Mechanics – Leaving Cert Physics Terms

Leaving CertificatePhysics

Displacement – is distance in a given direction.

Speed – is the rate of change of distance with respect to time.

Velocity – is the rate of change of Displacement with respect to time.

Acceleration – is the rate of change of Velocity with respect to time.

Scalar Quantity – is one which has magnitude only.

Vector Quantity – is one which has both magnitude and direction.

Force – is that which can cause an acceleration.

Newton – is that force which gives a mass of one kg an acceleration of 1 ms-2.

Friction – is a force which opposes the relative motion between two objects.

Weight – of an object is the force of the Earth’s gravity acting on it.

Momentum – is the product of Mass times Velocity.

Newton’s First Law of Motion – states that every object will remain in a state of rest or travelling with a constant velocity unless an unbalanced external force acts on it.

Newton’s Second Law of Motion – states that the rate of change of an object’s momentum is directly proportional to the force which caused it.

Newton’s Third Law of Motion – states that if an object A exerts a force on an object B, then B will exert an equal but opposite force on A.

Principle of Conservation of Momentum – states that in any collision between two objects, the total momentum before impact equals total momentum after impact provided no external forces act on the system.

Density – of a substance is a measure of its mass per unit volume.

Pressure – is defined as Force per unit Area.

Archimedes Principle – states that when an object is immersed in a fluid, the upthrust it experiences is equal to the weight of the displaced fluid.

Law of Flotation – states that the weight of a floating object is equal to the weight of the fluid it displaces.

Boyle’s Law – states that at constant temperature, the volume of a fixed mass of gas is inversely proportional to its pressure.

Newton’s Law of Gravitation – states that any two objects in the universe are attracted to each other with a force that is directly proportional to the product of their masses, and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between them.

Conditions for Equilibrium of an object under Coplanar Forces – The vector sum of the forces in any direction is zero AND The sum of the moments about any point is zero

Moment of a Force – is equal to the force multiplied by the perpendicular distance between the force and the fulcrum.

Work – is defined as the product of Displacement by Force (in the direction of the displacement).

Energy – is the ability to do work.

Principle of Conservation of Energy – states that Energy cannot be created or destroyed but can only be converted from one form to another.

Power – is the rate at which work is done.

Angular Velocity – is the rate of change of angle with respect to time.

Centripetal Force – The force -acting in towards the centre – required to keep an object moving in a circle is called.

Hooke’s Law – states that when an object is stretched the restoring force F is directly proportional to the displacement – provided the elastic limit is not exceeded.

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