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TERMS MEANING/DEFINITION

Physical quantity A quantity that is measurable.


Base quantities Physical quantity that cannot be defined in terms of other physical quantities.
Derived quantities Physical quantities derived by combining base quantities.
Scalar quantity A physical quantity which has only magnitude.
Vector quantity A physical quantity which has both magnitude and direction.
Error The difference between the actual value and the measurement made.
Systematic errors Cumulative errors that can be corrected, if the errors are known.
Zero error An error when measurements do not start from exactly zero.
Random errors Arise from unknown and unpredictable variations in condition, and will produce a different error every time the experiment is repeated. Results may
vary from observation to observation.
Parallax error An error in reading an instrument when the observers eye and the pointer are not in a line perpendicular to the plane of the scale.
Consistency The ability to register the same reading when a measurement is made repeatedly.
Deviation The difference between the measured value and its mean value or the average value.
Accuracy The degree of how close a measurement is from the actual value.
Sensitivity The ability to respond quickly to a small change in the value of the quantity to be measured.
Linear motion Motion in a straight line.
Kinematics The study of the motion of an object without considering the forces.
Dynamics The study of the motion of an object and the forces causing the motion.
Distance The total length of the path an object travels from one location to another.
Displacement The distance an object travels in a specific direction.
Speed The rate of change of distance.
Velocity The rate of change of displacement.
Acceleration The rate of change of velocity.
Inertia The tendency of an object to maintain its state of rest or uniform motion in a straight line.
Newtons first law Every object continues in its state of rest or uniform speed in a straight line unless acted upon by an external force.
Momentum The product of mass and velocity.
Principle of
conservation of
momentum

The total momentum of a system is constant, if no external force acts on the system.
Force An action which will alter the state of motion of a body in a straight line.
Newtons second law The rate of change of momentum is directly proportional to the resultant force and in the same direction as the force.
Newtons third law To every action there is an equal but opposite reaction.
Impulse The product of a force and the time interval during which the force acts.
Impulsive force The rate of change of momentum during a collision or explosion.
Free fall Any object which falls only under the influence of the force of attraction due to gravity and without any influence of other forces.
Weight The force of gravity which is exerted on it by Earth.
Gravitational field The region in which an object experiences a force due to gravitational attraction.
Gravitational field
strength
The ratio of the weight to the mass of the object or weight per unit mass.
Mass The amount of matter in an object.
Forces in
equilibrium
The net force or resultant force is zero.
Resultant force A single force that will produce the same effect as the two or more combined forces that it replaces.
Work The product of force and the displacement.
Energy The capacity to do work.
Potential energy The energy stored in the object because of its position or its state.
Kinetic energy The energy possessed by an object due to its motion.
Principle of
conservation of
energy

Energy cannot be created or destroyed. It can be transformed from one form to another, but the total energy in a system is constant.
Power The rate at which work is done or energy is transformed.
Elastic potential
energy
The energy which an object possesses when it is compressed or stretched.
Elasticity The property of an object that enables it to return to its original shape and dimensions when an applied external force is removed.
Elastic limit The maximum stretching force which can be applied to the spring before it ceases to be elastic.
Force constant A measure of the stiffness of the spring.
Hookes law The extension of a spring is directly proportional to the stretching force acting on it provided the elastic limit of the spring is not exceeded.