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PHYSICS

2005 National Qualifying Examination

Time Allowed:
Reading Time: 15 minutes
Examination Time: 120 minutes

INSTRUCTIONS

ƒ Attempt all questions in Section A


ƒ Attempt ONLY 4 questions in Section B.
ƒ Permitted materials: Non-programmable, NON-GRAPHICAL Calculator.
ƒ Answer SECTION A on the ANSWER SHEET PROVIDED.
ƒ Answer SECTION B on your own LOOSE LEAF BLANK A4 writing paper.
ƒ Do not answer any questions on this question paper.
ƒ Make sure that you staple your answers to your completed cover sheet.
ƒ Particular attention should be paid to giving clear diagrams and explanations.
ƒ All numerical answers must have correct units.

MARKS

SECTION A 10 multiple choice questions 10 marks


SECTION B 4 written answer questions 40 marks

Total marks for the paper 50 marks


Australian Science Olympiads 2005 Physics National Qualifying Examination

SECTION A
Multiple Choice - 1 mark each
Use the Multiple Choice Answer Sheet provided

Question 1.
A ball is thrown into the air and it moves in the path shown below. Ignore air resistance in this
question.

At position A the ball is at the highest point in its path, position B is just before it hits the ground.
Which of the following statements is true?

A) The speed of the ball at A is zero and the acceleration of the ball at B is the same as at A.
B) The speed of the ball at A is the same as the speed at B and the acceleration at B is higher
than at A.
C) The speed at A is lower than the speed at B and the acceleration at A is higher than the
acceleration at B.
D) The speed at A is lower than the speed at B and the acceleration at A is the same as the
acceleration at B.
E) The speed at A is higher than the speed at B and the acceleration at A is the same as the
acceleration at B.

Question 2.
A person at a distance R from the centre of the earth (where R is greater than the radius of the Earth)
is attracted towards the earth by a gravitational force of 400 newtons. How far away from the centre
of the Earth must the person be for the gravitational force to be 100 newtons?

A) ¼R
B) ½R
C) 2R
D) 4R
E) 16R

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Australian Science Olympiads 2005 Physics National Qualifying Examination

Question 3.
Three uniformly charged balls lie at the corners of an equilateral triangle. Each ball is positively
charged, with the charges as shown in the diagrams below.
Which of the diagrams below correctly indicates the direction and magnitude of the electrostatic
force acting on each of the balls?

A) B)

+Q
+Q

+5Q +5Q
+5Q +5Q

C) D)

+Q +Q

+5Q +5Q +5Q +5Q

E)

+Q

+5Q +5Q

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Australian Science Olympiads 2005 Physics National Qualifying Examination

Question 4.
A truck weighing 6000 kg runs into a car weighing 800 kg. The truck was moving at 15 m.s-1, and
the car was at rest. Assume that the truck and car continue moving together. What is the final speed
of the combined car/truck system?

A) 1.8 m.s-1
B) 7.5 m.s-1
C) 13 ms-1
D) 17 ms-1
E) 113 ms-1

Question 5.
In the circuit below there is a current of 0.3 amps flowing through the 10Ω resistor. How much
current flows through the 90Ω resistor?

10Ω

12V
90Ω 45Ω

A) 0A
B) 0.1 A
C) 0.15 A
D) 0.2 A
E) 0.3 A

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Australian Science Olympiads 2005 Physics National Qualifying Examination

Question 6.
When a beam of white light is shone into a glass prism, a rainbow appears as shown in the below
diagram:

This phenomenon is known as dispersion. Which explanation best describes why this occurs?

A) Different frequencies of light meet at different angles on the glass surface, meaning that they
refract at different angles, as according to Snell’s Law.
B) Violet light is affected by gravity more than red light, because it is more energetic, hence it
is pulled down more.
C) The refractive index of glass depends on frequency.
D) Snell’s Law breaks down when different frequencies of light are combined, creating strange
quantum relativistic effects which cause dispersion.
E) This effect is an optical illusion and the light is not actually dispersed.

Question 7.
Colin claims to have invented a machine that removes heat energy from the air and converts it into
electricity. The entire machine is at the same temperature as the surrounding air and does not have
an external power supply. Can Colin’s machine work?

A) Yes, it can.
B) No, it cannot, because there is no electricity in the air.
C) No, it cannot, because there will be no net flow of energy from the air into a machine at the
same temperature.
D) No, it cannot, because it would violate conservation of energy.
E) No, it cannot, because heat energy cannot be converted into electrical energy.

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Australian Science Olympiads 2005 Physics National Qualifying Examination

Question 8.
Measurements of time, t, were taken as a function of mass, m, and radius, r. The relationship
between time, mass and radius is of the form t = k m2 + q where k and q are constants. From the
2

r
graph below, find the value of k. Hint: remember that the equation of a straight line can be written
as y = m.x + c.

40

35

30
(seconds)

25

20
Time(s)
time

15

10

0
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 110
2 2 (grams^2/cm^2)
2 -2
mass / radius (g .cm )
(M ass/Radius)^2

A) 0.33 cm2.s.g -2
B) 0.38 cm2.s.g -2
C) 0.33 g2.cm-2.s-1
D) 0.38 g2.cm-2.s-1
E) 2.63 g2.cm-2.s-1

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Australian Science Olympiads 2005 Physics National Qualifying Examination

Question 9.
Dimensional analysis is an important technique in physics which allows one to check an equation
for plausibility. If the dimensions on each side of an equation are identical, the equation is
dimensionally correct. If not, the equation cannot be correct.
There are five fundamental dimensions. These are:
length, L, mass, M, time, T, charge, Q and temperature, K.
Pure numbers, such as π, have no dimensions.
For example, the speed of light, c, is a measure of length per unit time, and has dimensions of LT-1.
The table below lists some quantities and their dimensions.

Quantity Dimensions
Energy, E ML2T-2
Current, I QT-1
Viscosity, η ML-1T-1
Momentum, p MLT-1
Inductance, L ML2Q-2
Planck’s Constant ML2T-1

Using this information, which of the following equations cannot be correct?

A) E = hc
λ
B) E 2
= p 2c 2 + m 2c 4
C) E = 12 mv 2
D) E = 6πη vd
E) E = 12 LI 2

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Australian Science Olympiads 2005 Physics National Qualifying Examination

Question 10.
A tin of peaches is hanging from a spring balance. Nearby a bucket of water sits on a set of scales,
as shown below. The tin of peaches, still hanging from the spring balance is immersed in the bucket
of water. Which of the following statements is true?

A) When the tin of peaches is immersed in the water the reading on the spring balance
decreases and the reading on the scales increases.
B) When the tin of peaches is immersed in the water the reading on the spring balance increases
and the reading on the scales decreases.
C) When the tin of peaches is immersed in the water the reading on the spring balance
decreases and the reading on the scales stays the same.
D) When the tin of peaches is immersed in the water the reading on both the spring balance and
the scales stays the same.
E) When the tin of peaches is immersed in the water the reading on both the spring balance and
the scales increases.

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Australian Science Olympiads 2005 Physics National Qualifying Examination

SECTION B
Written Answer Questions - 10 marks each
Attempt ONLY 4 questions. ONLY 4 questions will be marked.

Read each question completely.


You may be able to do later parts of the questions even if you cannot do the early parts.

Question 11.

A hoop of mass m and radius R is rolling without slipping with a velocity v along a flat surface.
That is, the centre of the hoop is moving with a constant velocity v and the bottom of the hoop,
which is touching the ground, is not slipping along the ground but is stationary. As it rolls the point
which was in contact with the ground moves up off the ground and the hoop rests on a new point on
its circumference. As the point in contact with the ground is continuously changing any particular
point is only on the ground for an instant; remember that for that instant its velocity is zero.

a. How long does it take for the same point on the circumference of the hoop to be in contact with
the ground again? Draw appropriate diagrams as part of your answer. (2 marks)

b. Express the number of revolutions the hoop completes in one second, n, in terms of the velocity
and radius of the hoop. (1 mark)

The total kinetic energy of a body is its rotational kinetic energy plus its translational (linear) kinetic
energy. The rotational kinetic energy of a body is calculated by finding the kinetic energy of the
body if its translational velocity were zero. Similarly the translational kinetic energy is calculated
by finding the kinetic energy of the body if it were not rotating.

c. Find the rotational kinetic energy, Kr, of the hoop in terms of R, m and n. (2 marks)

d. What is the total kinetic energy K, of the hoop if it is rolling without slipping with velocity v? (1
mark)

e. If the hoop starts from rest at the top of a hill with height h and rolls without slipping to the
bottom, what is its final speed? (2.5 marks)

f. If the hoop slides without rolling (ignoring kinetic friction) down the same hill, rather than rolling
without slipping, will its speed at the bottom be the same as, greater than or less than if it rolled
without slipping? Why? Your answer should consist of a short calculation and an explanation at
most a few sentences in length. (1.5 marks)

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Australian Science Olympiads 2005 Physics National Qualifying Examination

Question 12.

In this question, we will be investigating nuclear fission and fusion. Fission is the process by which
a nucleus of an atom is split into two smaller nuclei. Fusion is the opposite process: two smaller
nuclei are combined to create a larger nucleus.

The nucleus of an atom is composed of a number of smaller particles called nucleons. When the
nucleons are brought together to form a nucleus, a certain amount of energy is released. As a
consequence, a certain amount of energy (called the Binding Energy) is required to separate a
nucleus into its individual nucleons. This Binding Energy can be seen as a difference in mass
between the nucleus and the combined mass of its nucleons using Einstein’s famous equation
E = mc 2 , where c is the speed of light. Using this, we can find an expression for the mass of the
nucleus in terms of the Binding Energy and the combined mass of the nucleons:

(Mass of nucleus)×c2 = (Combined mass of nucleons)×c2 – Binding Energy

In the graph below, the average Binding Energy per nucleon in the nucleus is plotted against the
total number of nucleons in the nucleus. Note that MeV (mega-electron volts) is a unit for
measuring energy.

a. A nucleus undergoes fission into exactly two smaller equal-sized nuclei. If the larger nucleus has
a total Binding Energy of 50 MeV and the smaller nuclei have a Binding Energy of 40 MeV each,
will this process release energy or require energy to occur? How much energy will be
released/required? (Give your answer in MeV) (2 marks)

b. Explain with reference to the above graph why larger nuclei can undergo fission without an
external source of energy, but smaller nuclei (< 50 nucleons) cannot. Assume that the products of
fission have the same number of nucleons each. (3 marks)

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Australian Science Olympiads 2005 Physics National Qualifying Examination

c. Is it possible for a fusion reaction to release energy? Why/Why not? If so, what is (roughly) the
minimum (or maximum) number of nucleons two identical nuclei must each have for a fusion
reaction between them to release energy? (2.5 marks)

d. If a Uranium nucleus with 236 nucleons undergoes fission into two nuclei with 118 nucleons
each, how much energy is released in this reaction? (Give your answer in MeV) (2.5 marks)

Notes:
The energy equivalent for the mass of a single nucleon that is not part of a nucleus is:
mnucleon = 938 MeV

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Australian Science Olympiads 2005 Physics National Qualifying Examination

Question 13.

Consider a helicopter hovering at some height above the ground.

a. Draw a free body diagram showing the forces acting on the helicopter. (1.5 marks)

b. What is the force that acts against gravity to keep the helicopter in the air, and what exerts this
force on the helicopter? (1.5 marks)

The power required for the helicopter to hover is equal to the downward force applied to the air by
the helicopter blades times the mean velocity, v, of the downward moving column of air beneath its
rotor blades.

c. Find an expression for the rate, R, at which air flows past the blades (mass per unit time) in terms
of the air velocity, v, air density, ρ, and the area swept out by the blades. (1 mark)

d. Show that the force exerted by the helicopter blades on the air is F = Aρv2 (1 mark).

e. A particular helicopter can hover if its engine produces mechanical power P.


A scale model which is identical to this first helicopter is built, such that it is an exact ½-scale
replica (in all linear dimensions). Using the results from the previous parts, what mechanical power
P’, in terms of P, is required for this smaller helicopter to hover? (5 marks)

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Australian Science Olympiads 2005 Physics National Qualifying Examination

Question 14.

This question concerns two balloons and two cylinders of gas. One cylinder contains helium, a
monatomic gas of molecular mass 4 g.mol-1. The other contains nitrogen, a diatomic gas of
molecular mass 28 g.mol-1. The balloons are identical, and each is connected to one of the cylinders.
Both gases may be assumed to be ideal, and both cylinders weigh the same amount. Ideal gases
have the property that their molecules do not interact other than through elastic collisions, and that
the pressure in a container of ideal gas is inversely proportional to the volume, and directly
proportional to the temperature and number of moles of gas.

a. Which balloon will be inflated faster when the cylinders are opened? Carefully explain your
reasoning using physical arguments. (4 marks)

Both balloons are filled with the same number of moles of gas, n.

b. Compare the sizes of the helium-filled balloon and the nitrogen-filled balloon. Which, if either,
will be bigger? Explain your answer. (1 mark)

An important property of an ideal gas, and indeed of many other systems in physics, is the number
of degrees of freedom which the system possesses. Each degree of freedom corresponds to one
possible way in which the gas can store energy. Molecules can store energy through translation
(linear motion), in three different directions, and in rotation. Monatomic gases cannot store energy
in rotation as they are point-like. Diatomic gases can store energy by rotating in two different
rotational directions.

We are going to heat the balloons, but not by very much, and so we shall assume that the pressure
of the gas inside both balloons is constant. The molar heat capacity, that is the amount of heat
required to raise the temperature of one mole of gas by one kelvin, of an ideal gas at constant
⎛ f + 2⎞
pressure is given by C p = ⎜ ⎟ R , where f is the number of degrees of freedom of the gas and R
⎝ 2 ⎠
is the universal gas constant.
The two balloons are now heated by supplying the same quantity H of heat (thermal energy) to
each.

c. Find expressions for the final temperatures of the gases in both balloons in terms of the initial
temperature T and other variables previously defined. (3 marks)

d. Hence find the difference between the volumes of the two balloons after the heating. (2 marks)

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Australian Science Olympiads 2005 Physics National Qualifying Examination

Question 15.

X-rays are a form of high energy light which can be used in medical imaging and to investigate the
structure of solids. It is used because the x-rays have very short wavelengths and hence are useful
for “seeing” very small things using interference and diffraction of the x-rays. Consider x-rays with
wavelength λ incident on a crystal, as shown below.

to source
X-rays to
detector

θ θ

The spacing between layers of atoms can be found by measuring the angles at which constructive
interference occurs.

a. Draw a diagram showing the path difference between the two reflected rays shown above. (1
mark)

b. Find an expression for the path difference between the two rays. (1 mark)

c. Find the condition on the incident angle, θ, as defined in the diagram above, for constructive
interference. (1 mark)

d. Consider a crystal which has a spacing of 5.5 × 10-10 m between layers of atoms. The incident x-
rays have a wavelength λ = 1.54 ×10-10m. Find the two smallest angles (in degrees) for which there
will there be constructive interference of the reflected x-rays. (1 mark)

A highly reactive crystal is stored under oil to prevent it oxidising explosively in air. The oil has a
refractive index of 1.6 for x-rays. X-rays of wavelength λ = 1.54 ×10-10m are used to find the
spacing between layers of atoms in this crystal. The x-ray source and detector are arranged as
shown below with the sample kept under oil while measurements are made.

source detector

θ1

oil

sample

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Australian Science Olympiads 2005 Physics National Qualifying Examination

e. Find an expression for the incident angle in the oil at which constructive interference will occur.
Drawing a diagram is a good idea. (2 marks)

f. The angle, θ1, between the oil surface and the path to the detector for constructive interference is
6.8o for the first angle at which constructive interference occurs. Calculate the spacing between the
planes of atoms. Show all your working and include a diagram. Please make the diagram large and
clear. (4 marks)

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Australian Science Olympiads 2005 Physics National Qualifying Examination

Question 16.

An enterprising student has a collection of ball-shooting machines, which fire negatively-charged


balls of mass m and charge -q. The machine consists of a pair of metal plates, one of which is
connected to a voltage supply line and the other of which is connected to earth (zero potential).
Balls are accelerated from rest at one plate towards the other, and then leave the machine with some
velocity v from a small hole in the plate. Each device draws a constant current i regardless of the
potential difference between the plates.

The student connects N of these devices to a generator providing a constant positive potential of V
(with respect to earth) by a chain of power boards. The resistance between one board and the next
(and between the generator and the first board) is r. Each board then has one machine and one more
board plugged into it, except for the last board, which has only a machine.

a. Draw a diagram of the device showing the two plates, marking which one is the positive and
which the zero, and draw in the electric field and the direction of the acceleration of one of the
balls. (1 mark)

b. If the balls are to have velocity at least v as they leave the machine, find the minimum potential
which needs to be applied to the positive plate. (1 mark)

c. The devices are connected as described above. Draw a circuit diagram representing this situation.
Represent the resistances between the boards as resistors, the generator as a battery, and the ball-
shooting machines as circles with the letter 'B' inside. Mark in the currents flowing through the
devices. (Note that you do not have to show all of the machines, just a couple so that the pattern is
obvious.) (1.5 marks)

d. What is the total current flowing through the first resistor, i.e. that between the generator and the
first machine? (1 mark)

e. What is the potential difference across this first resistance, and hence what is the potential applied
to the first device? (1.5 marks)

f. What is the potential applied to the last (Nth) device in the chain? (2 marks)

g. How many devices may the student connect before the last one in the chain fails to accelerate
balls to velocity v? (2 marks)

n
1
Mathematical hint: ∑ i = 2 n(n + 1)
i =1

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