Understanding Physics: Key Concepts and Definitions

Classified in Physics

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Henry Cavendish

conducted an experiment that determined the value of the constant...

Rev of Heavenly Spheres

written by Copernicus in which he proposed that earth and the other planets orbit the sun in perfect circles

Axis of Rotation

the line about which the rotation occurs

Tycho Brahe

made precise observation of the planets and stars

Gravitational Force

the mutual force of attraction between particles of matter

Centripetal Force

the net force of an object in uniform circular motion

Uniform Circular Motion

an object that revolves about a single axis and has a constant tangential speed

Inertial Mass

the property of an object to resist acceleration

Centrifugal Force

an apparent force that "pushes" away from center

Apparent Weightlessness

this phenomenon occurs when there is no force of support on your body

Tangential Speed

the speed of an object in circular motion

Centripetal Acceleration

the acceleration directed toward the center of a circular path


a quantity defined as the product of the mass

Lever Arm

the perpendicular distance from the axis of rotation to a line drawn along the direction of the force


three laws of planetary motion


a quantity that measures the ability of a force to rotate an object around some axis

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