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Physics Defn Pack_Revision_2012

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You are on page 1of 47

H2 PHYSICS (9646)

Explanation-Based Questions

& Definitions List

Note:

This document is a collection of suggested questions and solutions for explanationbased

questions according to H2 Physics topical learning outcomes. The list of questions is not

exhaustive and is meant as a reference only.

Students are advised to identify the keywords and modify the suggested answers according to

the marks allocated if similar questions are to be attempted in the A Level Examination.

Updated 2012-07

Page 1 of 35

JJ 2010

Chapter 1: Measurement

Definitions

1.

2.

Base units are units from which all other units can be defined.

3.

Derived units are units that can be expressed as the product or quotient of base units.

4.

An equation is homogenous (or dimensionally consistent) if the base units of all terms are

the same.

5.

6.

One mole of any substance is the amount containing as many particles as there are atoms

in 0.012 kg of carbon-12.

7.

8.

9.

Random error is one that occurs without a fixed pattern resulting in a scatter of readings

about a mean value.

10.

Systematic error is one that occurs with a fixed pattern resulting in a consistent overestimation or under-estimation of the actual value.

11.

A set of precise measurements is one that has a small spread or scatter of readings.

12.

13.

answer is to be expressed to the same number of decimal places as the uncertainty.

E.g.: (12.34 0.01) kg

1.

Updated 2012-07

Base Quantities

Unit / Symbol

Length

metre / m

Time

second / s

Mass

kilogramme / kg

Current

ampere / A

Amount of substance

mole / mol

Temperature

kelvin / K

Page 2 of 35

JJ 2010

2.

Recall prefixes, its symbols and its meaning from tera to pico.

Prefix

3.

Symbol

Multiplying Factor

tera

x 1012

giga

x 109

mega

x 106

kilo

x 103

deci

x 10 1

centi

x 10 2

milli

x 10 3

micro

x 10 6

nano

x 10 9

pico

x 10 12

Systematic Errors

4.

Random Errors

one direction from its actual value.

mean value.

readings.

correction or using calibration curves.

Cannot be eliminated.

surroundings , radioactive

background count rate.

parallax error, imperfect

materials used.

Accuracy

Precision

An accurate reading is one with small A precise reading is one with small

systematic error.

random error.

An accurate reading is one that is close to A set of precise readings is one that has a

the actual value.

small spread or scatter of readings.

5.

Distinguish between a scalar and a vector quantity, give examples for each.

Scalar Quantity

Vector Quantity

momentum

Updated 2012-07

Page 3 of 35

JJ 2010

Chapter 2: Kinematics

Definitions

1.

2.

3.

4.

1.

From the definition of acceleration, a =

2.

vu

v = u + at

t

From the definition of velocity, average velocity = s / t

u+v s

(u + v)

= s=

t

2

t

2

Combining with equation in (1): s =

3.

Using t =

4.

(u + u + at )t

1

= ut + at 2

2

2

vu

, sub into equation in (2) v 2 = u 2 + 2 as

a

with air resistance.

A falling object has 2 forces acting on it.

Its weight acts vertically downwards.

Drag force due to air resistance acts vertically upwards.

Drag force increases with velocity of the object.

When the drag force is equal to the weight of the object, the object is said to achieve

terminal velocity (constant velocity).

Updated 2012-07

Page 4 of 35

JJ 2010

Chapter 3: Dynamics

Definitions

1.

Newtons First Law of Motion states that every object continues in its state of rest or

uniform motion in a straight line unless a resultant force acts on it.

2.

Newtons Second Law of Motion states that for a system, the rate of change of

momentum is directly proportional to the resultant force acting on it and the change occurs

in the direction of that resultant force.

3.

Newtons Third Law of Motion states that when object A exerts a force on object B, then

object B exerts a force of the same type that is equal in magnitude and opposite in direction

on body A.

4.

Linear momentum of an object is the product of its mass and its velocity.

5.

Impulse of a force is the integral of the force over the time interval during which the force

acts.

6.

The Principle of Conservation of linear momentum states that the total momentum of a

system of interacting bodies is constant provided no external resultant force acts on it.

1.

Mass is the property of an object which resists change in motion.

Weight of an object is the gravitational force acting on it.

An object placed in a gravitational field would experience a gravitational force.

Weight = Mass x Acceleration due to gravity (W = mg).

2.

What is force?

Force is the rate of change of momentum.

3.

Conservation of momentum is applicable for all types of collisions as long as there is no

external resultant force acting.

Conservation of kinetic energy is applicable only for elastic collision. The relative speed of

approach is equal to the relative speed of separation.

4.

Explain why the total momentum is conserved when the resultant force acting on the

system is equal to zero?

By Newtons second law, when the resultant force acting on the system is equal to zero, the

rate of change of momentum is also equal to zero. Hence, total momentum is conserved.

5.

Explain why in an inelastic collision between two objects, the total momentum of a

system is conserved even though the total kinetic energy is not conserved.

In an inelastic collision, even though the total kinetic energy is not conserved, by Newtons

third law, the forces acting on the two objects are still equal and opposite, leading to an

equal and opposite change in momentum. Hence the total momentum is conserved.

6.

It is a situation where the only force acting on the person is the gravitational force.

Example : A high jumper in mid-air with no air-resistance or any free-fall situation.

Updated 2012-07

Page 5 of 35

JJ 2010

Chapter 4: Forces

Definitions

1.

Hookes Law states that the force required to extend (or compress) an elongated object is

directly proportional to the extension (or compression), provided the limit of proportionality

is not exceeded.

2.

Archimedes Principle states that the upthrust acting on an object placed in a fluid is equal

to the weight of the fluid displaced.

3.

Principle of flotation states that, for an object floating in equilibrium in a fluid, the upthrust

is equal to the weight of the object.

4.

The moment of a force about a pivot is the product of that force and the perpendicular

distance between the line of action of the force and the pivot.

5.

The Principle of moments states that, for a body in rotational equilibrium, the total

clockwise moments about any point is equal to the total anti-clockwise moments about the

same point.

1.

Upthrust is the upward vertical force exerted on an object immersed in a fluid due to the

pressure difference between the upper and lower surfaces of the object.

2.

Upthrust on an object is caused by the pressure difference between its upper and lower

surfaces. This pressure difference creates a resultant upward force on the object which we

call upthrust.

3.

The centre of gravity of an object is the point through which the weight of the object is taken

to act.

4.

A couple is a pair of equal but opposite forces which do not act along the same line.

The torque of a couple is the product of one of the forces and the perpendicular distance

between their lines of action.

5.

(a)

The resultant force acting on the object is zero.

(b)

The resultant torque acting on the object is zero.

Updated 2012-07

Page 6 of 35

JJ 2010

6.

Compare qualitatively frictional forces and viscous forces including air resistance.

Frictional Forces

Similarities

Differences

Viscous Forces

Dissipative in nature

Dissipative in nature

Oppose motion

Oppose motion

between two solid objects.

Act between

solid/fluid.

between the two surfaces.

fluid

and

between the two surfaces.

Friction exists even when the object Does not exist when there is no

is at rest.

relative motion.

Updated 2012-07

Page 7 of 35

JJ 2010

Chapter 5: Work, Energy and Power

Definitions

1.

Work done by a force is the product of the force and the displacement in the direction of the

force.

2.

The Principle of conservation of energy states that energy cannot be created nor

destroyed but is transformed from one form to another.

3.

1.

Consider a situation where a constant force F acts on a

stationary object of mass m. The object is displaced by

a displacement s in the direction of the force. The final

velocity is v.

From

v 2 = u 2 + 2as

mv2.

m

F

v

u=0

s

F

v 2 = 0 + 2 s

m

F=

Using

1

2

mv 2

2s

= Fs =

=

1

2

mv 2

(s)

2s

m v2

Since Fs is the work done on the object, which is equal to the increase in kinetic energy

(Ek - 0), hence Ek = 21 m v2

2.

Derive, from the defining equation W = Fs, the formula Ep = mgh for potential energy

changes near the Earths surface.

Consider a situation where a force F acts on an object of mass m

to move the object vertically upwards. The object is displaced at Constant

h

constant speed (so that no change in Ek) by a displacement h in velocity, v

the direction of the force.

F

Since the object moves at constant speed, the upward force, F,

must be equal to the weight of the object, mg. (no resultant

m

force).

Using

Work done on object = Fh

= (mg)h

Since Fh is the work done on the object and is equal to the increase in potential energy,

Ep = mgh

Updated 2012-07

Page 8 of 35

JJ 2010

3.

elastic potential energy.

Gravitational potential energy arises from interaction between masses, where gravitational

forces involved are always attractive in nature.

Electric potential energy arises from interaction between charges, where electric forces

involved can be either attractive or repulsive.

Elastic potential energy arises from deformation of a material.

4.

If work is done at a constant rate,

Power, P =

Updated 2012-07

work done W Fs

=

= Fv

=

t

t

time

Page 9 of 35

JJ 2010

Chapter 6: Thermal Physics

Definitions

Internal energy of a system is the sum of the random distribution of kinetic and potential

1.

energies associated with the molecules of the system.

For Ideal Gas

Internal energy of an ideal gas is the sum of the random distribution of kinetic energies

associated with the molecules of the system.

2.

The specific heat capacity of a substance is defined as the quantity of thermal energy per

unit mass supplied to the object to cause a unit rise in temperature.

3.

The specific latent heat of a substance is defined as the energy per unit mass required to

cause the substance to undergo a change of state at constant temperature.

4.

The first law of thermodynamics states that the increase in internal energy of a system is

the sum of the heat supplied to the system and the work done on the system. The internal

energy is a function of state.

1.

its internal energy.

The mean translational kinetic energy of the molecules is proportional to the temperature.

When temperature rises, mean translational kinetic energy rises, hence internal energy

rises.

2.

Two bodies are in thermal equilibrium when there is no net heat transfer between them.

This implies they are at the same temperature.

3.

The absolute temperature scale (also known as the thermodynamic temperature scale)

does not depend on any thermometric property. The two fixed points used in this scale are

the absolute zero and the triple point of water. The unit of this scale is the kelvin.

4.

It is the temperature at which the saturated water vapour, pure water and ice all coexist in

thermal equilibrium. (Ttr = 273.16 K). It is a unique temperature which can be precisely

reproducible.

5.

Absolute zero is the temperature at which all substances have a minimum internal energy.

It is denoted by zero kelvin.

Updated 2012-07

Page 10 of 35

JJ 2010

6.

Explain using the kinetic theory of gases how gases exert pressure.

Pressure exerted by a gas is due to the collision of the gas molecules with walls of the

container. The collision will result in a change in momentum of the molecules due to the

wall, which by Newtons 3rd law implies a force exerted on the wall by the molecules. This

force acting per unit area of the container wall results in pressure.

(The collisions between molecules will NOT result in any pressure change, as all collisions

between molecules involve conservation of momentum and kinetic energy, hence, any gain

in momentum or KE by one molecule will result in another molecule losing an equal amount

of that quantity).

7.

(i)

melting and boiling take place without a change in temperature.

All the thermal energy supplied during melting is used to weaken intermolecular

bonds and increase (slightly) the intermolecular spacing between molecules.

However, the mean random KE of molecules is NOT changed, hence the

temperature remains constant.

All the thermal energy supplied during boiling is used to greatly increase the

separation between molecules (to change state from liquid to gas) by overcoming

the intermolecular attractions and to do work against the surrounding pressure.

However, the mean random KE of molecules is NOT changed, hence the

temperature remains constant.

(ii)

The specific latent heat of vaporization is higher than the specific latent heat

of fusion for the same substance.

For the same mass of substance, the energy needed during boiling is higher than

during melting.

Heat absorbed during boiling is used to greatly increase the intermolecular spacing

between molecules by overcoming the intermolecular attractions and to do work

against the surrounding pressure.

However, energy absorbed during melting is used to weaken the intermolecular

bond, which is less than that required for boiling. There is also little work done

against the surrounding pressure due to the slight increase in the volume.

Hence, specific latent heat of vaporization is higher than specific latent heat of

fusion for the same substance.

(iii)

Updated 2012-07

Molecules in the liquid with the highest KE and lie closest to the surface have the

highest probability to escape from the surface (i.e. become gas molecules).

This causes the mean KE of the remaining liquid molecules to decrease.

Since Temperature Mean Random KE, the temperature of the liquid decreases.

Page 11 of 35

JJ 2010

Chapter 7: Current of Electricity & D.C. Circuits

Definitions

1.

2.

Charge is the product of the electric current flowing through a cross section of a circuit and

the time of which it flows.

3.

One coulomb is the quantity of electric charge that passes through a cross section of a

circuit when a steady current of one ampere flows for one second.

4.

The potential difference (p.d.) between 2 points in a circuit is defined as the energy

converted from electrical to other forms of energy per unit charge passing from one point to

the other.

5.

One volt is the potential difference between two points in a circuit in which one joule of

electrical energy is converted to other forms when one coulomb of charge passes from one

point to the other.

6.

The electromotive force (e.m.f.) of a source is defined as the energy converted from nonelectrical to electrical per unit charge driven through the source.

7.

Resistance of a resistor is defined as the ratio of the potential difference across the

resistor to the current flowing through it.

8.

One ohm is the electrical resistance of a resistor when a potential difference of one volt

across its terminals drives a current of one ampere through it.

1.

temperature.

At constant temperature, current (I) is proportional to potential difference (V).

Hence, resistance is constant at constant temperature.

2.

current increases at a decreasing rate with increasing potential difference (p.d.)

Resistance increases as applied potential difference increases.

Updated 2012-07

Page 12 of 35

JJ 2010

When applied potential difference increases, current increases and temperature of the

tungsten filament increases.

This causes the lattice ions in the metal to vibrate more vigorously, causing an

increased rate of collision with the moving electrons.

The increased rate of collision reduces the rate of flow of electrons, hence, lowering the

current flow.

This is thus seen as an increase in resistance of the material.

3.

(i).

Forward biased

current increases at an increasing rate with increasing potential difference (p.d.)

Resistance decreases as applied potential difference increases.

Reason for characteristics:

When applied potential difference increases, current increases and temperature

of the diode increases.

This causes an increase in the number of charge carriers (electron-hole pairs) in

the semiconductor.

The effect is an increase in the rate of flow of charge carriers, and results in a

decrease in resistance.

Although there is also an increase in the rate of collision with the lattice ions

which would increase the resistance, this effect is not as dominant.

Hence, the overall effect of increase in temperature is a decrease in resistance.

(ii).

Refer to the topic Semiconductors.

Updated 2012-07

Page 13 of 35

JJ 2010

4.

5.

The electromotive force (e.m.f.) of a source is defined using the energy converted from

non-electrical to electrical per unit charge driven through the source while

potential difference between two points is defined using energy converted from electrical to

non- electrical per unit charge passing from one point to the other.

6.

What is the effect of internal resistance of a source of e.m.f. on the terminal potential

difference and output power?

For a given external load, internal resistance will cause the terminal potential difference to

be lower than the e.m.f. The output power will also be lower than the power generated by

the source.

7.

which is dependent on temperature.

8.

resistance decreases.

Hence, the p.d. across the thermistor decreases, while p.d. V across the resistor R

increases.

Microwave ovens use thermistors to detect and adjust internal temperature to prevent

overheating.

Digital thermostats

Updated 2012-07

Page 14 of 35

JJ 2010

9.

Explain the use of light dependent resistors (LDR) in potential dividers to provide a

potential difference which is dependent on illumination.

increases, resistance decreases.

Hence, the p.d. across LDR decreases, while p.d. V across the resistor R increases.

e.g. Switch for automatic street lamp / night lamp

Updated 2012-07

Page 15 of 35

JJ 2010

Chapter 8: Motion in a Circle

Definitions

1.

The radian is the angle subtended by an arc length equal to the radius of the circle.

2.

Angular displacement is the angle turned about the centre of the circle.

3.

Angular velocity is the rate of change of angular displacement. (units : rad s1)

4.

Centripetal force is the resultant force acting on an object in uniform circular motion and is

directed towards the centre of the circle.

1.

Uniform circular motion is the motion of an object moving in circular path at constant speed.

2.

There is no work done on the object, as there is no displacement in the direction of the

resultant force (resultant force is always perpendicular to the velocity).

3.

Explain why there is no change in kinetic energy of the object moving in uniform

circular motion even though there is a resultant force acting on it.

In uniform circular motion, the resultant force is always perpendicular to the velocity. This

changes the direction of motion, but the speed is constant. Hence no change in the kinetic

energy of the object.

Updated 2012-07

Page 16 of 35

JJ 2010

Chapter 9: Gravitational field

Definitions

1.

A gravitational field is a region of space where a mass will experience a gravitational force

when placed in that field.

2.

Gravitational field strength at a point is defined as the force per unit mass acting on a

small mass placed at that point.

3.

Newtons law of gravitation states that the gravitational force of attraction between two

point masses is proportional to the product of the masses and inversely proportional to the

square of their separation.

4.

The gravitational potential at a point is defined as the work done per unit mass (by an

external agent) in bringing a small mass from infinity to that point.

5.

Gravitational potential energy of an object at a point is defined as the work done (by an

external agent) in bringing the object from infinity to that point.

6.

Geostationary orbits are orbits of satellites orbiting around the Earth such that these

satellites would appear stationary when observed from the Earth.

1.

Derive g =

GM

.

r2

GMm

r2

GMm

F r 2 GM

From the definition of gravitational field strength, g = =

= 2

m

m

r

2.

Geostationary orbits are orbits of satellites orbiting around the Earth such that these

satellites would appear stationary when observed from the Earth.

Hence, the period of the satellites orbits must be the same as that of the Earth, i.e. 24

hours, and these satellites would also have to orbit about the Earths axis of rotation, i.e.

from West to East directly above the Equator.

3.

The gravitational force by the Earth on the satellite is directed towards the centre of Earth.

The centripetal force is directed towards the centre of its orbit. For any satellite, the centre

of the orbit must be the centre of the Earth.

In order for the satellite to appear stationary when observed from the Earth, the axis of

rotation of the satellite must be the same as the axis of rotation of the Earth.

Hence geostationary satellite must be above the equator.

Updated 2012-07

Page 17 of 35

JJ 2010

4.

Analogy

G-Field

E-Field

Origin of force

mass m

charge Q

F = -G

Fundamental law

Mm

r2

Field strength

g=

Field strength of

isolated point mass

or charge

Uniform field

Potential at a point

Change in potential

energy, U

gravitational force

mass

g=

GM

r2

W

m

U = m

dU

dr

d

g=

dr

F=

Relationship

F=

1 Qq

4 o r 2

electric force

E=

positive charge

E=

Q

4 o r 2

V

E=

d

V =

W

q

U = q V

dU

dr

dV

E=

dr

F=

Potential at infinity is taken to be zero. Due to the attractive nature of the gravitational force,

work done by an external agent to bring any mass from infinity to that point is always

negative. Hence the potential at any point must always be negative.

Updated 2012-07

Page 18 of 35

JJ 2010

Chapter 10: Oscillations

Definitions

1.

proportional and opposite to its displacement from the equilibrium position.

2.

Amplitude is the maximum distance moved by an object from the equilibrium position.

3.

4.

5.

6.

Phase difference is the difference in the stages of motion between two oscillations at a

specific time.

7.

Damped oscillation of a system is one that is decreasing in amplitude with time due to

dissipative forces acting on the system.

1.

A simple pendulum oscillating.

A mass oscillating at the free end of a helical spring.

2.

Describe the interchange between kinetic and potential energies during SHM.

EK is maximum at equilibrium position

EP is maximum at the extreme positions

Total energy is conserved (constant) at all points.

E/J

1

2

mx 02

T .E . =

P .E . =

K .E . =

- x0

3.

+ x0

1

2

1

2

1

2

mx 02

m 2x2

m 2 ( x 02 x 2 )

x/m

effects of the degree of damping.

Practical examples:

(i)

Oscillations of a simple pendulum in air.

(ii)

Oscillations of a mass attached to a spring immersed in a fluid.

Types of damping:

Light damping - system will oscillate with decreasing amplitude.

Critical damping - system will return to the equilibrium position in the shortest possible

time without oscillating.

Heavy damping - system will take a longer time to return to the equilibrium position

without oscillating.

Updated 2012-07

Page 19 of 35

JJ 2010

4.

Amplitude

oscillating system oscillates with maximum

amplitude when the external driving frequency is

equal to the natural frequency, f0, of the system.

There is a maximum transfer of energy from the

driving system to the driven system.

f0

Frequency

5.

system.

The suspension system of a car is designed so that it experiences critical damping.

Critical damping allows the car to return to its equilibrium position quickly after it passes

an uneven surface.

6.

Example 1:

Microwave oven microwaves will cause the water molecules in the food to vibrate. If the

frequency of the microwave is the same as the natural frequency of the water molecules,

resonance occurs and the water molecules will vibrate with maximum amplitude, hence

heating up the food.

Example 2:

Breaking of a glass by a singer sound waves from the singer will cause the glass

molecules in the glass to vibrate. If the frequency of the sound wave is the same as the

natural frequency of the glass goblet, resonance occurs and the glass structure will vibrate

with maximum amplitude, hence may crack the glass.

Example 3:

A note produced by a musical instrument.

E.g. plucking of a guitar string produces a dominant sound/note whose frequency is the

same as the natural frequency of the vibrating string. The natural frequency of the string is

dependent on its tension and effective length.

Updated 2012-07

Page 20 of 35

JJ 2010

7.

frequency and damping near to the natural frequency, f0, of the system.

Amplitude

Lighter damping

Light damping

f0

Driving frequency

natural frequency of the oscillating system.

The higher the damping, the lower the amplitude.

8.

Why should resonance be avoided in some cases and how can it be done?

Resonance will produce maximum amplitude of oscillation which may cause disintegration

of the oscillating system.

Resonance can be avoided by adjusting the natural frequency of the oscillating system to

be far from the driving frequency.

Updated 2012-07

Page 21 of 35

JJ 2010

Chapter 11: Wave Motion

Definitions

1.

Displacement of a particle is its distance in a given direction from its equilibrium position.

2.

Amplitude is the magnitude of the maximum displacement of a particle from its equilibrium

position.

3.

Phase difference between two points in a wave is the difference between the stages of

oscillations, expressed in terms of an angle.

(e.g. Two points half a wavelength apart has a phase difference of radians)

4.

Period is the time taken for an element of the wave to complete one oscillation.

5.

Frequency of a wave is the number of oscillations per unit time made by an element of the

wave.

6.

Wavelength of a wave is the shortest distance between two points which are in phase.

7.

The speed of a wave is the distance travelled by the wave per unit time.

8.

Intensity of a wave is the rate of incidence of energy per unit area normal to the direction

of propagation of the wave.

1.

A wave is a mechanism for the transfer of energy from one point to another without the

physical transfer of any material between the points.

2.

The wavelength is the distance travelled by the wave in one period.

Hence, speed of the wave motion, v

3.

4.

time taken

1

f

= f

Transverse waves

Longitudinal waves

direction of oscillation is

PERPENDICULAR to the direction of wave

motion.

direction of oscillation is PARALLEL to the

direction of wave motion.

Can be polarized.

Cannot be polarized.

It is a phenomenon in a transverse wave where the oscillation of the elements of the wave

is restricted to a plane.

Updated 2012-07

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JJ 2010

Chapter 12: Superposition

Definitions

1.

Interference is the superposing of two or more waves to give a resultant wave whose

amplitude is given by the Principle of Superposition.

2.

The Principle of Superposition states that the resultant displacement at a point due to two

or more waves is the vector sum of the displacements due to those waves acting

individually.

3.

It is observable when the width of the aperture is of the same order of magnitude as the

wavelength of the waves.

4.

1. What are the conditions to form stationary waves?

two progressive waves of same type,

moving in opposite direction superimpose with each other.

for transverse waves, the waves must be unpolarized, or polarized in the same plane

similar frequency & wavelength (waves are NOT coherent)

similar amplitude

2. What are the conditions required for observable interference?

Interfering waves must be

same type,

coherent,

have approximately the same amplitude,

for transverse waves, the waves must be unpolarized or polarized in the same plane.

3. Distinguish between progressive and stationary waves?

Criteria

Progressive

Stationary

Energy

is propagated.

is not propagated.

Waveform

advances

Amplitude

amplitude.

node and adjacent antinode have

different amplitudes.

Wavelength

distance between two points

which are in phase.

distance between adjacent nodes

or antinodes.

Phase

wavelength have different phase.

adjacent nodes are in-phase.

Updated 2012-07

Page 23 of 35

JJ 2010

Chapter 13: Electric Fields

Definitions

1.

An electric field is a region of space where a charge will experience an electric force when

placed in that field

2.

Electric field strength at a point is defined as the electric force per unit positive charge

placed at that point.

3.

Coulombs Law states that the force between two point charges is directly proportional to

the product of the charges and inversely proportional to the square of their separation.

4.

Electric potential at a point is defined as the work done per unit charge (by an external

agent) in bringing a small positive charge from infinity to that point.

1

Describe the effect of a uniform electric field on the motion of charged particles.

i)

If the charged particle is not moving parallel to the electric field, the charges will move

in a parabolic path.

ii)

If the charged particle is moving parallel to the electric field, the acceleration will also

be parallel to the field. Hence, the motion will be along the same straight line.

2.

field.

Electric field

Gravitational field

Similarities

r2

Differences

Acts on charges

Acts on masses

repulsive

attractive

positive point charge towards negative

point charge.

towards point masses.

Updated 2012-07

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JJ 2010

Chapter 14: Electromagnetism

Definitions

1.

A magnetic field is a region of space where a force acts on an electric current in a wire,

moving charge or a permanent magnet.

2.

Magnetic flux density is defined as the force per unit length of conductor per unit current

placed perpendicular to the magnetic field.

3.

The tesla is the magnetic flux density of a magnetic field if the force of 1 N is acting on 1 m

length of conductor carrying a current of 1 A placed perpendicular to the field.

1.

and uniform magnetic fields.

Beams of charged particles moving perpendicular to a uniform electric field are deflected

along parabolic paths.

Beams of charged particles moving perpendicular to a uniform magnetic field are deflected

in circular paths. (The direction of the centripetal force is given by Flemings left hand rule).

2.

Explain how electric and magnetic fields can be used as velocity selection for

charged particles.

Crossed uniform magnetic and electric fields (i.e. both fields are perpendicular to each

other) which produce forces opposite in directions on charged particles could be used to

select particles of a particular speed.

As shown above, the moving charged particle will experience opposing forces.

The charged particles will remain on a straight path if the magnitude of electric force FE

and the magnetic force FB are equal, i.e. FB = FE

qvB = qE

Hence, v =

E

B

3.

Explain why there are forces between current-carrying conductors and predict the

direction of the forces

Each current carrying conductor will induce a magnetic field around itself (the direction of

the magnetic field induced is predicted by the right-hand grip rule).

This magnetic field will interact with the current flowing in the other conductor, resulting in

an attractive or repulsive force on the conductor.

The direction of the force acting on each conductor is predicted by Flemings left-hand-rule.

4.

Explain how the magnetic flux density of a coil or solenoid may be increased.

1. increasing the current in the coil or solenoid

2. inserting a soft ferrous (iron) core in the coil or solenoid.

.

Updated 2012-07

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JJ 2010

Chapter 15: Electromagnetic Induction

Definitions

1.

Magnetic flux through an area is the product of that area and the component of the flux

density directed normal to the plane of that area.

2.

The weber (Wb) is the magnetic flux through an area of 1 m2 if the flux density normal to

the plane of that area is 1 T.

3.

Magnetic flux linkage through a coil is the product of magnetic flux and the number of

turns of the coil.

4.

Faradays law states that the magnitude of induced e.m.f. in a coil is proportional to the rate

of change of magnetic flux linkage through that coil.

5.

Lenzs law states that the direction of the induced current is such that its effect opposes the

change producing it.

1.

(i)Turbine generator

The coil of the turbine is positioned in strong magnetic field.

Turbine uses force to turn its coil.

Hence, coil experiences changing magnetic flux linkage.

According to Faradays law, e.m.f. is induced.

(ii) Electric guitar pick up

Vibrating string induces an e.m.f. in a coil.

The pickup coil is placed near the vibrating guitar string, which is made of a metal

that can be magnetized.

The permanent magnet inside the coil magnetizes the portion of the string nearest

the coil.

When the guitar string vibrates at some frequency, its magnetized segment

produces a changing magnetic flux through the pickup coil.

The changing flux linkage induces e.m.f. in the coil.

Subsequently the e.m.f. is fed to the amplifier and speaker system to produce

sound.

Updated 2012-07

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JJ 2010

Chapter 16: Alternating Currents

Definitions

1.

Peak value of an alternating current is defined as the maximum possible value of the

alternating current

2.

Root mean square current from an AC source is the current which will produce the same

heating effect in a resistive load as the steady current from a DC source.

3.

one direction)

1.

What is a diode?

A diode is an electrical device with two terminals that allows current to flow through it in one

direction only.

2.

Explain the use of a single diode for the half wave rectification of an alternating

current.

Diode allows current to flow when forward biased, and disallow current to flow when

reversed biased.

A

a.c. source

output voltage

Y

VAB

1

2

VXY

1

t

Hence, when an AC supply is connected in a circuit that consists of a single diode and a

resistor in series, only the rectified current can flow through the resistor.

Updated 2012-07

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JJ 2010

Chapter 17: Quantum Physics

Definitions

1.

2.

Photoelectric effect is a phenomenon where electrons are liberated from the surface of a

metal when the metallic surface is irradiated with electromagnetic radiation of high enough

frequency.

3.

below which no electrons can be liberated from the metal surface.

4.

Work function energy of a metal is the minimum energy required to liberate an electron

from the surface of the metal.

5.

A potential barrier is a region within which the potential energy of the particle is much

higher than if the particle were to be outside the barrier.

6.

barrier, even though the total energy of the particle is lower than the barrier energy (barrier

height).

1.

nature of electromagnetic radiation.

The photoelectric experiment displayed the following 4 observations:

Result 1: Current is proportional to intensity. This result can be explained using wave

nature and particulate nature of light.

threshold frequency, below which no electrons would be emitted from the cathode

regardless of the light intensity. This result can be explained using particulate nature of light

only.

Result 3: The maximum kinetic energy of emitted photoelectrons depends only on the

frequency of the incident radiation, and not its intensity. This result can be explained using

particulate nature of light only.

Result 4: The emission of photoelectrons starts with no observable time lag, even for very

low intensity of incident radiation. This result can be explained using particulate nature of

light only.

Hence, photoelectric effect provides the evidence for the particulate nature of

electromagnetic radiation.

2.

What evidences show that light has wave and particulate natures?

Evidence of Wave Nature

Photoelectric effect

Updated 2012-07

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JJ 2010

3.

energy.

Using Einsteins photoelectric effect equation:

Photon energy = Work function + Maximum K.E. of electron

Work function energy is the minimum energy required to remove an electron from the

surface of the metal.

If the photon energy is less than the work function energy of the cathode, no photoelectron

will be emitted.

Hence, to emit photoelectrons, photon energy must be equal or greater than the work

function energy of the cathode.

4.

1

mv max 2 .

2

When an electron absorbs energy, hf, from an incident photon, it uses a minimum energy

to be emitted from the metal surface, it will have a maximum kinetic energy

1

mv max 2 .

2

5.

Describe and interpret qualitatively the evidence provided by electron diffraction for

the wave nature of particles.

When a beam of electrons passed through a thin film of crystal (e.g. graphite), the dispersion

pattern of the emergent electrons produced on a screen (coated fluorescent) is observed to

be similar to the diffraction pattern produced by a beam of X-ray.

This interference pattern provides evidence for the wave nature of particles like electrons.

6.

Distinguishing

between

In

terms of

Pattern

Initial state

of gas

atoms

at excited state) vapour or gas.

through cool (gas atoms are initially at

ground state) vapour or gas.

Spectrum

Pattern

definite wavelength on a dark

background

wavelength on a coloured background

Updated 2012-07

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JJ 2010

Explanation

7.

8.

the characteristic wavelengths

corresponding to the transitions

from higher to lower energy

levels.

lines on the spectrum are

characteristics of the element

emitting the light.

characteristic wavelengths

corresponding to the transitions

from lower to higher energy levels.

transit back to the lower energy

levels by emitting the same photons

in all directions small fraction of

emitted photons incident on screen

lines of lower intensity formed

(appear as dark lines on the

spectrum)

lines on the spectrum are

characteristics of the element

absorbing and re-emitting the light.

Explain how emission spectral lines show discrete energy levels in an atom.

An emission spectrum consists of a set of discrete lines of different wavelengths.

A photon is emitted from an isolated atom when one of its electrons transits from a

higher to a lower energy level.

Energy of the photon is equal to the energy difference between the two levels involved in

the transition. Since the energies of the photons are discrete, this means that the

electrons must have transitions between discrete energy levels within the atom.

Explain how absorption spectral lines show discrete energy levels in an atom.

An absorption spectrum consists of a set of discrete dark lines of different wavelengths

on a coloured background.

Only photons of specific wavelengths are absorbed which corresponds to specific energy

transitions in an isolated atom. This atom transitions from lower to higher energy level,

and then quickly transitions down by giving out a photon corresponding to the energy

transition.

Energies of the photons emitted and absorbed are discrete and hence proves that there

are discrete energy levels in an atom.

9.

Explain the origins of the features of a typical Xray spectrum using quantum theory.

a) The 2 spikes (K and K, line spectrum) is the result of electron transitions within the

atoms of the target material. The electrons which bombard the target are very energetic

(approximately 105 eV ) and are capable of knocking electrons out of deep-lying energy

levels of the target atoms. An outer electron may fall into the vacancy created in its

atom, releasing a high energy quantum of electromagnetic radiation (i.e. X-ray). Since

the energy levels are characteristic of the target atoms, so too are the X-rays produced

this way. These values of wavelengths are characteristic of the target metal.

b) There is also a continuous spectrum in the background of the 2 spikes.

This continuous background is produced by electrons colliding with the target and being

decelerated. The energy of the emitted X-ray quantum is equal to the energy lost in the

deceleration. An electron may lose any fraction of its energy in this process.

c) The most energetic X-rays (those with min) are the result of bombarding electrons losing all

their energy at once. Since the energy of the electrons depends on the operating

voltage, so does min. X-rays with longer wavelength are the result of electrons losing

less than their total energy.

Updated 2012-07

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JJ 2010

10.

potential barrier.

Electron is considered as a wave function.

Probability of finding an electron is directly proportional to the square of the amplitude

of its wave function.

When the wave function of an electron encounters a potential barrier, its amplitude

decreases exponentially.

For a narrow barrier, the wave amplitude may not become zero after the electron passes

through the barrier.

Hence, there is a non-zero probability that the electron will be found beyond the barrier.

This process is called quantum tunnelling.

11. Describe the application of quantum tunnelling to the probing tip of a scanning

tunnelling microscope (STM).

The probing tip of an STM is positioned at a very small distance above the conducting

sample surface which represents the width of the potential barrier.

Electrons can cross the potential barrier between the tip and the surface through the

process of quantum tunnelling.

A small potential difference is applied between the tip and the surface to produce

tunneling current.

The tunnelling current I decreases exponentially with the tip-surface distance d, so a

small change in d will induce a large change in I.

This variation will allow the mapping of atomicscale images of a surface.

Updated 2012-07

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JJ 2010

Chapter 18: Lasers and Semiconductors

Definitions

1.

higher to a lower energy level without external stimulation.

2.

higher to a lower energy level when stimulated by an incoming photon of the same

frequency.

3.

Population inversion is a condition when most of the atoms are in the excited state.

4.

Band gap refers to the energy difference between two allowed energy bands OR the

minimum energy needed for an electron to jump from the lower band to the higher band.

5.

Depletion region at a p-n junction is a region virtually depleted of mobile charge carriers

due to the recombination of electrons and holes at a finite temperature.

1.

emission.

Pumping creates a state of population inversion.

Spontaneous emission occurs and photons are emitted.

Photons travel and interact with excited atoms causing stimulated emission.

Since all these stimulated photons are parallel and coherent, they form a laser beam

which is monochromatic, coherent and highly directional.

2.

A solid contains a very large number of atoms closely packed together. Hence, the allowed

energy level split into a very large number of levels known as energy band for many atoms

that are very close to one another in a solid.

3.

The highest occupied band is called valence band.

The lowest unoccupied band is called conduction band.

4.

Conduction band of a metal is partially filled.

Hence, electron is free to move in metal.

For insulator, band gap between conduction band and valence band is wide (in the order of

few eV).

Thermal excitation can only produce an insignificant number of electrons in the conduction

band.

Hence, it is a poorer conductor.

Updated 2012-07

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JJ 2010

5.

For a semiconductor, the band gap between conduction and valence band is narrow (in the

order of 1 eV). At finite temperatures, thermal excitation will excite significant number of

electrons from valence to conduction band.

For insulator, band gap between conduction band and valence band is wide (in the order of

few eV). Thermal excitation can only produce an insignificant number of electrons in the

conduction band. Hence, it is a poorer conductor than an insulator.

6.

An intrinsic semiconductor is a semiconductor without added impurities.

An extrinsic semiconductor is a semiconductor with added impurities.

7.

Analyse qualitatively how n- and ptype doping change the conduction properties of

semiconductors.

n-type doping means adding impurity atoms of higher valency.

This would provide more mobile electrons to increase the conductivity of the semiconductor.

p- type doping means adding impurity atoms of lower valency.

This would provide more holes to increase the conductivity of the semiconductor.

8.

Discuss qualitatively the origin of the depletion region at a p-n junction and use this

to explain how a p-n junction can act as a rectifier.

Diffusion of the electrons occurs from n- to p-type region of a p-n junction.

Holes diffuse in the opposite directions.

They meet and recombine to form a depletion region consisting of positive and negative

immobile ions.

An electric field is set up in the depletion region directed from n to p-type (junction electric

field).

In forward biased, the external electric field opposes the junction electric field.

Hence, the majority charge carriers flow across the junction, resulting in a considerable

electric current.

In reverse biased, the external electric field reinforces the junction electric field.

Hence, only the minority charge carriers flow resulting in negligible electric current flow.

Updated 2012-07

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JJ 2010

Chapter 19: Nuclear Physics

Definitions

1. Isotopes of an element are atoms whose nuclei have the same number of protons but

different number of neutrons.

2. Mass defect of a nucleus is the difference between the total mass of its individual nucleons

and the mass of the nucleus.

3. Binding energy of a nucleus is the minimum energy required to break the nucleus into its

individual nucleons.

4. Activity of a sample is the number of radioactive decay per unit time.

5. Decay constant is the fraction of the radioactive nuclei in a sample of the nuclide that has

decayed per unit time.

6. Half-life of a radioactive nuclide is defined as the time taken for half of the original number of

radioactive nuclei in a sample to decay.

7. Nuclear fission is the breaking up of a large nucleus into two or more smaller nuclei, with

the emission of a few neutrons and/or other radiations

8. Nuclear fusion is the formation of a larger nucleus from two small nuclei, with the possible

emission of other radiations.

Sample Explanation Questions

1. Infer from the results of the -particle scattering experiment the existence and small

size of the nucleus.

Some alpha particles are deflected at large angles indicating that there are massive particles

in the gold foil.

Most of the alpha particles are undeflected indicating that this massive particle are small in

size.

Using E = mc2,

Binding energy is the energy equivalence of its mass defect.

Updated 2012-07

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JJ 2010

4. Sketch the variation of binding energy per nucleon with nucleon number.

56

26

Fe

5. Explain the relevance of binding energy per nucleon to nuclear fission and fusion.

The higher the binding energy per nucleon of a nuclei, the more stable the nuclei is due

to a lower energy content.

In nuclear fission or fusion, the products have higher binding energy per nucleon than the

reactants. Hence, they are more stable than the reactants.

The End

Updated 2012-07

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JJ 2010

Syllabus

Reference

1

MEASUREMENT

Use

(h)

Derive, Recall

& Use

If C = A B

C = A + B

A

B

E A B

E

A

B

s

v=

t

v

a=

t

If E = AB or E =

KINEMATICS

(d)

(e)

(f)

v = u + at

2

s = ut + 21 at

2

v = u + 2as

3

DYNAMICS

(d)

p = mv, I = Ft

p : momentum,

I : impulse

(e)

(f)

(i)

4

FORCES

F=

p

t

F = ma

Relative speed of

approach = relative

speed of separation

(a)

(b)

u1 u2 = v2 v1

Spring force, F = kx

U = 21 Fx = 21 kx

U : Elastic PE

(d)

(m)

5

WORK, ENERGY

and POWER

(a)

(b)

(d)

p = gh

= Fd

W = pV

Ek = 21 mv

(g)

F=

(h)

(j)

MOTION in a

CIRCLE

cfs201002@jj / kpl2012

E p

x

Efficiency, =

P=

Wout

Win

W

t

(a)

s : arc length

r : radius

: angle in radians

(b)

: angular velocity

(c)

(e)

v : linear velocity

v = r

a : linear

acceleration

a = r , a =

(f)

Ep = mgh

(k)

6

: Torque

W = Fs

P = Fv

s = r

v2

r

mv 2

2

F = mr , F =

r

2

Page 1 of 4

Syllabus

Reference

7

GRAVITATIONAL

FIELD

Use

Derive, Recall

& Use

(a)

g : gravitational field

strength

g=

(b)

F : gravitational

force

F=G

F

m

m1m2

r2

(c)

g=

(g)

GM

r2

GM

r

: gravitational

potential

(i)

Orbit of satellites

8

OSCILLATIONS

(c)

(d)

(e)

(f)

GMm

2

=mr

2

r

T

1

2

T= , T=

a = x

2

x = xo sin t

v = vo cos t,

v = ( xo2 x 2 )

10

11

THERMAL

PHYSICS

WAVE MOTION

SUPERPOSITION

(f)

(g)

(h)

(j)

(k)

(n)

Q = mcT

Q = mL

U = Q + W

pV = nRT

E = 32 kT

1

2

m c 2 = 32 kT

v = f

(b)

(e)

(c)

intensity (amplitude)

NN = AA =

Stationary waves

NN : node to node

AA : antinode to antinode

12

ELECTRIC FIELDS

(i)

Double slit

interference

(j)

(a)

Diffraction

E : electric field

strength

(c)

F : electric force

(d)

(e)

(f)

(h)

cfs201002@jj / kpl2012

V : potential

difference

ax

D

d sin = n

F

E=

q

QQ

F = 1 22

4 o r

=

E=

Q

4 o r 2

E=

V

d

F = qE = q

V=

V

d

W

q

Page 2 of 4

Syllabus

Reference

Use

(i)

E = potential gradient

=

(j)

Derive, Recall

& Use

V

d

Q

4 o r

: electric potential

13

CURRENT of

ELECTRICITY

(c)

(e)

Q = It

(f)

2

2

P = VI = I R = V

(h)

(k)

V = IR

V=

W

Q

R

A

W

E=

Q

R=

(l)

14

D.C. CIRCUITS

(c)

(d)

R = R1 + R2 + ....

Resistance in series

1

1

1

+

R R1 R2

Resistance in parallel

(f)

15

ELECTROMAGNETISM

(b)

V1 R1

V2 R2

F : magnetic force

B : magnetic flux

density

l : current

F = BI sin

F = BQv sin

(f)

(g)

qE = ma, BQv =

(h)

(k)

16

ELECTROMAGNETIC

INDUCTION

(b)

(c)

(e)

17

ALTERNATING

CURRENTS

B=

o I

2 d

: magnetic flux

: magnetic flux

v=

E

B

F

= BA

linkage

= N = NBA

E : induced emf

E=

(e)

oI1I2

2 d

(b)

(c)

(d)

cfs201002@jj / kpl2012

Velocity selector

mv 2

r

<P> =

Po

2

x = xo sin t

Irms =

Io

2

Ns Vs I p

N p Vp Is

Page 3 of 4

Syllabus

Reference

18

QUANTUM

PHYSICS

Use

(b)

(e)

(j)

de Broglie

wavelength

(t)

20

NUCLEAR

PHYSICS

(f)

(o)

(p)

(r)

cfs201002@jj / kpl2012

1

2

: work function

(s)

Derive, Recall

& Use

E = hf

(h)

(m)

(o)

2

= eVs

mv max

2

hf = + 21 mv max

h

p

hf = E1 E2

Heisenberg

uncertainty

principles

h

,

4

h

(t)(E)

4

(x)(px)

T exp(2kd)

T : transmission

coefficient

R : reflection

coefficient

A : activity

: decay constant

N : number of

undecayed nuclei

R+T=1

E = mc

A = N

x = xo exp(-t)

0.693

t 12

Page 4 of 4

Data

speed of light in free space

3.00 108 m s1

4 107 H m1

8.85 1012 F m1

(1/(36)) 109 F m1

elementary charge

1.60 1019 C

6.63 1034 Js

1.66 1027 kg

me

9.11 1031 kg

mp

1.67 1027 kg

8.31 J K1 mol1

NA

1.38 1023 J K1

gravitational constant

9.81 m s2

ut +

v2

u2 + 2as

pV

hydrostatic pressure

gh

gravitational potential

Gm/r

x0sin t

v0cos t

( x0 x )

3

2

Formulae

uniformly accelerated motion

1

2

at2

resistors in series

R1 + R2 + ....

1/R

alternating current/voltage

x0 sin t

transmission coefficient

exp(2kd)

where k

radioactive decay

h

x0 exp(t)

decay constant

0.693

resistors in parallel

electric potential

kT

Q

4 0 r

8 m(U E )

2

t1

2

31

SCHEME OF ASSESSMENT

All school candidates are required to enter for Papers 1, 2, 3 and 4.

All private candidates are required to enter for Papers 1, 2, 3 and 5.

Paper

Type of Paper

Duration

Weighting (%)

Marks

Multiple Choice

1 h 15 min

20

40

Structured Questions

25

60

12

1 h 45 min

Planning

3

2h

35

80

School-based Science

Practical Assessment (SPA)

15

40

Practical Paper

1 h 50 min

15

36

40 multiple-choice questions. All questions will be of the direct choice type with 4 options.

Paper 2 (1 h 45 min, 72 marks)

This paper will consist of a variable number of structured questions plus one or two data-based

questions, and a question on Planning. All questions are compulsory and answers will be written in

spaces provided on the Question Paper. The data-based question(s) will constitute 1520 marks

whilst the Planning question constitutes 12 marks for this paper. The Planning Question will assess

appropriate aspects of objectives C1 to C5 and may require candidates to integrate knowledge and

understanding from different areas of the syllabus.

Paper 3 (2 h, 80 marks)

This paper will consist of:

section A worth 40 marks consisting of a variable number of structured questions, all compulsory.

These include questions which require candidates to integrate knowledge and understanding from

different areas of the syllabus;

section B worth 40 marks consisting of a choice of two from three 20-mark questions.

All answers will be written in spaces provided on the Question Paper.

Paper 4 (40 marks)

The School-Based Science Practical Assessment (SPA) will take place over an appropriate period

that the candidates are offering the subject. There are two compulsory assessments which will

assess appropriate aspects of objectives C1 to C5 in the following skill areas:

Presentation of data and observations (PDO)

Analysis, conclusions and evaluation (ACE)

Each assessment assesses these three skill areas MMO, PDO and ACE, which may not be

necessarily equally weighted, to a total of 20 marks. The range of marks for the three skill areas are

as follows: MMO, 48 marks; PDO, 48; ACE, 810 marks.

MATHEMATICAL REQUIREMENTS

Arithmetic

Candidates should be able to:

(a)

recognise and use expressions in decimal and standard form (scientific) notation.

(b)

use appropriate calculating aids (electronic calculator or tables) for addition, subtraction,

multiplication and division. Find arithmetic means, powers (including reciprocals and square

roots), sines, cosines, tangents (and the inverse functions), exponentials and

logarithms (lg and ln).

(c)

take account of accuracy in numerical work and handle calculations so that significant figures

are neither lost unnecessarily nor carried beyond what is justified.

(d)

make approximate evaluations of numerical expressions (e.g. 2 = 10) and use such

approximations to check the magnitude of machine calculations.

Algebra

Candidates should be able to:

(a)

change the subject of an equation. Most relevant equations involve only the simpler

operations but may include positive and negative indices and square roots.

(b)

solve simple algebraic equations. Most relevant equations are linear but some may involve

inverse and inverse square relationships. Linear simultaneous equations and the use of the

formula to obtain the solutions of quadratic equations are included.

(c)

substitute physical quantities into physical equations using consistent units and check the

dimensional consistency of such equations.

(d)

identify inadequacies of such models.

(e)

recognise and use the logarithmic forms of expressions like ab, a/b, xn, ekx; understand the

use of logarithms in relation to quantities with values that range over several orders of

magnitude.

(f)

(g)

(h)

Candidates should be able to:

(a)

calculate areas of right-angled and isosceles triangles, circumference and area of circles,

areas and volumes of rectangular blocks, cylinders and spheres.

(b)

(c)

use sines, cosines and tangents (especially for 0, 30, 45, 60, 90). Use the trigonometric

relationships for triangles:

a

sin A

b

sin B

c

sin C

; a = b + c 2bc cos A

25

(d)

(e)

understand the relationship between degrees and radians (defined as arc/radius), translate

from one to the other and use the appropriate system in context.

Vectors

Candidates should be able to:

(a)

find the resultant of two coplanar vectors, recognising situations where vector addition is

appropriate.

(b)

situations where vector resolution is appropriate.

Graphs

Candidates should be able to:

(a)

(b)

(c)

(d)

choose, by inspection, a straight line which will serve as the line of best fit through a set of

data points presented graphically.

(e)

recall standard linear form y = mx + c and rearrange relationships into linear form where

appropriate.

(f)

sketch and recognise the forms of plots of common simple expressions like 1/x, x2, 1/x2, sin x,

cos x, ex.

(g)

(h)

understand, draw and use the slope of a tangent to a curve as a means to obtain the gradient,

and use notation in the form dy/dx for a rate of change.

(i)

understand and use the area below a curve where the area has physical significance.

Any calculator used must be on the Singapore Examinations and Assessment Board list of approved

calculators.

26

It is hoped that the glossary will prove helpful to candidates as a guide, although it is not exhaustive.

The glossary has been deliberately kept brief not only with respect to the number of terms included

but also to the descriptions of their meanings. Candidates should appreciate that the meaning of a

term must depend in part on its context. They should also note that the number of marks allocated for

any part of a question is a guide to the depth of treatment required for the answer.

1.

Define (the term(s) ) is intended literally. Only a formal statement or equivalent paraphrase,

such as the defining equation with symbols identified, being required.

2.

What is meant by normally implies that a definition should be given, together with some

relevant comment on the significance or context of the term(s) concerned, especially where

two or more terms are included in the question. The amount of supplementary comment

intended should be interpreted in the light of the indicated mark value.

3.

Explain may imply reasoning or some reference to theory, depending on the context.

4.

State implies a concise answer with little or no supporting argument, e.g. a numerical answer

that can be obtained by inspection.

5.

List requires a number of points with no elaboration. Where a given number of points is

specified, this should not be exceeded.

6.

Describe requires candidates to state in words (using diagrams where appropriate) the main

points of the topic. It is often used with reference either to particular phenomena or to

particular experiments. In the former instance, the term usually implies that the answer should

include reference to (visual) observations associated with the phenomena. The amount of

description intended should be interpreted in the light of the indicated mark value.

7.

Discuss requires candidates to give a critical account of the points involved in the topic.

8.

Deduce/Predict implies that candidates are not expected to produce the required answer by

recall but by making a logical connection between other pieces of information. Such

information may be wholly given in the question or may depend on answers extracted in an

earlier part of the question.

9.

Suggest is used in two main contexts. It may either imply that there is no unique answer or

that candidates are expected to apply their general knowledge to a novel situation, one that

formally may not be in the syllabus.

10.

Calculate is used when a numerical answer is required. In general, working should be shown.

11.

Measure implies that the quantity concerned can be directly obtained from a suitable

measuring instrument, e.g. length, using a rule, or angle, using a protractor.

12.

Determine often implies that the quantity concerned cannot be measured directly but is

obtained by calculation, substituting measured or known values of other quantities into a

standard formula, e.g. the Young modulus, relative molecular mass.

13.

Show is used when an algebraic deduction has to be made to prove a given equation. It is

important that the terms being used by candidates are stated explicitly.

14.

concerned. Candidates should make such simplifying assumptions as may be necessary

about points of principle and about the values of quantities not otherwise included in the

question.

27

15.

Sketch, when applied to graph work, implies that the shape and/or position of the curve need

only be qualitatively correct. However, candidates should be aware that, depending on the

context, some quantitative aspects may be looked for, e.g. passing through the origin, having

an intercept, asymptote or discontinuity at a particular value. On a sketch graph it is essential

that candidates clearly indicate what is being plotted on each axis.

16.

Sketch, when applied to diagrams, implies that a simple, freehand drawing is acceptable:

nevertheless, care should be taken over proportions and the clear exposition of important

details.

17.

Compare requires candidates to provide both similarities and differences between things or

concepts.

TEXTBOOKS

Teachers may find reference to the following books helpful.

Practice in Physics (3rd Edition), by Akrill et al, published by Hodder & Stoughton,

ISBN 0-340-75813-9

New Understanding Physics for Advanced Level (4th Edition), by J. Breithaupt, published by Nelson

Thornes, ISBN 0-748-74314-6

Advanced Physics (4th Edition), by T. Duncan, published by John Murray, ISBN 0-719-57669-5

Advanced Physics (2nd Edition), by K. Gibbs, published by Cambridge University Press,

ISBN 0-521-56701-7

Bath Advanced Science: Physics (2nd Edition), by R. Hutchings, published by Nelson Thornes,

ISBN 0-174-38731-8

Physics for Scientists and Engineers with Modern Physics (5th Edition), by R. Serway, published by

Saunders, ISBN 0-030-20974-9

Fundamental of Physics (Extended 6th Edition), by R. Resnick, D. Halliday & J. Walker, published

by Wiley, ISBN 0-471-22863-X

Physics: Principles with Applications (5th Edition), by D.C. Giancoli, published by Prentice Hall,

ISBN 0-13611-971-9

Teachers are encouraged to choose texts for class use that they feel will be of interest to their

students and will support their own teaching style.

28

The following list illustrates the symbols and units that will be used in question papers.

Quantity

Usual symbols

Usual unit

Base Quantities

mass

length

time

electric current

thermodynamic temperature

amount of substance

m

l

t

I

T

n

kg

m

s

A

K

mol

Other Quantities

distance

displacement

area

volume

density

speed

velocity

acceleration

acceleration of free fall

force

weight

momentum

work

energy

potential energy

kinetic energy

heating

change of internal energy

power

pressure

torque

gravitational constant

gravitational field strength

gravitational potential

angle

angular displacement

angular speed

angular velocity

period

frequency

angular frequency

wavelength

speed of electromagnetic waves

electric charge

elementary charge

electric potential

electric potential difference

electromotive force

resistance

resistivity

electric field strength

permittivity of free space

magnetic flux

d

s, x

A

V, v

u, v, w, c

u, v, w, c

a

g

F

W

p

w, W

E,U,W

Ep

Ek

Q

U

P

p

T

G

g

T

f

c

Q

e

V

V

E

R

E

0

m

m

m2

m3

kg m3

m s1

m s1

m s2

m s2

N

N

Ns

J

J

J

J

J

J

W

Pa

Nm

N kg2 m2

N kg1

J kg1

, rad

, rad

rad s1

rad s1

s

Hz

rad s1

m

m s1

C

C

V

V

V

m

N C1, V m1

F m1

Wb

29

Quantity

Usual symbols

Usual unit

permeability of free space

force constant

Celsius temperature

specific heat capacity

molar gas constant

Boltzmann constant

Avogadro constant

number

number density (number per unit volume)

Planck constant

work function energy

activity of radioactive source

decay constant

half-life

relative atomic mass

relative molecular mass

atomic mass

electron mass

neutron mass

proton mass

molar mass

proton number

nucleon number

neutron number

B

0

k

c

R

k

NA

N, n, m

n

h

t1/2

Ar

Mr

ma

me

mn

mp

M

Z

A

N

T

H m1

N m1

C

J K1 kg1

J K1 mol1

J K1

mol1

30

m3

Js

J

Bq

s1

s

kg, u

kg, u

kg, u

kg, u

kg

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