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Physical Science -Forces and Motion Vocabulary
1. scientific method - The way we learn and study the world around us through a process of
steps. (Six Giant Hippos Eat Red & Orange Candy)
2. position – the exact location of an object.
3. direction – the line or course along which something moves.
4. speed – measures how fast an object is moving in a given amount of time.
5. motion – the change in position of an object.
6. constant – remaining steady and unchanged (stays the same.)
force – push or pull
interaction – the action or influence of people, groups or things on one another.
exert – to put forth as strength (exert a force)
friction - a force that opposes (goes against) motion. Friction is created when two surfaces
rub together. Effects of friction: slowing down or stopping an object, producing heat, or wearing
away an object.
11. Newton’s 1st Law of Motion: an object at rest will stay at rest and an object in motion will stay
in motion until a force acts upon it.
12. inertia – the tendency for an object to keep doing what it is doing (resting or moving)
13. mass – the amount of matter (“stuff”) - in an object.
14. weight - the amount of force (pull) that gravity has on an object's mass. Your weight depends on
the gravitational pull of your location.
15. gravity – a force that attracts (pulls) all objects to the center of the Earth
16. acceleration – the changes in an object’s motion. This can be speeding up, slowing down or
changing direction. An object’s acceleration depends on the object’s mass and the force applied.
17. Newton’s 2nd Law of Motion – the acceleration of an object depends on its mass and the force
used to move it
F = force
M = mass
A = acceleration
18. velocity – measures how fast an object is moving (speed) AND the direction in which it is
19. momentum - the higher the velocity and mass, the more momentum an object has. One way to
think of momentum is that momentum measures how hard it will be to stop the object once it is in
motion. Momentum can be transferred when two objects collide.
20. Newton’s 3rd Law of Motion – for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction
21. net force – the overall force(s) acting on an object.
22. balanced force - does not cause a change in motion. Is equal in size and opposite in
direction. Net force = ZERO
23. unbalanced force - always causes a change in motion. Is not equal and opposite. Net force
is GREATER than zero.
24. energy – the ability to do work
25. kinetic energy – energy of motion.
26. potential energy – stored energy in a body or system due to its position.
27. mixture - two or more substances are mixed together but not combined chemically
28. solution - when two or more elements are mixed together. These substances are evenly
distributed throughout the solution. The substances can be solid, liquid or gas.
29. physical change - a usually reversible change in the physical properties of a substance, as
size or shape: Freezing a liquid is a physical change.
30. chemical change - a usually irreversible chemical reaction involving the rearrangement of one or
more substances and a change in their chemical properties, resulting in the formation of at least
one new substance: The formation of rust on iron is a chemical change.
31. conduction – flow of thermal (heat) energy between things that are touching.
32. conductor – a material that heat can move through easily like aluminum, steel and other metals.
33. convection – the transfer of thermal (heat) energy by the movement of liquids or gases.
34. radiation – the transfer of energy by electromagnetic waves. The sun is Earth’s main source of
electromagnetic waves.