Glossary of EXAMBUSTERS GENERAL PHYSICS MCAT
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 Vector Quantity
 Has magnitude and direction; and usually a unit of measure (The symbol is →) A vector can represent displacement, velocity, acceleration
 Scalar Quantity
 A quantity that is fully specified by giving its magnitude (mass or speed)
 Are the following scalar or vector: 1) speed; 2) weight; 3) mass; 4) velocity
 1) scalar; 2) vector; 3) scalar; 4) vector
 Newton's First Law
 A body at rest stays at rest and a body in motion stays in motion at constant velocity if no net force acts on it
 Contrast Speed vs. Velocity
 Speed has only magnitude. Velocity is a vector having magnitude and direction.
 Equation for distance at constant velocity

see equation
 Force
 A vector quantity which is a push or pull exerted on a body.
 Newton's Second Law

Newton's Second Law
 Uniformly Accelerated Motion

Uniformly Accelerated Motion
 Velocity Equation for Uniform Acceleration

Velocity Equation for Uniform Acceleration
 Acceleration Equation

Acceleration Equation
 Equation for final velocity with uniform acceleration

Equation for final velocity with uniform acceleration
 Equation for average speed with constant acceleration (not starting from rest)

Equation for average speed with constant acceleration (not starting from rest)
 Describe a force in terms of its components
 A single force may be replaced by two or more forces (its component forces). These are vectors which, by using vector addition, add up to the original force.
 Torque
 The effectiveness of a force in producing rotation. Also called moment of force.
 Newton's Law of Universal Gravitation
 Two objects attract each other each other with a force that is proportionate to the product of their masses and inversely proportionate to the square of distance between them.
 Center of Gravity
 A point in or on the object where all the weight is concentrated. If supported only at this point the object will be in balance.
 Equation for average speed with constant acceleration (starting from rest

Equation for average speed with constant acceleration (starting from rest
 Inertia
 The property by which an object resists being accelerated.
 After 6 seconds, how far will a body fall in a vacuum (g=32)

After 6 seconds, how far will a body fall in a vacuum (g=32)
 With acceleration constant at 10 m/s2 and an initial velocity of 3 m/s, how far will a body move in 7 s?

With acceleration constant at 10 m/s2 and an initial velocity of 3 m/s, how far will a body move in 7 s?
 With an initial velocity of 4 ft/s and a constant aceleration of 7 ft/sec2, what is the velocity after 12 s?

With an initial velocity of 4 ft/s and a constant aceleration of 7 ft/sec2, what is the velocity after 12 s?
 Formula for final velocity given the distance s, the acceleration a, and the initial velocity Vi.

Formula for final velocity given the distance s, the acceleration a, and the initial velocity Vi.
 Which force is referred to in Newton's second law when there is more than one force on a body
 The vector sum of all forces.
 Newton's Third Law
 When one object exerts a force on a second object, the second object exerts an equal and opposite force on the first (action equals reaction.)
 Centripetal Force
 The inward force that must be applied to keep a body moving in a circle
 Equation for Centripetal Acceleration

Equation for Centripetal Acceleration
 For liner motion with constant acceleration, what are the formulas for 1) distance, 2) velocity, 3) average velocity, 4) final velocity independent of time

For liner motion with constant acceleration, what are the formulas for 1) distance, 2) velocity, 3) average velocity, 4) final velocity independent of time
 Frame of Reference
 any system for specifying the precise location of objects in space. Your frame of reference is where you view the scene from. Ex. From a moving airplane or standing in your living room
 Conservation of Momentum
 In a closed system where no external forces act, the total momentum of the system is conserved.
 Equation for Newton's Law of Gravitation

Equation for Newton's Law of Gravitation
 Work; Equation for Work
 The product of the force on an object and the distance the object moves in the direction of the force. W = Fd; W=work in joules; F=force in Newtons; d=distance in meters
 Potential Energy; Equation for Potential Energy
 The energy stored by an object because of its position or its condition. Ex. A skier on top of a mountain has potential energy. PE = wh = mgh; w=weight; h=object height; m=mass; g=constant gravitation; PE=potential energy
 Kinetic Energy; Equation for Kinetic Energy

Kinetic Energy; Equation for Kinetic Energy
 Equation for coefficient of sliding friction

Equation for coefficient of sliding friction
 Equation for work against friction

Equation for work against friction
 Power; Equation for Power
 The measure of how much work gets done per unit time; measured in watts. 1 watt = 1 joule/sec; P=W/t = Fd/t; P=power (watts); W=work (joules); t=time in seconds; F=force in newtons; d=distance in meters.
 Equation for Momentum
 P = mv; m=mass; v=velocity; P=momentum
 Line of Force
 A line drawn so that a tangent to it at any point indicates the direction of an electric or magnetic field.
 Normal Force
 A force perpendicular to the surface of an object. When you press down on the object, the normal force presses up.
 Hooke's Law
 F = (k)x; k=spring constant; x=distortion distance; F=distortion force
 Equation for work done in stretching a spring

Equation for work done in stretching a spring
 Equation for Change in Length when a solid expands or contracts

Equation for Change in Length when a solid expands or contracts
 Archimedes Principle
 The apparent loss in weight of an object immersed in a fluid equals the weight of the displaced fluid.
 Bernoulli's Principle
 The greater the velocity of a fluid, the smaller its pressure.
 Equation for liquid pressure in a beaker
 P=hdg; h=height of the liquid level; d=liquid density; g=gravitational constant; P=pressure
 Two insoluble objects lose the same weight in a fluid, the objects must have the same…
 Volume. Using Archimedes Principle: the apparent loss in weight is equal to weight of the displaced fluid. They displace the same volume.
 Crest
 A region of upward displacement in a transverse wave.
 Trough
 A region of downward displacement in a transverse wave.
 Amplitude
 The maximum displacement of a vibrating particle from its equilibrium position. The height of the wave.
 Wavelength
 In a periodic wave, the distance between two adjacent troughs or two crests (λ)
 Transverse Wave
 A wave in which the vibration are at right angles to the direction of propagation of the wave. Ex, electromagnetic waves.
 Periodic Wave
 A wave repeated in each of a succession of equal time intervals.
 Longitudinal Wave
 A wave in which the vibrations are parallel to the direction of propagation of the wave. Ex. Sound waves.
 Hertz
 The frequency of sound waves. 1 hz = 1 cycle per second.
 Decibel
 A unit of sound intensity level
 Compression
 The region of a longitudinal wave in which the vibrating particles are closer than their equilibrium distance.
 Rarefaction
 The region in a longitudinal wave where vibrating particles are farther apart than the equilibrium distance.
 Beats
 When two notes of slightly different frequencies reach the ear at the same time. A burst of sound followed by silence
 Constructive Interference
 When two waves make the medium vibrate in the same direction they reinforce and make a bigger disturbance
 Destructive Interference
 When two waves make a medium vibrate in opposite directions, they tend to cancel each other. This will result in a smaller wave or one that disappears completely.
 Doppler Effect
 When there is relative motion between a source of a wave and an observer, the frequency of vibrations received by the observer increases if the source and observer approach each other and decreases when the source and observer distance is increasing. Ex, the pitch of a siren changes as it approaches and passes you.
 Law of Reflection
 When a wave is reflected, the angle of incidence equals the angle of reflection.
 Regular Reflection
 from smooth flat surfaces, incident waves in the same plane are reflected in the same plane. Ex. A plane mirror
 Diffuse Reflection
 from rough and irregular surfaces, reflected light waves go in many directions. Ex. A piece of paper.
 Concave Mirror
 Reflecting surface is the inside of a spherical shell
 Convex Mirror
 Reflecting surface is the outside of a spherical shell
 Equation for focal length of a spherical mirror
 f=R/2; R=radius of the spherical shell; f=focal length
 Angle of Incidence
 Angle between the incident light and the normal to the reflecting surface
 Angle of Reflection
 Angle between the reflected light ray and the normal to the reflecting surface
 Refraction
 The bending of a wave on going into a second medium; eg, a light wave bends when going from air to water
 Critical Angle
 The limiting angle of incidence in the optically denser medium that results in an angle of refraction of 90 degrees
 Snell's Law

Snell's Law
 Convex Lens
 A convex lens is thicker in the middle than at the edges; it is also called a converging lens
 Concave Lens
 A concave lens is thinner in the middle than at the edges; it is also called a diverging lens.
 Focal Length
 The distance from the principal focus to the lens or mirror
 Index of Refraction
 A measure of the angle or degree an electromagnetic wave bends when travelling from one substance to another. Ex. Put a pencil in a bowl of water, the pencil will appear bent because the light waves bend when going from water to air.
 Lens Equation
 1/p + 1/q = 1/r; p=object distance; f=focal length; q=image distance
 Equation relating object and image sizes for lens.

Equation relating object and image sizes for lens.
 Equation for telescopic magnification

Equation for telescopic magnification
 Huygen's Principle
 Each point on a wave front may be regarded as a new source of disturbance
 Diffraction
 the bending of a wave around obstacles
 Polarized Light
 Light whose direction of vibration has been restricted into one plane of vibration
 Virtual Image
 A mirror or lens image formed by the eye and brain which can not be projected on a screen. Ex, the image you see of yourself in the mirror
 Equation for the Focal Length of a spherical mirror of radius R
 F=R/2; F=focal length; R=radius
 Formula for the Index of Refraction

Formula for the Index of Refraction
 Formula for Coulomb's Law

Formula for Coulomb's Law
 Equation for Electric Field Intensity
 E = F/Q; E=electric field intensity; F= force exerted; Q=charge
 Equation for Potential Difference between two points
 V=W/Q; V=voltage (volts); Q=charge (coulombs); W=work (joules)
 Parallel Circuit
 Where resistors in a circuit are connected independent of each other. Circuit is in the form of several loops.
 Series Circuit
 Where resistors are connected so that the current flows from the tip of one to the tail of another
 Formula for Current in a series circuit (Ohm's Law applied)

Formula for Current in a series circuit (Ohm's Law applied)
 Formula for current in a parallel circuit (Ohm's Law applied)

Formula for current in a parallel circuit (Ohm's Law applied)
 Formula for Resistance in a series circuit (Ohm's Law applied)

Formula for Resistance in a series circuit (Ohm's Law applied)
 Formula for Resistance in a parallel circuit (Ohm's Law applied)

Formula for Resistance in a parallel circuit (Ohm's Law applied)
 Formula for voltage in a series circuit (Ohm's Law applied)

Formula for voltage in a series circuit (Ohm's Law applied)
 Formula for voltage in a parallel circuit (Ohm's Law applied)

Formula for voltage in a parallel circuit (Ohm's Law applied)
 Formula for Ohm's Law
 V = IR; V=voltage in volts; I = current in amperes; R=resistance in ohms
 Law of Magnets
 Like poles repel, unlike poles attract. North repels north; south repels south; north attracts south
 Magnetic Field
 The region where a magentic influence can be detected as a force on a magnet
 LeftHand Rule
 Grasp the wire with the left hand so that the thumb will point in the direction of the electron flow; fingers will then direct towards flux lines.
 Electromagnet strength depends upon which three things
 1) The number of turns in the coil of the solenoid; 2) the nature of the core; 3) The current through the core.
 Galvenometer
 Instrument which measures low values of current.
 Voltmeter
 an instrument calibrated to measure the potential difference connected to its terminals.
 Alternating Current (AC)
 Current whose direction is constantly reversing. This is the type of current you get from the wall outlet.
 Direct Current (DC)
 Current whose direction is one path, never reversing. This is the type of current you get from a battery.