Electricity and Magnestism Vocabulary





The smallest part of a substance that can exist and still retain the properties of that substance.

Chemical energy

Energy stored in the chemical bonds of molecules (Form of Energy).



The transfer of heat (or electrical) energy through a substance or from one substance to another by direct contact of atoms or molecules.

Electric circuit

Continuous path that can be followed by charged particles.

Electric current

The flow of charged particles from one place to another.

Electrical conductivity

A property of a mineral to transmit electricity.

Electrical energy

Energy of electrical charges as a result of their position or motion (Form of Energy).


A general term for the physical phenomena that arise from the interaction of electric charges.


A liquid or paste that conducts electricity.


A strong magnet that can be turned on and off; a solenoid with a ferromagnetic core.

Electromagnetic energy

The energy of light and other forms of radiation.


The negatively charged particle that moves around the nucleus of an atom.


The ability to cause matter to move or change (Ability to do work).

Energy transformation

When energy changes from one type to another.


The force that acts between materials that touch as they move past each other. Friction is caused by irregularities in the surface of objects that are touching.

Gravitational Potential Energy

Potential energy that depends on the height of an object.


The force of gravitational attraction on or near the surface of a celestial body.

Heat energy


The energy of a material due to the random motion of its particles. Also called thermal energy. The word "heat" is used when energy is transferred from one substance to another (Form of Energy).

Kinetic energy

Energy of motion/Action (Form of Energy).

Law of Conservation of Energy

Energy cannot be created or destroyed - only changed from one form to another.


Having the properties of a magnet.

Magnetic domain

A region in which the magnetic fields of all atoms are lined up in the same direction.

Magnetic field

A region of space around a magnet in which objects are affected by the magnetic force.

Magnetic field lines (Magnetic lines of force)

Lines that map out the magnetic field around a magnet.

Magnetic pole

The ends of a magnetic object, where the magnetic force is strongest.


The field of force produced by a magnet or an electric current.

Mechanical Energy

Energy an object has because of its motion or position (Form of Energy).

Neutral atom

An atom with an equal number of protons and electrons is electrically neutral.


Particle with a neutral charge located in the nucleus of an atom.

Nuclear energy

Energy that is released either by splitting atomic nuclei or by forcing the nuclei of atoms together.


The core at the center of every atom.

Parallel circuit

Electrical circuit arranged so that current passes through more than one pathway simultaneously.


A body suspended from a fixed point so as to swing freely to and fro under the action of gravity.

Potential energy

The stored energy of a body because of its position (Type of Energy).


Positively charged particle in the nucleus of an atom.

Series circuit

An electric circuit in which the current passes through only one pathway.

Short circuit

An electrical connection that allows current to take an unintended path.

Solar energy

Energy from the Sun in the form of light and heat energy.

Static electric charge

Potential energy in the form of a stationary electric charge.

Static Electricity

A build up of charges on an object.