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Section 1: Forces and Motion

You will learn following topics in this section


a) Units
b) Movement and position
c) Forces, movement, shape and momentum
d) Astronomy
a) Units
On this and next two pages you will learn Physical quantities, their definitions and units.
Students must learn units by heart
S.No

Quantity with Definition

Symbo

Symbol used for


quantity

unit

l used
for unit

Meter/second

m/s

a) Units
On this and next two pages you will learn Physical quantities,
their definitions and units.
Students must learn units by heart
-------------------------------------------------------------------------VELOCITY
Definition: Rate of change of distance per unit time in a particular direction.
OR
Rate of change of displacement.
For exams write word equation for definition as given below
4
Note#1: There is fundamentally no difference between speed and velocity
except that velocity has direction.
Velocity = speed + direction.
Note#2: It is a vector quantity.
How speed is different from velocity?

only in direction!
A car driving along a highway from one town to another, its speed might be
constant, but the velocity changes as it will change several directions during
the course; as shown in the following figure

The speed is same on all three points while direction is being changed
therefore velocity changes.
If youre moving along at 25 m/s and then you come to a bend in the road,your
velocity changes because your direction changes.
ACCELERATION
Definition: Rate of change of velocity per unit time.
But do not write this definition in exam if asked.
Note#0: Just write the following formula during exams if definition is
asked.

symbolically, above formula can be written as


5

Meter/second2

m/s2

Newton

where, "a" stands for acceleration.


"v" for final velocity.
"u" for initial velocity.
"t" for time.

Note#1: It's a vector quantity.

FORCE
Definition: It is an AGENT

which can change the shape, direction and

speed of an object.
6

Note#1: If force's definition is asked in exam then write the following


formula.
Force = Mass x Acceleration.
symbolically,
F=mxa

Always use
"second"
but "minutes",
"hour" or even

TIME

Definition: beyond the scope of IGCSE.

"days", "months"
Or "years" may

also be used if
specified or asked
in question
GRAVITATIONAL FIELD STRENGTH
OR
Acceleration due to Gravity
Definition: The amount of gravitational force pulling anOBJECT

of

mass 1 kilogram towards the center of earth or any celestial OBJECT .


Note: Celestial object means any astronomical object like moon, mars
etc.
Explanation: The Earth is surrounded by an invisible gravitational field.
This field exerts a force (called weight)

g
symbolic definition is

on all masses which are placed in the field.

g=w/m
Note: The symbol 'g'

On the surface of Earth, this strength of force is 10 N on every 1 kg. This


8

strength is calculated by
gravitational field strength =Weight/mass; (w upon m)
Since this strenght is a ratio, therefore, it is a constant quantity.
On Earth, gravitational field strength, g = 10 N/kg.
It is a vector quantity.

is used for two terms


'acceleration due to
gravity' &
'gravitational field
strength.
However, there is no
fundamental
difference between

Gravitational field
strength is
measure
in Newton/
Kilogram
While
Acceleration due

N/kg
or
m/s2

to gravity is
measured in
meter/ second2

both of them

Note:
The symbol "g" is also used for the term "acceleration due to gravity".
Acceleration due to gravity is the amount of acceleration produced due
to the gravitational pull.
There is no conceptual difference except; when "g" is used as
acceleration due to gravity its unit is m/s2
However, when it is used as gravitational field strength its unit will be
N/kg.
MOMENTUM
Definition: Quantity of motion in a body.
9

But if Definition is asked in exam it would be the following formula


Momentum = mass x velocity.
Note#1: It's a vector quantity.

Kilogram.meter/
seconds

(kg.m)/
s

1.2 EXAMINER'S EXPECTATION: PLOT AND INTERPRET DISTANCE-TIME


GRAPHS
Edexcel people love graphs and distance-time graph is no exception. You people need to know all which I have
written down for you. All that is written is only for the sole purpose of making you eligible for A-gradenot to
make you expert on this section of graphs. Everything is possible in love and war-- obviously, examination can
not be your love.
Therefore,

Let's begin!
Three types of questions are usually asked
i) Describe a graph
ii) Plot a graph for a given situation
iii) WORK out quantities from graphs
I- DESCRIBE A GRAPH:
Step 1:Baby stuff
In distance-time graph: distance always comes on Y-axis and time on X-axis. You will encounter different
shapes of graphs and every shape has different meaning.
Step 2: Learn some shapes
Before we start our discussion on examiners' maneuvers you need to learn that people who make papers have
only few types of graphs in their box, which are dished out in one way or other to you during examination's
papers. However, if you learn them all you can grab full marks.

A very important note:


The absolute essential commandment which your father and mother will probably never tell you; even Moses
had never told anyone is that
"gradient/steepness is the most important thing in graphs."

Whenever you are asked to analyze graphs, you should become a narrow minded person i.e. always think about
its gradient-- this will probably change your marks forever.
So for distance-time graph keep your focus on gradient of the graph.
Look at the graphs on following pages and let's face them one by one.

Graph-A:

Description of Graph A:
Gradient or steepness of distance-time graph shows "speed of the object". And a straight diagonal line on distance-time
graph shows constant speed or average speed. Higher the gradient higher the speed as shown below.

In above diagram lines a,b & c represent different gradients/steepness. Line "a" is the steepest therefore has higher
average speed than the rest where as "c" has the lowest average speed.

GRAPH B:

Description of Graph B:
In this graph gradient or steepness is zero as line is horizontal.
A straight horizontal line on distance-time graph shows that object is at rest/stationary.
Explanation:
In this graph distance is not increasing as time is increasing. This is only possible when object is not changing its
position or is at rest.
Note: Examiners may give you a situation and ask you to draw the graph of the situation or Examiner may exhibit a
graph and ask you to describe it, Similar to the one given on next page.
But remember!"gradient/steepness is the most important thing in graphs." Whenever you'r asked to analyze a graph
just go for the gradient it's the key.

GRAPH C:

Description of Graph C:
This is a curve graph. A curve line on distance-time graph shows that object is either accelerating or decelerating.
A curve line which is getting steeper and steeper with time on a distance-time graph represents acceleration.
Explanation:
Above graph shows that distance is increasing as time is increasing. Also notice that as time is increasing the graph
is getting steeper and steeper.
If a graph is getting steeper at faster rate it means its acceleration is higher as shown in following graphs
Above graph shows three curves, representing three objects, all of them are accelerating. All of them have covered a
same distance of 50 meters but in different times. Curve

"a" has covered the distance much earlier than curve "b" & "c" which means curve "a" has highest acceleration in all.
Conclusion:
Lines which get more vertical over time on a distance-time graph are called "acceleration graphs".

GRAPH-D :

Description of Graph D:
Remember the most esoteric commandment about gradient.
We know that Steepness represents speed on distance-time graph. If steepness increases then speed increases And if
steepness decreases then speed decreases.
The graph shown above is getting less steep over the time. Therefore, speed is decreasing which means object is
decelerating.
Conclusion:
Curve graphs which gets more flat over the time are "deceleration graphs"

GRAPH-E:

Description of Graph E:
This graph requires some knowledge of mechanicspart of Physics.
Gravity of Earth pulls every object towards itself (ground). When an objects falls, the constant pull of gravity
accelerates the object thus speed of falling object increases unit they hit the ground.

When you throw something up, it goes against the gravity so gravity decelerates it and thus speed decreases
constantly until it reaches the highest point.
Therefore, the gradient of the graph keeps falling--that's why thegraph of an object going freely against the gravity is
deceleration graph.

GRAPH-F:

Description of Graph F:
Gravity of Earth pulls every object towards itself (ground). When an objects falls, the constant pull of gravity
accelerates the object thus speed of falling object increases unit they hit the ground.
Therefore, the graph of a falling object is acceleration graph.

Note#1: In examination you would be given straight line graphs. Curve graphs are very rare and for descriptive
purpose.

Note#2: Examiner can only ask you to find speed on distance-time graphs. This can be done by finding the
gradient.
A note on finding gradient/slope of straight line:
Gradient/slope is the defined as how steep is the line. It is represented by small 'm'.
Mathematical formula:
m = rise (how high the line is going on Y-axis) / run (how far it's going on X-axis)
John left his home and walked 3 blocks to his school, as shown in the accompanying graph.

What is one possible interpretation of the section of the graph from point B to point C?
(1) John arrived at school and stayed throughout the day.
(2) John waited before crossing a busy street.
(3) John returned home to get his mathematics homework.
(4) John reached the top of a hill and began walking on level ground.
Answer: (2) John waited before crossing a busy street.
II- DRAW OR PLOT A GRAPH FOR A GIVEN SITUATION
Always put "distance" on Y-axis and "time" on X-axis unless told otherwise. Always put units along with quantities
in brackets. As shown in graph below; distance (m) and time

(s).

For plotting graphs two

types of questions are possible


Type 1: Examiners may give you a situation and ask you to draw its graph OR examiner may exhibit a graph and
ask you to describe it similar to the one given below.
Example
(a) A student walks FROM HOME to a library, waits to collect a book and then runs to a
friend's house.
The distance-time graph for the student is shown. Three sections of the graph are
labelled P, Q and R.
Complete the sentences with P, Q or R.

(i) The student is walking at constant speed in section .............................................(1)


(ii) The student is waiting at the library in section ...............................................(1)
(iii) The two sections of the graph that take equal amounts of time are
.............................. and ..............................(1)
(b) Use words from the box to complete the sentences.
You may use each word once, more than once or not at all.

(i) My answer to (a)(i) is because the section of the graph is


........................................ and ..................................................... (2)
(ii) My answer to (a)(ii) is because the section of the graph is
.....................................................................................................(1)
(c) How does the graph show that the student's friend lives nearer to the library than the student does?
.....................................................................................................(1)
(Total 7 marks)
Answers a-(i)P ; a-(ii)Q ; a-(iii) Q and Rb-(i)Sloping straight; b-(ii) Horizontal c-Less distance travelled in section
R than in section P
Type 2: Examiners may also give you a table in which values for distance and time is given and may ask you to plot
graph of the situation. Try following example.
Example
The table gives information about a journey made by a cyclist.

(a) Plot these points on the grid given below.

(3)

(b) (i) Use your graph to find the distance in kilometres which the cyclist travelled in 4.5 hours.
Distance = ..........................km

(1)

(ii) Use your graph to find the time in hours taken by the cyclist to travel 35 kilometres.
Time = ............................ hours

(1)

(c) State the equation which relates average speed, distance moved and time taken.
................................................................

(1)

(Total 6 Marks )
Example#2 Answers
a- all points correct
b(i)-Answer in the range of 67 to 68 (this will be different for you if you are printing it)
b(ii)- 2.3 to 2.4 (again this will vary)

c- average speed = (distance moved) / time taken


Note#1: Mostly straigth lines' questions will be asked. However, very simple questions relating to accelerating and
decelerating may be asked in which examiner may be asking how far object has travelled in particular time.
III-WORK OUT OF QUANTITIES FROM A GRAPH
From distance-time graph, the quantities that you can find out are
i-

The Average Speed of the object which can be found by finding the gradient of the graph.

ii- Distance travelled by the object in a particular time.


Alice runs a race the motion of which is plotted on a distance-time graph as shown below.

i- Over what distance ws the race run?


ii- How long did the runner take to cover this distance?
iii- How can we conclude from the graph that the runner ran at a steady speed during the race?
iv- what was the runner's average speed?
v- On the same axes plot a graph for a runner who ran 96 m in 12 seconds at a steady speed.

vi- Calculate the speed at which this runner ran the race.
i- 68 m ii- 8 sec iii- constant gradient iv- 8.5 m/s v- Just draw a straight line from zero to 96 m upto 12 seconds.
vi- 8 m/s

1.3 EXAMINER'S EXPECTATION: STUDENTS SHOULD BE ABLE TO KNOW AND


USE THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN AVERAGE SPEED, DISTANCE MOVED AND
TIME:
average speed =
Calculate the speed of an object which has covered a distance of 5 km in 2 minutes.

Important note: standard unit of distance is not kilometer but meter and standard unit of time is not minutes but
seconds. In exams, we must keep our units in standard form unless told otherwise.
Solution:
Distance = 5 km = 5000 m and Time = 5 minutes = 5 x 60 = 120 seconds
Using above formula and pluging values
Avg. speed = 5000 / (2 x 60) = 41.67 m/s

1.4 EXAMINER'S EXPECTATION: STUDENTS SHOULD BE ABLE TO DESCRIBE


EXPERIMENTS TO INVESTIGATE THE MOTION OF EVERYDAY OBJECTS SUCH
AS TOY CARS OR TENNIS BALLS
When a question about investigating motion is asked, then they would either ask you to experiment to find out
either

i- Average Speed OR

ii- Acceleration

TO FIND OUT AVERAGE SPEED OF TOY CAR OR TROLLEY:


Since we know that Speed = Distance / time. Therefore, to find out speed experimentally we must need have known
Distance & Time.
APPARATUS: Toy car or Tennis ball , meter rule , pully , slotted masses , stop watch, thread.
FIGURE:

Procedure:
i- Put Toy Car on bench and attach pully to the corner of the bench as shown in figure.
ii- Attach one end of the thread with toy car and other end with slotted masses while hanging them over pully.
iii- Keep toy car & pully one meter APART with meter rule.
iv- Hold the toy with hand so that it remains there immovable.
vi- Time stop watch when you let toy to move a meter distance.
vii- Repeat this & record readings for different distances in the following chart.

viii- Draw graph to find out average speed, which can be found by finding gradient of graph.

PRECAUTIONS:
i- Do not hang heavier masses this may broke the thread.
ii- Wear shoes so as to avoid injury to foot in case of thread broken and masses fall.
iii- Put something soft underneath hanging masses like tray filled with sand.
SOURCES OF ERROR:
i- Reaction time.
ii- Ruler may not be straight.
iii- Parallax error.
iv- Friction in the bench.
Improvements In Trolley Experiment to avoid/reduce errors
i- Bench should be very polished friction.
ii- Tyres of the toy should not be very rough.
iii- Use light-gates instead of the stop watch and connect light-gates to datalogger and then to computer as shown in
followign diagram.

Animation: calculating speed using one light gates

http://www.absorblearning.com/media/attachment.action?quick=we&att=2321
Animation: calculating speed using two light gates
http://www.absorblearning.com/media/attachment.action?quick=wd&att=2319
Note: You may use trolley/toy car instead of tennis ball in this experiment.
APPARATUS: Toy car or Tennis ball , meter rule , pully , stop watch.
Diagram:

PROCEDURE:
i- Put meter rule on one side of the bench.
ii- Give gentle push to the ball & switch on stop-watch.
iii- Stop stop-watch when ball covers a distance of 1 meters.
iv- Repeat this & record readings for different distances in the following chart.

vi- Draw graph to find out average speed, which can be found by finding gradient of graph.

SOURCES OF ERORR:
i- Reaction time.
ii- Parallax error
MEASUREMENT OF ACCELERATION
APPARATUS : Ticker timer and tape, a.c. power supply, trolley, runway
DIAGRAM

PROCEDURE
1. Set up the apparatus as in the diagram.
2. Connect the ticker timer to a suitable low-voltage power supply.
3. Allow the trolley to roll down the runway.
4. The trolley is accelerating as the distance between the spots is increasing.
5. The time interval between two adjacent dots is 0.02 s, assuming the ticker timer marks fifty dots per second.
6. Mark out five adjacent spaces near the beginning of the tape. Measure the length s1.
7. The time t1 is 5 0.02 = 0.1 s.
8. We can assume that the trolley was travelling at constant velocity for a small time interval.
Thus initial velocity u = distance/time = s1/t1
9. Similarly mark out five adjacent spaces near the end of the tape and find the final velocity v.
10. Measure the distance s in metres from the centre point of u to the centre point of v.
11. The acceleration is found using the formula: v2 = u2 + 2as or a = v2 u2 / 2s
12. By changing the tilt of the runway different values of acceleration are obtained. Repeat a number of times.
13. Tabulate results as shown.
RESULTS

CONCLUSION
We set out to measure acceleration and at the end of the day thats exactly what we did. We conclude with the ardent
wish that not all experiments are this mind-numbingly boring.
NOTES
1. Ignore the initial five or six dots on the tape since the trolley may not be moving with constant acceleration
during this time interval.
2. Ticker timers that use pre-carbonated tape are recommended because the friction due to paper drag is reduced.
3. Ensure that the voltage rating of the timer is not exceeded.
4. Some timers make one hundred dots in one second.
MEASUREMENT OF ACCELERATION DUE TO GRAVITY (g) USING THE FREEFALL METHOD
APPARATUS : Millisecond timer, metal ball, trapdoor and electromagnet.

DIAGRAM

PROCEDURE
1. Set up the apparatus as shown. The millisecond timer starts when the ball is released and stops when the ball
hits the trapdoor.
2. Measure the distance s using a metre stick.
3. Flick the switch to release the ball and record the time t from the millisecond timer.
4. Repeat for different values of s.
5. Calculate the values for g using the equation s = (g/2) t2. Obtain an average value for g.
6. Draw a graph of s against t2 and use the slope to find a value for g (g will be twice the slope).
RESULTS

CONCLUSION
When we plotted the graph, the slope worked out to be 4.85, which resulted in a value for g of 9.9 m s-2, which is
pretty damn close to the theoretical value of 9.8 m s-2. Conclusion? We rock!
PRECAUTIONS / SOURCES OF ERROR
1. For each height s repeat three times and take the smallest time as the correct value for t.
2. Place a piece of paper between the ball bearing and the electromagnet to ensure a quick release.
3. Remember to convert from milliseconds to seconds.
NOTE
Both points 1 and 2 above are associated with the problem that even though you switch off the power for the
electromagnet (and in so doing switch on the timer) it will not lose its magnetism immediately, therefore the ball
will not fall straight away. This means that the reading on the timer will always be (slightly) longer than the time for
which the ball was dropping.
Finding Acceleration using light gate

Finding Acceleration with one light gate


http://www.absorblearning.com/media/attachment.action?quick=wj&att=2331
Finding Acceleration with two light gates
http://www.absorblearning.com/media/attachment.action?quick=wi&att=2329

1.5 EXAMINER'S EXPECTATION: STUDENTS SHOULD BE ABLE TO RECALL AND


USE THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN ACCELERATION, VELOCITY AND TIME:
acceleration =
a=
acceleration's definition is already given in table of section 1.1.
Acceleration is produced when speed of an object increases. And when the speed of the object decreases then it is
called deceleration or retardation. It's the opposite of acceleration or -ve acceleration.
For example, by pressing the accelerator of the car speed increases. And by pressing the brakes speed decreases we
call it deceleration.
Deceleration is calculated with the same forumual as that of acceleration. However, we put negative sign with the
acceleration to show it as a different number. As if acceleration = 5 m/s 2 then deceleration would be acceleration = 5 m/s2
Caution:
Examiner would always try to confuse you with signs.
Note: If you are calculating deceleration then you may write it as deceleration = 5 m/s2or acceleration = - 5 5
m/s2 but not as deceleration= - 5 m/s2 as -ve of deceleration is acceleration.
Suppose you are solving a question to find acceleration. Your answer is coming as a negative number. And we
know that -ve acceleration is called deceleration. Then how should you write your answer ?
either
a)

Acceleration = - 5 m/s2

or

b) Deceleration = -5 m/s2 or c)

Deceleration = 5 m/s2

The correct answer is either (a) or (c ) and if you are thinking for (b) then you will lose marks for your entire answer
in exam paper.
This is because ve acceleration automatically means deceleration. And if placing ve sign after deceleration would
change its meaning to acceleration as
-ve acceleration = deceleration AND ve deceleration = acceleration.
Note: Two types of questions will be asked
Type 1: problems in which initial speed, final speed and time will be given. You just have to use formula to find
acceleration. These are dead easy, just apply formula and then plug and play.
Type 2: find acceleration by using graphs. Only speed-time or velocity-time graphs will be given. Because
remember the gradient. This topic is covered in section 1.6

1.6 Examiner's Expectation: Students should be able to plot and interpret velocity-time
graphs
Similar

to

the

distance-time

i)
ii)
iii)

graph,

three

types

of

questions

Describe
Plot

are

asked

in

velocity-time

graph

a
graph

for

graph

given

situation

Work out quantities from graphs

I-DESCRIBE A GRAPH:

Always put velocity on Y-axis and time on X-axis unless told otherwise. Always put units with velocity and time on
their

respective

axes

in

brackets

as

shown

in

graph

below.

To describe a graph you need to know few shapes first before entering into the den of examiner.

The graph shown above has zero acceleration,this can be proved in two ways.
1-Gradient represents accelerationon on velocity-time graph. The graph is a straight horizontal line i.e. gradient is
zero. Therefore,acceleration is zero.
2- A Straight horizontal line represents constant velocity on velocity-time graph. Since, acceleration means
increasing velocity not constant velocity,therefore, the graph has zero acceleration.
A straight diagonal line which is going upwards on velocity-time graph represents constant accelration.

A straight diagonal line going downwards represents constant deceleration. Gradient would come -ve gradient.
note: A curve line represents increasing or decreasing acceleration. If curve is going up its increasing
acceleration, if it is going down from its deceleration and
if the graph is flattening out its decreasing speed
Explanation of Constant deceleration graph:
First, notice that as time is increasing velocity is decreasing this concludes that it is deceleration graph--since
decreasing speed or velocity is called deceleration.
Second, it is straight diagonal line going downwards. A straight diagonal line represents constant gradient but if the
line is going downwards its -ve gradient. So a -ve gradient on velocity-time graph represents deceleration.
Explanation of increasing acceleration graph:
First, notice that graph is going up which means it is acceleration graph. Second, the graph is not straight line but its
steepness is increasing, therefore, it concludes that it is increasing acceleration.
Explanation of decreasing acceleration graph:

The steepness is gradually decreasing which means that rate of increase of velocity is falling. Therefore, we can
conclude that object is accelerating at slower rate.

Above two graphs are curves going downwards as time is increasing, which means velocity is decreasing. So above
graphs are deceleration graphs.
In increasing deceleration graph, the graph is getting steeper and steeper negatively/downwards as time increases this
means deceleration is increasing. Reminder: deceleration is related to
negative gradient or steepness.
In decreasing deceleration graph, the graph is getting less steep as time increases but still falling down. This means
object is decelerating but slowly.
II- PLOT A GRAPH FOR A GIVEN SITUATION

A situation will be given to you during examination, and you will be asked to plot its graph.
For plotting graphs, two types of questions are mainly asked
Type 1: A situation is described and a question is asked to draw the graph of this situation.
see part b(ii) of example given at the end of the page.
Type 2: A table is given in which values for velocity and time are present and a question is asked about graph.
III- WORK OUT QUANTITIES FROM GRAPH:

Always put velocity on Y-axis and time on X-axis unless told otherwise. Always put units with velocity and time on
their respective axes in brackets as shown in graph below.
Velocity-time graph is more diverse than distance-time graph. It can provide more information as you can find two quantities from it:
1st is distance and 2nd is acceleration.
To work out distance you have to find total area under the graph. Since in a velocity-time graph area under graph represents distance
travelled.
To work out acceleration you have to find gradient of the graph. Since in a velocity-time graph gradient represents acceleration.
Note: "work-out" questions will deal only straight-line graphs.

Practice Question:

A model train travels between two stations. The velocitytime graph shows the train's motion.

(a) (i) State in which part of the journey A, B or C the train is decelerating.
..........................

(1)

(ii) Explain your answer.


..................................................................................................................(1)
(iii) What does the graph show about the deceleration?
..................................................................................................................(1)
(b) (i) What feature of the graph represents the distance travelled between the two
stations?
..................................................................................................................(1)
(ii) A second train travels between the two stations at a constant velocity. It takes the
same time as the first train. On the axes above, draw a line showing the motion
of the second train.

(3)

..................................................................................................................
(Total 7 marks)

Answer

(a) (i) C (ii) -ve gradient (iii) constant deceleration


(b) (i) Area under the graph (ii) constant speed means straight horizontal line cutting approximatley the center of A
through C, ending at the same time.