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# FOR INTERNAL CIRCULATION ONLY

## JURONG JUNIOR COLLEGE

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

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Chapter 1: Measurement
Definitions
1.

## All physical quantities consist of a numerical magnitude and a unit.

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.

## Avogadro constant is the number of particles in one mole of substance.

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.

## A scalar quantity consists of a magnitude only.

9.

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

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.

## The absolute uncertainty is to be written as 1 significant figure, while the calculated

answer is to be expressed to the same number of decimal places as the uncertainty.
E.g.: (12.34 0.01) kg

1.

## Recall the 6 base quantities and associated units.

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Base Quantities

Unit / Symbol

Length

metre / m

Time

second / s

Mass

kilogramme / kg

Current

ampere / A

Amount of substance

mole / mol

Temperature

kelvin / K

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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

## Distinguish between systematic and random errors. Give examples.

Systematic Errors

4.

Random Errors

## Causes consistent deviations of the readings in

one direction from its actual value.

mean value.

## Can be eliminated by making a mathematical

correction or using calibration curves.

Cannot be eliminated.

## Examples: zero errors, heat loss to

background count rate.

## Examples: measurement of time,

parallax error, imperfect
materials used.

## Distinguish between accuracy and precision.

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.
5.

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

Vector Quantity

momentum

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Chapter 2: Kinematics
Definitions
1.

2.

3.

4.

1.

## Derive the equation v = u + at

From the definition of acceleration, a =

2.

vu
 v = u + at
t

## Derive the equation s = ut + 21 at 2

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.

## Derive the equation v 2 = u 2 + 2as

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

## Describe qualitatively the motion of bodies falling in a uniform gravitational field

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).

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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.

## What is meant by mass and weight?

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.

## Distinguish between Elastic and Inelastic Collision.

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.

## Explain what is meant by weightlessness and give an example.

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.

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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.

## What is meant by upthrust?

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.

## State the origin of upthrust.

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.

## What is meant by the centre of gravity of an object?

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

4.

## What is meant by couple and torque?

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.

## State the conditions for an object to be in equilibrium.

(a)
The resultant force acting on the object is zero.
(b)
The resultant torque acting on the object is zero.

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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

## Act along the surfaces in contact

between two solid objects.

Act between
solid/fluid.

## Not affected by relative

between the two surfaces.

fluid

and

## speed Increase with the relative speed

between the two surfaces.

Friction exists even when the object Does not exist when there is no
is at rest.
relative motion.

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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.

## Derive, from the equations of motion, the formula Ek =

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

## Work done on object

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

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3.

## Distinguish between gravitational potential energy, electric potential energy and

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.

## Derive power as the product of force and velocity.

If work is done at a constant rate,
Power, P =

Updated 2012-07

work done W Fs
=
= Fv
=
t
t
time

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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.

## Explain why an increase in the temperature of a system is associated with a rise in

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.

## What is meant by thermal equilibrium?

Two bodies are in thermal equilibrium when there is no net heat transfer between them.
This implies they are at the same temperature.

3.

## What is meant by the absolute temperature scale?

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.

## What is the triple point of water?

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.

## What is absolute zero?

Absolute zero is the temperature at which all substances have a minimum internal energy.
It is denoted by zero kelvin.

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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.

## Explain using a simple kinetic model for matter why

(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)

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## Cooling effect accompanies evaporation.

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.

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Chapter 7: Current of Electricity & D.C. Circuits
Definitions
1.

## Electric current is the rate of flow of electric charge.

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.

## Obeys Ohms law.

At constant temperature, current (I) is proportional to potential difference (V).
Hence, resistance is constant at constant temperature.
2.

## Does not obey Ohms law.

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

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## Reason for characteristics:

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.

## Does not obey Ohms law.

(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).

## Reverse biased no current flows.

Refer to the topic Semiconductors.

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4.

5.

## Distinguish between e.m.f. and p.d. in terms of energy considerations.

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.

## Explain the use of thermistor in potential dividers to provide a potential difference

which is dependent on temperature.

8.

## Thermistor is sensitive to temperature changes. When temperature increases, its

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

## Digital thermometers such as Oral Digital thermometer (ODT).

Microwave ovens use thermistors to detect and adjust internal temperature to prevent
overheating.
Digital thermostats

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9.

Explain the use of light dependent resistors (LDR) in potential dividers to provide a
potential difference which is dependent on illumination.

## Light dependent resistor (LDR) is sensitive to illumination. When illumination

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

## Automatic lighting control

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

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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.

## What is meant by uniform circular motion?

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

2.

## Why is there no work done on an object moving in uniform circular motion?

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.

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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

## Newtons law of gravitation : F =

GMm
r2

GMm
F r 2 GM
From the definition of gravitational field strength, g = =
= 2
m
m
r
2.

## What is meant by geostationary orbits?

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.

## Explain why a geostationary satellite must be above the equator.

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.

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4.

Analogy

G-Field

E-Field

Origin of force

mass m

charge Q

F = -G

Fundamental law

Mm
r2

## Force per unit mass.

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=

## Explain why gravitational potential is always negative.

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.

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Chapter 10: Oscillations
Definitions
1.

## Simple harmonic motion of an object is a periodic motion where its acceleration is

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.

## Angular frequency is the product of 2 radian and the frequency.

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.

## State two practical examples of free oscillations.

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

## Describe practical examples of damped oscillations with particular reference to the

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.

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4.

Amplitude

## Resonance is a phenomenon in which a forced

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.

## Describe the importance of critical damping in cases such as a car suspension

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.

## Describe 3 practical examples of forced oscillations and resonance.

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.

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7.

## Describe graphically how the amplitude of a forced oscillation changes with

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

Lighter damping

Light damping
f0

Driving frequency

## Amplitude of oscillation increases when frequency of forced oscillations is near to the

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.

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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.

## What is meant by a wave?

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.

## Deduce the equation v = f

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

## Distinguish between Transverse and Longitudinal waves.

Transverse waves

Longitudinal waves

## Transverse waves are waves in which the

direction of oscillation is
PERPENDICULAR to the direction of wave
motion.

## Longitudinal waves are waves in which the

direction of oscillation is PARALLEL to the
direction of wave motion.

Can be polarized.

Cannot be polarized.

## What do you understand by polarization?

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

## FOR INTERNAL CIRCULATION ONLY

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.

## Diffraction is the spreading of waves through an aperture or round an obstacle.

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

4.

## Sample Explanation Questions

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

Amplitude

amplitude.

## All wave elements between a

different amplitudes.

Wavelength

## The wavelength is the shortest

distance between two points
which are in phase.

or antinodes.

Phase

## All wave elements within a

wavelength have different phase.

Updated 2012-07

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## FOR INTERNAL CIRCULATION ONLY

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.

## Sample Explanation Questions

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.

## Distinguish qualitative and quantitative aspects of electric field and gravitational

field.
Electric field

Gravitational field
Similarities

r2

Differences
Acts on charges

Acts on masses

repulsive

attractive

## Field lines are always directed away from

positive point charge towards negative
point charge.

## Field lines are always directed

towards point masses.

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## FOR INTERNAL CIRCULATION ONLY

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.

## Describe and analyse deflections of beams of charged particles by uniform electric

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

## By changing the ratio of E to B, we will be able to select particles of a certain velocity.

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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## FOR INTERNAL CIRCULATION ONLY

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.

## Explain simple applications of electromagnetic induction.

(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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## FOR INTERNAL CIRCULATION ONLY

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)

## Sample Explanation Questions

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

## Current which flows in one direction is called rectified current.

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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## FOR INTERNAL CIRCULATION ONLY

Chapter 17: Quantum Physics
Definitions
1.

## Photon is a quantum of electromagnetic radiation.

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.

## Threshold frequency of a metal is the frequency of the incident electromagnetic radiation

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.

## Quantum tunneling is a phenomenon where a particle can appear outside a potential

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

1.

## Show an understanding that photoelectric effect provides evidence for a particulate

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.

## Result 2: For every material of cathode irradiated, there is a limiting frequency fo or

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

2.

What evidences show that light has wave and particulate natures?
Evidence of Wave Nature

## Diffraction and interference of light

Photoelectric effect

Updated 2012-07

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JJ 2010

3.

## Explain photoelectric phenomena in terms of photon energy and work function

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

## This equation is a statement of principle of conservation of energy.

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

## produced by hot (gas atoms are initially

at excited state) vapour or gas.

## produced when white light passes

through cool (gas atoms are initially at
ground state) vapour or gas.

Spectrum
Pattern

## a series of separate bright lines of

definite wavelength on a dark
background

## a series of separate dark lines of definite

wavelength on a coloured background

Updated 2012-07

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JJ 2010

Explanation

7.

8.

## Excited atoms emit photons with

the characteristic wavelengths
corresponding to the transitions
from higher to lower energy
levels.

## Wavelengths corresponding to bright

lines on the spectrum are
characteristics of the element
emitting the light.

## Cool gas absorbs photons with the

characteristic wavelengths
corresponding to the transitions
from lower to higher energy levels.

## Subsequently, the excited atoms

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)

## Wavelengths corresponding to dark

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.

## Explain qualitatively the phenomenon of quantum tunnelling of an electron across a

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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## FOR INTERNAL CIRCULATION ONLY

Chapter 18: Lasers and Semiconductors
Definitions
1.

## Spontaneous emission is the emission of a photon due to a transition of electron from a

higher to a lower energy level without external stimulation.

2.

## Stimulated emission is the emission of a photon due to a transition of electron from a

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.

## Explain the action of a laser in terms of population inversion and stimulated

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.

## Photons in the laser cavity cause further stimulated emission.

Since all these stimulated photons are parallel and coherent, they form a laser beam
which is monochromatic, coherent and highly directional.

2.

## Describe the formation of energy bands in a solid.

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.

## Distinguish between conduction band and valence band.

The highest occupied band is called valence band.
The lowest unoccupied band is called conduction band.

4.

## Why metal is a better electrical conductor than an insulator?

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.

## Why a semiconductor is a better electrical conductor than an insulator?

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.

## Distinguish between an intrinsic and extrinsic semiconductor.

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

## FOR INTERNAL CIRCULATION ONLY

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
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.

## 3. How is the binding energy of a nucleus related to its mass defect?

Using E = mc2,
Binding energy is the energy equivalence of its mass defect.

Updated 2012-07

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JJ 2010

## FOR INTERNAL CIRCULATION ONLY

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

Page 35 of 35

JJ 2010

Syllabus
Reference
1

MEASUREMENT

Use
(h)

## Recall & Use

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

(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

## 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)

## T/K = T/C + 273.15

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)

## Recall & Use

=

(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

= 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

## H2 Physics (9646) A-level Physics Formula List

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 AND FORMULAE

Data
speed of light in free space

3.00 108 m s1

4 107 H m1

## permittivity of free space

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

## the Boltzmann constant

1.38 1023 J K1

gravitational constant

## acceleration of free fall

9.81 m s2

ut +

v2

u2 + 2as

pV

hydrostatic pressure

gh

gravitational potential

Gm/r

x0sin t

## velocity of particle in s.h.m.

v0cos t

( x0 x )
3
2

Formulae
uniformly accelerated motion

1
2

at2

## mean kinetic energy of a molecule of an ideal gas

resistors in series

R1 + R2 + ....

1/R

## 1/R1 + 1/R2 + ....

alternating current/voltage

x0 sin t

transmission coefficient

exp(2kd)

where k

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

## 9646 H2 PHYSICS (2013)

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

## Longer Structured Questions

2h

35

80

School-based Science
Practical Assessment (SPA)

15

40

Practical Paper

1 h 50 min

15

36

## Paper 1 (1 h 15 min, 40 marks)

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:




## Manipulation, measurement and observation (MMO)

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.

## 9646 H2 PHYSICS (2013)

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)

## formulate simple algebraic equations as mathematical models of physical situations, and

(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)

## Geometry and trigonometry

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)

## use Pythagoras theorem, similarity of triangles, the angle sum of a triangle.

(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)

## use sin tan and cos 1 for small ; sin2 + cos2 = 1.

(e)

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)

## obtain expressions for components of a vector in perpendicular directions, recognising

situations where vector resolution is appropriate.

Graphs
Candidates should be able to:
(a)

(b)

(c)

## for linear graphs, determine the slope, intercept and intersection.

(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)

## use logarithmic plots to test exponential and power law variations.

(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

## GLOSSARY OF TERMS USED IN PHYSICS PAPERS

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.

## Estimate implies a reasoned order of magnitude statement or calculation of the quantity

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

## 9646 H2 PHYSICS (2013)

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
Thornes, ISBN 0-748-74314-6
ISBN 0-521-56701-7
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

## SUMMARY OF KEY QUANTITIES, SYMBOLS AND UNITS

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
s
Hz
m
m s1
C
C
V
V
V

m
N C1, V m1
F m1
Wb

29

Quantity

Usual symbols

Usual unit

## magnetic flux density

permeability of free space
force constant
Celsius temperature
specific heat capacity
molar gas constant
Boltzmann constant
number
number density (number per unit volume)
Planck constant
work function energy
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