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A spring, usually a coil spring, which resists a force tending to compress it.

Related Terms


  1. An instrument in which current, voltage, or power is measured by the force between a fixed coil and a moving coil. 2. A special type of electric rotating machine used to measure the output torque or driving torque of rotating machinery by the elastic deformation produced.


A field of force in which the work done on a particle in moving it from one point to another depends only on the particle's initial and final positions.


The net attraction between all masses. Gravity attracts all of the particles of a mass and the net effect of this attraction at the earth's surface is equal to 9.81 Newton’s per kilogram. The force of gravity is often called weight.


A cylindrical chamber in an engine in which the energy of the working fluid, in the form of pressure and heat, is converted to mechanical force by performing work on the piston. Also known as cylinder.


Measurement of the largest opening in the mesh of a filter screen; determined by the pressure needed to force air or gas through the screen while it is submerged in a liquid.


A voltmeter in which the voltage to be measured is applied between fixed and movable metal vanes; the resulting electrostatic force deflects the movable vane against the tension of a spring.


A line of horizontal magnetic force of the earth. A compass needle without deviation lies in the magnetic meridian.


The angle at which the wind crosses the isobars. It results from a balance of pressure gradient force, coriolis force and friction. The angle of indraft varies from approximately 45 at the edge of a storm to 0 in the eye of a cyclone.


A tidal current that flows continually, with the direction of flow changing through 360° during the tidal period. Rotary currents are usually found offshore where the direction of flow is not restricted by any barriers. The tendency for rotation is due to the Coriolis force and, unless modified by local conditions, is clock- wise in the Northern Hemisphere and counterclockwise in the Southern Hemisphere. The speed of the current usually varies throughout the tidal cycle, passing through the two maxima in approximately opposite directions and the two minima with the direction of the current at approximately 90° from the direction at time of maximum speed.


A line which is part of the rigging on a sailing boat; it applies upward force on a spar or boom. The most common topping lift on a modern sailing boat is attached to the boom.

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