P510 Physics

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General Introductory Items (1 - 3)

Aids to measurement Micrometer, vernier, etc.

Dimensions of physical quantities. For checking equations, not for derivation of formulae.

Motion in a straight line. Motion of projectiles. Equations of uniformly accelerated motion. Graphical methods. Simple determination of g by free fall method. Non-uniform acceleration, including use of graphical methods. Simple Cases.

Mechanics and Properties of Matter (4 - 16)

Composition and resolution of vectors. Particular application to velocities, forces and momentum.

Moments, couples. Mass and weight. Centre of gravity.

Newton's Laws of Motion. Gravity.

Conservation of linear momentum. Collision, with special reference to the use of the laws of conservation of momentum and energy. Questions will not be set on oblique collisions or on the use of the coefficient of restitution.

Static and kinetic friction. General ideas of laws of friction. Simple determination of a coefficient.

Work, W, kinetic energy, T; and potential energy, V, Power, P. Potential energy of interacting bodies. Work represented by area under a force-distance graph. Translation and rotational kinetic energy.

Uniform motion in a circle Centripetal force. Practical Examples.

Planetary Motion. Newton's Law of Gravitation. Kepler's laws. Relation between G and g. Principle of a laboratory determination of G. Gravitational potential energy.

Simple harmonic motion. Experimental and mathematical treatment. Examples such as simple pendulum and light heli-cal spring. Determination of g. Questions will not be set on the compound pendulum.

Fluid pressure. Upthrust. Archimedes' principle. Pressure at a point in a fluid. Applications: Floatation, determination of density and relative density. Natural convection.

Motion in fluids. Qualitative treatment of viscous drag, terminal velocity, streamline flow, turbulence, Bernoulli effect, illustrated experimentally.

Elasticity. Hooke's law. Young's modulus, E and its determination. Elastic limit. Limit of proportionality. Yield point and breaking point. Work done in extension and compression.

Surface Tension (free surface energy). Simple phenomena, including angle of contact. Capillary rise. Pressure difference across a spherical surface.

Optics (17 - 20)

Reflection and refraction at a boundary Reflection and refraction at plane surfaces. Refractive index, critical angle, total internal reflection.

(a) Refraction through a prism.

(b) Minimum Deviation

(c) Spectrometer

(a) Spherical mirrors and thin lenses. Relations between u, v, f and r for mirrors; u, v and f as a function of refractive index and radii of curvature for thin lenses. Focal length of thin lenses in contact.

(b) Spherical aberration and chromatic aberration.

(c) Paraboloidal mirror

(a) Microscope and telescope (refracting and reflecting).

(b) Essential features of camera and projection lantern.

Part 3A: Oscillations and Waves and Related Pheonomena (21 - 22)

(a) Free damped and forced oscillations. Resonance.

(b) Harmonics. Influence on quality of sound.

(a) Waves - properties of waves. Types of waves - transverse, longitudinal; progressive, stationary. Reflection and refraction of waves.

(b) Superposition of waves. Interference and beats. Doppler effect.

Part 3B (23 - 25)

(a) Wave aspect of electromagnetic radiation. Wave theory as applied to reflection and refraction. Velocity of lifght, c by a terrestrial method.

(b) Double slit type of interference.

(c) Simple treatment of plane transmission grating.

(d) Other simple interference phenomena.

Diffraction The phenomenon of diffraction treated qualitatively.

Polarization. Production and detection of plane-polarized light. Polarization of radio waves. Details of Nicol prism will NOT be asked. Reference to dipole aerial as emitter and receiver.


Temperature. Scales of temperature. Definition in terms of physical property.

Types of thermometers. Liquid in glass, constant volume (simple type), resistance, thermoelectric. Pyrometers.

The joule as a unit of both work and heat. Specific heat capacity, change of state, specific latent heat.

Evidence for the belief in the existence of molecules.

Qualitative treatment of various phenomena in terms of the kinetic theory. Determination of saturated vapour pressure.

Boyle's Law. Absolute temperature. Gas equation PV/T = constant. Dalton's law of partial pressures.

Kinetic theory of ideal gasses.

Real gasses.

Principal specific heat capacity of a gas.

Difference of specific heat capacities (Cp - Cv) and its relation to the gas constant. Isothermal and adiabatic changes. The relation PV = constant.

Transference of Heat Energy

Quantitative consideration of thermal condition. Coefficient of thermal conductivity and its determination.

Radiation as a form of energy.

Effect of nature of surface on energy radiated and absorbed by it. Black-body radiation. Stefan's law. Distribution of energy in the spectrum of black-body radiation.

Ultraviolet (u.v.) and infrared (i.r.) radiation. The complete electromagnetic spectrum.

Survey of Energy

Conversion of energy, E, from one form to another.

Conservation of energy. Degradation of other forms of energy into thermal energy

Current, Charge, Potential Difference, Power

(a) The ampere, A.

(b) Conservation of current at a junction. Definition of unit charge, Q. The coulomb, C. EMF; potential difference.

(c) The volt, v. Power. Electrical energy: kilowatt-hour kWh.

(d) Inter-conversion of electrical energy with other forms.


(a) General variation of current with p.d. in solids, liquids and gasses. Extension of Ohm's law to combinations of resistors and to a complete circuit.

(b) Resistivity, p. Temperature coefficient of resistance.


Wheatstone Bridge.

Theory of the potentiometer. Application to the measurement of p.d. (including thermoelectric emf), current and resistance.

Theory of the circuit and use of the simple Wheatstone bridge circuit for comparison of resistances. Questions will not be asked on modifications of the Wheatstone network for finding battery resistance, galvanometer resistance or resistance of an electrolyte.

== Magnetism ==

The idea of magnetic field. Magnetic flux density (or magnetic induction) B. Magnetic flux (or flux of magnetic induction). Permeability. Relative permeability.

Experimental determination of magnetic flux and of magnetic flux density B by any one method.

The earth's magnetic field.

Superposition of magnetic fields. Compass-needle as indicator of direction of the resultant.

Deflection magnetometer as a means of comparing the strengths of two magnetic fields.

Magnetic Effects of Electric Current

Formulae for the strength of the magnetic field due to a current in the following situations: (i) at the centre of a circular coil; (ii) at a distance from a long straight wire; (iii) inside a long solenoid.

Force on a current in a magnetic field. Force on moving charge in a magnetic field

Torque on a coil in a magnetic field.

Principle of a simple form of current balance. Moving coil galvanometer; general features of design; application to use as ammeter, voltmeter, ballistic galvanometer.

Electromagnetic Induction

(a) Laws of Faraday and Lenz.

(b) Principle of a method for direct determination of resistance.

(c) Application to calibration of voltmeters. Eddy currents.

(d) Self-induction. Mutual induction.

Simple ac and dc generators (constant-field type). Back emf in a dc motor. The ac transformer.

Alternating Currents

Instruments for measuring alternating current and pd. RMS and peak values. Relation between these for sinusoidal ac. Moving iron, thermal and rectifier types. Proof of relation not required for the examination.

Effects of resistance, capacitance and incductance on current and power when each is connected (separately) to an ac supply. Lead and lag. Simple qualitative treatment in terms of oscillograms.

== Electrostatics ==

(a) Elementary electrostatic experiments.

(b) Distribution of charge outside and inside conductors at constant potential. Principle of Van de Graaff machine.

Law of force between electric charges. Idea of an electric field. Electric field intensity, E: force per unit charge and its relation to potential gradient.

(a) Capacitors and the geometrical factors which affect capacitance, C.

(b) The farad, F.

(c) Relative permitivity (dielectric constant).

(d) Expermintal comparison of capacitances.

(e) Capacitors in series and in parallel. Energy of a charged capacitor.

Cathode Rays and Positive Rays

(a) Production and properties of cathode rays.

(b) Measurement of e/m.

(c) Measurement of e by Millikan's method or a similar method.

(d) Relation between e and the ionic charge.

(e) The Avogadro constant, L.

(f) NA and its relation to e and the Faraday constant.

(g) Production of positive rays and determination of charge/mass.

Electronic Devices

(a) Diode and triode.

(b) Cathode ray oscillograph and its use.


Particle Aspects of Radiation

Photoelectric effect and the evidence it provides for the quantum theory. The Principles, but not the details, of the determination of Planks' constant are required.


(a) Production and properties.

(b) The diffraction of X-rays.

(c) Maximum frequency for a given tube potential.

The Atom

Idea of the small nucleus, from a particle scattering. Simple explanation of the occurrence of line spectra. Qualitative ideas of stable electron energy levels and emission or absorption of light quanta with transition of electrons between levels.


(a) alpha and Beta-particles and gamma-rays: their properties and detection.

(b) Simple absorption and intensity measurements. Operation of a cloud chamber and GM tube.

(c) Safety precautions.

The Nucleus

(a) The proton and neutron.

(b) Atomic number and mass number.

(c) Radioactive decay.

(d) Half-life

(e) Production of artificial radioactive isotopes.

(f) The uses of radioactive isotopes.

Einstein's mass-energy relation. Energy from fission and from fusion.

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