Can You Pass This Basic Physics Vocab Test?

Becky Stigall

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About This Quiz

Physics is the study of matter and energy. This branch of science comes with its own specific vocabulary. Do you remember these physics words from high school?

A positively charged particle.

A proton is a positively charged particle. An electron is a negatively charged particle.

Light but no heat.

Luminescence is the emission of light but not heat. The word has Latin roots.

A stability of forces.

Equilibrium is the stability of physical forces. The universe is always seeking a state of equilibrium.

The process of bending light.

Refraction is the process of bending light. In physics, light bends around objects.

A rate of increase.

Acceleration is a rate of increase. In physics, this refers to velocity.

A basic unit of electricity.

An ampere is a basic unit of electric current. We laymen just cal them "amps."

The smallest part of an element.

Atoms make up elements. Atoms are made of protons, neutrons and electrons.

A rod that helps a wheel rotate.

An axle is a component of wheel movement. Axles are rods, poles and/or shafts.

A unit of heat.

A calorie is a unit of heat. One calorie raises the temperature of one gram of water one degree Celsius.

An electrical path.

A circuit is a path that allows the flow of electricity. Break the circuit and the flow of electricity stops.

A physical attribute conveyed by light.

Color is a physical attribute determined by light. Light can be emitted, transmitted or reflected.

To transmit.

Conduct is another word for transmit. Iron conducts heat.

Retention of certain qualities.

Conservation is a retention of certain qualities. In physics, these qualities may be physical or chemical.

A transformation.

Conversion is a transformation or change. For example, glycogen may convert to glucose.

A physical resistance to motion.

Drag is a physical resistance to motion. Wind and fluids can cause drag.

The tendency of something to return to its original shape.

Elasticity is the tendency of an object to return to its original shape. Rubber bands are elastic.

A negatively charged particle.

An electron is a negatively charged particle. Electrons orbit atoms.

The application of stress on an object.

Force is the application of stress on an object that causes motion. Force is a physical motion.

The application of resistance.

Friction occurs when two objects meet. These two objects create resistance.

A wheel with teeth.

A gear is a wheel with teeth. A rotating gear engages with another toothed object to create motion.

The force of attraction.

Gravity is a force of attraction between everything in the universe. Degrees of gravity vary.

A form of energy.

Heat is a form of energy. Heat is transferred via conduction, convection or radiation.

A unit of frequency.

Hertz is a unit of frequency. It is also a car rental company, but that has nothing to do with physics.

Wave displacement.

Amplitude is the displacement of a periodic wave. In physics, this often refers to oscillation or vibration.

A collision between two or more objects.

An impact occurs when two or more objects collide. Used in physics, this word is a noun.

Something at rest or lacking motion.

Something that is at rest is inert. Isaac Newton said that an object at rest would stay at rest.

A level of energy.

Intensity is a measurable level of energy. Intensity may vary.

A particle that is positive or negative.

An ion is a negatively or positively charged particle. The charge of the particle is electric.

A force that opposes gravity.

Lift is a force that opposes gravity. This force is applied in aerodynamics.

A weight.

Load is a weight that something bears. Load can be measured.

Having weight and occupying space.

Mass has weight and occupies space. The mass of an object can be measured.

Having no electrical charge.

Something that has no electrical charge is neutral. Electrical charges may be positive or negative.

A small object with mass.

A particle is a small object that has mass but limited dimensions. The mass of a particle is finite.

The connection of at least two bodies.

A collision is a physical meeting of at least two bodies. In physics, energy is exchanged via collisions.

Electricity produced by water.

Hydroelectric power is electricity produced by water power. A dam may be used to produce hydroelectricity.

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