Basic Physics Concepts for Engineering
Forces and Motion
- Force is a push or pull that can change the state of motion of an object.
- Friction: Resistance found when one body is sliding or has the potential to slide along another.
- Gravity: The force that objects exert on each other because of their masses. It causes objects to fall towards the Earth and gives things weight.
- Weight is the force of gravity on an object; calculated by multiplying the object’s mass by the acceleration due to gravity.
- Speed: The rate at which someone or something is able to move or operate.
- Velocity: The rate of change of displacement. It is a vector quantity with both direction and magnitude.
- Acceleration: The rate of change of velocity per unit of time.
Electricity and Magnetism
- Current: The flow of electric charge around a circuit.
- Voltage: The potential difference in charge between two points in an electrical field.
- Resistance: The ability of a substance to impede the flow of an electric current causing a conversion of electrical energy into heat.
- Magnetism: A physical phenomenon caused by the motion of electric charge, resulting in attractive and repulsive forces between objects.
- Electromagnetic Induction: Generation of electric current in a conductor by varying the magnetic field passed through the conductor.
Energy and Work
- Energy: The capacity of a system to perform work.
- Kinetic Energy: Energy of motion computed as 1/2 the product of mass and velocity squared.
- Potential Energy: Stored energy resulting from position or state of an object.
- Work: The product of a force on an object and the distance the object moves in the response to the force.
- Power: The rate of doing work or the amount of energy transferred per unit time.
Properties and Behavior of Matter
- Mass: The quantity of matter contained by an object.
- Density: The mass per unit volume of an object.
- Temperature: A measure of the average kinetic energy of the particles in an object.
- Pressure: The force exerted per unit area.
Light and Sound Waves
- Sound Wave: A wave of compression and rarefaction, by which sound is propagated in an elastic medium such as air.
- Light Wave: An electromagnetic wave that is visible to the human eye.
- Reflection and Refraction: The change in direction of a wave at a boundary, and the change in direction of a wave as it changes speed by moving from one medium to another.
By revising these basic principles, you’ll develop a stronger foundation in physics which plays a crucial role in understanding, designing, and evaluating engineering systems.