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Glossary of Physics Terms
beginning with letter C
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C Tweet Definition of C Like Definition of C on Facebook
noun
  1. (computing) A particular high-level programming language.
  2. (slang) $100; a c-note.
  3. (music) A musical note; middle c.
  4. An academic grade better than a D and worse than a B.
proper noun
  1. Head of the Secret Intelligence Service, incorrectly identified in the James Bond literature as "M" ("C" during WW2 was Col. Stewart Menzies - from whence "M")
c. Tweet Definition of c. Like Definition of c. on Facebook
abbreviation
  1. (context, preposition) circa
The document was written in the Middle Ages, 1250.
  1. (context, noun) city
capillary Tweet Definition of capillary Like Definition of capillary on Facebook
noun (capillaries)
  1. (anatomy) Any of the small blood vessels that connect arterioles to venules. Their walls are composed of a single layer of cells which allows molecules such as oxygen, water and lipids to pass through them by diffusion and enter the tissues. Waste products such as carbon dioxide and urea can diffuse back into the blood to be carried away for removal from the body.
capture Tweet Definition of capture Like Definition of capture on Facebook
noun
  1. An act of capturing.
  2. Something that has been captured; a captive.
verb (captures, capturing, captured)
  1. To take control of.
  2. To remove or take control of from the opponent in a game (e.g., chess, go, checkers)
    • He captured his opponent"s queen on the 15th move.
      1. To store (as in sounds or image) for later revisitation
    • She captured the sounds of a subway station on tape.
    • She captured the details of the fresco in a series of photographs.
      1. To reproduce convincingly.
    • His film adaptation captured the spirit of the original work.
    • In her latest masterpiece, she captured the essence of Venice.
      1. (intransitive) To remove or take control of an opponent"s piece in a game (e.g., chess, go, checkers.)
      My pawn was captured.
carrier Tweet Definition of carrier Like Definition of carrier on Facebook
noun
  1. A person or object that carry, carries someone or something else.
aircraft carrier
armored personnel carrier
  1. A company in the business of shipping freight.
  2. A person or animal that transmits a disease to others without itself contracting the disease.
  3. A signal such as radio, sound, or light that is modulated to transmit information.
  4. A mobile network operator; wireless carrier
Celsius Tweet Definition of Celsius Like Definition of Celsius on Facebook
adjective
  1. A metric scale of temperature with 0.01 °C as the triple point of water, and a difference in temperature of 1 °C corresponds to 1/273.16 of the difference in temperature between the triple point and the absolute zero.
centigrade Tweet Definition of centigrade Like Definition of centigrade on Facebook
noun
  1. A centigrade temperature scale having the freezing point of water defined as 0° and its boiling point defined as 100° at standard atmospheric pressure. Now known as the Celsius scale.
adjective
  1. Of a scale, having 100 divisions between two fixed points.
central Tweet Definition of central Like Definition of central on Facebook
adjective
  1. being in the centre
  2. being the most important
  3. having or containing the centre of something
centrifugal Tweet Definition of centrifugal Like Definition of centrifugal on Facebook
adjective
  1. Tending, or causing, to recede from the center.
  2. (botany) (a) Expanding first at the summit, and later at the base, as a flower cluster. (b) Having the radicle turned toward the sides of the fruit, as some embryos.
centrifugal force Tweet Definition of centrifugal force Like Definition of centrifugal force on Facebook
noun (plural:centrifugal forces)
  1. (physics): The apparent force that seems to draw a rotating body away from the centre of rotation; it is equal and opposite to the centripetal force and is a consequence of the body's inertia.
centripetal Tweet Definition of centripetal Like Definition of centripetal on Facebook
adjective
  1. directed or moving towards a centre
  2. of, relating to, or operated by centripetal force
  3. (context, of a nerve impulse) directed towards the central nervous system; afferent
centripetal force Tweet Definition of centripetal force Like Definition of centripetal force on Facebook
noun
  1. (physics) the force on a rotating or orbiting body in the direction of the centre of rotation
Cerenkov radiation Tweet Definition of Cerenkov radiation Like Definition of Cerenkov radiation on Facebook
nounw:Pavel Alekseyevich Cherenkov, Cerenkov radiation
  1. light emitted by the Cerenkov effect
chain reaction Tweet Definition of chain reaction Like Definition of chain reaction on Facebook
noun
  1. (physics) A nuclear reaction in which particles produced by the fission of one atom trigger fissions of other atoms.
The Manhattan Project produced the first recorded controlled chain reaction.
  1. (idiom) A series of events, each one causing the next.
''The bombs all exploded in a .
charm Tweet Definition of charm Like Definition of charm on Facebook
noun
  1. A small trinket on a bracelet or chain, etc.
She wears a bracelet on her wrist.
  1. An object, act or words believed to have magic power.
A against evil
It works like a .
  1. The ability to persuade, delight, or arouse admiration; often constructed in the plural.
He had great personal .
''She tried to win him over with her charms.
  1. (physics) A property of some subatomic particles.
verb
  1. To seduce, persuade, or fascinate someone or something.
He charmed her with his dashing tales of his days as a sailor.
  1. (transitive) To use magic upon something.
''After winning three games while wearing the chain, Dan began to think it had been charmed.
charmed Tweet Definition of charmed Like Definition of charmed on Facebook
adjective
  1. Bewitched, under a magic spell (cast by a charm).
  2. Impressed
    You are very gracious, I am by your personality.
CI Tweet Definition of CI Like Definition of CI on Facebook
initialism
  1. Corporate identity: Specific design of a company, to be applied in all public appearances to be clearly distinguishable from its competitors
  2. Confidential Informant
  3. Cooperating Individual
  4. Civil Infraction
clean Tweet Definition of clean Like Definition of clean on Facebook
noun
  1. (weightlifting) The first part of the event clean and jerk in which the weight is brought from the ground to the shoulders.
verb
  1. (transitive) remove, Remove dirt from a place or object.
Can you the windows today?
  1. (transitive) tidy, Tidy up, make a place neat.
Clean your room right now!
  1. (context, transitive, climbing) Remove equipment from a climbing route after it was previously lead climbed.
  2. (intransitive) Make things clean in general.
She just likes to . That"s why I married her.
  1. (context, intransitive, curling) brush, Brush the ice lightly in front of a moving rock to remove any debris and ensure a correct line; less vigorous than a sweep.
adjective
  1. Not dirty.
Are these dishes ?
  1. In a condition of having been cleaned.
Your room is finally !
  1. In an unmarked condition.
Put a sheet of paper into the printer.
  1. Pure, especially morally or religiously.
Our kids can watch this movie because it is .
  1. Drug- and alcohol-free.
I've been this time for eight months.
  1. Smooth, exact, and performed well.
I"ll need a sharper knife to make cuts.
  1. (colloquial) Cool or neat.
Damn, Shorty, those are some shoes ya got there!
  1. (context, Of a criminal record or driver"s license) Without restrictions or penalties.
Unlike you, I"ve never been caused any accidents " my record is still !
  1. (context, aerodynamics) Allowing an uninterrupted flow over surfaces, without protrusions such as racks or landing gear.
  2. (context, health) Being free of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).
I want to make sure my fianc is before we are married.
  1. Not in possession of weapons or contraband such as drugs.
I"m officer. You can go ahead and search me if you want.
adverb
  1. fully, Fully and completely.
He was stabbed through.
coefficient Tweet Definition of coefficient Like Definition of coefficient on Facebook
noun
  1. (mathematics) A constant by which an algebraic term is multiplied.
  2. A number, value or item that serves as a measure of some property or characteristic.
cohesion Tweet Definition of cohesion Like Definition of cohesion on Facebook
noun
  1. the state of cohering, or of sticking together
  2. (physics),(chemistry) the various intermolecular forces that hold solids and liquids together
  3. (biology) the growing together of normally distinct parts of a plant
  4. (computing) the degree to which different modules in a computing system are functionally dependent on others
cohesive Tweet Definition of cohesive Like Definition of cohesive on Facebook
adjective
  1. Having cohesion.
collimator Tweet Definition of collimator Like Definition of collimator on Facebook
noun
  1. (physics) An optical device that generates a parallel beam of light
  2. (astronomy) A small telescope attached to a larger one, used to point it in the correct general direction
collision Tweet Definition of collision Like Definition of collision on Facebook
noun
  1. An instance of collide, colliding.
color Tweet Definition of color Like Definition of color on Facebook
noun
  1. The spectral composition of visible light.
Humans and birds can perceive .
  1. A particular set of visible spectral compositions, perceived or named as a class.
Most languages have names for the colors black, white, red, and green.
  1. Hue as opposed to achromatic colors (black, white and greys).
He referred to the white flag as one "drained of all ".
  1. Human skin tone, especially as an indicator of race or ethnicity.
Color has been a sensitive issue in many societies.
  1. (figuratively) interest, especially in a selective area.
a bit of local .
  1. In corporate finance, details on sales, profit margins, or other financial figures, especially while reviewing quarterly results when an officer of a company is speaking to investment analyists.
Could you give me some with regards to which products made up the mix of revenue for this quarter?
  1. (physics) A property of quarks, with three values called red, green, and blue, which they can exchange by passing gluons.
(color-colour (noun))
verb
  1. To give something color.
We could the walls red.
  1. To draw within the boundaries of a line drawing using colored markers or crayons.
My kindergartener loves to .
  1. (context, of a face) To become red through increased blood flow.
  2. To affect without completely changing.
That interpretation certainly colors my perception of the book.
  1. To attribute a quality to.
(colloquial) Color me confused. (color-colour (verb))
adjective
  1. Conveying color, as opposed to shades of gray.
Color television and movies were considered a great improvement over black and white.
combustible Tweet Definition of combustible Like Definition of combustible on Facebook
adjective
  1. Capable of burning
Dumping fertilizer on top of whatever mysterious goop was in the storage tank created a mix which caught on fire.
combustion Tweet Definition of combustion Like Definition of combustion on Facebook
noun
  1. The act or process of burning.
  2. A process wherein a fuel is combined with oxygen, usually at high temperature, releasing heat.
  3. A similar process where two chemicals are combined to produce heat.
component Tweet Definition of component Like Definition of component on Facebook
noun
  1. A smaller, self-contained part of a larger entity. Often refers to a manufactured object that is part of a larger device.
adjective
  1. Making up a larger whole; as a component word.
  2. Made up of smaller complete units in combination; as a component stereo.
compressed Tweet Definition of compressed Like Definition of compressed on Facebook
verb
  1. (past of, compress)
adjective
  1. pressed tightly together
  2. flattened, especially when along its entire length
compressed air Tweet Definition of compressed air Like Definition of compressed air on Facebook
noun
  1. Air which has been reduced in volume and increased in pressure; it is used to power machinery etc
compressibility Tweet Definition of compressibility Like Definition of compressibility on Facebook
noun (compressibilities)
  1. the degree to which something is compressible
  2. (context, thermodynamics) the product of pressure and molar volume divided by the product of the gas constant and the absolute temperature
condensate Tweet Definition of condensate Like Definition of condensate on Facebook
noun
  1. (chemistry) A liquid that is the product of condensation.
condensation Tweet Definition of condensation Like Definition of condensation on Facebook
noun
  1. The act or process of condensing or of being condensed; the state of being condensed.
  2. The act or process of reducing, by depression of temperature or increase of pressure, etc., to another and denser form, as gas to the condition of a liquid or steam to water.
  3. A rearrangement or concentration of the different constituents of one or more substances into a distinct and definite compound of greater complexity and molecular weight, often resulting in an increase of density, as the condensation of oxygen into ozone, or of acetone into mesitylene.
condense Tweet Definition of condense Like Definition of condense on Facebook
verb (condenses, condensing, condensed)
  1. (transitive) To decrease size or volume by concentration toward the essence.
An abridged dictionary can be further condensed to pocket size.
Boiling off water condenses a thin sauce into a soupier mixture.
  1. (context, intransitive, chemistry) To transform from a gaseous state into a liquid state via condensation.
condensed Tweet Definition of condensed Like Definition of condensed on Facebook
verb
  1. (past of, condense)
adjective
  1. The state of having been condensed.
(trans-top, state of having been condensed)
  • Swedish: koncentrerad, innehllsrik, mttad, frttad
    (trans-bottom)
conduct Tweet Definition of conduct Like Definition of conduct on Facebook
noun
  1. The act or method of controlling or directing
Christianity has humanized the of war. - Paley?.
  1. Skillful guidance or management; generalship.
Conduct of armies is a prince's art. - Waller?.
  1. The manner of guiding or carrying one's self; personal deportment; mode of action; behavior.
He carried himself with a distinguished .
  1. (context, of a literary work) Plot; action; construction; manner of development.
conductivity Tweet Definition of conductivity Like Definition of conductivity on Facebook
noun
  1. (physics) The ability of a material to conduct electricity, heat or sound.
  2. The reciprocal of resistivity.
(wikipedia, thermal conductivity)
(
wikipedia, electrical conductivity)      
conductor Tweet Definition of conductor Like Definition of conductor on Facebook
noun
  1. A person who conducts an orchestra, choir or other music ensemble.
  2. A person who takes tickets on public transportation
train
  1. Something which can transmit electricity, heat, light or sound.
congeal Tweet Definition of congeal Like Definition of congeal on Facebook
verb
  1. (transitive) To change from a liquid to solid state perhaps by cold
  2. (transitive) To coagulate, make curdled or semi-solid as gel or jelly
  3. (transitive) To make rigid or immobile
  4. (intransitive) To become congealed, solidify
congelation Tweet Definition of congelation Like Definition of congelation on Facebook
noun
  1. The act or process of passing, or causing to pass, from a fluid to a solid state, as by the abstraction of heat; the act or process of freezing.
  2. The state of being congealed.
  3. That which is congealed.
conserve Tweet Definition of conserve Like Definition of conserve on Facebook
noun
  1. Wilderness where human development is prohibited.
  2. a jam or thick syrup made from fruit
verb (conserv, ing)
  1. To save for later use.
  2. To protect an environment.
consonance Tweet Definition of consonance Like Definition of consonance on Facebook
noun
  1. harmony; agreement; lack of discordance
consonant Tweet Definition of consonant Like Definition of consonant on Facebook
noun
  1. (context, phonetics) A sound that results from the passage of air through restrictions of the oral cavity; any sound that is not the dominant sound of a syllable, the dominant sound generally being a vowel.
  2. A letter representing the sound of a consonant.
adjective
  1. Characterized by harmony or agreement.
(seeCites)      
constant Tweet Definition of constant Like Definition of constant on Facebook
noun
  1. That which is permanent or invariable.
  2. (algebra) A quantity that remains at a fixed value throughout a given discussion.
  3. (science) Any property of an experiment, determined numerically, that does not change under given circumstances.
  4. (computing) An identifier that is bound to an invariant value.
adjective
  1. unchanged, Unchanged through time or space; permanent.
  2. consistently, Consistently recurring over time; persistent
  3. steady, Steady in purpose, action, feeling, etc.
convection Tweet Definition of convection Like Definition of convection on Facebook
noun
  1. The process of conveying something.
  1. (physics) The transmission of heat in a fluid or gas by the circulation of currents.
  2. (meteorology) The vertical movement of heat and moisture, especially by updrafts and downdrafts in an unstable air mass. The terms convection and thunderstorm are often used interchangeably, although thunderstorms are only one form of convection. Towering cumulus clouds are visible forms of convection.
convection cell Tweet Definition of convection cell Like Definition of convection cell on Facebook
noun
  1. A loop of moving fluid (such as air or water) in which the motion results from differences in density caused by differences in temperature.
conversion Tweet Definition of conversion Like Definition of conversion on Facebook
noun
  1. The act of having converted something or someone.
His to Christianity
The of the database from ASCII to Unicode
  1. (chemistry) A chemical reaction wherein a substrate is transformed into a product.
  2. (rugby) A free-kick, after scoring a try, worth two points
  3. (American football) extra point scored by kicking a field goal after scoring a touchdown.
  4. (marketing) An online advertising performance metric representing a visitor performing whatever the intended result of an ad is defined to be. This can be a purchase or a download of a whitepaper.
converter Tweet Definition of converter Like Definition of converter on Facebook
noun
  1. A person or thing that converts.
correct Tweet Definition of correct Like Definition of correct on Facebook
verb
  1. To make something that was not valid become right. To remove error.
adjective
  1. Free from error; true; the state of having an affirmed truth.
  2. With good manners; well behaved; conforming with accepted standards of behaviour,
cosmic ray Tweet Definition of cosmic ray Like Definition of cosmic ray on Facebook
noun
  1. an energetic particle originating outside our solar system.
  2. cosmic radiation: a stream of cosmic rays
The use of the words "ray" and "radiation" implies incorrectly that cosmic rays are electromagnetic waves, similar to light rays and X-rays; cosmic rays were so named before their nature was known.      
critical mass Tweet Definition of critical mass Like Definition of critical mass on Facebook
noun
  1. (physics) the amount of fissile material that is needed to support a self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction
  2. (sociology) the number of people needed to trigger a phenomenon by exchange of ideas.
  3. (finance) the point where income from investments exceeds regular expenses.
critical point Tweet Definition of critical point Like Definition of critical point on Facebook
noun
  1. (physics) The temperature and pressure at which the vapour density of the gas and liquid phases of a fluid are equal, at which point there is no difference between gas and liquid.
  2. (mathematics) A maximum, minimum or point of inflection on a curve; a point at which the derivative of a function is zero or undefined.
    1. A juncture at which time a critical decision must be made.
cross section Tweet Definition of cross section Like Definition of cross section on Facebook
noun
  1. A section formed by a plane cutting through an object, usually at right angles to an axis
  2. (statistics) A sample meant to be representative of a whole population
  3. (physics) The probability that a particular nuclear reaction will take place.
(trans-top, section formed by a plane cutting through an object)
  • Finnish: poikkileikkaus
  • Spanish: seccin transversal
    (trans-bottom) (trans-top, representative sample)
  • Finnish: lpileikkaus
    (trans-bottom) (trans-top, probability of a particular nuclear reaction)
    (trans-bottom)
cryogenic Tweet Definition of cryogenic Like Definition of cryogenic on Facebook
adjective
  1. of, or relating to low temperatures
  2. Relating to surgery, such as cyrogenic surgery, surgery done in low temperatures
cryogenics Tweet Definition of cryogenics Like Definition of cryogenics on Facebook
noun
  1. the science and technology of the production of very low temperatures
  2. the scientific study of low temperature phenomena
cryometer Tweet Definition of cryometer Like Definition of cryometer on Facebook
noun
  1. A thermometer used at very low temperatures
Curie's law Tweet Definition of Curie Like Definition of Curie
noun
  1. (physics) a law which shows that the magnetic susceptibility of a paramagnetic dipole is inversely proportional to the absolute temperature; the basis of operation of magnetic thermometers
cyclotron Tweet Definition of cyclotron Like Definition of cyclotron on Facebook
noun
  1. An early particle accelerator in which charged particles were generated at a central source and accelerated spirally outward through a fixed magnetic and alternating electric fields.

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