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Physics Reference Libraries

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Gyroscope
2010-09-27 17:20:27

A gyroscope uses the principles of conservation and angular momentum to measure and maintain orientation. The mechanical gyroscope is a spinning wheel or disk whose axle is free to take any orientation. The gyroscope's high rate of spin allows for large angular momentum which makes the orientation changes much more responsive to a given external torque. There is also the electronic,...

Thermostat
2010-09-24 18:05:15

A thermostat regulates the temperature of a system and keeps the system's temperature at desired setpoint temperature. The device does this by turning heating and cooling devices on and off and regulating air flow of a heat transfer fluid as needed. This maintains the correct temperature. Thermostats may be used to control heating or cooling a system, or may be a component part of a heater...

Gas Stove
2010-09-24 16:20:41

A gas stove is a cooking device which uses natural gas, propane, butane, Liquefied petroleum gas or other flammable gas as a fuel source. Since the gas pipe network was slow to develop, the success of the gas stove on a commercial level took some time to happen. Gas stoves were invented as early as the 1820's as isolated experiments but it was not until the 1880's that manufactured stoves...

Electromagnet
2010-09-23 20:39:09

An electromagnet, a magnet whose magnetic field is produced by the flow of electric current, works until the electric current ceases. The magnetic field in a simple electromagnet is created by a wire passing through it with an electric current. The strength of the magnet depends on the amount of current. By making the wire into a coil the magnetic field is concentrated. A straight tube coil is...

Barometer
2010-09-23 15:29:32

A barometer is an instrument that measures atmospheric pressure. The barometer measures pressure exerted by the atmosphere using water, air, or mercury. Through measuring the pressure one can forecast short term weather changes. Evangelista Torricelli is credited with the invention of the barometer in 1643. However, Gasparo Berti unintentionally built a water barometer around the same time....

Magnifying Glass
2010-09-16 15:48:43

A magnifying glass is a convex lens, usually mounted in a frame with a handle, which is used to produce a magnified image of an object. The glass works by creating a magnified virtual image of an object behind the lens. However, the distance between the lens and the object must be shorter than the focal length for the glass to work. If the distance is not correct then the image will appear...

Astronomical Clock
2010-09-16 15:30:25

An astronomical clock is a clock with special mechanisms and dials to display astronomical information. This information can include everything from the relative position of the sun and the moon to major planets to zodiacal constellations. The term Astronomical clock is loosely used to refer to any clock that shows astronomical information. The clock could include the location of the sun...

Coma Cluster
2010-09-13 16:56:08

The Coma Cluster (Abell 1656), along with the Leo Cluster, is one of two major clusters compromising the Coma Supercluster. It contains over 1000 identified galaxies. Most of the galaxies in the center of the Coma Cluster are elliptical galaxies including both dwarf and giant. However the center is dominated by NGC 4874 and NGC 4889, two giant elliptical galaxies. The brightest galaxies are...

JKCS 041
2010-09-08 16:02:39

As of 2009, JKCS 041 is a group of galaxies with the distinction of being the farthest away group from Earth ever observed. Seen at redshift 1.9, it is estimated to be 10.2 billion light years away. The cluster is located within the constellation Cetus at a photometrically determined redshift of z=1.9 at right ascension 2h 26m 44s declination -04° 41"² 37"³ (J2000.0).

Tesla Nikola
2009-07-17 15:59:58

Nikola Tesla (b. July 10, 1856 - d. January 7, 1943) was a mechanical and electrical engineer as well as an inventor. Tesla was born in the village of Smiljan, Vojna Krajina, which is within the territory of today's Croatia. He was an born an ethnic Serb and was a subject of the Austrian Empire, before becoming an American citizen. He is often considered one of the most important contributors...

Word of the Day
zill
  • One of a pair of round metal cymbals attached to the fingers and struck together for rhythm and percussion in belly dancing.
The word 'zill' comes from a Turkish word meaning "cymbals".
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