inverse square law

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noun Physics, Optics.

one of several laws relating two quantities such that one quantity varies inversely as the square of the other, as the law that the illumination produced on a screen by a point source varies inversely as the square of the distance of the screen from the source.



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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

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British Dictionary definitions for inverse square law

inverse square law


any natural law in which the magnitude of a physical quantity varies inversely with the square of the distance from its source
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Scientific definitions for inverse square law

inverse-square law

The principle in physics that the effect of certain forces on an object varies by the inverse square of the distance between the object and the source of the force. The magnitude of light, sound, and gravity obey this law, as do other quantities. For example, an object placed three feet away from a light source will receive only one ninth (132, the inverse of 3 squared) as much illumination as an object placed one foot from the light.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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