SPM Physics Glossary
  Form 4   Form 5  
  01 Introduction to Physics   01 Wave (coming soon)  
  02 Force and Motion   02 Electricity (coming soon)  
  03 Force and Pressure (coming soon)   03 Electromagnetism (coming soon)  
  04 Heat (coming soon)   04 Electronic (coming soon)  
  05 Light (coming soon)   05 Radioactivity (coming soon)  

  Introduction to Physics  
  1.1 Base Quantities and Derived Quantities  
  1.2 Standard Form and Prefixes  
  1.3 Scalar Quantities and Vector Quantities  
  1.4 Measurement  
  1.5 Scientific Investigation  


Base Quantities and Derived Quantities

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Physical Quantity
A physical quantity is a quantity that can be measured.

Base Quantity
Base quantities are the quantities that cannot be defined in terms of other quantities.

Derived Quantity
Derived quantities are physics quantities derived from the base quantities through multiplication, division or both.

Standard Form and Prefixes

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Standard form/Scientific Notation
Standard form or scientific notation is a convenient way to write very big or very small numerical values in a form of multiple of 10.

Prefixes are names or symbols that precede a unit of measure to represent very big or very small numerical values in S.I. units.

Scalar Quantities and Vector Quantities

Define scalar quantity
Scalar quantities are physical quantities that have magnitude only.

Define vector quantity
Vector quantities are physical quantities that have magnitude and direction.


mind map measurement

Consistency is the ability of an instrument in measuring a quantity in a consistent manner with only a small relative deviation between readings.

Relative Deviation
The relative deviation is the percentage of mean deviation for a set of measurements and it is defined by the following formula:

The accuracy of a measurement is how close the measurement made is to the actual value of the quantity of physics.

Sensitivity of a measuring tool is its ability to detect small changes in the quantity that is being measured.

Systematic Error
Systematic errors are errors which tend to shift all measurements in a systematic way so their mean value is displaced.

Zero Error
A zero error arises when the measuring instrument does not start from exactly zero.

Random Error
Random errors arise from unknown and unpredictable variations in condition.
It fluctuates from one measurement to the next.

Parallax Error
A parallax error is an error in reading an instrument due to the eye of the observer and pointer are not in a line perpendicular to the plane of the scale.

Scientific Investigation

An inference is an initial interpretation or explanation concerning the observation.

A variable is a physical quantity that can be varied in an experiment.