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THE VISUAL

DICTIONARY of

PHYSICS

In ultraviolet light, rock

appears brightly coloured

Phosphorescent

screen glows

when hit by

electrons

Vacuum

^ERC i in

Thermometer

Gravity—

cubic system

CRYSTAL SYSTEM

Clamp

Glass

sphere

enclosing

gas sample

Glass

beaker

Verticalfilm

where bubbles

meet

Bowl

wton

meter

FORCES ON A

SHALLOW SL( i

THE VISUAL

DICTIONARY of

Physics

Here is an entirely new kind of dictionary

one that is packed with superb, full-color

photographs and illustrations, and with

thousands of scientific terms.

The VISUAL DICTIONARY

OF PHYSICS will give you

instant access to the

specialized vocabulary

relating to physics in

a way that is clear,

informative, and easy to understand.

If you have heard of a particular scientific

process, but don't understand how it works,

then turn to the labels around the illustrations.

Alternatively, if you know a term but don't

know exactly what it refers to, then the

comprehensive index will direct you to

the illustration that bears the name.

This volume forms part of a series that,

like the Dorling Rindersley Eyewitness

Books builds thematically into

a comprehensive and

exquisitely illustrated treasure

trove of words and pictures,

providing high-quality

information for readers

of all ages.

m

EYEWITNESS VISUAL DICTIONARIES

THE VISUAL

DICTIONARY of

yj

PHYSICS

4.5V

butters

I (triable

resistor

adjusted to

allow current

toflow

Ammeter

shows that

current is

flowing

Current produces

magnetic field

Compass

Compass

needle aligns

with magnetic

field produced

by wire

ELECTROMAGNETISM AFFECTING A COMPASS NEEDLE

EYEWITNESS VISUAL DICTIONARIES

THE VISUAL

DICTIONARY of

PHYSIC

Newton

meter

Gyroscope

precesses

Spinning

wheel

written by

Jack Challoner

Axis

&

Bearing

Metal

guard

P- GYROSCOPE

Newton meter measures

limiting friction

DK PUBLISHING, INC

\ l)l\ PI BUSHING BOOK

Art Editor Simon Mlrrell Project Editor Peter Jones

Editorial Assistant Des Reid US Editor Jill Hamilton

US Consultant Meta Brown

Deputy Art Director Tina Vaugiian

Managing Editor Sean Moore

Senior Art Editor Tracy Hambleton-Miles

Photography Andy Crawford

Illustrations Chris Lyon, Janos Marffy

Picture Research Ann\ Lord

Production Meryl Silbert

BR BR

J

QC5

.C425

1995

Wire

\

Heading 5.8 N

Force acts

RESULTANT FORCE

1 kg mass

10 N weight

Newton meter

held id an

Force acts at an angle

First American Edition 1995

468 109 7 5

Published in the United States bi

DK Pi rushing, Inc., 95 Madison Avenue, New York, New York, 10016

Copyright© 1995 Dobling Kindersley Limited, London

Text Com right © 1995 .1 u:e Cii u.loner

'All rights reserved under International vnd Pan-American Copyright Conventions. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, oh

TRANSMITTED IN ANY FORM OR B> INY MEANS, ELECTRONIC, MECHANICAL, PHOTOCOPYING, RECORDING, OR OTHERWISE, WITHOUT THE PRIOR WRITTEN PERMISSION OF THE COPYRIGHT OWNER.

Pi blished in Great Britain by Dorling Kindersley Limited.

Distributed by Houghton Mifflin Company. Boston

\ isit i s on the World Wide Web at

in i i'://www.dk.com

Library of Congress C\taloguing-in-Publication data

Challoner, Jack

The visual dictionary of physics/ written by Jack Challoner. - -

1st american ed.

p. cm. - - (Eyewitness \ isi \l dictionaries)

Includes glossary and index. ISBN 0-7894-0259-4

1. Physics—Dictionaries Iuvenile. [1. Physics.] i. Title.

ii. Series.

QC5.C425 1995

550'.03-dc20

95- 1957

Reproduced ry Coi

PrjntedandbocndinSpainby.v

D.L. TO: I

\, Singapore

im [cas Toledo, S.

CIP

AC

Pulley wheel

Contents

Newton meter

Matter and Energy 6

Measurement and Experiment 8

Forces i 10 Forces 2 12

Friction 14

Simple Machines 16

Circular Motion 18

Waves and Oscillations 20

Heat and Temperature 22

Solids 24

Connecting

wires

SIMPLE PULLEY

Resistor

Metal dome

I bltage of tens

of thousands

of volts

T

Liquids 26

Small force

exerted by

thumb

Belt driven by

electric motor

Gases 28

Electricity and Magnetism 30

Electric Circuits 32

Electromagnetism 34

Electricity Production 36

Electromagnetic Radiation 38

Color 40

Reelection and Refraction 42 Optical Instruments 44 Wave Behavior 46

Atoms and Electrons 48

Nuclear Physics 50

Particle Physics 52

Formulas and Appendix 54

Glossary 56

Index 60

Acknowledgments 64

VAN DE GRAAFF GENERATOR

I

erlical film forms

Bubble is

thicker at

the bottom

where two bubbles meet

Electrons

travel in

circular path

SOAP BURBLE

"

.

\mmeter

Current

flowing

through

resistor

4.5 1 battel

TANCE

Force concentrated to produce high pressure

DRAWING PIN

llelmholtz. coils

GVTHOOE HV\ 11 BE

.

Measurement

and experiment

Tl IK SCIENCE OF PHYSICS IS BASED on the formulation

and testing of theories. Experiments are designed to test theories and involve making measurements: of mass, length, time, or other quantities. In order to compare the results

of various experiments, standard units are necessary. The

kilogram (kg), the meter (m), and the second (s) are the

fundamental units of a system called SI units (Systeme

International). Physicists use a variety of instruments

for making measurements. Some, like the Vernier callipers, traveling microscopes, and thermometers

are common to many laboratories, while others will

be made for a particular experiment. The results

of measurements are interpreted in many ways,

but most often as graphs. Graphs provide a way

of illustrating the relationship between two

measurements involved in an experiment. For

example, in an experiment to investigate falling

objects, a graph can show the relationship

between the duration and the height of the fall.

MASS AND WEIGHT

Mass is the amount of

matter in an object, and is

measured in kilograms.

Gravitational force gives the mass its weight. Weight

is a force, and is measured

in newtons (see pp. 10-11),

using a newton meter like

the one shown on the right.

It is common to speak of

weight being measured in

kilograms, but in physics

this is not correct.

Spring

stretches -

Pointer

moves

down

scale

Pointer reads 10 N

Fulcrum

Spring in meter produces force to balance weight

SCALES

The metal object and the

powder shown here have the

same mass and therefore the same weight.

Metal

object

0.2-1,

mass

0.2-kg

mass

Powder-

to be

weighed

Jaws measure either internal

or external diameter of object

Scale pan

MEASURING DISTANCE

NEWTON METER AND

KILOGRAM MASS

Jaws

VERNIER CALLIPERS

Adjustable

Physicists often use Vernier

eyepiece

I ^^

Y^ / accurate measurement

callipers for the

of an object's width.

y I This is read off a

Vernier scale, which here

Eyepiece contains

fine crossed wires

Measured

* allows reading to an

object

accuracy of 0.1 mm.

I ernier

scale

TRAVELING MICROSCOPE

A Vernier scale makes the traveling microscope

an accurate instrument for measuring small distances across objects. Two readings are taken

and the difference between the positions of the

microscope on its sliding scale provides

the measurement.

Diecast body

Ordinary

scale.

••

Turning

knob moves

microscope

along rails

-20

-C

THERMOMETERS

There are two types of thermometer commonly used in modern physics. The mercury thermometer has a glass bulb containing mercury that expands as the temperature rises, while the digital

thermometer contains an electronic probe and has a digital readout

DIGITAL THERMOMETER

FREEFALL EXPERIMENT

Electromagnet

Mercury

column

Glass tube

Electronic

p rob e

Digital

(LCD)

readout

MERCURY THERMOMETER

Plastic case

contains

electronics

Scale,

Mercury bulb \ Human body

temperature (3 7°C)

MAGNIFIED VIEW OF

MERCURY THERMOMETER

Glass bulb

INTERPRETING DATA

Glass lubel

Steel ball is

held up by

electromagnet

TABLE OF RESULTS FOR A FREEFALL EXPERIMENT

A steel ball is dropped from a variety of heights and the duration of each fall is timed. The results of these measurements are entered into a table.

II ire from

second

switch

HEIGHT (m)

0.05

0.10

0.15

0.20

0.25

0.30

0.35

0.40

0.45

0.50

TIME (s)

0.10

0.14

0.17

0.21

0.22

0.24

0.26

0.27

0.30

0.31

RESULTS OF A FREEFALL EXPERIMENT IX GRAPH FORM

A graph allows us to identify visually the relationship between the time and the

height of the fall. There is an element of uncertainly or error in everj result

obtained, so each is plotted on the graph as a short range of values forming an error

bar instead of a point. The curve is drawn so that il passes through all the bars.

Y-axis 0.35

fr

APPARATUS FOR

TIMING THE FALL

OF AN ORJECT

\ s\\ itch turns olT

the electromagnet,

Ball

releasing the ball

accelerates

while simultaneously

due to the

starting the timer. \s

pull of

the ball hits the ring

gravity

stand base, a second

2

§

Cm

o

a

o

0.30

0.25

a2 °

0.15

"liest Jit" curve

Result is plotted as a short range of i 'a I ues

,

-*!

,--l

"?

Bars show

margin of error

-*

--£-

Ball approaches

terminal velocity

Some pointsfall

below curve

h

II

)

o.io

Some points fall
0.05

Is ball hits base,

second switch is

)

y I

0.05

above curve

1

0.10

1

0.15

 

tivaled

I

-

 

1

i

1

1

1

1

r—

J

0.20

0.25

0.30

0.35

40

0.45

0.50

Second switch

sw itch is activated,

and the timer stops.

rimes of falls from

various heights arc

measured, and plotted

on a graph (sec lell I.

X-axis/ Height of fall (m)

(two contacts

j

Ring stand

base

REACTION FORCES

Forces 1

FORCES ON A LEVEL SURFACE

A table provides a force called a reaction, which exactly

balances the weight of an object placed upon it. The resultant

A FORCE IS A PUSH OR PULL, and can be large or small. The usual force is zero, so the object does not fall through the table.

unit of force is the newton (N), and forces can be measured using

a newton meter (see pp. 8-9). Force can be applied to objects

at a distance or by making contact. Gravity (see pp. 12-13) and

electromagnetism (see pp. 34-35) are examples of forces that

can act at a distance. When more than one force acts on an object,

the combined force is called the resultant. The resultant of

several forces depends on their size and direction. The

object is in equilibrium if the forces on an object are

balanced with no overall resultant. An object on a solid

flat surface will be in equilibrium, because the

surface produces a reaction force to balance the

1-kg

mass

Solid

surface

object's weight. If the surface slopes, the object's

weight is no longer completely cancelled by the

reaction force and part of the weight, called a component, remains, pulling the object toward the bottom of the slope. Forces can cause rotation

as well as straight line motion. If an object is free

to rotate about a certain point, then a force can

have a turning effect, known as a moment.

RESULTANT FORCE

Wire

A 1-kg mass has a weight of 10 N. Here, this weight is

supported by two lengths of wire. Each wire carries a force that pulls against the other at an angle. The combination or resultant of these forces is 10 N

vertically upward and exactly balances

the weight. The force carried by each

wire is measured by newton meters.

FORCES ON A SHALLOW-SLOPED

SURFACE

Gravity acts downward on the

1-kg mass shown. The sloped

surface provides a reaction

force that acts upward,

perpendicular to the slope

and counteracts some of the weight. All that

remains of the weight is

a force acting down the sloped surface.

2.4-Nforce

down slope

Shallow

sloped

surface

10-N reaction force

10-N weight

Reaction force

produced by

surface

2.4 N will

stop mass

from sliding

10-N weight

Part of weight

acting into slope

THE METER READINGS

Between them, the two

v\ ires support a weight

of 10 N, so why is the

reading on each newton

meter more than 5 N? In

addition to pulling

upward, the wires are

polling sideways against each other, so the

11 force showing on

it ris 5.8 N.

10

Force acts at an angle

1-kg

mass

V weight

FORCES ON A STEEP-

SLOPED SURFACE

As the slope is made steeper, the reaction force of the sloped

surface decreases, and the force pulling the mass

down the slope

which is measured by the newton

meterincreases. This force can pull

objects downhill.

6-Nforce

down slope.

Steep

sloped

surface.

mass

Reaction force

produced by

surface

Newton

meter.

6-Nforce

will stop

mass from

sliding

Part of

weight

acting into

slope

Weight ION

"

TURNING FORCES AROUND A PIVOT

A force acting on an object that is free to rotate

will have a turning effect, or turning force, also

known as a moment. The moment of a force is

equal to the size of the force multiplied by the distance of the force from the turning point

around which it acts (see p. 54). It is measured

in newton meters (Nm). The mass below exerts

a weight of 10 N downward on a pivoted beam.

The newton metertwice as far from the pivotmeasures 5 N, the upward force needed

to stop the beam turning. The clockwise

moment created by the weight and

counterclockwise moment created by the

upward pull on the newton meter are equal,

and the object is therefore in equilibrium.

Ring stand

Weight 1 ON, 0.25

from the pivot

TURNING FORCES

OBJECT SUSPENDED AT CENTER OF GRAVITY

Counterclockwise

moment.

Suspended at center

of gravity

Clockwise

moment

Newton

meter

Reading 5 N.

i

The weight of the beam above is spread along its

length. The moments are balanced if the object is

suspended at its center of gravih

OBJECT SL SPENDED \\\ AY FROM CENTER OF GRAVITY

Center of

gravity

Resultant

turning

effect

,

4

Mass of

block 2 kg

Weight of

block 20 N.

Counterclockwise

moment, 2.5 \m

(') \ x O.J m)

\\ hen this beam

is suspended at a

point away from its center of gravity, there is a resultant turning effect.

The beam turns until the center of

gravity is under the point of suspension

PRESSURE

Why can a draw ing pin be pushed into a wall, and \el a

building will not sink into the ground? Forces can act over

large or small areas. A force acting over a large area will exert less pressure than the same force acting over a small

area. The pressure excited on an area can be worked out

simply b\ dividing the applied force by the area over which

it acts (see p. 54). Pressure is normally measured in units

of newtons per square meter (Nm -'). \ drawing pin

concentrates Force to produce high pressure, whereas e foundations of a building spread the load to reduce

pressure. Cases also exert pressure (see pp. 2cS-29).

Small force

exerted by

thumb

Tiny area

at pin point

Mock

concentrates

force to product

high pressure

Mass oj

block I kg

II light of

block 10 N.

DRVWINGPIN

Pressure everted

40,\ m

(10 X+ 0.2) m J )

Pressure exerted

40 \m'

(20 \ + 0.) m')

Mass of

block 2 kg

Height of

block 20 \

Grid with

squares of area 0.01 nr'

Forces 2

When the forces on an orject do not

cancel each other out, they will change the

motion of the object. The object's speed,

direction of motion, or both will change. The

rules governing the way forces change the motion of objects were first worked out by Sir

Isaac Newton. They have become known as Newton's Laws. The greater the mass of an

object, the greater the force needed to change its motion. This resistance to change in motion

is called inertia. The speed of an object is

usually measured in meters per second (ms 1 ).

Velocity is the speed of an object in a particular

direction. Acceleration, which only occurs

when a force is applied, is the rate of change in

speed. It is measured in meters per second per second, or meters per second squared (ms 2 ).

One particular force keeps the Moon in orbit

around the Earth and the Earth in orbit around

the Sun. This is the force of gravity or gravitation; its effects can be felt over

great distances.

NEWTON'S SECOND LAW IN ACTION

Trucks have a greater mass than cars. According to Newton's second law (see right) a large mass requires a

larger force to produce a given acceleration. This is why

a truck needs to have a larger engine than a car.

Car.

Truck

, Small mass

Small

engine

Large mass

NEWTON'S LAWS

NEWTON'S FIRST LAW

When no force acts on an object, it will remain in a state of rest or

continue its uniform motion in a straight line.

No force acts

on cart

No force, no acceleration: state of rest

No force

acts on cart

Cart is

stationary

Cart is moving

at constant speed

No force, no acceleration: uniform motion

NEWTON'S SECOND LAW

When a force acts on an object, the motion of the object will change. This change in motion is called acceleration and is equal to the size of the force

divided by the mass of the object on which it acts (see p. 54).

Spring

exerts force

on cart.

I

Cart accelerates only

when force acts on it

Cart with small mass

accelerates to a high speed

Force acts on small mass: large acceleration

Mass on

cart

Same

force acts

on heavier

cart

Cart with large

mass accelerates

to a low speed

\ Large engine

I ,.vt.a\a

Same force acts on large mass: small acceleration

NEWTON'S THIRD LAW

If one object exerts a force on another, an equal and opposite force, called

the reaction force, is applied by the second to the first.

First cart

moves to left

Spring exerts force to

the left on first cart

An equal and opposite reaction

force acts on the right-hand cart

Second carl

moves to right

Action and reaction

FORCE AND MOTION

In the images below, eacb row of balls is a record of the motion of one ball, photographed

once each second beside a ruler. This shows how far the ball moved during thai second

and each subsequent second, giving a visual representation of speed and acceleration.

SPEED

Speed is the distance an object travels in a set amount of time. It is calculated by dividing distance

covered by time taken (see p. 54). In physics, speed is measured in meters per second (ms ').

Ruler

Rail

1,1,1

\fter 6 seconds, ball

lias moved 6 meters

/ lieHall traveling

al / ms

MOMENTUM

The momentum of an object is equal to its mass

multiplied by its velocity (see p. 54). Momentum is

measured in kilogram meters per second (kgms ').

The two balls below have the same momentum.

. Ruler

1,1,1,1,1,1

Ball, mass

I kg

Ball traveling

a l I ms

Momentum

1

kgms

\fler ) seconds, ball lias moved 6 meters,

ACCELERATION

Acceleration is the rate that the speed of an object changes. It is calculated by dividing the change in speed

by the lime it look for that change (see p. 54). It is

measured in meters per second per second (ins -').

Ruler

Rail

[Iter 2 seconds,

accelerating

the ball is

al I ms 2

moving at 2 ms

After 4 seconds,

the ball is

moving al 4 ms '

Rail, mass

0.5 kg.

Rail traveling

al 2 ms

Momentum

1

kgms

NEWTON'S SECOND LAW APPLIED TO ACCELERATION

Force of

/

\

BALE ACCELERATES AT 1 ms 2

Rail reaches

^^ 5 ms' after ^^

ft ) seconds

'

Rail, mass I l,i

Force of

2

\,

BALL 1CCELEB VTES AT 2 ms J

Twice theforce

produces tuice

produces

twice

the acceleration

/

Rail, mass I kg

ISVLL ACCELERATES AT 1 ms-

force of

2

\

#- /

Rail.

mass 2 kg/

Doubling both force and mass

leaves acceleration unchanged

Gravitation, or gravity, is a force that acts on

all matter. The force

between any two objects depends upon their masses and the

distance between them

(see p. 54).

If the Moon had twice

the mass thai it docs, the force between the

Earth and Moon would

be twice as large.

If the Moon were half

the distance from Ihe Earth, the gravitational

force would be four

times as large. 'Ibis

is because the force"

depends upon the

square of the distance.

GRAVITATIONAL FORCE

Earth

Distance

 

Moon exerts

force on Earth

 

Four times

the force

Earth

Half the

distance

Earth exerts

force on Moon

Twice

theforce

Moon

Moon

n

AIR RESISTANCE

Friction

\ir resistance is a type of friction that occurs when an object moves

through

Falling

the air. The faster an object moves, the greater the air resistance. objects accelerate to a speed called terminal velocity, at which

the air resistance exactlj balances the object's weight. At this speed, there

is no resultant force and so no further acceleration can occur.

|-'i;u

riON ISAP( ni( i

ni \ i SLOWS now \ or prevents