 College Physics

# Glossary

acceleration
the rate of change in velocity; the change in velocity over time
acceleration due to gravity
acceleration of an object as a result of gravity
average acceleration
the change in velocity divided by the time over which it changes
average speed
distance traveled divided by time during which motion occurs
average velocity
displacement divided by time over which displacement occurs
deceleration
acceleration in the direction opposite to velocity; acceleration that results in a decrease in velocity
dependent variable
the variable that is being measured; usually plotted along the $yy size 12{y} {}$-axis
displacement
the change in position of an object
distance
the magnitude of displacement between two positions
distance traveled
the total length of the path traveled between two positions
elapsed time
the difference between the ending time and beginning time
free-fall
the state of movement that results from gravitational force only
independent variable
the variable that the dependent variable is measured with respect to; usually plotted along the $xx size 12{x} {}$-axis
instantaneous acceleration
acceleration at a specific point in time
instantaneous speed
magnitude of the instantaneous velocity
instantaneous velocity
velocity at a specific instant, or the average velocity over an infinitesimal time interval
kinematics
the study of motion without considering its causes
model
simplified description that contains only those elements necessary to describe the physics of a physical situation
position
the location of an object at a particular time
scalar
a quantity that is described by magnitude, but not direction
slope
the difference in $yy size 12{y} {}$-value (the rise) divided by the difference in $xx size 12{x} {}$-value (the run) of two points on a straight line
time
change, or the interval over which change occurs
vector
a quantity that is described by both magnitude and direction
y-intercept
the $y-y- size 12{y} {}$value when $xx size 12{x} {}$= 0, or when the graph crosses the $yy size 12{y} {}$-axis Do you know how you learn best?