Year 11 Physics Vectors Sheet 1

This is a sheet of harder questions on vectors.

  1. A river flows at 3.0 km/h. The river is 100.0 m wide and the boat is to arrive on the opposite bank 80.0 m downstream from its starting point. What is the velocity of the boat relative to the water if the time of crossing is 5.0 minutes? [2.4km/h at 31° to the upstream bank]
  2. A river 1.0 km wide flows due north at 8.0 km/h. A motor launch travels at 6.0 km/h relative to the water. A person starts from the west bank and wishes to reach the point directly opposte on the east bank. If the person can walk at 3.0 km/h find the direction in which the motor launch should head so that the person can make the journey in the minimum time.[E33°S]

  3. An ocean liner is travelling in a straight line at a speed of 20km/h that takes it 1.0 km from a port. A boat that can travel at 12km/h is to leave the port at the last possible time and move in a straight line to meet the ocean liner. What is the distance travelled by the boat when it reaches the liner? [1.25km]

IB Physics Mass and Spring

A tutorial sheet of questions on a mass and a spring is given below.

  1. Two springs each of force constant k are connected in series and held vertically. A mass M is placed on the lower end of the combination. What is the extension produced?
  2. A mass M rests on a smooth horizontal surface. Identical springs of force constant k are attached to opposite sides of the mass. The other ends of the springs are held at rest. What is the period of oscillation of the mass when it is released after being displaced (a) along the line of the springs, (b) perpendicular to the line of the springs.
  3. A spring of force constant k is held vertically with its upper end fixed. A mass M is placed on the lower end of the spring. The mass is then pulled down a distance A and released from rest. (a) Explain why the period of oscillation does not depend on g. (b) Does the period of oscillation does depend on A? (c) Instead of being released from rest the mass is given an initial velocity u downwards at the pulled down position. What is the period of the oscillation in this case?
  4. Does a mass oscillating on a spring in a vertical plane have gravitational potential energy?
  5. A light spring is hanging loosely from the ceiling. A mass is placed on the free end of the spring and released from rest. The mass moves downwards a distance of 40 cm before starting to rise again. What is the period of the simple harmonic motion?[0.90s]
  6. A block of mass M is connected to a light spring of force constant k. The block is placed on a smooth inclined plane of angle of elevation 𝜽. The other end of the spring is held at rest with the spring parallel to the inclined plane. The mass is set moving in simple harmonic motion. Does the period of oscillation depend on 𝜽?
  7. A block of mass M slides a distance d from rest down a smooth inclined plane making an angle 𝜽 with the horizontal. It hits a light spring of natural length L and force constant k at the bottom of the incline. Determine the amount that the spring is compressed when the block comes to rest.
  8. A bungee jumper of mass M is attached to an elastic cord of unstretched length L and force constant k. If they jump from rest how far do they fall before they come to rest?

Year 11 Physics Kinematics Sheet 1

A tutorial sheet of harder questions on kinematics is given below.

  1. A car travels back and forth between two towns. The speed during the forward journey is v1. If the speed during the return journey is v2, what is the average speed for the entire trip?[2v1v2/(v1+v2)]
  2. A car travels back and forth between two towns. The average speed during the forward journey is 50km/h. What is the speed for the return journey if the average speed for the entire trip was 40 km/h?
  3. An object moves from rest with constant acceleration for 4.0 s then with uniform velocity for 5.0s, the total distance travelled being 224 m. What was the acceleration?
  4. Two airports, A and B, are 850 km apart with B due east of A. At 10 am a jet takes off from A and travels at a constant velocity of 400 km/h to the east. At 11 am an aircraft takes off from B and travels at a constant velocity of 500 km/h to west. At what time do they pass each other?
  5. Two camels leave the Sphinx at times 52.5 s apart. The first moves off with a uniform acceleration of 1.30 ms-2 which it maintains for 1.92 s. It then continues with the acquired speed. The second camel moves off with a uniform acceleration of 1.45 ms-2 which it maintains for 2.84 s. It then continues with the acquired speed. Calculate the time taken by the second camel to overtake the first camel and the distance travelled in this time.[82.9 s, 336 m]
  6. A moving trolley is observed to have the following positions at equal intervals of 1 second; 5.10, 1.60, 1.50, 4.80, 11.5 and 21.6 cm. Show that the acceleration is uniform and determine its magnitude. What is the next number in the list? [3.40 cms-2, 35.1 cm]
  7. An elevator can increase its speed with an acceleration a and slow down with a deceleration b. What is the least time that it can travel a distance d if it starts and finishes at rest?
  8. A stone is dropped down a well. The sound of the splash is heard after a time interval t. What is the depth of the well if the speed of sound is vs? Give the answer in terms of g, t and vs.

HSC Physics Transformers

Most HSC students can apply the transformer equation, but often the Physics principles are misunderstood. A tutorial sheet on transformers is given below.

  1. What is the role of a transformer in the transmission of electricity?
  2. Define one volt.
  3. Define the term emf.
  4. Is voltage is the same as emf?
  5. What is the role of the iron core in a transformer?
  6. What is meant by a soft iron core? Why is the soft iron core laminated?
  7. Can a transformer operate using DC? Sketch a graph showing the primary and secondary voltage (on different axes) when the DC voltage applied to the primary coil is switched on and then after a short time switched off.
  8. A common examination response is that "the induced emf in a coil equals the rate of change of the magnetic flux through the coil". Why is this incorrect?
  9. When AC enters the primary coil of a transformer in which coil is an emf induced? Primary, secondary or both?
  10. Assuming that the primary coil has low resistance, is the voltage applied to the primary coil equal to the counter emf induced in the primary coil? Is a counter emf induced in the secondary coil?
  11. Explain how an emf is induced in the secondary coil.
  12. The transformer equation uses the symbols Vp and Vs. Since transformers use AC, in which the current varies with time, what do these symbols represent?

HSC Physics Newton's Cannon

A tutorial sheet of harder problems on Newton's cannon is given below. Neglect air resistance, the rotation of the Earth and the movement of the Earth about the Sun.

  1. Define escape speed.
  2. Derive the equation for escape speed in terms of G, M and r.
  3. Express escape speed in terms of g, G and r.
  4. Does escape speed depend on the mass of the projectile m? Explain why in words.
  5. Does escape speed depend on the launch angle?
  6. Calculate the value of the escape speed from the surface of the Earth.
  7. A cannon on a tall mountain fires a projectile horizontally at a small speed. Explain why the projectile falls to the Earth.
  8. A projectile is fired from the surface of the Earth at 5 kms-1 at 45° to the horizontal. Does this projectile go into orbit around the Earth?
  9. The escape speed from the surface of a planet of radius R is V. A projectile is thrown vertically upwards at a speed V/2. Determine the maximum height reached by the projectile.
  10. A tall mountain has an altitude h. The radius of the Earth is R and its mass is M. A cannon fires a shell horizontally at a speed u from the top of the mountain. Find the speed with which the shell strikes the Earth.
  11. *A projectile is given an initial speed of 5 km/s at 45° to the horizontal from the surface of the Earth. Find the range on the surface of the Earth and the time of flight. What launch angle gives maximum range on the surface of the Earth? Take g=9.81 m/s2 and R=6378 km [3121km, 1052s, 38°, 3219km 2Rsin-1[v2/(2gR-v2)]]
  12. *In the previous question the projectile is fired from a point on the equator towards the east. Taking into account the rotation of the Earth, how are the previous answers modified? [decreases (2706km), takes longer (1135s), lower angle (33.6°), decreases (2972km)]

HSC Physics Blackbody Radiation

The term black body radiation sometimes causes confusion in examination answers. Below is a tutorial sheet on this topic.

  1. Define the term blackbody. Is the "blackbody" the object, a cavity in the object or a small hole in the wall of the object?
  2. Define the term radiation as used in this context.
  3. Is the Sun a perfect blackbody? Is a lump of hot coal a perfect blackbody? Is the filament of a light globe a perfect blackbody? Is a hot oven a perfect blackbody?
  4. Sketch a graph showing the energy released per unit wavelength on the Y axis and wavelength on the X axis for a blackbody at a constant temperature. Is this graph the same shape as the "normal curve"? Is this graph the same shape as the distribution of particle speeds curve in an ideal gas?
  5. Sketch a graph showing the number of oscillators (vibrating atoms in the walls of a hot object) versus the energy of each oscillator at a constant temperature. This is a key difference between the quantum theory of light and the wave theory of light. The classical wave theory of light assumes that every oscillator has the same kinetic energy at a given temperature and this (incorrect) assumption leads to the ultraviolet catastrophe.
  6. Sketch a graph showing the energy released per unit frequency versus frequency for a blackbody at a constant temperature.
  7. Sketch a graph showing the peak wavelength in the black body spectrum versus the temperature of the object.
  8. What does the equation E=hf mean?
  9. Quantum theory predicts that an oscillator can only have certain particular energies. These are given by E=(n+1/2)hf where n=0,1,2,3.... Why is this result different to E=hf?
  10. *A perfect blackbody has a temperature of 5778 K. What fraction of the total energy released is contained between the wavelengths of 380 nm and 700 nm? This is the range of visible wavelengths coming from a blackbody at the same temperature as the photosphere of the Sun. [39%]
  11. In the previous question the temperature is doubled. Is the percentage of radiation emitted as visible light increased, decreased or the same? [decreased, 31%]

IB Physics Relativity

Here is part of a question on Special Relativity taken from Columbia University's Physics Qualifying Examination in 2016. It was set by renown physicist and author Brian Greene. HL students aiming for a 7 must do extra reading to broaden their knowledge of Physics. Professor Greene's books make a good start. An asteroid is on a collision course with a space station located 5000 light minutes from the Earth. The asteroid is moving away from the Earth toward the space station at a speed 3/5c along a trajectory which is a straight line connecting the Earth and the space station. To save the station, NASA launches a missile from Earth at 4/5c. When the missile is launched, NASA determines that the asteroid is 400 light-minutes from Earth. How many minutes should NASA set on a timer located on the missile so that it will explode just as it catches the asteroid? [1200 minutes]

HSC Physics Assessment Task

A common Assessment Task in HSC Physics is to release a ball bearing from rest on a track inclined at a small angle to the horizontal and measure the time taken (t) to move various distances (d). The average speed is then calculated (v=d/t) and a graph of v-t is drawn. A common mistake is to then say that the gradient of this graph is the acceleration of the ball. Why is this incorrect? How do we determine the acceleration of the ball?

HSC Physics Binding Energy

One of the most misunderstood concepts in the quanta to quarks section of the current NSW HSC Physics syllabus is binding energy. Listed below are some tutorial points on this concept. 

  1. The binding energy of a nucleus is the work that must be done on the separate nucleons to assemble them from an initial state where they do not influence each other into the final nucleus.
  2. Binding energy has a negative sign.
  3. A lone proton or neutron has no binding energy.
  4. The total energy of a nucleus is the sum of the rest energy of each component particle and the binding energy of the nucleus.
  5. Energy is released in a nuclear reaction when the product nuclei are more strongly bound (more stable) than the initial nuclei (less stable).

HSC Physics Band Theory

One of the most difficult and misunderstood concepts in the ideas to implementation section of the current NSW HSC Physics syllabus is band theory. Listed below are some tutorial points on this concept. 

  1. Bands are not the same as the orbits of electrons around a nucleus (these are called shells).
  2. Bands refer to an entire material not a particular atom.
  3. The valence band is the set of possible energy states an electron can have if it is bonded to an atom. In a full valence band conduction is not possible as there are no states available for an electron to move to (no net flow of electrons).
  4. The conduction band is the set of possible energy states that an electron can have if it is free of an atom. In a full conduction band conduction is not possible.
  5. In a conductor at room temperature there is a partial overlap of the valence and conduction bands. The valence band is full and the conduction band is partially filled. Electrons can be moved easily by an applied electric field and enter nearby unoccupied states in the conduction band. In a semiconductor at room temperature there is a small energy gap between the valence and conduction bands. The valence band has some unoccupied states and some electrons occupy states in the conduction band. An electron in the valence band can gain thermal energy and enter the conduction band creating a hole in the valence band that behaves like a positive charge carrier. In an insulator there is a large energy difference between the valence and conduction bands. The valence band is full and the conduction band is empty.

HSC Physics Simultaneity

One of the most difficult and misunderstood concepts in the space section of the current NSW HSC Physics syllabus is simultaneity. Listed below are some tutorial points on this concept. Two sentences from Einstein's own popular exposition on relativity, Relativity, the Special and General Theory, Methuen, 1920, are given italics.

  1. A frame of reference is a measurement system (coordinate system) where time and position values of an event can be determined. A railway platform is a frame of reference. A moving train is a frame of reference. A person on the platform makes measurements in the platform reference frame. A passenger on the train makes measurements in the reference frame of the train.
  2. Two events are simultaneous in a reference frame if each has the same time coordinate in this reference frame.
  3. Every reference body (coordinate system) has its own particular time; unless we are told the reference body to which the statement of time refers, there is no meaning in a statement of the time of an event.
  4. Events which are simultaneous with reference to the embankment are not simultaneous with respect to the train, and vice versa (relativity of simultaneity).
  5. Suppose that two simultaneous events (such as lightning strikes) occur at the different points x1 and x2 in the reference frame of the platform. The times at which these events occur in the reference frame of the train are not the same as those in the reference frame of the platform. The time interval between these events in the platform reference frame is zero. The time interval between these events in the reference frame of the train is -v/c2(1-v2/c2)-1/2(x2-x1). This expression shows that the time interval between two events depends on the location of the events and the relative speed of the reference frames. The factor c is the speed of light in a vacuum, this being the same in all inertial (non accelerating) frames of reference.

HSC Physics Back EMF

During the next 4 weeks I will list the most misunderstood concept in each of the four sections of the current NSW HSC Physics syllabus. Back emf is the most misunderstood concept in the motors and generators section. Here are some tutorial points on back emf.

  1. Look at a demonstration motor and a generator. Draw diagrams of these labelling the parts.
  2. When the magnetic flux through a coil changes an emf is induced in the coil.
  3. Imagine a coil of wire (solenoid) carrying a constant current. As the current flows through the windings it makes a magnetic field that passes through the coil. If the current is turned off it does not drop to zero immediately. For a short time the current keeps flowing at a value that exponentially falls towards zero. During this time interval an emf is induced in the coil due to the changing magnetic flux through it causing the current to "keep going" for a short time, opposing the change that is happening. Sketch graphs showing (A) the current flowing in the coil versus time, (B) the potential difference across the coil versus time.
  4. As the coil of a motor rotates in a magnetic field the changing magnetic flux through it induces an emf in the coil in accordance with Lenz's law. This emf tends to make an induced current in the opposite direction to the current supplied to the coil and is called a back emf.
  5. When a motor is first turned on the current in the coils is large as there is no back emf. As the coils gain speed the back emf increases and the current in the coil decreases.

IB Physics Revision 2017

The IB Physics examination papers are on October 31 and November 1. From now until this date I will list questions to help students revise for their Physics examination. This list will be updated over the next six weeks.

Students can increase their marks significantly during this period if they are positive, organised and have a plan. What is required is a balanced approach to study with adequate nutrition, sleep, exercise and recreation.

  1. Powers of Ten The radius of a proton is 0.88 fm. What is the density of a proton in kg/m3? (A) 10-6, (B) 102, (C) 1010, (D) 1018, (E) 1026
  2. Uncertainty Analysis The measured uncertainty in the length of a pendulum is 2%, the uncertainty in its mass is 3% and the uncertaity in the acceleration due to gravity is 4%. What is the percentage uncertainty in its period of oscillation? (A) 1% (B) 2%, (C) 3%, (D) 4%, (E) 5%
  3. Dimensions Surface tension is force per unit length. What are the dimensions of surface tension? (A)ML-2 (B)MT-2 (C)ML-2T-2 (D)L-1T-2 (E) ML-1T-2
  4. Relative Velocity At noon a ship S is 10 km west of a tanker T. The velocity of S relative to the Earth is constant at 12 km/h N30°E and the constant velocity of T relative to the Earth is 4.0 km/h S60°W. What is the distance between the vessels at 3pm on the same day? (A)3.2 km (B) 21 km (C) 41 km (D) 48 km (E) 58 km
  5. Change in Velocity A particle moves at a constant speed v around a circular path. What is the magnitude of its change in velocity after it turns through an angle 2𝜽? (A) vcos𝜽 (B) vsin𝜽 (c)2vcos𝜽 (D) 2vsin𝜽 (E)vsin2𝜽
  6. Constant Acceleration A stone is thrown vertically upwards from the edge of a building and strikes the ground after a time t1. When the stone is thrown vertically downwards from the same point at the same initial speed it hits the ground after a time t2. The time to fall if the stone was released from rest is (A) t1+t2 (B) t1-t2 (C) (t1t2)1/2 (D) (2t1t2)1/2 (E) (0.5t1t2)1/2
  7. Resultant Force A marble dropped from a height h above soft sand penetrates a distance d into the sand before comng to rest. If the marble is dropped from a height 2h the distance that it travels in the sand before coming to rest is (A) d (B) 2d1/2 (C) (2d)1/2 (D) 21/2d (E) 2d
  8. Stretching a Spring An unstretched spring of force constant k has one end tied to a vertical wall and a mass m at its other end. A constant horizontal stretching force F is applied to the mass. The extension of the spring in the horizontal direction when the mass comes to rest is (A) F/2k (B) F/k (C) 2F/k (D) 3F/k (E) 4F/k
  9. Explosion A mass M is initially at rest. It breaks up into two equal pieces having a total kinetic energy E. What is the magnitude of the relative velocity of the two pieces after explosion? (A)(2E/m)1/2 (B) (4E/m)1/2 (C) (8E/m)1/2 (D) (2m/E)1/2 (E) (4m/E)1/2
  10. Ideal Gas Boltzmann's constant is equal to (A) R/NA (B) RNA (C) NA/R (D) R+NA (E) R/NA2
  11. Ideal Gas Particles A cylinder contains a volume V of helium gas at a temperature T. A second cylinder contains a volume 2V of argon gas at a temperature T. (A) the average speed of a helium atom is the same as that of an argon atom, (B) the average speed of a helium atom is less than that of an argon atom, (C) the average speed of a helium atom is greater than that of an argon atom, (D) each container contains the same number of particles, (E) the pressure exerted by each gas is the same
  12. Change of State A copper block is heated in a Bunsen flame. The copper block is then placed on a large block of ice at 0°C in which it becomes half buried. What was the initial temperature of the copper block? (A) 5°C (B) 22°C (C) 42°C (D) 62°C (E) 82°C
  13. Specific Heat Capacity One kilogram of copper and the same mass of water are heated using the same Bunsen burner. (A) the rate of temperature increase of both objects is the same, (B) the rate of temperature increase of water is greater than that of copper, (C) the rate of temperature increase of copper is greater than that of water, (D) the rate of internal energy increase is the same for each object, (E) the rate of internal energy increase for water is greater than that of copper.
  14. Electric Current Two copper wires, P and Q, at the same temperature have the same battery of zero internal resistance connected across each of them. The length of P is twice that of Q. The drift speed of the electrons in P is (A) the same as that in Q, (B) greater than that in Q, (C) less than that in Q (D) is zero (E) depends on the diameter of the wire.
  15. Resistance Four equal resistors R form the sides of a square. Another resistor R is placed across a diagonal of the square. What is the total resistance between the other two corners of the square? (A)R/4 (B) R/2 (C) R (D) 2R (E) 4R
  16. Electric Field Strength Point charges of +4Q and -Q are placed a distance d apart in a vacuum. The resultant electric field is zero at a distance (A)2d to the left of -Q (B) d to the left of -Q (C) d to the right of -Q (D) 1.5d to the right of -Q (E) 2d to the right of -Q
  17. Electrical Power A battery of emf 12V and constant internal resistance is connected to a 6Ω resistor. The power of the 6Ω resistor is greatest when the internal resistance is (A) 0Ω (B) 3Ω (C) 6Ω (D) 9Ω (E) 12Ω
  18. Multiple Point Source Interference Monochromatic, coherent light is produced by two point sources. The intensity of the maxima produced on a screen is I. The experiment is repeated using 4 point sources with the same source spacing. The intensity of the principal maxima on the screen is (A) I, (B) 2I, (C) 4I, (D) 8I (E) 16I
  19. Secondary Maxima The number of secondary maxima between the principal maxima in the interference pattern produced by 4 coherent, monochromatic point sources of light is (A) 0, (B) 1, (C) 2, (D) 3, (E) 4
  20. Interference Pattern Compared to the interference pattern produced by 2 coherent, monochromatic point sources the intereference pattern produced by 8 sources of the same spacing (A) has brighter principal maxima that are closer together, (B) has brighter principal maxima that are farther apart, (C) has brighter principal maxima that are the same distance apart, (D) has principal maxima of the same intensity that are the same distance apart, (E) has principal maxima of the same intensity that are the closer together.
  21. Single Rectangular Slit Diffraction Monochromatic light passes through a single narrow slit. The intensity pattern is observed on a screen at a large distance from the single slit. Why does the intensity not stay at zero after the central maximum?

HSC Physics Revision 2017

The HSC Physics examination is on October 30. From now until this date I will list questions to help students revise for their Physics examination. This list will be updated during the next two months.

Students can increase their marks significantly during this period if they are positive, organised and have a plan. Remember that the HSC Physics examination is not "difficult Physics". What is required is a steady approach to study with adequate nutrition, sleep, exercise and recreation. 

  1. Accelerating Reference Frame A train moving in a straight line on horizontal ground is accelerating to the east. A ball is released from rest (relative to the floor of the train) from a height of 2.0 m. Sketch the path of the ball in the reference frame of the (i) train, if the train is moving to the east (ii) Earth, if the train is moving to the east (iii) train, if the train is moving to the west, and (iv) Earth, if the train is moving to the west.
  2. AC Motor An AC generator is reversed so that AC is now fed into the coil through the brushes that rub against the slip rings. Does the coil spin?
  3. Photocells and Solar Cells Describe the differences between a photocell and a solar cell.
  4. Cloud Chamber Describe how a cloud chamber detects the presence of radiation. Which radiation produces the (i) thickest tracks? (ii) thinnest tracks? (iii) straightest tracks? (iv) Can gamma rays be directly observed in a cloud chamber?
  5. Earth Satellite A satellite is in orbit above the Earth's equator. Determine the altitude of the satellite if it (i) appears stationary above the equator, (ii) appears to pass overhead (as seen by a person on the equator) from west to east every 8 hours, (iii) appears to pass overhead from east to west every 8 hours.
  6. Magnetic Field of Two Currents Two long straight parallel wires at a distance d apart carry currents of I and 4I in opposite directions. Where is the resultant magnetic field strength zero?
  7. Heinrich Hertz Describe how Hertz discovered the photoelectric effect.
  8. Strong Nuclear Force Sketch graphs showing the force between two nucleons and the potential energy of two nucleons as a function of their distance apart.
  9. Artificial Gravity A space station far away from any planet or star has the shape of a torus of outer radius 500 m. It rotates about an axis through its centre and perpendicular to its plane at constant rate of 10 rev/min. An astronaut of mass 80 kg is standing on the inside of the outer surface of the space station (i) describe the force/s acting on the astronaut, (ii) determine the weight of the astronaut (iii) an apple is released from rest inside the spacestation at a distance of 1 m from the outer wall. Describe the subsequent motion of the apple.
  10. EMF and Back EMF What is the difference between an induced EMF (as in a generator) and a back EMF (as in a motor)?
  11. CRO Describe how an electron beam produces a two dimensional image on the screen of a cathode ray oscilloscope.
  12. Electron in the Hydrogen Atom According to quantum physics, how do we describe the electron in the hydrogen atom?
  13. Maximum Range A basketball is thrown at a speed U an angle 𝜽 to the horizontal from of a height h above the ground. Show that the angle that gives the maximum range on the ground is given by csc2𝜽max = 2(1+gh/U2).
  14. Magnetic Force Two electrons are moving at the same velocity v relative to the laboratory side by side in parallel paths a distance d apart in the laboratory reference frame. Determine the magnitude of the resultant force between the electrons in the (a) reference frame of the electrons, (b) laboratory reference frame.
  15. Planck and Einstein Outline the political views of Max Planck and Albert Einstein. How did this affect their scientific work?
  16. Enrico Fermi Assess the contribution of Enrico Fermi to Physics.
  17. High Speed Electron An electron is accelerated from rest through a potential difference of 100,000 V using a particle accelerator. Find the final speed of the electron.
  18. Loudspeaker Describe how a loudspeaker uses the motor effect to produce sound waves.
  19. Blackbody Radiation Curve Explain why the blackbody radiation curve has a peak at a certain wavelength. Does a photon of this wavelength have the greatest energy?
  20. Linear Accelerator Describe how a linear accelerator produces a high speed particle.
  21. Projectile Practical A marble is projected horizontally at a known constant speed from a spring gun at various heights above the floor and the horizontal range is measured in each case. (i) Plot this data so that a straight line graph is produced, (ii) how can the graph be used to determine g?
  22. Step-Up Transformer A step-up transformer is used to increase the voltage of an AC supply with respect to the ground. Explain how this reduces reduces the heat loss along the transmission line from the power station.
  23. Phonons A student in an answer to a question on the BCS theory mentions a "phonon". Outline what a phonon is.
  24. Forces of Nature Outline the force that holds together, giving the carrier particle in each case (i) the nucleons in an alpha particle, (ii) the quark combination that produces a proton
  25. Michelson and Morley Describe the result of the Michelson and Morley experiment.
  26. Torque and Work Describe the difference between torque and the work done by a force.
  27. n-type Semiconductor Is an n-type semiconductor negatively charged?
  28. Binding Energy The mass of the two protons, two neutrons and two electrons is greater than their combined mass when they form a helium atom. Describe why this is so.
  29. Gravitational Potential Energy When is the gravitational potential energy of two masses least? When they are close together or far apart? Explain.
  30. Cathode Rays Describe Thomson's experiment to measure the charge to mass ratio of cathode rays.
  31. Bragg Diffraction Using a labelled diagram, explain using wave concepts how constructive interference occurs when x-rays strike a solid object.
  32. Line Spectrum Explain how the presence of a line spectrum indicates the existence of energy levels in the hydrogen atom.
  33. Orbital Decay In an answer a student states that the speed of an orbiting satelite decreases when it is subjected to air drag. Is this correct?
  34. Back EMF Does the back emf eventually stop the coils of a DC motor from spinning? Explain.
  35. Electromagnetic Waves Describe how Heinrich Hertz experimentally produced radio waves and identified these as belonging to the same group as light waves.
  36. Moderator A neutron given off in a fission reaction has a kinetic energy of 6.0x10-13 J. This is reduced to 6.0x10-21 J by causing the neutron to make a series of collisions with carbon nuclei in the moderator. The fractional loss of kinetic energy of a neutron at each collision is 0.14. Find the number of collisions involved in this process. [122]
  37. Polar Orbit A satellite is placed in an orbit that passes over points near the north and south poles of the Earth. Does this satellite possess more energy than a similar satellite in orbit at the same altitude above the equator?
  38. Power Which combination has the higher power? A large resistance R connected to a battery or a smaller resistance r?
  39. Carbon Carbon has 4 electrons in its outer shell. (a) is the outer shell the same as the valence band? (b) is its valence band full? (b) is carbon a semiconductor?
  40. Electron Wavelength Compared to an electron in the ground state, the wavelength of an electron in the first excited state of the hydrogen atom is (A) 1/4, (B) 1/2, (c) the same, (D) twice as large (E) 4 times as large
  41. Acceleration A student doing a physics problem calculates the acceleration of an electron as 2.0x1014 ms-2. Is this possible?
  42. DC Motor A DC motor has a split-ring commutator and the coils are in a radial magnetic field. An open switch is in the circuit. The switch is now closed. Sketch graphs showing (A) the current flowing in the coils in terms of time (B) the torque exerted by the magnetic field on the coil in terms of time.
  43. Band Structure A conductor and a semiconductor are at room temperature. Choose the correct statement.(A) the conduction band of the conductor is empty (B) the conduction band of the semiconductor is empty (C) the conduction band of a semiconductor is partially filled (D) the conduction band of a conductor is full (E) the valence band of a semiconductor is full
  44. Neutron A neutron (A) is not affected by a magnetic field (B) has no spin about its axis (C) has a magnetic moment causing it to align itself with a magnetic field (D) has zero magnetic moment since it has zero charge (E) is made of a proton and an electron.
  45. Orbit A satellite of total mass m moves at a constant speed v in a circular orbit around a planet. It suddenly fires a projectile of mass 0.5m at a speed of 0.5v in the opposite direction to its initial velocity. After it launches the projectile the satellite (A) continues in the same orbit with the same speed, (B) moves to a higher orbit (C) escapes from the planet, (D) moves to a lower orbit, (E) continues in the same orbit with a shorter period
  46. Soft Iron Core The role of the iron core in a transformer is to (A) reduce the eddy currents, (B) connect together the primary and secondary coils, (C) increase the magnetic flux passing through the coils, (D) carry all of the magnetic field of the primary coil through the secondary coil, (E) change the voltage of the primary coil.
  47. Type 1 and 2 Superconductors Superconducting magnets use (A) type 1 superconductors since B=0 inside them, (B) type 1 superconductors since B≠0 inside them, (C) type 2 superconductors since B≠0 up to a certain value, (D) type 2 superconductors since B=0 inside them, (E) both type 1 and type 2 superconductors.
  48. Bohr's Postulate In 1913 Niels Bohr proposed that mvr = n h/(2𝜋), where n is the principal quantum number, m is the mass of the electron, v is the speed of the electron and r is the radius of the stationary state. (A) the original Bohr theory is still used to explain the hydrogen atom, (B) Bohr's equation gives the magnitude of the electron angular momentum that agrees accurately with modern experiments, (C) Bohr's equation was replaced since quantum mechanics predicts that for each value of n there are n possible values of the orbital angular momentum, (D) the electron is now considered to have non-zero orbital angular momentum in its ground state, (E) the electron is now considered to have zero orbital angular momentum for every value of n.
  49. Projectile1 A ball is thrown at 49m/s at 60° to the horizontal. Neglecting air resistance, the times after projection when the velocity vector makes an angle of 30° with the horizontal are (A)2.16s, 6.50s (B) 2.33s, 6.33s (C) 2.89s, 5.77s (D) 3.66s, 5s (E) 4.00s, 4.66s.
  50. Projectile2 A ball is thrown at 49m/s at 60° to the horizontal. Neglecting air resistance, the times after projection when the speed of the ball is 35m/s are (A) 0.48s, 8.18s (B) 1.10s, 7.56s (C) 1.78s, 6.88s (D) 2.56s, 6.10s (E) 4.00s, 4.66s.
  51. Air Resistance The drag force acting due to air resistance on a projectile is proportional to the square of the speed of the projectile. A projectile is thrown vertically upwards at 49m/s. The maximum height reached is 60m. The projectile is now thrown at the same speed at an angle to the vertical. The maximum possible range of the projectile on the horizontal is (A) 30m (B) 60m (C) 94m (D) 120m (E) 180m
  52. Speed A projectile is thrown at 49m/s at 60° to the horizontal in the absence of air resistance. The gradient of the distance travelled-time graph for the projectile has a maximum value of (A) 98m/s, (B) 75m/s, (C) 49m/s, (D) 42m/s, (E) 24.5m/s.
  53. Average Speed Two identical projectiles, P and Q, are thrown on level ground at the same speed. P is thrown at 30° to the horizontal and Q is thrown at 60° to the horizontal. Neglecting air resistance, (A) the range of P is greater than Q, (B) the average speed of each projectile is the same during their flight, (C) the average speed of P is greater than the average speed of Q, (D) the average speed of P is less than the average speed of Q, (E) the average velocity of each object is the same during the flight.

HSC Quanta to Quarks

The HSC Physics topic Quanta to Quarks includes the concept of the wave nature of an electron.

  1. When we draw an electron as a wave what does the height of the wave represent?
  2. Is the electron mass spread out along the wavelength?
  3. In quantum mechanics an electron is described by a wave function. Is this the same as the de Broglie matter wave?
  4. What is the physical interpretation of the wave function?
  5. According to quantum mechanics what actually is the electron in the hydrogen atom? Is it a particle moving in an orbit?

Curl of a Vector

In electromagnetism and fluid dynamics we often determine the curl of a vector quantity. This is a mathematical operation that follows set rules and is used to determine a field vector. What does curl mean physically?

In electromagnetism when rationalised SI units are used, the curl of the electric field vector (E) is equal to minus the partial time derivative of the magnetic induction vector (B) and the curl of the magnetic field vector (H) is equal to the sum of the current density (J) and the partial time derivative of the electric displacement vector (D). These relationships are known as the Faraday-Maxwell law and the Ampere-Maxwell law respectively.  In fluid mechanics the curl of the fluid velocity vector (u) is equal to the vorticity (W).

The curl operation is a mathematical way of determining whether the work done (also called the circulation) in moving around a small circle centred at the field point is zero. If the work done is zero the field is said to be conservative or irrotational, meaning that a small paddle wheel placed at that point in the field would not spin if the field was the velocity field of a fluid, hence the name of the operation curl. Some textbooks call the curl operation rot, the significance coming from the rotation of the test paddle wheel. The mathematical rule connecting curl with work done is known as Stokes' theorem, one of the very important theorems of vector analysis along with those of Gauss and Green.

The curl operation is a very important part of the language of electromagnetism. The curl operator is part of the mathematical language that we use to show that time varying electric and magnetic fields propagate through space at the speed of light.