Acceleration: Rate of change of velocity

Annulus: A shape consisting of two concentric circles; like a donut

Anti-Particle: A particle that has the same mass, but opposite electric charge, weak charge, color and lepton number or baryon number.

Charge(Electric): A fundamental property of matter, it can be positive or negative

Coulomb’s Law

Crystal: Regular, periodic array of atoms; structure is usually determined by X-ray diffraction patterns

Current: A stream of moving charges

de Broglie’s Hypothesis

Diffraction: A variety of wave interference patterns



Electrostatics: Study of behaviour of test charge when source charges are at rest

Energy: A quantity that stays constant in all the chemical and physical processes, and occurs in various forms

Force: Change of Momentum per unit time

Field: Any physical quantity that takes on different values at different points in space

Inertial Frame: A reference frame in which laws of Physics are exactly obeyed

Kinematics: Study of motion and analysis of position, velocity and acceleration without going into the cause(forces) of the motion

Kinetic Energy: Energy by virtue of motion

Mass: A measure of “inertia” or, the “amount” of matter contained in something

Matter: The “stuff” that everything is made of, including us, the earth, the planets, sun and the galaxies

Mole: The quantity of matter that contains as many objects as the no. of atoms in exactly 12 g (=0.012 kg) of 12C

Momentum: Mass times velocity

Noninertial frame: A frame of reference in which Newton’s laws of motion aren’t valid

Particle: A body of zero length (hypothetical)

Plasma: Ionized state of Matter

Potential Energy: Energy of a system by virtue of its configuration relative to a reference point(defined to be zero potential energy)


Scalar: A quantity that can be completely described by mentioning its magnitude


Translation: Motion in three dimensions(point particle) or movement such that the different points on the rigid body follow parallel paths

Vector: A quantity that requires magnitude as well as direction to be specified completely


Wave: A continuous periodic disturbance

Wave-Particle Duality: All matter can show both wave-like and particle-like tendencies, depending upon the experiment, also see de Broglie’s Hypothesis

Weight: mass times gravitational acceleration