Written by Bernd Schneider
7.2 Fundamental Constants
|Speed of light in vacuum|
|Permeability of vacuum|
|Permittivity of vacuum|
|Newtonian constant of gravitation|
|Planck constant in eV|
|Electron mass in u|
|Electron mass in eV|
|Proton mass in u|
|Proton mass in eV|
|Proton-electron mass ratio|
|Proton specific charge|
|Neutron mass in u|
|Neutron mass in eV|
|Neutron-electron mass ratio|
|Neutron-proton mass ratio|
|Boltzmann constant in eV|
|Molar volume ideal gas, STP|
|Atomic mass unit|
|Standard acceleration of gravity|
This data is derived from the 1986 CODATA recommended values of the fundamental physical constants. Complete list of constants: NIST Reference.
7.3 Other Useful Values
- Acceleration (a)
- Change of velocity per time .
- Machine used to accelerate particles to high speeds (and thus high energy compared to their rest mass-energy).
- In any periodic motion, the maximum displacement from equilibrium.
- Complementary form of matter in which the single particle has the same mass but reversed charge.
- Rule without proof, nonetheless valid.
- Bohr, Niels Henrik David
- 1885-1962, established a new understanding of the atomic structure, Nobel Prize 1922.
- Center of mass
- A point of an object in which its whole mass may be assumed concentrated with respect to outer forces.
- Coordinate system
- Diagram which consists of two or more, mostly perpendicular axes (e.g. x and y), in which a function can be illustrated.
- Quantity which doesn’t change and must not change within an equation.
- Factor of ten.
- Rate of change (steepness) of a function , given as the quotient of two differentials .
- Very small (infinitesimal) difference between two values of a quantity.
- Differential equation
- Equation which includes one or more derivatives of a variable, and which has to be solved with special methods.
- Bending of a wave passing through slits which are about the size of its wavelength.
- Variation of speed of light with wavelength in a material, resulting in separation of light into its spectrum.
- Doppler shift
- Change in wavelength due to relative motion between source and detector.
- Duc de Broglie, Louis Victor Pierre Raymond
- 1892-1987, demonstrated that a (small) particle may be represented by a wave, Nobel Prize 1929.
- Mostly the ratio of useful power to total power, also applicable to other quantities.
- Einstein, Albert
- 1879-1955, conceived the Special and General Theories of Relativity, Nobel Prize 1921.
- Electromagnetic force
- One of the four fundamental forces due to electric charges, both static and moving.
- Electromagnetic wave
- Wave consisting of oscillating electric and magnetic fields that move through space at the speed of light.
- Electron ( )
- Elementary particle of small mass and negative charge found in every atom.
- Electron-volt (eV)
- Energy gained by an electron which accelerates through a potential difference of one volt, used as an alternative unit of energy.
- Energy (E)
- Work stored in matter, for instance as kinetic energy or potential energy.
- Condition in which the net force on an object is zero.
- Force (F)
- Agent that results in accelerating or deforming an object.
- Frequency (f)
- Number of oscillations per unit time .
- Acronym for Faster Than Light.
- Mathematical relationship between two quantities y and x , given as an equation.
- Gravitational field
- Distortion of space due to the presence of a mass.
- Gravitational force
- One of the four fundamental forces, attraction between two objects due to their mass.
- Heisenberg, Werner
- 1901-1976, discovered the Uncertainty Principle, Nobel Prize 1932.
- Hertz (Hz)
- Unit of frequency.
- Imaginary number
- Multiple of the square root of -1, a number which may be an aid in certain calculations, but which cannot represent a measurable (real) value.
- Tendency of an object to remain in its current state of motion.
- Very small quantity, approaching zero.
- Infrared (IR) radiation
- Electromagnetic radiation with a longer wavelength and lower energy content than visible light.
- Mathematically, the area under a curve , inverse operation to derivation.
- Superposition of two or more waves, locally producing either larger or smaller amplitudes.
- Any electrically charged particle, in particular atom nuclei lacking one or more electrons of their nominal complement.
- Joule (J)
- Unit of energy (or work or heat).
- Kinetic energy
- Energy of a mass due to its motion with a speed .
- Acronym for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation, a light source that produces large amounts of narrow-band light, taking advantage of resonance effects.
- Visible electromagnetic radiation with wavelengths between 400nm and 700nm.
- Lorentz, Hendrik Antoon
- 1853-1928, developed, among other work, the Lorentz transformation as a basis for Special Relativity, Nobel Prize 1902.
- Mass (m)
- Property inherent to any matter, representing its resistance to gravity and acceleration.
- Mathematical description of physical behavior in the form of a set of (mostly simplified) equations.
- Momentum (p)
- Product of mass and velocity of an object.
- Monochromatic light
- Light of a single wavelength.
- Having a net (electric) charge equal to zero.
- Neutron (n)
- Elementary particle with no charge and mass slightly greater than that of a proton.
- Newton (N)
- Unit of force.
- Proton or a neutron, one of the particles that makes up a nucleus.
- Core of an atom, consisting of protons and neutrons (plural: nuclei).
- The zero point of a coordinate system.
- Subatomic object with a definite mass and charge (among other properties).
- Time cycle in which the shape of an oscillation or wave repeats.
- Fixed shift to a wave, given as an angle
- Elementary particle which is equivalent to the energy of an electromagnetic wave.
- Planck, Max
- 1858-1947, introduced the Quantum Theory, Nobel Prize 1918.
- Planck’s constant (h)
- Constant determining the relation between the energy of a photon and its wavelength .
- Ionized gas.
- Assumption necessary to further pursue a theory
- Potential energy
- Energy of an object with a mass due to its position or height , specifically in a gravitational field with an acceleration .
- Release or consumption of energy per time .
- Principle of superposition
- Displacement due to two or more forces is equal to vector sum of forces.
- Changing with the same factor as another quantity.
- Proton (p)
- Elementary particle with a positive charge that is nucleus of hydrogen atom.
- Giving a tendency instead of numbers, e.g. “Starship A is faster than starship B”.
- Using numbers, e.g. “Starship A travels at ”.
- Smallest discrete amount of any quantity (plural: quanta).
- Quantum mechanics
- Study of properties of matter using its wave properties, at very small scales.
- Change in direction of light ray when passing from one medium to another.
- Effect that occurs when an object is excited with its natural frequency, resulting in a dramatic increase of the amplitude.
- Mathematical description of a physical quantity, consisting only of a value, as opposed to a vector.
- Collection of waves with different wavelengths and amplitudes.
- Standing wave
- Wave with stationary nodes.
- Acronym for Slower Than Light.
- General scientific rule.
- Science of the conversion of one form of energy into another.
- Traveling wave
- A moving, periodic disturbance in a medium or field.
- Ultraviolet (UV) radiation
- Electromagnetic radiation with a shorter wavelength and higher energy content than visible light.
- Uncertainty principle
- Quantum principle that states that it is not possible to know exactly both the position and the momentum of an object at the same time.
- Quantity which is subject to change and supposed to change within an equation.
- Mathematical description of a physical quantity, consisting of an absolute value (scalar) and a direction.
- Velocity (v)
- Change of displacement per time . .
- Watt (W)
- Unit of power.
- Wavelength (λ)
- Distance between corresponding points on two successive waves.
- Force of gravity on an object with a mass .
- Work (W)
- Product of force and displacement in the direction of the force.
- Usenet Relativity FAQ, Alternate Version, Alternate Version
- Astronomy FAQ, http://sciastro.astronomy.net/, http://www.faqs.org/faqs/astronomy/faq/
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- M. G. Millis, Warp Drive When?
- J. Hinson, Relativity and FTL Travel
- J.Hinson, Subspace Physics
- J. Bell, Star Trek Technology: Frequently Asked Questions Lists
- R. Mercer, The Star Trek Technical Reference
- G.Kennedy, Daystrom Institute Technical Library
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