Classical Physics Glossary
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glossary_of_classical_physics
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This is a glossary of classical physics. It is some of the
most common terms in classical physics and how they are used.
A
 Acceleration  the rate of change of velocity with
respect to time
 Ampère's law  relates a circulating magnetic
field to an electric current passing through a loop
 Atom  smallest unit of a chemical element, the limit of classical
physics on the small length scales
B
 Boltzmann constant  a physical constant relating
temperature to energy
C
 Chaos theory  the study of processes in nonlinear
dynamical systems, such as the Butterfly effect
 Classical mechanics  a set of laws describing the
motion of bodies and their aggregations
 Coulomb's Law  the force acting between charged
bodies
 Crystal  a regular ordering of atoms, molecules,
or ions
 Choke coil  an inductance used in an AC circuit
to control current
D
 Determinism  classical physics is largely deterministic
 Dip(δ)  the angle which the direction of total
intensity of earth's magnetic field makes with a horizontal line in
the magnetic meridian at that place.
E
 Elastic collision  a collision during which no
kinetic energy is lost
 Electric current  the flow of electric charge through
an object
 Electrical resistance  a measure of the degree
to which an object opposes the passage of electric current
 Energy  a measure of being able to do mechanical
work
 Electromotive force  the amount of energy gained
per unit charge that passes through a device in the opposite direction
to the electric field existing across that device
 Eddy currents  changing magnetic flux linked with
metal plate produces induced current which flow in closed paths throughout
the body of the metal
F
 Force  an external cause for acceleration in a
physical system
 Free energy  the amount of mechanical work that
can be extracted from a system
G
 Gravity  an attractive force between particles
with mass
 Geomagnetism  the branch of physics which deals
with the study of earth's magnetic field
H
 Hamiltonian mechanics  a reformulation of Lagrangian
mechanics
I
 Ideal gas  a gas consisting of identical particles
of negligible volume, with no intermolecular forces
 Inertia  a historical concept used for describing
massive, moving objects
J
 Joule's law  equation for the heat generated by
a current flowing in a conductor
K
 Kinetic energy  energy due to motion
L
 Lagrangian  a function describing the equations
of motion for a system
 Lagrangian mechanics  an abstract reformulation
of classical mechanics
 Light  electromagnetic radiation with a wavelength
visible to the human eye
M
 Macroscopic  attribute used for objects and processes
observable by the naked eye
 Mass  a measure of the amount of matter
 Maxwell's equations  four equations that describe
electric and magnetic fields, and their interaction with matter
 Molecule  a group of atoms joined by chemical bonds
 Momentum  the product of mass and velocity
 Magnetic field  the space around a magnet or a
current within which its magnetic influence can be detected or experienced.
N
 Newton's laws of motion  the three laws of Isaac
Newton, published in Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica in
1687
 Newtonian mechanics  the first formulation of classical
mechanics
O
 Ohm's law  relationship between the current flowing
in a conductor and the voltage difference between its ends
P
 Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica  a
threevolume work published by Isaac Newton in 1687, introducing his
famous three laws of motion
 Potential energy  energy stored when doing work
against a force
Q
 Quantum mechanics  the theory that separates classical
and modern physics
R
 Resonance  the tendency of a system to absorb more
energy at its resonance frequency in a given process
S
 Semiclassical  refers to a combination of classical
mechanics and quantum mechanics
 Special theory of relativity  a theory published
in 1905 by Albert Einstein that replaced Newton's notions of space and
time
 Statistical mechanics  the application of mathematical
statistics to the collective motions of large populations of particles
T
 Temperature  the average kinetic energy of molecules
 Thermodynamics  the study of thermal processes
in physical systems
U
 Ultraviolet catastrophe  a false prediction made
by classical mechanics preceding quantum mechanics
V
 Velocity  the rate of change of position with respect
to time and speed
W
 Wave  a disturbance that propagates in a periodically
repeating fashion, often transferring energy
 Work  energy transferred by a force
X
 Xrays  a form of ionizing electromagnetic radiation
and magnetical ambiance's
Y
 Young's modulus  a measure of the stiffness of
a body or material
Published  February 2011
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