Decoding the MythBusters – I – J – K

posted: 04/11/12

Ideal mechanical advantage (IMA)

The theoretical amount of work a machine should perform based on physics principles. The ideal mechanical advantage is generally less than the actual mechanical advantage.

Impact force

The force or impact resulting from the collision of two objects or an object hitting the ground. For instance, in the liquid nitrogen experiment in episode 126 of season six, Kari and the crew tested the force impact of a flash frozen head against a countertop, a la "Jason Ten."


The process by which a magnetized or electrically charged object produces magnetism, an electric charge, or an electric voltage in another object without being in contact with it.

Inert gasses

Also called noble gasses, these are chemically inert gasses that don't react with other elements because they have the maximum number of valence electrons. They are helium, neon, argon, krypton, xenon and radon.


The tendency of an object to remain in a state of rest unless acted upon by an external force.

Ion and ionic bond

An electrically charged atom that has either gained or lost electrons. An ionic bond is an electrochemical bond between a positive and a negative ion.


The process of becoming an ion by adding or removing electrons.


A mechanical tool used to lift heavy objects, such as a car.


Structural points where two components -- timber, brick and mortar -- fit together.


A beam that support floors or ceilings.


The standard unit of measurement for energy.

Kelvin scale

A temperature scale that begins with absolute zero, or the coldest possible temperature that something can reach. Contrary to the Celsius and Fahrenheit scales, there are no negative temperatures. On the Kelvin scale, the boiling point of water is 273 degrees.

Kinetic energy

The energy of motion. When a roller coaster whooshes down a hill, that's an example of kinetic energy.

Kinetic theory

The study of the behavior of gas molecules. The theory maintains that gas molecules move at random and at a relatively far distance from each other, obey Newton's laws of motion and don't lose energy when they collide with each other.

Krebs cycle

A series of enzyme-triggered reactions in the cells' mitochondria that convert sugars and fats into usable energy in the body.

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