Basic physics concepts for engineering

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.