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All Words Glossary

Glossary of Physics Terms
beginning with letter I
Browse the Physics Glossary
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ICF Tweet Definition of ICF Like Definition of ICF on Facebook
initialism
  1. w:inertial confinement fusion, inertial confinement fusion
  2. w:insulated concrete forms, insulated concrete forms
  3. w:Internet Connection Firewall, Internet Connection Firewall
ideal gas Tweet Definition of ideal gas Like Definition of ideal gas on Facebook
noun
  1. (physics) a hypothetical gas, whose molecules exhibit no interaction, and undergo elastic collision with each other and with the walls of the container
ideal gas law Tweet Definition of ideal gas law Like Definition of ideal gas law on Facebook
noun
  1. (physics) the equation of state of an ideal gas - PV = nRT
impedance Tweet Definition of impedance Like Definition of impedance on Facebook
noun
  1. (physics) A measure of the opposition to the flow of an alternating current in a circuit; the sum of its resistance, inductive and capacitive reactance
  2. (physics, usually with "mechanical") a measure of opposition to motion of something subjected to a force.
  3. (physics, usually with "acoustic" or "sound") the sound pressure divided by the particle velocity and the surface area through which an acoustic wave propagates.
  4. (context, by analogy, software engineering, usually with "mismatch") a measure of the opposition caused by differences between two paradigms, especially between object oriented development and relational databases
    • 1997, Bhavani M. Thuraisingham, Data Management Systems: Evolution and Interoperation (ISBN 0849394937), CRC Press, page 33:
    • : Some argue that having mismatch is difficult for programming intensive applications.
    • 2002, Jim Melton, Advanced SQL:1999: Understanding Object-Relational and Other Advanced Features (ISBN 1558606777), Morgan Kaufmann, page 353:
    • : But the mismatch between SQL and Java was no better than betweel SQL and other languages.
    • 2004, Scott W. Ambler, The Object Primer: Agile Model-Driven Development with UML 2.0 (ISBN 1397805218), Cambridge University Press, page 442:
    • : Why does a technological mismatch exist?
impenetrable Tweet Definition of impenetrable Like Definition of impenetrable on Facebook
adjective
  1. not penetrable
    The fortress is , so it cannot be taken.
incandescence Tweet Definition of incandescence Like Definition of incandescence on Facebook
noun
  1. (physics) the emission of visible light by a hot body
  2. the light so emitted
  3. (context, by extension) great emotion
incandescent Tweet Definition of incandescent Like Definition of incandescent on Facebook
adjective
  1. emitting light as a result of being heated
  2. shining very brightly
  3. showing intense emotion, as of a performance etc
inclinometer Tweet Definition of inclinometer Like Definition of inclinometer on Facebook
noun
  1. An instrument that displays the angle of an aircraft relative to the horizon
  2. An instrument that measures magnetic dip; a dip circle
  3. A surveying instrument that measures angles of inclination or elevation; a clinometer
incoherent Tweet Definition of incoherent Like Definition of incoherent on Facebook
adjective
  1. not coherent
incombustible Tweet Definition of incombustible Like Definition of incombustible on Facebook
adjective
  1. Not capable of catching fire and burning; not flammable.
indeterminacy principle Tweet Definition of indeterminacy principle Like Definition of indeterminacy principle on Facebook
noun
  1. (physics) an alternative name for the Heisenberg uncertainty principle
induce Tweet Definition of induce Like Definition of induce on Facebook
verb (induc, ing)
  1. to cause; persuade; force
infrared Tweet Definition of infrared Like Definition of infrared on Facebook
noun
  1. electromagnetic radiation of a wavelength longer than visible light, but shorter than microwave radiation, having a wavelength between 700 nm and 1 mm
adjective
  1. Having the wavelength in the infrared.
  2. In the infrared spectrum.
infrasonic Tweet Definition of infrasonic Like Definition of infrasonic on Facebook
adjective
  1. (context, of sound waves) Having frequencies below the human audible range
  2. (context, of a device) Generating or employing such sound waves
infrasonics Tweet Definition of infrasonics Like Definition of infrasonics on Facebook
noun
  1. the study, and the application of infrasound
infrasound Tweet Definition of infrasound Like Definition of infrasound on Facebook
noun
  1. (physics) sound waves having frequency below the human audible range (below about 20 Hz)
intensity Tweet Definition of intensity Like Definition of intensity on Facebook
noun (intensities)
  1. the quality of being intense
  2. the degree of strength
  3. (physics) time-averaged energy flux (the ratio of average power to the area through which the power "flows"); irradiance
  4. (optics) can mean any of radiant intensity, luminous intensity or irradiance
  5. (astronomy) syn. radiance
interfere Tweet Definition of interfere Like Definition of interfere on Facebook
verb (rfc-level, Verb at L4+ not in L3 POS section)
(
interfer, ing)
  1. (intransitive) to get involved or involve oneself causing disturbance
I always try not to with other people"s personal affairs.
  1. (intransitive) (physics) (of waves) to be correlated with each other when overlap, overlapped or superpose, superposed
Correlated waves to produce interesting patterns, while uncorrelated waves overlap without interfering.
Where the radio-wave signals of the two radio stations the listener hears nothing but noise.
interference Tweet Definition of interference Like Definition of interference on Facebook
noun
  1. The act of interfering with something, or something that interferes.
  2. (sports) The illegal obstruction of an opponent in some ball games.
They were glued to the TV, as the referee called out a fifteen yard penalty for .
  1. (physics) An effect caused by the superposition of two systems of waves, such as a distortion on a broadcast signal due to atmospheric or other effects.
They wanted to the game on TV, but there was too much to even make out the score on the tiny screen.
intermediate vector boson Tweet Definition of intermediate vector boson Like Definition of intermediate vector boson on Facebook
noun
  1. (particles) Any of the three fundamental particles (the two W-bosons and the Z-boson) that transmit the weak nuclear force and have a mass about 100 times that of a proton.
intramolecular Tweet Definition of intramolecular Like Definition of intramolecular on Facebook
adjective
  1. (chemistry),(physics) between different parts of the same molecule
Ionic Tweet Definition of Ionic Like Definition of Ionic on Facebook
proper noun
  1. A sub-dialect of the Attic-Ionic dialectal group of Ancient Greek consisting of Old Ionic and New Ionic.
adjective
  1. of or related to Ionians
  2. (architecture) of an order of classical Greek architecture; the Ionic order
ionize Tweet Definition of ionize Like Definition of ionize on Facebook
verb (ioniz, ing)
  1. (context, chemistry, physics) To dissociate atoms or molecules into electrically charged species; to be thus dissociated.
ionizing radiation Tweet Definition of ionizing radiation Like Definition of ionizing radiation on Facebook
noun
  1. high-energy radiation that is capable of causing ionization in substances through which it passes; also includes high-energy particles
irradiate Tweet Definition of irradiate Like Definition of irradiate on Facebook
verb (irradiat, ing)
  1. (transitive) To throw rays of light upon; to illuminate; to brighten; to adorn with luster.
Thy smile irradiates yon blue fields. --Sir W. Jones.
  1. (transitive) To enlighten intellectually; to illuminate; as, to irradiate the mind.
  2. (transitive) To animate by heat or light.
  3. (transitive) To radiate, shed, or diffuse.
A splendid faade,... irradiating hospitality. --H. James.
  1. (intransitive) To emit rays; to shine.
  2. (transitive) To treat (food) with ionizing radiation in order to destroy bacteria
adjective
  1. illuminate, Illuminated; irradiated; made brilliant or splendid.
irradiation Tweet Definition of irradiation Like Definition of irradiation on Facebook
noun
  1. act of irradiating, or state of being irradiated.
  2. illumination; irradiance; brilliancy.
  3. fig.: mental light or illumination.
  4. the apparent enlargement of a bright object seen upon a dark ground, due to the fact that the portions of the retina around the image are stimulated by the intense light; as when a dark spot on a white ground appears smaller, or a white spot on a dark ground larger, than it really is, esp. when a little out of focus.
  5. a process of sterilisation whereby radiation is passed through a bag containing food, utensils, etc., to sterilise the contents.
isobar Tweet Definition of isobar Like Definition of isobar on Facebook
noun
  1. (Weather) A line drawn on a map or chart connecting places of equal or constant pressure.
In meteorology, it most often refers to a line drawn through all points of equal atmospheric pressure along a given reference surface, such as a constant height surface (notably mean-sea-level on surface charts); the vertical plane of a synoptic cross section, or a map of the air unaffected by surface heating or cooling. The pattern of isobars has always been a main feature of surface chart analysis. Until recently it was standard procedure to draw isobars at 3-millibar intervals. However, the advent of constant pressure charts for upper-air analysis has brought about the use of 4-millibar intervals to simplify the conversion from surface isobars to 1,000-millibar contour lines.
  1. (physics) either of two nuclides of different elements having the same mass number
    1. thermodynamics. A set of points or conditions at constant pressure
isobaric Tweet Definition of isobaric Like Definition of isobaric on Facebook
adjective
  1. having the same pressures, masses, or densities
  2. (physics) (of a thermodynamic process) having a constant pressure throughout
isoelectronic Tweet Definition of isoelectronic Like Definition of isoelectronic on Facebook
adjective
  1. (chemistry) (of two compounds) having the same electronic configuration although consisting of different elements
    Ammonia borane is with ethane.
isomer Tweet Definition of isomer Like Definition of isomer on Facebook
noun
  1. (chemistry) Any of two or more compounds with the same molecular formula but with different structure.
  2. (physics) Any of two or more nuclei with the same mass number and atomic number but with different radioactive properties.
isomerism Tweet Definition of isomerism Like Definition of isomerism on Facebook
noun
  1. (chemistry) the phenomenon of the existence of isomers - the existence of different substances with the same molecular formulae
isometric Tweet Definition of isometric Like Definition of isometric on Facebook
noun
  1. A line connecting isometric points.
adjective
  1. Of, or exhibiting equality in dimensions
  2. Of, or being a geometric system of three equal axes lying at right angles to each other (especially in crystallography).
  3. (physiology) Of or involving muscular contraction against resistance in which the length of the muscle remains the same
  4. (physics) (of a thermodynamic process) taking place at constant volume because of being confined by rigid boundaries
isostasy Tweet Definition of isostasy Like Definition of isostasy on Facebook
noun
  1. (geology) the buoyancy of the Earth's continents floating on the magma
isotherm Tweet Definition of isotherm Like Definition of isotherm on Facebook
noun
  1. A line of equal or constant temperature on a graph or chart, such as a weather map.
isotone Tweet Definition of isotone Like Definition of isotone on Facebook
noun
  1. (physics) either of a number of nuclides of different elements that have the same number of neutrons
isotropic Tweet Definition of isotropic Like Definition of isotropic on Facebook
adjective
  1. (physics) having properties that are identical in all directions; exhibiting isotropy

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