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IGCSE PHYSICS

1. PHYSICS and PHYSICAL MEASUREMENT

KEY WORDS: Density, volume, measurement, units, prefix
Systems of Units: SI (International System of Units), USCS (U.S units)
[mass] = kilogram (kg)
[length] = meter (m)
[time] = second (s)
[temperature] = Kelvin (K)
We combine “fundamental/base units” to get “derived units”. E.g. Newtons (N)
E.g.)

[Density] = [Mass] ÷ [Volume] = kg ÷ m3 = kg ∙ m-3
[Speed] = [Length] ÷ [Time] = m ÷ s = m ∙ s-1

[Pressure] = [Force] ÷ [Area] = N ÷ m2 = N ∙ m-2 = Pa
What is Density? Symbol:

ρ

(rho)

(Pascals)

(Definition: mass of substance per unit volume)

A physical property that is useful when comparing the “heaviness” of objects of same
size/volume but different material. For example, when you hold a block of equal size made
of wood and steel, the one made of steel is heavier. This is because the steel block is
denser than the wood block.
** Density of Water = 1000 kg ∙ m-3 = 1 g ∙ cm-3

>> How do we determine the density of an object?
We defined density as the MASS of substance per unit VOLUME.
REGULAR Shaped Objects
Volume
Measure dimensions or use simple
geometry:
Volume CUBOID = Length X Width X Height
Volume CUBE = Side X Side X Side = (Side)3
Volume CYLINDER =

π

Volume SPHERE =

4
π
3

IRREGULAR Shaped Objects
Volume
Use displacement method. Submerge
object into a measuring cylinder with
known volume of liquid. Record final
volume of liquid + object.
Volume of Object = Volume AFTER – Volume
BEFORE

VOLUME

-

=
VOLUMEAFT

Mass
Use balance to find mass
Combine Mass and Volume values using
formula:
Density = Mass ÷ Volume

VOLUME

BEFOR
Mass
E
ER
Use balance to find mass
Combine Mass and Volume values using
formula:
Density = Mass ÷ Volume

Orders of Magnitude
*Common prefixes to remember
Prefix

Symbol

Giga
Mega
Kilo
Centi

G
M
k
c

Order of
Magnitude
109 = 1,000,000,000
106 = 1,000,000
103 = 1,000
10-2 = 0.01

E.g.)
1 kilometer = (103) metre =
1000 m
10 milimeter = 10*(10-3)
metre
= 10 -2 metre

ELECTROMAGNETIC SPECTRUM 11. MATTER AND THERMAL PROPERTIES 7. WORK and POWER 5. ENERGY. MAGNETISM 13. RADIOACTIVITY .000000001 -9 2. ELECTROMAGNETIC EFFECTS 16. WAVES 9. LIGHT 10. ELECTRIC CIRCUITS 15.001 10 = 0. TRANSFER OF THERMAL ENERGY 8. MATTER AND FORCES 4. SIMPLE KINETIC MOLECULAR MODEL OF MATTER 6. MOTION SCALAR VECTOR 3. ELECTRICITY 14.Mili Nano m n 10-3 = 0. SOUND 12.