Unit 1 Vocabulary

This list will be updated periodically as we add new words to our unit.

Mass: amount of matter in an object

Gravity: a universal force of attraction between all objects

Universal force: a force that exists between everything, AKA a fundamental force

Weight: a measure of gravity’s downward pull

Motion: changing position over time, often compared to a reference point

Position: an object’s location

Speed: the rate at which an object moves (speed = distance / time)

Velocity: speed in a particular direction (ie, m/s East)

Acceleration: change in an object’s velocity over time

  • Positive acceleration – speeding up
  • Negative acceleration – slowing down, deceleration

Energy = the ability to do work

Potential energy: stored energy

  • gravitational potential energy = mass x gravitational acceleration x height

Kinetic energy: moving energy = 1/2 x mass x velocity^2

Energy conservation: energy is never created nor destroyed (lost nor gained), but transformed from one form to another. Or, the energy at the beginning is equal to the energy at the end.

Force: a push or pull caused by interaction with another object

Net force: the sum of all the forces acting on an object

Balanced: net force is zero, object is not moving

Unbalanced: sum of the forces is NOT zero, object is in motion