
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machanical wave
vibration that travels through a substance.
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microwave
part of the electromagnetic spectrum.
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minimise
make as small as possible.
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monitor
observations made over a period of time.
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national grid
the network of cables and transformers used to transfer electricity from power stations to consumers (i.e. homes, shops, offices, factories, ect.).
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newton (n)
the unit of force.
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non-renewable
something that cannot be replaced once it is used up.
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normal
straight line through a surface or boundary perpendicular to the surface or boundary
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nuclear fission
the process in which certain nuclei (uranium-235 and plutonium-239) split into two fragments, releasing energy and two or three neutrons as a result.
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opinion
a belief not backed up by facts or evidence.
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optical fibre
thin glass fibre used to send light signals along.
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oscillate
move to and fro about a certain position along a line.
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payback time
time taken for something to produce savings to match how much it cost.
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pitch
the pitch of a sound increases if the frequency of the sound waves increase.
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plain mirror
a flat mirror.
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power
the energy transformed or transferred per second. the unit of power is the watt (w).
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precise
a precise measurement is one in which there is very little spread about the mean value. precision depends only on the extent of random errors - it gives no indication of how close results are to the true value.
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

data which have been shown to be valid

Back

evidence

Card 3

Front

a fair test is one which only the independant variable has been allowed to affect the dependant variable.

Back

Preview of the back of card 3

Card 4

Front

water that transfers gravitational potential energy to kinetic energy.

Back

Preview of the back of card 4

Card 5

Front

the number of waves crests passing a fixed point every second.

Back

Preview of the back of card 5
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