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UPSC IAS/IFS (Preliminary) Examination 2015

General Studies eManual Paper 1

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General Studies eManual Paper 1
General Physics
21. Glossary
absolute pressurethe total pressure of a fluid at the bottom of a column; equal to the pressure
acting on the top of the column plus the pressure caused by the fluid in the column

.in

accelerationthe change in an objects velocity divided by the time it took to make that change;
equal to the derivative (slope) of an objects velocitytime function
adiabatic processa process during which no heat flows into or out of the system

es

alpha particletwo protons and two neutrons stuck together

amplitudethe maximum displacement from the equilibrium position during a cycle of periodic
motion; also, the height of a wave

ot

angular momentumthe amount of effort it would take to make a rotating object stop spinning

cn

antineutrinoa subatomic particle; see neutrino

antinodepoint on a standing wave where the wave oscillates with maximum amplitude

ps

Archimedes principlethe buoyant force on an object is equal to the weight of the fluid
displaced by that object

.u

atomthe fundamental unit of matter; includes protons and neutrons in a small nucleus,
surrounded by electrons
atomic mass unit (amu)the mass of a proton; also the mass of a neutron

w
w

atomic numberthe number of protons in an atoms nucleus


average speedthe distance an object travels divided by the time it took to travel that distance
(see speed)

beatsrhythmic interference that occurs when two notes of unequal but close frequencies are
played
beta particlean electron or a positron
buoyant forcethe upward force exerted by a fluid on an object that is wholly or partially
submerged in that fluid
capacitora charge-storage device, often used in circuits

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General Studies eManual Paper 1
centrifugal forcea made-up force; when discussing circular motion, only talk about
centripetal forces
centripetal forcethe force keeping an object in uniform circular motion
coefficient of frictionthe ratio of the friction force to the normal force. The coefficient of
static friction is used when an object has no velocity; the coefficient of kinetic friction is used for
a moving object

.in

concave lensa translucent object that makes the light rays passing through it diverge

es

conservative forcea force that acts on an object without causing the dissipation of that
objects energy in the form of heat
constructive interferencethe overlap of two waves such that their peaks line up

ot

convex lensa translucent object that makes the light rays passing through it converge
critical anglethe angle past which rays cannot be transmitted from one material to another

cn

currentthe flow of positive charge in a circuit; the amount of charge passing a given point per
unit time

ps

cutoff frequencythe minimum frequency of light that, when absorbed, is capable of making
an atom eject an electron
cycleone repetition of periodic motion

.u

daughter nucleusthe nucleus left over after an atom undergoes nuclear decay

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w

de Broglie wavelengththe wavelength of a moving massive particle


densitythe mass of an object divided by that objects volume

destructive interferencethe overlap of two waves so that the peaks of one wave line up with
the troughs of the other
dipolesomething, usually a set of charges, with two nonidentical ends

directionthe orientation of a vector


displacementa vector quantity describing how far an object moved
Doppler effectthe apparent change in a waves frequency that you observe whenever the
source of the wave is moving toward or away from you

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General Studies eManual Paper 1
elastic collisiona collision in which kinetic energy is conserved
electric fielda property of a region of space that affects charged objects in that particular
region
electric fluxthe amount of electric field that penetrates a certain area
electric potentialpotential energy provided by an electric field per unit charge

electrona subatomic particle that carries a negative charge

.in

electromagnetic inductionthe production of a current by a changing magnetic field

es

electron-volta unit of energy equal to the amount of energy needed to change the potential of
an electron by one volt

ot

energythe ability to do work


entropya measure of disorder

cn

equilibriumwhen the net force on an object equals zero

ps

equipotential lineslines that illustrate every point at which a charged particle would
experience a given potential
fielda property of a region of space that can affect objects found in that particular region

.u

first law of thermodynamicsthe change in the internal energy of a system equals the heat
added to the system plus the work done on the system

w
w

flowing fluida fluid thats moving

free-body diagrama picture that represents one or more objects, along with the forces acting
on those objects

frequencythe number of cycles per second of periodic motion; also, the number of
wavelengths of a wave passing a certain point per second
frictiona force acting parallel to two surfaces in contact; if an object moves, the friction force
always acts opposite the direction of motion
fulcrumthe point about which an object rotates
fundamental frequencythe frequency of the simplest standing wave gthe acceleration due
to gravity near the Earths surface, about 10 m/s2

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General Studies eManual Paper 1
gamma particlea photon
gauge pressurethe pressure of a fluid at the bottom of a column due only to the fluid in the
column
ground state energythe lowest energy level of an atom

.in

heata type of energy (related to molecular vibrations) that can be transferred from one object
to another
heat enginea system in which heat is added to a gas contained in a cylinder with a moveable
piston; when the gas heats up, it expands, doing work by moving the piston up

es

impulsethe change in an objects momentum

ot

index of refractiona number that describes by how much light slows down when it passes
through a certain material

cn

induced EMFthe potential difference created by a changing magnetic flux that causes a
current to flow in a wire; EMF stands for electro-motive force, but the units of EMF are volts.
inductancethe property of an inductor that describes how good it is at resisting changes in
current in a circuit

ps

inductora coil in a circuit that makes use of induced EMF to resist changes in current in the
circuit

.u

inelastic collisiona collision in which kinetic energy is not conserved, as opposed to an elastic
collision, in which the total kinetic energy of all objects is the same before and after the collision

w
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inertiathe tendency for a massive object to resist a change in its velocity


internal energythe sum of the kinetic energies of each molecule of a substance
ionan electrically charged atom or molecule

ionization energythe minimum amount of energy needed for an electron to escape an atom
isobaric processa process during which the pressure of the system remains the same
isochoric processa process during which the volume of the system remains the same
isotherma curve on a PV diagram for which the temperature is constant
isothermal processa process during which the temperature of the system remains the same

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General Studies eManual Paper 1
isotopean atom with the same atomic number as another atom but a different atomic mass
kinetic energyenergy of motion
Kirchoff s lawsin a circuit, 1) at any junction, the current entering equals the current leaving;
2) the sum of the voltages around a closed loop is zero

.in

Lenzs lawthe direction of the current induced by a changing magnetic flux creates a magnetic
field that opposes the change in flux
longitudinal wavewhen particles move parallel to the direction of a waves motion

es

magnetic fielda property of a region of space that causes magnets and moving charges to
experience a force
magnetic fluxthe amount of magnetic field that penetrates an area

ot

magnitudehow much of a quantity is present; see scalar and vector

cn

mass defectthe amount of mass that is destroyed and converted into kinetic energy in a
nuclear decay process
mass numberthe number of protons plus neutrons in an atoms nucleus

ps

mass spectrometera device used to determine the mass of a particle


moment of inertiathe rotational equivalent of mass

.u

momentumthe amount of oomph an object has in a collision, equal to an objects mass


multiplied by that objects velocity

w
w

net forcethe vector sum of all the forces acting on an object


neutrinoA subatomic particle emitted during beta decay that affects only the kinetic energy of
the products of the decay process

neutrona subatomic particle found in an atoms nucleus that has no electric charge
nodepoint on a standing wave where the medium through which the wave is propagating does
not move
normal forcea force that acts perpendicular to the surface on which an object rests
nucleusthe small, dense core of an atom, made of protons and neutrons

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General Studies eManual Paper 1
oscillationmotion of an object that regularly repeats itself over the same path
parallelthe arrangement of elements in a circuit so that the charge that flows through one
element does not flow through the others
Pascals principleif a force is applied somewhere on a container holding a fluid, the pressure
increases everywhere in the fluid, not just where the force is applied

.in

peaka high point on a wave


perfectly inelastic collisiona collision in which the colliding objects stick together after
impact

es

periodthe time it takes for an object to pass through one cycle of periodic motion; also, the
time for a wave to propagate by a distance of one wavelength

ot

photoelectric effectenergy in the form of light can cause an atom to eject one of its electrons,
but only if the frequency of the light is above a certain value

cn

photona particle of light; a photon has no mass


plane mirrora flat, reflective surface

ps

positronlike an electron, but with a positive charge


potential energyenergy of position

.u

powerthe amount of work done divided by the time it took to do that work; also, in a circuit,
equal to the product of the current flowing through a resistor and the voltage drop across that
resistor

w
w

pressurethe amount of force applied to a surface divided by the area of that surface
principal axisthe imaginary line running through the middle of a spherical mirror or a lens

principle of continuitythe volume flow rate is equal at all points within an isolated stream of
fluid
protona subatomic particle found in an atoms nucleus that carries a positive charge
PV diagrama graph of a gass pressure versus its volume
real imagean image created by a mirror or a lens that is upside-down and can be projected
onto a screen
refrigeratorlike a heat engine, only work is done to remove heat

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General Studies eManual Paper 1
resistancea property of a circuit that resists the flow of current
resistorsomething put in a circuit to increase its resistance
restoring forcea force that restores an oscillating object to its equilibrium position
scalara quantity that has a magnitude but no direction

.in

second law of thermodynamicsheat flows naturally from a hot object to a cold object but not
from cold to hot; equivalently, the entropy of a system cannot decrease unless work is done on
that system

es

seriesthe arrangement of elements in a circuit so that they are connected in a line, one after the
other

speedthe magnitude of an objects velocity

cn

spherical mirrora curved, reflective surface

ot

specific gravitythe ratio of a substances density to the density of water

standing wavea wave that, when observed, appears to have peaks and troughs that dont move

ps

static fluida fluid that isnt flowing

temperaturea quantity related to the average kinetic energy per molecule of a substance

.u

tensiona force applied by a rope or string

thermal expansionenlargement of an object that is heated

w
w

time constanta value related to how long it takes to charge or discharge a capacitor
torquethe application of a force at some distance from a fulcrum; if the net torque on an
object isnt zero, the objects rotational velocity will change

total internal reflectionthe reflection of light off a surface that occurs when the light cannot
pass from a medium with a high index of refraction to one with a low index of refraction
transverse waveoccurs when the particles in a wave move perpendicular to the direction of
the waves motion
trougha low point on a wave
vectora quantity that has both magnitude and direction

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General Studies eManual Paper 1
velocityhow fast an objects displacement changes, equal to the derivative (slope) of an
objects positiontime function
virtual imagean image created by a mirror or lens that is upright and cannot be projected onto
a screen
volume flow ratethe volume of fluid flowing past a point per second

wavelengtha waves peak-to-peak or troughto- trough distance

es

wave pulsewhen a single peak travels through a medium

.in

wavea rhythmic up-and-down or side-to-side motion that moves through a material at constant
speed

weightthe force due to gravity; equal to the mass of an object times g, the gravitational field

ot

workthe product of the distance an object travels and the components of the force acting on
that object directed parallel to the objects direction of motion

cn

work-energy theoremthe net work done on an object equals that objects change in kinetic
energy

---- XXXX ----

w
w

.u

ps

work functionthe minimum amount of energy needed for an electron to be ejected from the
surface of a metal

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