Living Earth Terms.docx

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Earth & Environmental Sciences
EESC 1180
Alan Kafka

Some useful terms Acceleration: The rate at which an object changes its velocity.An object is accelerating if it is changing its velocity, both speeding up and slowing down. Centripetal force requirement: inward force acting upon an object that is moving in a circle, in order to cause its inward acceleration. Energy: “Nature’s way of keeping score.” Measured in joules.Appears in many forms, most of which are ultimately derived from the sun or from radioactivity. Force:Apush or pull. The force applied to a machine is called work input or effort force. Gravitational Potential Energy: Potential energy due to elevated position. Gravitation potential energy = weight x height. Note this only depends on vertical displacement and not the path taken to get it there. This value is always relative to some reference level. Inertia: The tendency of matter to remain at rest if at rest, or, if moving, to keep moving in the same direction, unless affected by an outside (or unbalanced) force. 2 2 Kinetic Energy (KE): Energy of motion. KE= ½ mass x velocity = ½mv Note that small changes in speed can result in large changes of KE (it’s speed squared!). Net force x distance = KE. Includes heat, sound, and light (motion of molecul
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