# Physics - Middle School﻿

If you're experiencing inertia when it comes to learning physics, gain some momentum by studying these essential terms. You'll review force and energy, electricity and magnetism, waves, and more.
269 words 451 learners

### Full list of words from this list:

1. absorb
suck or take up or in
2. absorption
when radiated energy is retained on passing through a medium
3. acceleration
(physics) a rate of increase of velocity
4. action
something done (usually as opposed to something said)
5. alternating current
an electric current that reverses direction sinusoidally
6. ampere
the basic unit of electric current adopted under the Systeme International d'Unites
7. amplification
the act of increasing voltage or power or current
8. amplitude
the maximum displacement of a periodic wave
9. angle of reflection
the angle between a reflected ray and a line perpendicular to the reflecting surface at the point of incidence
10. atom
the smallest component of an element
11. atomic mass
the property of an atom that causes it to have weight
12. atomic number
quantity of protons in the nucleus of an atom of an element
13. attraction
the force that one object exerts on another
14. axle
a shaft on which a wheel rotates
15. bar magnet
a magnet in the form of a bar with magnetic poles at each end
16. battery
a device that produces electricity
17. bioelectricity
electric phenomena in animals or plants
18. bioluminescence
luminescence produced by physiological processes
19. biomass
plant materials and animal waste used as fuel
20. brightness
the quality of being luminous; emitting or reflecting light
21. calorie
unit of heat raising 1 gram of water by 1 degree centigrade
22. capacitor
an electrical device characterized by its capacity to store an electric charge
23. cell
a device that delivers an electric current
24. center of gravity
the point within something at which gravity can be considered to act; in uniform gravity it is equal to the center of mass
25. centripetal force
the inward force on a body moving in a curved path around another body
26. charge
the quantity of unbalanced electricity in a body
27. chemical energy
that part of the energy in a substance that can be released by a chemical reaction
28. circuit
an electrical device providing a path for current to flow
29. closed circuit
a complete electrical circuit around which current flows or a signal circulates
30. collision
a brief event in which two or more particles come together
31. color
a visual attribute of things from the light they emit
32. compass
33. compression
the process of becoming smaller or pressed together
34. conduct
transmit or serve as the medium for transmission
35. conduction
the transmission of heat or electricity or sound
36. conductivity
the property of transmitting heat, electricity, or sound
37. conductor
a substance that readily serves as a medium for transmission
38. conservation
maintenance of constant physical or chemical quantities
39. conservation of energy
the fundamental principle of physics that the total energy of an isolated system is constant despite internal changes
40. conservation of momentum
the principle that the total linear momentum in a closed system is constant and is not affected by processes occurring inside the system
41. convection
transfer of heat caused by molecular motion in liquid or gas
42. conversion
an event that results in a transformation
43. crest
the top line of a hill, mountain, or wave
44. current
a flow of electricity through a conductor
45. cycle
a periodically repeated sequence of events
46. deceleration
(physics) a rate of decrease in velocity
47. diffraction
process by which light changes passing through a narrow slit
48. direct current
an electric current that flows in one direction steadily
49. direction
relation between something and the course on which it moves
50. distance
the size of the gap between two places
51. Doppler effect
change in the apparent frequency of a wave as observer and source move toward or away from each other
52. drag
the phenomenon of resistance to motion
53. dynamics
mechanics concerned with forces that cause motions of bodies
54. efficiency
the ratio of the output to the input of any system
55. elasticity
56. electric
using or providing the flow of charge through a conductor
57. electric charge
the quantity of unbalanced electricity in a body (either positive or negative) and construed as an excess or deficiency of electrons
58. electric current
a flow of electricity through a conductor
59. electric field
a field of force surrounding a charged particle
60. electric potential
the difference in electrical charge between two points in a circuit expressed in volts
61. electrical
using or providing or producing or transmitting or operated by electricity
62. electrical circuit
an electrical device that provides a path for electrical current to flow
63. electrical energy
energy made available by the flow of electric charge through a conductor
64. electricity
a physical phenomenon that can produce light, heat and power
65. electromagnet
a temporary magnet made by coiling wire around an iron core
66. electromagnetic
pertaining to or exhibiting magnetism produced by electric charge in motion
radiation consisting of waves of energy associated with electric and magnetic fields resulting from the acceleration of an electric charge
68. electromagnetic spectrum
the entire frequency range of electromagnetic waves
69. electromagnetic wave
radiation consisting of waves of energy associated with electric and magnetic fields resulting from the acceleration of an electric charge
70. electromotive force
the rate at which energy is drawn from a source that produces a flow of electricity in a circuit; expressed in volts
71. electron
an elementary particle with negative charge
72. electrostatic
concerned with or producing or caused by static electricity
73. electrostatic field
electric field associated with static electric charges
74. electrostatics
the branch of physics that deals with static electricity
75. emission
the act of causing to flow forth
76. emit
give off, send forth, or discharge
77. endothermic
occurring or formed with absorption of heat
78. energy
the capacity of a physical system to do work
79. equilibrium
a stable situation in which forces cancel one another
80. exothermic
occurring or formed with the release of heat
81. ferromagnetism
phenomenon exhibited by materials like iron (nickel or cobalt) that become magnetized in a magnetic field and retain their magnetism when the field is removed
82. field
space around a radiating body within which it exerts force
83. first law of thermodynamics
the fundamental principle of physics that the total energy of an isolated system is constant despite internal changes
84. fluorescence
light emitted during absorption of radiation of some other (invisible) wavelength
85. force
influence that results in motion, stress, etc. when applied
86. free fall
the ideal motion of something subject only to gravity
87. frequency
the number of occurrences within a given time period
88. friction
the resistance when a body is moved in contact with another
89. fuel cell
cell that produces electricity by oxidation of fuel
90. fulcrum
the pivot about which a lever turns
91. gamma ray
electromagnetic radiation emitted during radioactive decay and having an extremely short wavelength
92. gear
a toothed wheel that engages another toothed mechanism
93. generator
engine that converts mechanical energy into electricity
94. geothermal energy
energy derived from the heat in the interior of the earth
95. gravitational field
a field of force surrounding a body of finite mass
96. gravitational force
the force of attraction between all masses in the universe
97. gravity
the force of attraction between all masses in the universe
98. heat
a form of energy transferred by a difference in temperature
99. hertz
unit of frequency with a periodic interval of one second
100. Hooke's law
(physics) the principle that (within the elastic limit) the stress applied to a solid is proportional to the strain produced
101. hydroelectric
of or relating to or used in the production of electricity by waterpower
102. hydroelectricity
electricity produced by water power
103. impact
the striking of one body against another
104. incandescence
light emission by a body as its temperature is raised
105. inclined plane
a simple machine for elevating objects
106. induction
an electrical phenomenon generating an electromotive force
107. inductor
an electrical device (typically a conducting coil) that introduces inductance into a circuit
108. inertia
the tendency of something to stay in rest or motion
109. infrared
having or employing wavelengths longer than light but shorter than radio waves; lying outside the visible spectrum at its red end
110. infrared light
electromagnetic radiation with wavelengths longer than visible light but shorter than radio waves
electromagnetic radiation with wavelengths longer than visible light but shorter than radio waves
112. insulate
surround with material to protect from heat, cold, or noise
113. insulation
reduction of the transmission of sound, heat, or electricity
114. insulator
a material with little electrical or thermal conductivity
115. intensity
the amount of energy transmitted
116. interaction
the transfer of energy between elementary particles
117. ion
a particle that is electrically charged positive or negative
118. joule
a unit of electrical energy
119. kilowatt
a unit of power equal to 1000 watts
120. kinetic energy
the mechanical energy that a body has by virtue of motion
121. laser
an optical device that produces an intense beam of light
122. law of conservation of energy
the fundamental principle of physics that the total energy of an isolated system is constant despite internal changes
123. lever
a simple machine giving a mechanical advantage on a fulcrum
124. lift
the component of the aerodynamic forces acting on an airfoil that opposes gravity
125. light
electromagnetic radiation that can produce visual sensation
126. Lise Meitner
Swedish physicist (born in Austria) who worked in the field of radiochemistry with Otto Hahn and formulated the concept of nuclear fission with Otto Frisch (1878-1968)
weight to be borne or conveyed
128. loudness
the magnitude of sound (usually in a specified direction)
129. luminescence
the emission of light without heat
130. machine
a device for overcoming resistance by applying force
131. magnet
a device that attracts iron and produces lines of force
132. magnetic
of or relating to or caused by attraction for iron
133. magnetic field
the lines of force surrounding a permanent magnet or a moving charged particle
134. magnetic flux
a measure of the strength of a magnetic field over a given area
135. magnetic force
attraction for iron
136. magnetic moment
the torque exerted on a magnet or dipole when it is placed in a magnetic field
137. magnetic pole
either of two points where the lines of force of the Earth's magnetic field are vertical
138. magnetism
attraction for iron
139. magnitude
the property of relative size or extent
140. mass
the property of a body that causes it to have weight
141. mass number
the sum of the number of neutrons and protons in an atomic nucleus
142. matter
that which has mass and occupies space
the ratio of the force exerted by a machine to the force applied to it
144. mechanical energy
energy in a mechanical form
145. medium
an intervening substance through which something is achieved
146. metal
a chemical element or alloy that is usually a shiny solid
the English physicist and chemist who discovered electromagnetic induction (1791-1867)
148. microwave
a short electromagnetic wave
149. molecule
the simplest structural unit of an element or compound
150. moment
a turning force produced by an object acting at a distance
151. momentum
the product of a body's mass and its velocity
152. motion
the act of changing location from one place to another
153. negative charge
the state of having a surplus of electrons
154. neutral
having no net electric charge
155. newton
force imparting acceleration of 1 m/sec/sec to 1 kilogram
156. Newton's first law
a body remains at rest or in motion with a constant velocity unless acted upon by an external force
157. Newton's second law
the rate of change of momentum is proportional to the imposed force and goes in the direction of the force
158. Newton's third law
action and reaction are equal and opposite
159. Nikola Tesla
United States electrical engineer and inventor (born in Croatia but of Serbian descent) who discovered the principles of alternating currents and developed the first alternating-current induction motor and the Tesla coil and several forms of oscillators (1856-1943)
160. nonrenewable
that can not be renewed
161. nuclear energy
the energy released by a nuclear reaction
162. nuclear fission
a nuclear reaction in which a massive nucleus splits into smaller nuclei with the simultaneous release of energy
163. nuclear reaction
(physics) a process that alters the energy or structure or composition of atomic nuclei
164. nucleus
the positively charged dense center of an atom
165. ohm
a unit of electrical resistance
166. Ohm's law
electric current is directly proportional to voltage and inversely proportional to resistance; I = E/R
167. open circuit
an incomplete electrical circuit in which no current flows
168. overtone
a harmonic with a frequency that is a multiple of the fundamental frequency
169. parallel circuit
a closed circuit in which the current divides into two or more paths before recombining to complete the circuit
170. particle
a body having finite mass but negligible dimensions
171. peak
the highest point of something
172. pendulum
an apparatus in which an object is mounted to swing freely
173. period
the interval to complete one cycle of a repeating phenomenon
174. periodic motion
motion that recurs over and over and the period of time required for each recurrence remains the same
175. permanent magnet
a magnet that retains its magnetism after being removed from a magnetic field
176. photon
a tiny bundle of matter that transmits light
177. photovoltaic cell
a cell that converts solar energy into electrical energy
178. pitch
the high or low quality of a sound
179. pivot
axis consisting of a shaft supporting something that turns
180. polarization
when radiation is restricted in direction of vibration
181. positive charge
the state of having a deficiency of electrons
182. potential difference
the difference in electrical charge between two points in a circuit expressed in volts
183. potential energy
energy stored by a body or system by virtue of its position
184. power
(physics) the rate of doing work
185. prism
optical device used to deviate a beam or invert an image
186. projectile
impelling or impelled forward
187. proportional
having a constant ratio
188. proton
a stable particle with positive charge
189. pulley
a wheel with a groove in which a rope can run
energy that is transmitted in the form of radiation
energy transmitted in the form of rays or waves or particles
an electromagnetic wave with a wavelength between 0.5 cm to 30,000 m
193. rarefaction
a decrease in the density of something
194. ratio
relation with respect to comparative quantity or magnitude
195. reaction
the opposite force when a force is applied to a body
196. reflection
the phenomenon of a wave being thrown back from a surface
197. refraction
the change in direction of a propagating wave
198. renewable
capable of being replaced
199. repel
cause to move back by force or influence
200. resistance
any mechanical force that tends to slow or oppose motion
201. resistivity
a material's opposition to the flow of electric current
202. resistor
an electrical device that resists the flow of electrical current
203. scattering
the physical process in which particles are deflected haphazardly as a result of collisions
204. screw
a simple machine with a threaded cylindrical rod and hole
205. second law of thermodynamics
a law stating that mechanical work can be derived from a body only when that body interacts with another at a lower temperature; any spontaneous process results in an increase of entropy
206. semiconductor
a substance as germanium or silicon whose electrical conductivity is intermediate between that of a metal and an insulator; its conductivity increases with temperature and in the presence of impurities
207. series circuit
a circuit having its parts connected serially
208. sight
the ability to see; the visual faculty
209. simple machine
a device for overcoming resistance at one point by applying force at some other point
210. slope
the property of a line that departs from the horizontal
211. solar cell
a cell that converts solar energy into electrical energy
212. solar energy
energy from the sun that is converted into thermal or electrical energy
213. solar heater
a heater that makes direct use of solar energy
215. solution
a homogeneous mixture of two or more substances
216. sound
mechanical vibrations transmitted by an elastic medium
217. sound wave
(acoustics) a wave that transmits sound
218. spectrum
an ordered array of the components of an emission or wave
219. speed
a rate at which something happens
220. standing wave
a wave (as a sound wave in a chamber or an electromagnetic wave in a transmission line) in which the ratio of its instantaneous amplitude at one point to that at any other point does not vary with time
221. static electricity
electricity produced by friction
222. strain
deformation of a body under the action of applied forces
223. stress
(physics) force that produces strain on a physical body
224. superposition
the placement of one thing on top of another
225. surface
the outer boundary of an artifact or a material layer
226. switch
device for making or breaking the connections in a circuit
227. system
a group of independent elements comprising a unified whole
228. temperature
the degree of hotness or coldness of a body or environment
229. tensile strength
the strength of material expressed as the greatest longitudinal stress it can bear without tearing apart
230. tension
a stress that produces an elongation of a physical body
231. terminal
a contact on a device at which current enters or leaves
232. terminal velocity
the constant maximum velocity reached by a body falling through the atmosphere under the attraction of gravity
233. thermal
relating to or associated with heat
234. thermal equilibrium
a state in which all parts of a system are at the same temperature
235. thermodynamics
physics concerned with heat and other forms of energy
236. Thomas Edison
United States inventor
237. thrust
the force used in pushing
238. time
the fourth coordinate required to specify a physical event
239. torque
a twisting force
240. transfer
the act of moving something from one form to another
241. transformation
the act of changing in form or shape or appearance
242. transformer
an electrical device changing one voltage to another
243. transmission
fraction of radiant energy that passes through a substance
244. transmit
serve as the medium for sending something
245. transverse
extending or lying across, in a crosswise direction
246. turbine
an engine that causes a bladed rotor to rotate
247. ultraviolet
having wavelengths shorter than light but longer than X-rays
248. ultraviolet light
radiation lying in the ultraviolet range
radiation lying in the ultraviolet range
250. vacuum
the absence of matter
251. vector
a quantity that has magnitude and direction
252. velocity
distance traveled per unit time in one direction
253. vibration
(physics) a regular periodic variation in value about a mean
254. visible
capable of being seen or open to easy view
255. visible light
(physics) electromagnetic radiation that can produce a visual sensation
256. vision
the ability to see
257. volt
a unit for measuring the force of an electric current
258. voltage
difference in electrical charge between points in a circuit
259. watt
a unit of power equal to 1 joule per second
260. wave
(physics) a movement up and down or back and forth
261. wave-particle duality
(physics) the property of matter and electromagnetic radiation that is characterized by the fact that some properties can be explained best by wave theory and others by particle theory
262. wavelength
distance between successive crests of a periodic disturbance
263. wedge
something solid that can be pushed between two things
264. weight
the vertical force exerted by a mass as a result of gravity
265. wheel
a simple machine consisting of a circular frame with spokes (or a solid disc) that can rotate on a shaft or axle (as in vehicles or other machines)
266. wheel and axle
hoist so arranged that a rope unwinding from a wheel is wound onto a cylindrical drum or shaft coaxial with the wheel
267. wind power
power derived from the wind (as by windmills)
268. work
a manifestation of energy
269. X ray
electromagnetic radiation of short wavelength produced when high-speed electrons strike a solid target
Created on February 23, 2017 (updated April 20, 2017)