IB Physics Glossary



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P

Parallel plates

For parallel plates, of separation d, with a potential/voltage difference ΔV across the plates, the electric field, E, is given by 
E=\frac{\Delta V}{d}

The electric field is uniform or constant between the plates.

Examples

plate_1

plate_2



plate_3


plate_4

plate_5

Parsec

is the distance to a star whose parallax angle is 1 arc-second. (d)

Phase difference

\phi, is the difference in phase angle between two oscillations with the same frequency. (d)

Photopic vision

is color vision which occurs at normal light levels. Vision is aided by the three different cone cells, S (for short-wavelengths or blue), M (for medium-wavelengths or green) and L (for long-wavelengths or red).

Polarization

of light occurs when the direction of the electric field oscillations is in the same plane. (d)

Potential divider rule

is used to calculate the potential difference which is shared between components, R1 and R2, placed in series:
pdpd_rule

where R_1 + R_2 is the total resistance and E is the emf.

Note

E=V_{R1}+V_{R2}

for equal resistances, R_1=R_2, the potential difference is shared equally between the resistances

for unequal resistances, R_1 \ne R_2, the potentail difference is not shared equally but will be greater across the resistance with highest value.

Potential energy

is a stored form of energy available to do work.

Power

is the rate at which work is done. (d)

Precision

tells us how consistent repeated measurements are. A precise set of measurements are relatively closer together. An imprecise set of measurements are spread apart.

Pressure

is the force per unit area. (d)

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