If we did all things we are capable of, we would literally astound ourselves.

– Thomas A. Edison

Friday, June 30, 2006

Minimum time of travel of an electric car- M.C.Q. from one dimensional motion

An experimental electric car can produce a maximum acceleration of 2m/s2. Its brakes can produce a maximum retardation of 8m/s2. What is the minimum time required by this electric car to start from rest and come to a stop, covering a distance of 500m?

(a) 10s (b) 15s (c) 20s (d) 25s (e) 30s

This question may appear to be a bit difficult at the first sight, but it is a simple one which can be solved using the basic equations of motion. The maximum velocity ‘v’ attained during the motion is given by

v2 = 0+2a1s1 during the accelerated motion and

0 = v2-2a2s2 during the decelerated motion. From these equations, s1 = v2/2a1 and s2 = v2/2a2

Here s1+ s2 = 500m, a1= 2m/s2 and a2 = 8m/s2.

Therefore, 500 = v2/2a1 + v2/2a2. On substituting for a1 and a2, v = 40m/s.

But we have, v=0+a1t1 and 0=v-a2t2 for the accelerated and decelerated parts of the motion respectively so that t1=v/a1=40/2 = 20 s and t2=v/a2 = 40/8 = 5 s.

The total minimum time therefore is 25 s, given in option (d).

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Two Questions from Newton’s Laws of Motion

(1)The breaking strength of a rope is one and a half times the weight of a stone. The minimum time in which this stone can be raised through 10m using this rope is nearly
(a) 0.5s (b)1s (c) 2s (d) 2.5s (e) 3s
The minimum time will be obtained when the acceleration with which the stone is pulled up is maximum. But the maximum possible acceleration ‘a’ is that which will make the apparent weight of the stone(as in the case of a body in a lift) one and a half times its real weight. Therefore we have, m(g+a) = 1.5mg from which a=0.5g.
Substituting this value of ‘a’ in the equation, s = ut + ½ at^2, we have
10 = ½ ×0.5g t^2 since u=0. Taking ‘g’ to be nearly 10m/s^2 we obtain t = 2s.
(2) A rocket with a lift off mass 3.5×10^4 kg is blasted upwards with an initial acceleration of 10m/s^2. Then the initial thrust of the blast is
(a) 1.75×10^5N (b) 3.5×10^5N (c) 7×10^5N (d) 14×10^5N
The initial thrust of the blast is equal in magnitude to the apparent weight of the rocket while moving up with the given acceleration(as in the case of a body in a lift).Therefore, thrust = m(g+a) = 3.5×10^4(10+10) = 7×10^5N [Option (c)]This question appeared in the A.I.E.E.Exmination question paper of 2003.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Intrinsic and Extrinsic Semiconductor

Intrinsic semiconductor is pure (un-doped) semiconductor whereas extrinsic semiconductor is impure (doped) semiconductor. The intrinsic carrier number density Ni and extrinsic carrier number densities densities Ne and Nh are related by the law of mass action as
Ni^2 = NeNh
Note that Ni is the number density of mobile electrons as well as holes in the pure semiconductor where as Ne and Nh are their number densities in the doped semiconductor. Simple problems based on this simple law often find place in Medical and Engineering entrance test papers. Consider the following M.C.Q. which appeared in Kerala Engineering entrance test paper of 2006:
The number densities of electrons and holes in pure germanium at room temperature are equal and its value is 3×10^16 per m^3. On doping with aluminium the hole density increases to 4.5×10^22 per m^3. Then the electron density in doped germanium is
(a) 2×10^10/m^3 (b) 5×10^9/m^3 (c) 4.5×10^9/m^3 (d) 3×10^9/m^3 (e) 4×10^10/m^3
From the law of mass action we have, Ne = Ni^2 /Nh = (9×10^32)/4.5×10^22 = 2×10^10. The correct option therefore is (a).

Monday, June 26, 2006

Two Multiple Choice Questions from Electrostatics
Let us consider the following questions:
(1) What fraction of the energy drawn from the charging battery is stored ina capacitor?
(a) 100% (b) 50% (c)75% (d) 70.7% (e) 41.4%
With usual notations, the energy of a charged capacitor is ½CV^2 = ½QV. Since the charge Q is flowing under the action of the e.m.f. V of the charging battery, the energy supplied by the battery is QV. Therefore, the fraction of the energy stored is ½QV/QV = ½ = 50%.
(2) A charge ‘q’ is placed at the centre of the line joining two equal point charges, each equal to +Q. This system of three charges will be inequilibrium if q is equal to
(a) +Q (b) +Q/2 (c) –Q/2 (d) +Q/4 (e) –Q/4

+Q____q_____+Q Since the force on the charge ‘q’ placed at the centre will be zero irrespective of the sign of ‘q’, it is enough to set the condition for zero net force on the charge +Q. Therefore, 1/4πε0[Q^2/d^2 + Qq/(d/2)^2] = 0 where ‘d’ is the separation between the charges Q&Q. From this we get q = -Q/4, making (e) the correct option.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Magnetic Monopole

In the post dated 22-6-06 it was stated that we don’t get free magnetic poles. However, there are scientists who believe that the possibility of the existence of free magnetic poles (monopoles) can not be ruled out completely. Now consider the following M.C.Q.:
If magnetic monopoles are discovered, which one of the following will have to be modified?
(a) Lenz’s law
(b) Faraday’s law of electromagnetic induction
(c) Gauss theorem in electrostatics
(d) Gauss theorem in magnetism
(e) Ampere’s circuital law.

The correct option is (d). Gauss theorem in magnetism states that the total magnetic flux over a closed surface is zero. This zero value is obtained since we find magnetic dipoles only in nature and the outward flux due to the positive pole and the inward flux due to the negative pole get cancelled, to give a net zero flux. If we have a monopole of strength ‘p’ the flux will be μ0p and not zero.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Electric and Magnetic Dipoles – Two Multiple Choice Questions

In an electric dipole there are two equal and opposite charges separated by a distance while in a magnetic dipole there are two equal and opposite poles (north and south – also called positive and negative­­­- poles). The important difference in this context is that electric charges can be obtained as free positive and negative charges where as magnetic ‘charges’ (poles) can not be obtained as free north and south poles. They appear as dipoles only. Yet you will often be asked to caculate the pole strength of a magnetic dipole similar to the calculation of the charge in an electric dipole.
Let us consider the following questions (M.C.Q.):
(1) When an electric dipole of length 1cm is placed at an angle of 30º with an electric field of intensity 4×10^6 v/m, it experiences a torque of 2Nm. The charge on the dipole is
(a) 20μC
(b) 40μC
(c) 60μC
(d) 80μC
(e) 100μC
We have (with usual notation), torque τ = P×E = PEsinθ = P×4×10^6×½ = 2, from which P = 10^-6. But P = qL (L is the full length of the dipole), so that charge, q = P/L =10^-6/0.01 = 10^-4C = 100μC. The correct option therefore is (e).

(2) When a bar magnet of length 10cm is placed at an angle of 30º with a magnetic field of flux density 0.4 tesla, it experiences a torque of 0.6Nm. The pole strength of the magnet is (in Am)
(a) 40 (b) 30 (c) 20 (d) 10 (e) 5
This question is similar to the first question and the formulae are also similar. With usual notations, we have, torque τ = m×B = mBsinθ = m×0.4×½ = 0.6, from which m = 3Am^2. But m = pL (L is the full length of the magnet), so that the pole strength, p=m/L = 3/0.1 =30Am.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Two dimensional motion- Projectiles

The equations you have to remember in projectile motion are the following (with usual notations):
Time of flight, T = (2usinθ)/g
Horizontal range, R = (u2sin2θ)/g
Maximum height, H = (u2sin2 θ)/2g
The range is maximum (equal to u2/g) when the angle of projection is 45˚ and the maximum height is the greatest (equal to u2/2g) when the angle of projection is 90˚. Now consider the following M.C.Q.:
The greatest height to which Tom Sawyer could throw a stone is 40m. The greatest horizontal distance to which he could throw the stone is
(a) 40m (b) 60m (c) 80m (d) 100m (e) 160m
We have, u2/2g = 40 and hence u2/g = 80. The correct option is (c). You should remember that the greatest height ‘h’ to which you can throw a stone is related to the greatest horizontal distance ‘R’ to which you can throw it as R = 2h.You should remember the following points also:
(1) There are two angles of projections for which the horizontal ranges are the same and these angles are equally spaced with respect to 45˚. For example, angles of projection 20˚ and 70˚ will yield the same horizontal range (since they are separated by 25˚ with respect to 45˚ line of projection).The above fact can be put in a different manner:If two particles are projected with the same velocity at angles θ and 90-θ, they have the same range.
(2) If H1 and H2 are the maximum heights reached in the above cases of the same range R, then R = 4√(H1H2)
(3) Maximum range of a projectile is 4 times the maximum height attained when the projectile has the maximum range: Rmax= 4H
(4) Horizontal range R and maximum height H of a projectile are related as R = 4Hcotθ.
All the above results can be easily obtained using the standard expressions for horizontal range and maximum height.Let us now consider the following M.C.Q.:
From a point on the ground at a distance 3m from the foot of a wall, a stone is thrown at an angle of 45˚. If the stone just clears the top of the wall and then strikes the ground at a distance of 6m from the point of projection, the height of the wall is
(a) 1.5m (b) 2m (c) 3m (d) 4.5m (e) 6m
The correct option is (a) which you can select immediately if you remember statement (3) given above. If you don’t remember the statement you can solve the problem this way:
Since this is a case of maximum range, u2/g = 6.The height of the wall is equal to the maximum height of the projectile so that we have (u2 sin2 45˚)/2g = H. This gives H = u2/4g = 6/4 =1.5m.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Introductory Remarks

This blog is meant for helping students of 11th and 12th standards. The thrust will be to help them in solving Physics multiple choice questions (M.C.Q.) of the type appearing in Medical and Engineering Entrance Test papers.
Many of you might have the impression that Physics is a tough subject. If you think so, it is high time you diluted your view. Physics is a very interesting subject and if you show some interest in it, you will be able to enjoy the beauty of Physics. Solving difficult problems in Physics will then be a pleasure to you.Questions appearing in Medical and Engineering Entrance Test papers are designed to test your basic knowledge of the subject and to check whether you are able to apply what you have studied. Most of the questions will be simple, but there will be some difficult questions deliberately designed to make the ranking of the students easier. Don’t be discouraged by seeing those difficult questions. If you are committed to work reasonably hard, you will defintely be able to score a good rank.