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Online Physics Glossary
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Word Meaning Remarks
Half-life Length of time for half of a sample of radioactive material to decay.
Harmonics Frequencies produced by musical instrument that are multiples of fundamental tone.
Heat Quantity of energy transferred from one object to another because of a difference in temperature.
Heat engine Device that converts thermal energy to mechanical energy.
Heat of fusion Quantity of energy needed to change a unit mass of a substance from solid to liquid state at the melting point.
Heat of vaporization Quantity of energy needed to change a unit mass of a substance from liquid to gaseous state at the boiling point.
Heavy water Deuterium oxide used mainly in CANDU nuclear reactors.
Heisenberg uncertainty principle The more accurately one determines the position of a particle, the less accurately the momentum can be known, and vice versa.
Hertz Unit of frequency equal to one event or cycle per second.
Hole Absence of an electron in a semiconductor.
Hooke’s law Deformation of an object is proportional to force causing it.
Huygens’ wavelets Model of spreading of waves in which each point on wavefront is source of circular or spherical waves.
Hydraulic system Machines using fluids to transmit energy.
Hyperbola Mathematical curve that describes an inverse relationship between two variables.
Hypotenuse Side opposite the right angle in a triangle.
 
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