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CHAPTER 1 Introduction to Physics 2011

# CHAPTER 1 Introduction to Physics 2011

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Hoo Sze Yen www.physicsrox.com Physics SPM 2011Chapter 1: Introduction to Physics Page 1 of 8
CHAPTER 1:INTRODUCTION TO PHYSICS
1.1

Understanding Physics
Physics:
Study of all natural phenomenonPhysics is a branch of science centred on the study of matter, energy, and the connectionbetween them.
1.2

Physical Quantities
1.2.1

Quantities and Units
Physical quantities
– quantities that can be measured
Basic quantities
– quantities that cannot be defined in any other form of physicalquantities
Derived quantities
– combination of basic quantities via multiplication of division
Units
– standard size for comparison
SI Units
– internationally accepted units (determined in Paris in a meeting in1960) –
Le Systemé International d’Unites
The five basic quantities:
Quantity Symbol SI Units Units (Symbol)
1.

Length
l
meter m2.

Mass
m
kilogram kg3.

Time
second s4.

Temperature
kelvin K5.

Electric current
I
ampere A
1.2.2

Scientific Notation (Standard Form)
A × 10
n
where A
1 < 10 and
n
= integerThe value of A should always be rounded to 3 or 4 significant numbers.

Hoo Sze Yen www.physicsrox.com Physics SPM 2011Chapter 1: Introduction to Physics Page 2 of 8
1.2.3

Prefixes
Prefix Value Standard form 10
n
where
n
is Symbol
Tera 1 000 000 000 000 10
12
12 TGiga 1 000 000 000 10
9
9 GMega 1 000 000 10
6
6 MKilo 1 000 10
3
3 Hecto 100 10
2
2 hDeca 10 10
1
-1
-1 dCenti 0.01 10
-2
-2 cMilli 0.001 10
-3
-3 mMicro 0.000 001 10
-6
-6
µ
Nano 0.000 000 001 10
-9
-9 nPico 0.000 000 000 001 10
-12
-12 p

1.3

Scalar and Vector Quantities
Scalar Quantities Vector Quantities
Quantities with
magnitude
only Quantities with
magnitude
and
directionEXAMPLES
Distance DisplacementSpeed Velocity
Example: Distance vs Displacement
KangarButterworthKuala Lumpur507 km138 km369 km
Fauziah travelled from Kuala Lumpur to Kangar, adistance of 507 km. After that she continued her journey to Butterworth, a distance of 138 km.From Butterworth, Fauziah then travelled back toKuala Lumpur, a distance of 369 km.
Distance is the TOTAL DISTANCETRAVELLED BY THE OBJECT.
Therefore, distance = 507 + 138 + 169 =
1 014km

Displacement is the DIRECT DISTANCEBETWEEN THE STARTING AND ENDINGPOINT.
Because Fauziah’s final location is the same as herstarting location, her final displacement =
0 km

Hoo Sze Yen www.physicsrox.com Physics SPM 2011Chapter 1: Introduction to Physics Page 3 of 8
Example: Speed vs Velocity
Although both cars are traveling at the same
speed
, i.e. 60 km/h, they are traveling atdifferent
velocities
because the directions are different.
1.4

Measurements
1.4.1

Precision, Accuracy and Sensitivity
Precision Accuracy Sensitivity
The consistency of readingstaken(lower relative deviation)How close the readings takenare to the actual valueThe ability of a measuringinstrument to detect smallchanges of the physicalquantity measuredTo increase precision:-

use a magnifying glasswhen reading the scale-

avoid parallax errorsTo increase accuracy:-

use more sensitiveequipment-

avoid parallax errors-

avoid zero errors or endedge errorsTo increase sensitivity of amercury thermometer:-

thinner bulb glass wall-

narrower capillary tube-

smaller bulb size
1.4.2

Measuring Apparatus
Vernier calipers (±0.01cm)
Traveling at 60km/h WestTraveling at 60km/h East