AP Physics Vocab Chapter 1

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AP Physics Vocab Chapter 1 Powered By Docstoc
					Trevor Jin
AP Physics Vocab Chapter 1

   1.  observation: use of one or more of the senses to gather information
   2.  theory: a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world
   3.  test: trying something to find out about it
   4.  model: a kind of analogy or mental image of the phenomena in terms of something else
       we are already familiar with
   5. law: statement about how things work in nature that seems to be true consistently
   6. principle: like a law, but less general
   7. precision: refers to the repeatability of the measurement using a given instrument
   8. accuracy: refers to how close a measurement is to the true value
   9. estimated uncertainty: plus or minus 0.1 cm is an example
   10. percent uncertainty: the ratio of the uncertainty to the measured value, multiplied by
   11. significant figures: the number of reliably known digits in a number
   12. unit: amount used to measure something
   13. standard: an exact quantity that people agree to use for comparison
   14. meter: standard of length
   15. second: standard of time
   16. kilogram: standard of mass
   17. unified atomic mass unit: used when dealing with atoms and molecules; (u)
   18. SI units: Most important set of units in the science world
   19. cgs system: set of units that uses centimeter, gram, and second
   20. British engineering system: set of units that uses the foot, the pound, and the second
   21. base quantity: defined in terms of standards
   22. operational definition: rule of procedure for to define any quantity
   23. conversion factor: what we use to change the units of a quantity
   24. order-of-magnitude estimate: a rough estimate made by rounding off all numbers to
       one significant figure and its power of 10, and after the calculation is made, again only
       one significant figure
   25. dimensions: these refer to the type of units or base quantities that make up a quantity
   26. dimensional analysis: the process of using dimensions to work relationships

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