# Fundamental Terms of Physics

## Energy, Work, and Displacement

Energy is the ability to do work. Work is the energy transferred to an object (force) that causes a displacement. A displacement is the measure of the distance moved in a specific direction, or the shortest distance from an initial to a final position. A simple way to think of work is as the amount of energy given to or taken away from an object. ## Joules, Force, and Newtons

Energy and work are most commonly measured in joules ($J$). One joule is equal to the energy required for one newton ($N$) of force to perform a displacement of one meter ($m$), or $J=Nm$.

Force is energy transferred to an object (a "push" or a "pull") that will change the motion of an object, if unopposed by another force. Force is measured in Newtons. One newton is the force required to accelerate one kilogram ($kg$) one meter per second squared, or $1N = \frac{1kg*1m}{1s^2}$. The equation for force can also be written as the product of mass ($M$) and acceleration ($A$), or $F=MA$.

## Mass, Velocity, and Acceleration

Mass is the amount of matter that makes up an object. Mass is measured in kilograms ($kg$). A kilogram was originally defined to equal to the mass of one litre of water, or 1,000 cubic centimeters of water (thus $1g$ is the mass of $1cm^3$ of water). It's still useful to think of kilogram as defined this way; however the formal definition of kilogram is more complicated.

Velocity is the distance ($d$) traveled in a given direction over time ($t$), or $V=d/t$ and is often expressed as meters per second ($m/s$).

Acceleration is the rate of change in velocity ($V$) over time ($T$), or $A=\Delta{V}/\Delta{T}$, in other words acceleration is how much an object is speeding up, slowing down, or changing direction.

## Kinetic and Potential Energy

• Kinetic energy is the energy an object possesses by being in motion (moving)
• Potential energy is the energy an object has by being at rest (not moving)

### Gravitational Potential Energy

Gravitational Potential Energy is the energy an object has by being at some height and would be converted to kinetic energy when the object is dropped. The force of Gravity on Earth ($G$) is constant at $9.8m/s^2$, therefore to calculate the gravitational energy of an object, we can use $G$ as the value for force, the object's height ($H$) as the distance, and the objects mass ($M$) for the mass, or: $J=MGH$.

## Deeper Knowledge on Physics

### Angular Motion

The basics of angular motion

### Electricity

Energy that results from charged particles

### Mechanical Engineering

Build and deconstruct mechanical devices

### Power (Physics)

Energy that results from charged particles

### Richard Feynman: Lectures and Other Works

Information about the famous scientist, Richard Feynman

### Torque

Learn about torque: Force that causes an object to rotate around an axis.

## Broader Topics Related to Physics

### Science

The most rigorous system of epistemology