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aberration

aberration   Quick reference

A Dictionary of Physics (8 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2019
Subject:
Science and technology, Physics
Length:
218 words
Illustration(s):
1
1. (in optics) A defect in the image formed by a lens or curved mirror. In chromatic aberration the image formed by a lens (but not a mirror) has coloured fringes as a result ... More
acceleration

acceleration   Quick reference

A Dictionary of Physics (8 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2019
Subject:
Science and technology, Physics
Length:
107 words
Illustration(s):
1

Symbol a. The rate of increase of speed or velocity. It is measured in m s−2. For a body moving linearly with constant acceleration ...

activity

activity   Quick reference

A Dictionary of Physics (8 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2019
Subject:
Science and technology, Physics
Length:
206 words
Illustration(s):
4
1. Symbol a. A thermodynamic function used in place of concentration in equilibrium constants for reactions involving nonideal gases and solutions. For example, in a ... More
Ampère’s law

Ampère’s law   Quick reference

A Dictionary of Physics (8 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2019
Subject:
Science and technology, Physics
Length:
128 words
Illustration(s):
1

A law of the form

dB=(μoI sinθ dl)/...

arithmetic series

arithmetic series   Quick reference

A Dictionary of Physics (8 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2019
Subject:
Science and technology, Physics
Length:
79 words
Illustration(s):
2
A series or progression of numbers in which there is a common difference between terms, e.g. 3, 9, 15, 21,… is an arithmetic series with a common difference of 6. The general formula for ... More
band theory

band theory   Quick reference

A Dictionary of Physics (8 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2019
Subject:
Science and technology, Physics
Length:
1,040 words
Illustration(s):
3

The theory that, in crystals, electrons fall into allowed *energy bands, between which lie forbidden bands. Although *free-electron theory...

barometer

barometer   Quick reference

A Dictionary of Physics (8 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2019
Subject:
Science and technology, Physics
Length:
398 words
Illustration(s):
1
A device for measuring *atmospheric pressure. The mercury barometer in its simplest form consists of a glass tube about 80 cm long sealed at one end and filled with mercury. The tube is ... More
Bayes’ theorem

Bayes’ theorem   Quick reference

A Dictionary of Physics (8 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2019
Subject:
Science and technology, Physics
Length:
148 words
Illustration(s):
1
A theorem in probability theory giving the probability of an intersection of two or more sets as a product of the individual probabilities for each. It is used to calculate the probability ... More
Beckmann thermometer

Beckmann thermometer   Quick reference

A Dictionary of Physics (8 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2019
Subject:
Science and technology, Physics
Length:
102 words
Illustration(s):
1
A thermometer for measuring small changes of temperature. It consists of a mercury-in-glass thermometer with a scale covering only 5 or 6°C calibrated in hundredths of a degree. It has two ... More
beta decay

beta decay   Quick reference

A Dictionary of Physics (8 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2019
Subject:
Science and technology, Physics
Length:
334 words
Illustration(s):
3

A type of weak interaction (see fundamental interactions) in which an unstable atomic nucleus changes into a nucleus of the same nucleon number (...

BET isotherm

BET isotherm   Quick reference

A Dictionary of Physics (8 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2019
Subject:
Science and technology, Physics
Length:
163 words
Illustration(s):
1
An isotherm that takes account of the possibility that the monolayer in the *Langmuir adsorption isotherm can act as a substrate for further adsorption. The BET isotherm (named after ... ... More
big-bang theory

big-bang theory   Quick reference

A Dictionary of Physics (8 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2019
Subject:
Science and technology, Physics
Length:
979 words
Illustration(s):
1
Newton’s work gave a mathematical basis for the universe on a large scale. However, the data available at the time suggested a static unchanging universe. This could not easily be ... More
binomial distribution

binomial distribution   Quick reference

A Dictionary of Physics (8 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2019
Subject:
Science and technology, Physics
Length:
153 words
Illustration(s):
1

The distribution of the number of successes in an experiment in which there are two possible outcomes, success and failure. The probability of ...

binomial theorem

binomial theorem   Quick reference

A Dictionary of Physics (8 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2019
Subject:
Science and technology, Physics
Length:
71 words
Illustration(s):
1

A rule for the expansion of a binomial expression (expression consisting of the sum of two variables raised to a given power). The general binomial expression (...

Bloch sphere

Bloch sphere   Quick reference

A Dictionary of Physics (8 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2019
Subject:
Science and technology, Physics
Length:
112 words
Illustration(s):
1
A geometrical representation of a two-state system in *quantum mechanics in which the system is represented by a sphere. An example of a quantum-mechanical system that can be represented ... More
Boltzmann constant

Boltzmann constant   Quick reference

A Dictionary of Physics (8 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2019
Subject:
Science and technology, Physics
Length:
63 words
Illustration(s):
1

Symbol k or k B. The ratio of the universal gas constant (R) to the Avogadro constant (...

Boltzmann equation

Boltzmann equation   Quick reference

A Dictionary of Physics (8 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2019
Subject:
Science and technology, Physics
Length:
197 words
Illustration(s):
1
An equation used in the study of a collection of particles in *nonequilibrium statistical mechanics, particularly their transport properties. The Boltzmann equation describes a quantity ... More
Born–Haber cycle

Born–Haber cycle   Quick reference

A Dictionary of Physics (8 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2019
Subject:
Science and technology, Physics
Length:
286 words
Illustration(s):
8

A cycle of reactions used for calculating the lattice energies of ionic crystalline solids. For a compound MX, the lattice energy is the enthalpy of the reaction...

Bragg’s law

Bragg’s law   Quick reference

A Dictionary of Physics (8 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2019
Subject:
Science and technology, Physics
Length:
112 words
Illustration(s):
1

When a beam of X-rays (wavelength λ) strikes a crystal surface in which the layers of atoms or ions are separated by a distance ...

calculus

calculus   Quick reference

A Dictionary of Physics (8 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2019
Subject:
Science and technology, Physics
Length:
281 words
Illustration(s):
1
A series of mathematical techniques developed independently by Isaac *Newton and Gottfried Leibniz (1646–1716). Differential calculus treats a continuously varying quantity as if it ... More

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