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[Physics SPM] Exam Pointers I

What is observed when a mercury thermometer is placed in a hot water of 80C?

Frequent Mistakes

Student's answer: The inertia of an object is directly proportional to its mass.

When a water wave travels from deep water to shallow water, it undergoes refraction.

Themal equilibrium is achieved.

Correct Answers The higher the mass, the higher is the inertia.

Because water waves undergo change in speed in the direction of propagation.

The mercury length increases to the 80C mark./The mercury rises up the tube to the 80C mark.

* Deeper water allows greater velocities while shallower water causes lower velocities.

[Physics SPM] Exam Pointers II

Source: Maths & Science Guide

What is meant by "speed"?

Frequent Mistakes

Student's answers: Waves are energy produced by oscillations that is able to transfer through medium and travel through vacuum.

Correct Answers Waves are the propagation of energy through the oscillation of particles of a medium.

It is the rate of change of distance. It is = (distance/time). When an object travels a distance of 20m in 10s, its speed is (20/10) = 2m/s. It is scalar quantity.

Comments: The command phrase is "What is meant". Thus, you can choose to give the definition of speed, OR examples that provide the meaning of speed.

[Physics SPM] Exam Pointers III Source: Maths & Science Guide

Revision Compare the separating distance between consecutive bright fringes of red light with that of blue light of the interference pattern obtained from a Young's double slit experiment.

State one observation of the interference pattern of red light in a Young's double slit experiment.

Frequent Mistakes

Student's answer: The interference of red light has a bigger number of fringes due to the smaller separating distance compared to that of blue light. This is because the wavelength of red light is bigger than that of blue light.

Bright and dark fringes are observed due to the interference of coherent waves.

Correct Answer The separating distance between consecutive bright fringes of red light is bigger than that of blue light.

Alternate bright and dark fringes are formed. The central fringe is the bright fringe. All the fringe sizes are equal, or the separating distance of consecutive fringes is the same.