Topic-1 - TOPIC 1. REVIEW INTRODUCTION In Physics 112 we...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–3. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
TOPIC 1. REVIEW INTRODUCTION In Physics 112 we will be making heavy use of vectors, so we will start with a review of vectors. The important vector quantities we will be discussing are electric forces, electric fields, electric currents, magnetic forces, magnetic fields, and the velocity of propagation of electromagnetic waves. We will also be making heavy use of the concepts of mechanical energy, kinetic energy, potential energy, and work both conservative and nonconservative so we will review these,  emphasizing gravitational forces. Topic 1A. Vectors PHYSICAL QUANTITIES Physics deals over and over with physical quantities quantities such as mass, temperature, force, acceleration, moment of inertia. Sometimes you are given their values in a problem. Sometimes you have to measure them, as in a laboratory. Sometimes you calculate them from other quantities. Sometimes you predict what their values will be at some time in the future, say 15.0 seconds from now, or when a object rolling down a hill reaches the bottom of the hill. SCALAR PHYSICAL QUANTITIES Some physical quantities are just a number, without units. An example of such a physical quantity is the coefficient of kinetic friction. It has a value such as 0.55 or 0.13, with no units of any kind. That's because it is really a ratio of two forces, so the units cancel out. These quantities are referred to as . scalars Other physical quantities are specified by a numerical value and a unit. Together, the numerical value and the unit are referred to as the magnitude of the quantity. For example, an object might have a mass of 5.0 kilograms. "5.0" is the numerical value of this mass, and "kilograms" refers to the unit. With different units the numerical value is different, but the magnitude is the same. This mass, for example, could also be said to have a mass of 0.0050 megagrams, or 5000 grams. These quantities are also referred to as scalars. VECTOR PHYSICAL QUANTITIES Some physical quantities have a magnitude but also require the specification of a direction in space. An example is the force acting on an object. It might be "4.7 newtons south" or "2500 newtons in an upward direction." Or the velocity of an automobile might be "55 miles per hour east" or "60 miles per hour west." Physical quantities that require a direction in order to be completely specified as referred to as . vectors In summary, then, a scalar is a quantity that is completely specified by a magnitude (whether or not it has units). A vector is a quantity that is completely specified by a magnitude and a direction. The magnitude of a vector is itself a scalar.
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Question 1. Here are some physical quantities that were introduced and used in Physics 111. Indicate for each if it is (1) a scalar or (2) a vector. A. Mass B. Kinetic energy C. Force D. Potential energy E. Velocity F. Speed G. Acceleration H. Linear momentum I. Displacement J. Distance traveled K. Heat capacity L. Entropy SYMBOLS USED TO REPRESENT VECTORS We'll always denote a vector by a symbol with an arrow over it, like . The arrow J@ t t or reminds us that it is a vector, and not a scalar quantity.
Background image of page 2
Image of page 3
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

This note was uploaded on 02/11/2012 for the course PHYSICS 112 taught by Professor Fretwell during the Summer '08 term at Iowa State.

Page1 / 15

Topic-1 - TOPIC 1. REVIEW INTRODUCTION In Physics 112 we...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 3. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online