You are on page 1of 12

Physics Notes

Beat frequency – Differences between frequencies played.
Sound in a tube: Fundamental frequency is when ¼ λ is in the tube.
Natural Frequency – frequency at which an object will vibrate when disturbed.
Forced vibration – happens when an object is made to vibrate by another vibrating object nearby.
Resonance – when the frequency of a forced vibration on an object matches the object’s natural
frequency, a dramatic increase in amplitude (loudness) occurs.
Reflection – when a wave bounces off a boundary. Echoes are sound reflections.
Absorption – when the energy of a wave is absorbed by a material. Soft, irregular surfaces absorb sound
Diffraction – when a wave bends around an opening or obstacle. Diffraction of sound is what allows you
to hear things in other rooms.
Interference – when two or more waves exist in the same medium at the same time
Warm up 4/23/13
What does it mean for a substance to be radioactive?
It means that the substance has some type of involvement to nuclear activity. The nucleus of the atom is
unstable, so it emits energy and dangerous substances.
What are some radioactive substances?
Some radioactive substances are X-rays, gamma rays, bombs, has more than 83 protons, not enough
neutrons and cannot hold together good enough.
What does radiation do to the human body?
Radiation may not kill cells, but it can alter the blueprint of the DNA, causing a mutation. Some
mutations may be fatal. Too much radiation can also cause cancer. Might be able to destroy tissue if put
in front of too much radiation. Radiation can also cause hair loss, brain damage that leads to immediate
death, thyroid, higher risk of leukemia and lymphoma, heart failure, damage to the gastrointestinal tract,
and damage to the reproductive tract.
The atom
 All matter is made from atoms
 Neutral atoms have equal numbers of protons and electrons
 Atoms are made from three main particles:
o Protons – positive charge
o Neutrons – neutral charge
o Electrons – negative charge, small mass (2,000 times smaller than protons and neutrons)
Structure of the atom
Particle: Charge: Mass: Location:
Proton Positive 1 amu Nucleus
Neutron Neutral 1 amu Nucleus
Electron Negative 0.000548 amu Electron cloud
The nucleus
 The center of the atom is composed of protons and neutrons
 Held together by the strong nuclear force
o Very strong at close range – Nucleus is very compact.
o Neutrons must be present to keep protons from flying apart.
Nuclear Symbols

X – Symbol of the element
A – Mass number (number of protons + neutrons)
Z – Charge (Usually atomic number)
Warm up 4/25/13
What is an isotope?
A particular variation of that element.
How do isotopes of the same element differ?
The number of neutrons it has in that atom.
 Isotopes contain the same number of protons but different numbers of neutrons. Mass differs
between isotopes.
 Number of protons determines the element.
Radioactive Decay
 The nuclei of radioactive elements are unstable
- When nuclei decay, radiation and energy are released, and new elements may be formed.
- Forms of radiation are: Alpha, Beta, and Gamma rays.
- All elements heavier than Lead (Atomic number 82) are unstable.
Reasons why a nucleus can be unstable
1. Not enough neutrons to hold the protons together. Protons are all positive and like charges
repel. It is unlikely that two or more protons stay together. There needs to be neutrons to hold
the protons together. Two protons can be “convinced” to be close to other protons if there are
enough protons in the nucleus so they don’t feel the repulsion. The strong force holds together
the nucleus.
2. There are not enough protons to keep all of the neutrons stable. For small atoms, a 1 to 1 ratio
keeps the nucleus stable. But once there are more than 21 protons, there is a larger ratio than a
1 to 1. But once the atomic number gets high enough, there are so many neutrons required that
there aren’t enough neutrons available. Neutrons by themselves are insecure. They need to be
near a proton to keep its self. When there are so many neutrons that there are lots of neutrons
not near to any protons, they fall apart, eject a high charge electron (Beta particle) and changes
into a proton, creating a new element.
Alpha rays
 Alpha particles are composed of 2 protons and 2 neutrons (Positively charged, mass of 4 amu).
 They are identical to a helium nucleus, but are moving stinking fast.
 Can be stopped by a reasonably thick piece of paper or a couple of centimeters of air, intact skin.
Beta rays
 A stream of high speed electrons (Negatively charged).
 Emitted when a neutron decays into a proton (the neutron kicks out an electron, turning into a
 Much faster and more energetic than alpha particles.
 Can be stopped by a sheet of aluminum.
Gamma rays
 A stream of photons (particles of light).
- No charge – neutral
- No mass
- The most energetic form of radiation
- Pure energy
- Most penetrating form of energy
 Can be stopped by a thick layer of lead. α – Alpha, β – Beta, γ – Gamma
 The conversation of a chemical element or isotope into another by nuclear decay or by a nuclear

Co +

Beta Decay:
Ni +
β + γ
Notes – Nuclear fission
 The splitting of the nucleus of an atom
1) A neutron hits the nucleus of an atom like uranium
2) The nucleus is stretched into an oval shape
3) The nucleus continues to stretch until it is split
4) Products: smaller “daughter” nuclei and energy in the form of kinetic energy and gamma

Nucleus --- Uranium nucleus --- uranium nucleus plus neutron --- nucleus splitting --- two daughter
nuclei --- fast neutrons
 Chain reaction
- Neutrons released during fission hit other uranium nuclei causing those nuclei to split
- Has to be a large nuclei to fission
 Nuclear fusion
- Energy is released when light nuclei fuse together
- Positively charged atomic nuclei must collide at high speeds in order for fusion to occur
- A high temperature is required for nuclei to fuse
 A high temperature starts the reaction. The reaction releases energy to maintain the
high temperatures which allow more reactions to occur.
 The fuel rods used in nuclear power plants make use of the energy released during fission chain
 Fuel rods are typically 97% U-238 and other non-chain reacting isotopes and only 3% U-235,
which will sustain a fission chain reaction.
 Control rods are typically Cadmium and Boron, which will absorb stray neutrons, preventing
them from fissioning other U-235 nuclei.
 Heat from the fission chain reaction is used to boil water, the steam is channeled so it will spin a
rotor to generate electricity.
 By-products of this process include spent (but still radioactive) fuel rods, and excess heat; no air
pollution ) CO
, noxious gases, smoke, etc.)
Nuclear Fusion notes
 Energy is released when light (small mass) nuclei fuse together because some mass is converted
to energy.
 E = mc
, Energy = Mass * (speed of light
 The mass of lone protons and neutrons is greater than the mass of protons and neutrons bound
in a nucleus.

Fission releases energy
Fusion releases energy

 Positively charged atomic nuclei must collide at high speeds in order for fusion to occur.
 Nuclear fusion requires high temperatures.
- A high temperature starts the reaction. The reaction releases energy to maintain the high
temperature which allows more reactions to occur.
Why are Gamma rays used to cure cancer?
Gamma rays are sometimes used in treating cancer because of what they are and what they do. Gamma
rays are electromagnetic radiation. Just like light or radio waves. Except that they are of a much higher
energy than light or even X-rays. They are absorbed or scattered by anything they pass through, and
their ability to penetrate material and the amount of scattering they experience varies as the material.
But they penetrate stuff pretty well, and slice right through biological stuff like plant or animal tissue.
And they do stuff to the tissue they pass through while zipping past. The high energy of gamma rays is
what is called ionizing radiation. It has the power to break chemical bonds between atoms. This is
important because living tissue is made up of complex chains of atoms. Big organic molecules are the
basics of life. If a gamma ray zips by, it can break the big molecule apart kind of like snipping a string in a
place or two with scissors. The gamma ray loses energy doing this, but it still continues on cutting up
molecules. It causes radiation damage. Electromagnetic radiation (EMR) damage. And this can be good.
It turns out that though EMR damage can make living cells “sick” and can also kill them if enough
damage occurs, the cells that are most sensitive to EMR damage are cells that have “fast metabolisms”
or that work at high rates. Cancer cells work at high rates. Irradiate them with high energy EMR (gamma
rays) and they can be killed. So will some surrounding tissue, but the brunt of the damage will be caused
to the cancerous tissue. And by moving the beam around, we can minimize damage to surrounding
tissue while pounding the cancerous cells. This is the basis for current radiation therapy by gamma rays.
Heat Notes
Temperature – measures kinetic energy of individual atoms.
Average motion – average motion of all the atoms together. Not temperature.
Random motion – jiggly motion of atoms. There are as many atoms moving one way as there are moving
the other way.
Melting and boiling – the higher the temperature, the higher the random kinetic energy of each atom.
Joule – most common type of energy. Unit for measuring heat.
Calorie – quantity of heat needed to increase temperature of 1 gram of water by 1 degree celcius.
British Thermal Unit (BTU) – often used to measure the heat produced by heating systems or heat
removed by air conditioning systems.
Unit Equals
1 calorie 4.184 Joules
1 kilocalorie 1,000 calories
1 BTU 1,055 Joules
1 BTU 252 calories

What is heat?
Thermal energy – the sum of all the kinetic energy of the atoms or molecules added together.
Heat – another word for thermal energy. Heat flows from the warmer object to the colder one.
Warmer = more energy
Colder = less energy
Energy lost = energy gained
Temperature measures the random kinetic energy of a single molecule or atom.
Specific heat- a property of a substance that tells is how much heat is needed to raise the temp of one
kilogram of material by 1 degree celsius. a large specific heat means you have to put a lot of energy for
each degree increase in temp measured in joule per kilogram per degree c (joule/kg degree c). more
mass = increased specific heat. if specific heat is low (like steel), then temp will change relatively quickly
because each degree of change takes less energy. vice versa for high specific heat (like water)
Horizontal Linear Motion – Main topics
X: dx = (vx)(t)
Dx = Range (meters)
T = vy/g or
Motion is relative to another object.
Speed is how fast an object is moving in one direction.
Velocity is speed in a given direction.
Acceleration is change in speed over a period of time.
Velocity = Distance/Time
Pg. 310 notes
Thermal equilibrium – when objects in thermal contact with each other reach the same temperature
and no heat flows between them.
Internal energy – The grand total of all energies inside a substance. A substance does not contain heat –
it contains internal energy.
Kilocalorie – 1,000 calories (the hear required to raise the temperature of 1 kilogram of water by 1
Calorie – the amount of heat required to raise the temperature of water by 1 Celcius.
Pg. 325 – 331 notes
Conduction – heat transferred through conductors. Takes place within materials and between different
materials that are in direct contact.
Conductors – Materials that conduct heat well. Metals are the best conductors.
Materials composed of atoms with “loose” outer electrons are good conductors of heat (and electricity
Insulators – Materials that delay the transfer of heat.
There is no such thing as “cold” only heat.
Flow of energy
What is Temperature?
Something that measures the Kinetic energy of individual atoms. The average Kinetic energy of the
atoms of a substance.
Scales Used.
Kelvin, Celsius, Fahrenheit. Kelvin and Celsius have the same size scale. 0 Kelvin is -272 Celsius.
People can’t agree on one unit. People are lazy, and there are different scales for different substances.
What is Thermal Equilibrium?
When objects in thermal contact with each other reach the same temperature and no heat flows
between them. It is a condition in which two substances in contact with each other have the same
temperature or kinetic energy.
How does it occur?
Thermal Equilibrium occurs through the transfer of Thermal Energy or heat. It occurs when there is no
difference in temperature.
Why does it occur?
Because heat moves from hot areas to cold areas to balance out the ratio of hot and cold.
What is heat?
Heat is the transfer of Thermal Energy.
How is it transferred?
Radiation – Transfer of Thermal Energy through the motion of Electromagnetic waves.
Conduction – Transfer of Thermal Energy through contact.
Convection – Transfer of Thermal Energy through the motion/movement of fluids.
Why is it transferred?
Because there is a difference in Thermal Energy.

Year in Review class activity
1. An arrow is shot horizontally with a velocity of 50 m/s from a height of 2 m above the ground.
How far from the archer will the arrow strike the ground?

Types of
Convection Radiation
Both don’t need direct contact.
Both transfer heat through objects.
Both require contact with objects.
Both require matter.
Both can transfer through solids.
All: All transfer heat

2. A stone is thrown horizontally from a bridge 40 m above the water with an initial speed of 25
m/s. Calculate the range of the stone.

3. A person runs off a high dive platform with a horizontal velocity of 4 m/s and lands in the water
3.8 seconds later. How far from the base of the platform does the person land?

4. An airplane is raveling 2005 m above the ocean at 980 km/h. It must drop a box of supplies to
shipwrecked victims below. How many seconds before being directly overhead should the box
be dropped? What is the horizontal distance between the plane and the victims when the box is

5. A dart player throws a dart horizontally at a speed of 13.2 m/s. The dart hits the board 0.3 m
below the height from which it was thrown. How far away is the player from the board?

 x + y – Horizontal (x) and vertical (y) velocity components are independent of each other.
 Horizontal (x) – Velocity in the horizontal direction is constant.
- No forces (ignoring air resistance)
- Inertia
- We ignore air resistance
 Vertical (y) – Just like free-fall. Gravity is acting on the object and it as acceleration of 9.8 m/s

which is about 10 m/s
Equation for horizontal motion (x):
 X: dx = (vx)(t)
 dx = range (meters)
Equation for vertical motion (y):
 y: dy = ½ gt

 vy = gt
 t = sqr(2dy/g) or t = vy/g
 dx – Horizontal motion
 vx – Horizontal velocity
 t – Time
 dy – Vertical distance (height)
 vy – Vertical velocity
 g – Gravity (9.8 m/s
 Trajectory – Angle (Path of projectile)
 Range – Horizontal distance a projectile travels
 Altitude – Maximum vertical distance of a projectile
Whoops… wrong section.
What is acceleration?
 Acceleration is how quickly velocity changes
 It’s a vector
 Speed up, slow down, or change in direction
 a = (vf – vi)/t
 Units are m/s
(velocity until time unit)
 Any change in motion
 Measured in distance/time
 Change in speed/time interval
 The rate at which velocity is changing
 Vector – A ray. The length. Any quantity that gives you two pieces of info. Direction and quantity.
 Deceleration – Stopping velocity, slowing down.
 Acceleration – How quickly velocity changes, speed up, slow down, changes in motion, rate at
which velocity is changing.
 Velocity (v) – d/t (distance/time). Measured in meters/second.
 Time (t) – d/v (distance/velocity). Measured in seconds.
 Distance (d) – vt (velocity*time). Measured in meters.
 Define acceleration in your own words.
 What is the difference between acceleration and velocity?