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QUESTIONS FOR SHORT ANSWER

Q.1 Two satellites move along a circular orbit in the same direction at a small distance from each other. A
container has to be thrown from the first satellite onto the second one. When will the container reach the
second satellite faster: if its is thrown in the direction of motion of the first satellite or in the opposite
direction ? The velocity of the container with respect to the satellite u is much less than that of the satellite v.
Q.2 After Sputnik I was put into orbit, it was said that it would not return to Earth but would burn up in its
descent. Considering the fact that it did not burn up in its ascent, how is this possible ?
Q.3 An artificial satellite is in a circular orbit about the Earth. How will its orbit change if one of its rockets is
momentarily fired. (a) towards earth, (b) away from the Earth, (c) in a forward direction, (d) in a
backward direction, and (e) at right angles to the plane of the orbit?
Q.4 A stone is dropped along the centre of a deep vertical mine shaft. Assume no air resistance but consider
the Earth's rotation. Will the stone continue along the centre of the shaft ? If not, describe its motion.
Q.5 An iron cube is placed near an iron sphere at a location remote from the Earth's gravity. What can you
say about the location of the centre of gravity of the cube? Of the sphere ? In general, does the location
of the centre of gravity of an object depend on the nature of the gravitational field in which the object is
placed?
Q.6 Figure shows a particle of mass m that is moved from an infinite distance to the
centre of a ring of mass M, along the central axis of the ring. For the trip, how
does the magnitude of the gravitational force on the particle due to the ring
change.
Q.7 In figure, a particle of mass m is initially at point A, at distance d from the centre of one uniform sphere
and distance 4d from the centre of another uniform sphere, both of mass M >> m. State whether, if you
moved the particle to point D, the following would be positive, negative, or zero:
(a) the change in the gravitational potential energy of the particle,
(b) the work done by the net gravitational force on the particle,
(c) the work done by your force.
(d) What are the answers if, instead, the move were from point B to point C ?
x
Q.8 Reconsider the situation of above question. Would the work done by you be positive, negative, or zero
if you moved the particle (a) from A to B, (b) from A to C, (c) from B to D ? (d) Rank those moves
accroding to the absolute value of the work done by your force, greatest first.
ONLY ONE OPTION IS CORRECT.
Take approx. 2 minutes for answering each question.
Q.1 At what altitude will the acceleration due to gravity be 25% of that at the earths surface (given radius of
earth is R)?
(A) R/4 (B) R (C) 3R/8 (D) R/2
Q.2 At what distance from the centre of the moon is the point at which the strength of the resultant field of
earth's and moon's gravitational field is equal to zero. The earth's mass is 81 times that of moon and the
distance between centres of these planets is 60R where R is the radius of the earth
(A) 6R (B) 4R (C) 3 R (D) 5R
Q.3 Two masses m
1
& m
2
are initially at rest and are separated by a very large distance. If the masses
approach each other subsequently, due to gravitational attraction between them, their relative velocity
of approach at a separation distance of d is :
(A)
( )
2
1 2
Gd
m m +
(B)
( ) m m G
d
1 2
2
+
(C)
( ) m m
G
d
1 2
1 2
2
+

(
/
(D) (m
1
+m
2
)
1/2
2Gd
Q.4 Let e be the angular velocity of the earths rotation about its axis. Assume that the acceleration due to
gravity on the earths surface has the same value at the equator and the poles. An object weighed at the
equator gives the same reading as a reading taken at a depth d below earths surface at a pole (d<<R)
The value of d is
(A)
e
2 2
R
g
(B)
e
2 2
2
R
g
(C)
2
2 2
e R
g
(D)
Rg
g
Q.5 A spherical hole of radius R/2 is excavated from the asteroid of mass M
as shown in fig. The gravitational acceleration at a point on the surface
of the asteroid just above the excavation is
(A) GM/R
2
(B) GM/2R
2
(C) GM/8R
2
(D) 7GM/8R
2
Q.6 If the radius of the earth be increased by a factor of 5, by what factor its density be changed to keep the
value of g the same?
(A) 1/25 (B) 1/5 (C) 1/ 5 (D) 5
Q.7 A man of mass m starts falling towards a planet of mass M and radius R. As he reaches near to the
surface, he realizes that he will pass through a small hole in the planet. As he enters the hole, he sees that
the planet is really made of two pieces a spherical shell of negligible thickness of mass
3
M 2
and a point
mass
3
M
at the centre. Change in the force of gravity experienced by the man is
(A)
2
R
GMm
3
2
(B) 0 (C)
2
R
GMm
3
1
(D)
2
R
GMm
3
4
Q.8 An infinite number of masses, each of one kg are placed on the +ve X axis at 1m, 2m, 4m, ______ from the
origin. The magnitude of the gravitational field at origin due to this distribution of masses is:
(A) 2G (B)
3
G 4
(C)
4
G 3
(D)
Q.9 Two concentric shells of uniform density of mass M
1
and M
2
are situated as shown in the figure. The
forces experienced by a particle of mass m when placed at positions A, B and C respectively are (given
OA = p, OB = q and OC = r)
(A) zero,
2
1
q
M
G
m
and
2
1
p
M (
G
)m M +
2

(B)
2
1
p
M (
G
)m M +
2
,
2
1
q
M (
G
)m M +
2
and
2
1
r
M
G
m
(C)
2
1
q
M
G
m
,
2
2 1
p
) M M (
G
m +
and zero
(D)
2
2 1
p
) M M (
G
m +
,
2
1
q
M
G
m
and zero
Q.10 A satellite of the earth is revolving in circular orbit with a uniform velocity V. If the gravitational force
suddenly disappears, the satellite will
(A) continue to move with the same velocity in the same orbit.
(B) move tangentially to the original orbit with velocity V.
(C) fall down with increasing velocity.
(D) come to a stop somewhere in its original orbit.
Q.11 A newly discovered planet has a density eight times the density of the earth and a radius twice the radius
of the earth. The time taken by 2 kg mass to fall freely through a distance S near the surface of the earth
is 1 second. Then the time taken for a 4 kg mass to fall freely through the same distance S near the
surface of the new planet is
(A) 0.25 sec. (B) 0.5 sec (C) 1 sec. (D) 4 sec.
Q.12 At what height above the earths surface does the acceleration due to gravity fall to 1% of its value at the
earths surface?
(A) 9R (B) 10R (C) 99R (D) 100R
Q.13 The radius of a planet is R. A satellite revolves around it in a circle of radius r with angular velocity e
0
.
The acceleration due to the gravity on planets surface is
(A)
R
r
0
3
e
(B)
2
3
0
3
R
r e
(C)
R
r
2
0
3
e
(D)
2
2
0
3
R
r e
Q.14 The mass and diameter of a planet are twice those of earth. What will be the period of oscillation of a
pendulum on this planet if it is a seconds pendulum on earth?
(A)
2
second (B)
2 2
seconds (C)
2
1
second (D)
2 2
1
second
Q.15 A particle of mass M is at a distance a from surface of a thin spherical
shell of equal mass and having radius a.
(A) Gravitational field and potential both are zero at centre of the shell.
(B) Gravitational field is zero not only inside the shell but at a point
outside the shell also.
(C) Inside the shell, gravitational field alone is zero.
(D) Neither gravitational field nor gravitational potential is zero inside the shell.
Q.16 A satellite revolves in the geostationary orbit but in a direction east to west. The time interval between its
successive passing about a point on the equator is :
(A) 48 hrs (B) 24 hrs (C) 12 hrs (D) never
Q.17 A particle starts from rest at a distance R from the centre and along the axis of a
fixed ring of radius R & mass M. Its velocity at the centre of the ring is:
(A)
R
GM 2
(B)
R
GM 2
(C)
R
GM
2
1
1 |
.
|

\
|

(D)
( )
R
GM
2 2
Q.18 A spherical uniform planet is rotating about its axis. The velocity of a point on its equator is V. Due to the
rotation of planet about its axis the acceleration due to gravity g at equator is 1/2 of g at poles. The
escape velocity of a particle on the planet in terms of V.
(A) V
e
= 2V (B) V
e
= V (C) V
e
= 2 V (D) V
e
=
3
V
Q.19 Two point masses of mass 4m and m respectively separated by d distance are revolving under mutual
force of attraction. Ratio of their kinetic energies will be :
(A) 1 : 4 (B) 1 : 5 (C) 1 : 1 (D) 1 : 2
Q.20 Two planets A and B have the same material density. If the radius of A is twice that of B, then the ratio of
the escape velocity
v
v
A
B
is
(A) 2 (B)
2
(C)
2 1
(D) 2 1
Q.21 A ball 'A' of mass m falls to the surface of the earth from infinity. Another ball 'B' of mass 2m falls to the
earth from the height equal to six times radius of the earth then ratio of velocities of 'A' and 'B' on
reaching the earth is
(A) \(6/5) (B) \(5/6) (C) 1 (D) \(7/6)
Q.22 The ratio of gravitational acceleration at height 3R to that at height 4R from the surface of the earth is :
(where R is the radius of the earth)
(A) 9/16 (B) 25/16 (C) 16/25 (D) 16/9
Q.23 A rocket is launched straight up from the surface of the earth. When its altitude is one fourth of the radius
of the earth, its fuel runs out and therefore it coasts. The minimum velocity which the rocket must have
when it starts to coast if it is to escape from the gravitational pull of the earth is [escape velocity on
surface of earth is 11.2km/s]
(A) 1km/s (B) 5km/s (C) 10km/s (D) 15km/s
Q.24 Select the correct choice(s):
(A) The gravitational field inside a spherical cavity, within a spherical planet must be non zero and uniform.
(B) When a body is projected horizontally at an appreciable large height above the earth, with a velocity
less than for a circular orbit, it will fall to the earth along a parabolic path.
(C) A body of zero total mechanical energy placed in a gravitational field will escape the field
(D) Earths satellite must be in equatorial plane .
Q.25 A satellite of mass m, initially at rest on the earth, is launched into a circular orbit at a height equal to the
radius of the earth. The minimum energy required is
(A)
4
3
mgR (B)
2
1
mgR (C)
4
1
mgR (D)
4
3
mgR
Q.26 The figure shows the variation of energy with the orbit radius of a body in circular
planetary motion. Find the correct statement about the curves A, B and C
(A) A shows the kinetic energy, B the total energy and C the potential energy of
the system.
(B) C shows the total energy, B the kinetic energy and A the potential energy
of the system.
(C) C and A are kinetic and potential energies respectively and B is the total energy of the system.
(D) A and B are kinetic and potential energies and C is the total energy of the system.
Q.27 A particle is projected from the mid-point of the line joining two fixed particles each of mass m. If the
distance of separation between the fixed particles is l, the minimum velocity of projection of the particle
so as to escape is equal to
(A)
l
GM
(B)
2l
GM
(C)
l
GM 2
(D) 2
l
GM 2
Q.28 The escape velocity for a planet is v
e
. A tunnel is dug along a diameter of the planet and a small body is
dropped into it at the surface. When the body reaches the centre of the planet, its speed will be
(A) v
e
(B)
2
v
e
(C)
2
v
e
(D) zero
Q.29 A small ball of mass m is released at a height R above the earth surface, as shown in the figure above.
If the maximum depth of the ball to which it goes is R/2 inside the earth through a narrow grove before
coming to rest momentarily. The grove, contain an ideal spring of spring constant K and natural length R,
find the value of K if R is radius of earth and M mass of earth
(A)
3
R
GMm 3
(B)
3
R
GMm 6

(C)
3
R
GMm 9
(D)
3
R
GMm 7
Q.30 A hollow spherical shell is compressed to half its radius. The gravitational potential at the centre
(A) increases
(B) decreases
(C) remains same
(D) during the compression increases then returns at the previous value.
Q.31 Consider two configurations of a system of three particles of masses
m, 2m and 3m. The work done by external agent in changing the
configuration of the system from figure (i) to figure (ii) is
(A) zero (B) |
.
|

\
|
+
2
1
1
a
Gm 6
2

(C) |
.
|

\
|

2
1
1
a
Gm 6
2
(D) |
.
|

\
|

2
1
2
a
Gm 6
2
Q.32 A uniform spherical planet (Radius R) has acceleration due to gravity at its surface g. Points P and Q
located inside and outside the planet have acceleration due to gravity
4
g
. Maximum possible separation
between P and Q is
(A)
4
R 7
(B)
2
R 3
(C)
4
R 9
(D) none
Q.33 A particle is dropped on Earth from height R (radius of Earth) and it bounces back to a height R/2 the
coefficient of restitution for collision is (ignore air resistance and rotation of Earth)
(A)
3
2
(B)
3
2
(C)
3
1
(D)
2
1
Q.34 A body of mass m is lifted up from the surface of the earth to a height three times the radius of the earth.
The change in potential energy of the body is
(A) 3mgR (B) 3/4 mgR (C) 1/3 mgR (D) 2/3 mgR
where g is acceleration due to gravity at the surface of earth.
Q.35 When a satellite moves around the earth in a certain orbit, the quantity which remains constant is :
(A) angular velocity (B) kinetic energy (C) aerial velocity (D) potential energy
Q.36 A satellite is launched into a circular orbit of radius R around the earth. A second satellite is launched into an
orbit of radius 1.02R. The period of second satellite is larger than the first one by approximately
(A) 1.5% (B) 3% (C) 1% (D) 2%
Q.37 A satellite of mass 5M orbits the earth in a circular orbit. At one point in its orbit, the satellite explodes into two
pieces, one of mass M and the other of mass 4M. After the explosion the mass M ends up travelling in the
same circular orbit, but in opposite direction. After explosion the mass 4M is in
(A) bound orbit
(B) unbound orbit
(C) partially bound orbit
(D) data is insufficient to determine the nature of the orbit.
Q.38 A satellite can be in a geostationary orbit around a planet at a distance r from the centre of the planet. If
the angular velocity of the planet about its axis doubles, a satellite can now be in a geostationary orbit
around the planet if its distance from the centre of the planet is
(A)
2
r
(B)
2 2
r
(C)
3 / 1
) 4 (
r
(D)
3 / 1
) 2 (
r
Q.39 A planet of mass m is in an elliptical orbit about the sun (m << M
sun
) with an orbital period T. If A be the
area of orbit, then its angular momentum would be:
(A)
T
mA 2
(B) mAT (C)
T 2
mA
(D) 2mAT
Q.40 Suppose the gravitational force varies inversely as the n
th
power of distance. Then the time period of a
planet in circular orbit of radius R around the sun will be proportional to
(A)
|
.
|

\
| +
2
1 n
R (B)
|
.
|

\
|
2
1 n
R
(C) R
n
(D)
|
.
|

\
|
2
2 n
R
Question No. 41 to 42 (2 questions)
Figure shows the orbit of a planet P round the sun S. AB and CD are
the minor and major axes of the ellipse.
Q.41 If t
1
is the time taken by the planet to travel along ACB and t
2
the time along BDA, then
(A) t
1
= t
2
(B) t
1
> t
2
(C) t
1
< t
2
(D) nothing can be concluded
Q.42 If U is the potential energy and K kinetic energy then |U| > |K| at
(A) Only D (B) Only C
(C) both D & C (D) neither D nor C
Q.43 If a tunnel is cut at any orientation through earth, then a ball released from one end will reach the other
end in time(neglect earth rotation)
(A) 84.6 minutes (B) 42.3 minutes (C) 8 minutes (D) depends on orientation
Questions 44 to 48 (5 questions)
Two stars bound together by gravity orbit each other because of their mutual attraction. Such a pair of stars
is referred to as a binary star system. One type of binary system is that of a black hole and a companion star.
The black hole is a star that has collapsed on itself and is so massive that not even light rays can escape its
gravitational pull. Therefore, when describing the relative motion of a black hole and a companion star, the
motion of the black hole can be assumed negligible compared to that of the companion.
The orbit of the companion star is either elliptical with the black hole at one of the foci or circular with the
black hole at the centre. The gravitational potential energy is given by U = GmM/r, where G is the
universal gravitational constant, m is the mass of the companion star, M is the mass of the black hole, and
r is the distance between the centre of the companion star and the centre of the black hole. Since the
gravitational force is conservative, the companion stars total mechanical energy is a constant of the
motion. Because of the periodic nature of the orbit, there is a simple relation between the average kinetic
energy <K > of the companion star and its average potential energy < U>. In particular, <K> = <U/2>
Two special points along the orbit are singled out by astronomers. Perigee is the point at which the companion
star is closest to the black hole, and apogee is the point at which it is furthest from the black hole.
Q.44 At which point in the elliptical orbit does the companion star attain its maximum kinetic energy?
(A) Apogee (B) Perigee (C) The point midway from apogee to perigee
(D) All points in the orbit, since the kinetic energy is a constant of the motion.
Q.45 For circular orbits, the potential energy of the companion star is constant throughout the orbit. If the
radius of the orbit doubles, what is the new value of the velocity of the companion star?
(A) It is 1/2 of the old value (B) It is
2 1
of the old value
(C) It is the same as the old value. (D) It is double the old value
Q.46 The work done on the companion star in one complete orbit by the gravitational force of the black hole equals
(A) the difference in the kinetic energy of the companion star between apogee and perigee.
(B) the total mechanical energy of the companion star
(C) zero
(D) the gravitational force on the companion star times the distance that it travels in one orbit.
Q.47 For a circular orbit, which of the following gives the correct expression for the total energy?
(A) (1/2) mv
2
(B) mv
2
(C) (GmM) / r (D) (GmM) / 2r
Q.48 What is the ratio of the acceleration of the black hole to that of the companion star?
(A) M / m (B) m / M (C) mM / r (D) 1 / 1
ONE OR MORE THAN ONE OPTION MAY BE CORRECT
Take approx. 3 minutes for answering each question.
Q.1 Assuming the earth to be a sphere of uniform density the acceleration due to gravity
(A) at a point outside the earth is inversely proportional to the square of its distance from thecentre
(B) at a point outside the earth is inversely proportional to its distance from the centre
(C) at a point inside is zero
(D) at a point inside is proportional to its distance from the centre.
Q.2 A geostationary satellite is at a height h above the surface of earth. If earth radius is R
(A) The minimum colatitude on earth upto which the satellite can be used
for communication is sin
1
( ) h R R + .
(B) The maximum colatitudes on earth upto which the satellite can be used
for communication is sin
1
( ) h R R + .
(C) The area on earth escaped from this satellite is given as 2tR
2
(1 + sinu)
(D) The area on earth escaped from this satellite is given as 2tR
2
(1 + cosu)
Q.3 Gravitational potential at the centre of curvature of a hemispherical bowl of radius R and mass M is V.
(A) gravitational potential at the centre of curvature of a thin uniform wire of mass M, bent into a
semicircle of radius R, is also equal to V.
(B) In part (A) if the same wire is bent into a quarter of a circle then also the gravitational potential at the
centre of curvature will be V.
(C) In part (A) if the same wire mass is nonuniformly distributed along its length and it is bent into a
semicircle of radius R, gravitational potential at the centre is V.
(D) none of these
Q.4 When a satellite in a circular orbit around the earth enters the atmospheric region, it encounters small air
resistance to its motion. Then
(A) its kinetic energy increases
(B) its kinetic energy decreases
(C) its angular momentum about the earth decreases
(D) its period of revolution around the earth increases
Q.5 A communications Earth satellite
(A) goes round the earth from east to west
(B) can be in the equatorial plane only
(C) can be vertically above any place on the earth
(D) goes round the earth from west to east
Q.6 An earth satellite is moved from one stable circular orbit to another larger and stable circular orbit. The
following quantities increase for the satellite as a result of this change
(A) gravitational potential energy (B) angular vleocity
(C) linear orbital velocity (D) centripetal acceleration
Q.7 Two satellites s
1
& s
2
of equal masses revolve in the same sense around a heavy planet in coplanar
circular orbit of radii R & 4R
(A) the ratio of period of revolution s
1
& s
2
is 1 : 8.
(B) their velocities are in the ratio 2 : 1
(C) their angular momentum about the planet are in the ratio 2 : 1
(D) the ratio of angular velocities of s
2
w.r.t. s
1
when all three are in the same line is 9 : 5.
Q.8 A satellite S is moving in an elliptical orbit around the earth. The mass of the satellite is very small
compared to the mass of the earth
(A) the acceleration of S is always directed towards the centre of the earth
(B) the angular momentum of S about the centre of the earth changes in direction, but its
magnitude remains constant
(C) the total mechanical energy of S varies periodically with time
(D) the linear momentum of S remains constant in magnitude
Q.9 If a satellite orbits as close to the earth's surface as possible,
(A) its speed is maximum
(B) time period of its rotation is minimum
(C) the total energy of the 'earth plus satellite' system is minimum
(D) the total energy of the 'earth plus satellite'system is maximum
Q.10 For a satellite to orbit around the earth, which of the following must be true?
(A) It must be above the equator at some time
(B) It cannot pass over the poles at any time
(C) Its height above the surface cannot exceed 36,000 km
(D) Its period of rotation must be > g / R 2t where R is radius of earth
Answer Key
ONLY ONE OPTION IS CORRECT.
Q.1 B Q.2 A Q.3 C Q.4 A Q.5 B Q.6 B Q.7 A
Q.8 B Q.9 D Q.10 B Q.11 A Q.12 A Q.13 D Q.14 B
Q.15 D Q.16 C Q.17 D Q.18 A Q.19 A Q.20 A Q.21 D
Q.22 B Q.23 C Q.24 C Q.25 D Q.26 D Q.27 D Q.28 B
Q.29 D Q.30 B Q.31 C Q.32 C Q.33 B Q.34 B Q.35 C
Q.36 B Q.37 B Q.38 C Q.39 A Q.40 A Q.41 B Q.42 C
Q.43 B Q.44 B Q.45 B Q.46 C Q.47 A Q.48 B
ONE OR MORE THAN ONE OPTION MAY BE CORRECT
Q.1 A,D Q.2 A,C Q.3 A,C Q.4 A,C
Q.5 B,D Q.6 A Q.7 A,B,D Q.8 A
Q.9 A,B,C Q.10 A,D