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H2 Physics Formulae and Definitions

Measurement
SI Base Quantities and Units
Quantity
Unit Name
Unit Symbol
Mass
Kilogram
Kg
Length
Metre
M
Time
Second
s
Electric Current
Ampere
A
Temperature
Kelvin
K
Amount of Substance
Mole
mol
- All equations in Physics must be homogenous. However, a homogenous equation
may not be physically correct.
Common Prefixes
Prefix
Pico
Nano
Micro
Milli
Centi
Deci
Kilo
Mega
Giga
Tera

Symbol
p
n

m
c
d
K
M
G
T

Scalar Quantity
A physical quantity that only has
magnitude is a scalar. E.g.: Speed,
temperature.
Systematic Error
An error is systematic if repeating the
measurement under the same conditions
yields readings with error of the same
magnitude and sign. All measurements
are either bigger or smaller than the true
value. Readings with systematic error
change in a predictable manner
depending on the conditions.
Caused by:
- Instrument with zero error
- Calibration error
Accuracy
Accuracy of a measurement is the degree
of agreement between the result of the
measurement and the true value.
Fractional uncertainty of R =

R
R

Factor
10-12
10-9
10-6
10-3
10-2
10-2
103
106
109
1012
Vector Quantity
A physical quantity that has magnitude
and direction is a vector. E.g.: Velocity,
force.
Random Error
An error is random if repeating the
measurement under the same conditions
yields readings with error of different
magnitude and sign. Readings with
random errors scatter about a mean
value. They have an equal chance of
being negative or positive.
Caused by:
- Diameter is different at different
points
- Fluctuation in the count-rate of
radioactive decay.
Precision
Precision refers to the degree of
agreement among a series of readings of
the same quantity.

Percentage uncertainty of R =

R
R

If R is related to other physical quantities through addition or subtraction, then


the sum of all the individual actual uncertainties. (

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R= R1 + R2 )

R is

H2 Physics Formulae and Definitions


If R is related to other physical quantities through multiplication or division, then
is the sum of all the individual fractional uncertainties. (

R
R

R=R 1 R2 , then

R R1 R2
=
+
R
R1
R2 )
-End of Measurement-

Kinematics
Distance
Measure of how far an object has
travelled. It is a scalar quantity that refers
to how much ground an object has
covered.

Displacement
Distance of an object from a defined
reference point in a specified direction.

Speed
Rate of change of distance moved by an
object. (Scalar)

Velocity
Rate of change of displacement. (Vector)

Important Equations:

v =u+at

v 2=u 2+ 2as
1
s=ut + at 2
2
1
s= ( u+ v ) t
2

-End of Kinematics-

Forces
Hookes Law:

F=kx , where k is the force constant, x is the change in length.

Hookes Law states that the force applied to a material is directly proportional to its
extension, if the limit of proportionality is not exceeded.
Normal contact force is the perpendicular force exerted by the surface of one object on
the surface of another when they are in physical contact and it prevents the objects from
passing through each other.

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H2 Physics Formulae and Definitions


Frictional forces resist motion and are dissipative in nature.
Centre of gravity is the single point at which the entire weight of the body can be
considered to act.
The moment of a force about a pivot is the product of the force and the perpendicular
distance from the pivot to the line of action of the force.
A couple is a pair of equal and opposite forces acting on a body, and the lines of action of
these forces do not coincide. Only rotation is produced, no linear motion.
Torque is the turning effect of a couple (Total moments)
For an object to be in equilibrium: No resultant force, no resultant torque about any point.
Pressure, p in fluid:

p=hg

+ atmospheric pressure at fluid surface

Upthrust is the net upward force acting on a body when it is in a fluid.


Archimedes principle: The upthrust acting on a body due to a fluid is equal to the
weight of the fluid it has displaced.
-End of Forces-

Dynamics
Newtons first law of motion states that a body will continue in its state of rest or
uniform motion in a straight line unless a net external force acts on it.
Newtons second law of motion states that the rate of change of momentum of a
body is proportional to the resultant force that acts on it and has the same direction as
the resultant force.

F = pt

p=mv

F= v

dm
dt

Impulse of a force is defined as the product of force and time of impact.

p= F t

Newtons third law of motion states that if body A exerts a force on body B, body B
will exert the same time of force of equal magnitude but opposite in direction on body A.
(For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.)
The principle of conservation of momentum states that the total momentum of a
system is constant, provided no external resultant force acts on it.

m1 u1 +m2 u 2=m1 v 1+ m2 v 2
Elastic collisions are those in which kinetic energy is conserved.
Inelastic collisions are those in which kinetic energy is not conserved.
-End of Dynamics-

Work, Energy and Power


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H2 Physics Formulae and Definitions


Work
Work done by a constant force on an object is defined as the product of the force and
the displacement in the direction of the force. (Unit: J, Scalar quantity)

W =F x

Work done in stretching wire = Elastic potential energy stored in the wire =
Work done by gas:

1 2
kx
2

W= p v

Energy
Energy is the capacity to do work.
The principle of conservation of energy states that energy can neither be created
nor destroyed in any process. It can only be transformed (converted) from one form
to another or transferred from one body to another, but the total amount in any
isolated system must remain constant.
Efficiency
Efficiency=

Useful energy output


total energy input

x 100%

Kinetic and Potential Energy


Kinetic energy,

1
2
m v , is a scalar quantity that represents the energy associated
2

with the body due to its motion.


Gravitational potential energy =

mgh

Power
Power is defined as the work done per unit time OR the rate at which energy is
transformed.

P=

W
t

or

P=

E
t

Scalar. SI Unit: Watt(W)


Electrical Energy Consumption Kilowatt hour (kWh)
1kWh = 1000W x 60min x 60 sec = 3.6MJ
-End of Work, Energy, and Power-

Temperature and Ideal Gases


Temperature is the measure of the degree of hotness of a body as indicated on a
calibrated scale.
Two objects are said to be in thermal equilibrium if there is no net exchange of thermal
energy when they are placed in thermal contact.
The absolute thermodynamic scale is a theoretical scale, independent of the
thermometric properties of any substance.
R
K
NA
N
n

8.31 Jmol-1K-1
1.38 x 10-23 JK-1
6.02 x 1023 mol-1
-

Molar gas constant


Boltzmann constant
Avogadro number
Number of molecules
Amount of gas (number of moles)

N
NA

An ideal gas is a gas which obeys the equation of state.

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H2 Physics Formulae and Definitions


pV
=constant
pV =nRT ,
T

pV =NkT

1
pV = Nm c 2
3

If T is constant, pV is constant.
Different isotherms = Different temperature
Do not assume to be isotherms unless
stated.

Assumptions of the Kinetic Theory of Gases


- Large number of molecules in continuous random motion.
- No intermolecular forces between molecules except during collisions
between molecules.
- The gas molecules undergo elastic collisions.
- Duration of collisions is negligible compared with time between collisions.
- Volume of gas molecules is negligible compared with the volume of the
container.
Mean kinetic energy of a molecule =

1
3
m c 2 = kT
2
2

Total kinetic energy of the molecules in the gas =

Root mean square speed = crms =

1
2
Nm c
2

3
NkT
2

3
nRT
2

c
2

Boyles Law
For a fixed mass of gas at constant temperature, the product of pressure and volume is
constant.

p1 V 1= p 1 V 1

Charles Law
For a fixed mass of gas at constant pressure, the volume is directly proportional to the
temperature measured in kelvin.

V1 V2
=
T 1 T2

Pressure Law
For a fixed mass of gas at constant volume, the pressure is directly proportional to the
temperature measured in kelvin.

p1 p2
=
T1 T2

-End of Temperature and Ideal Gases-

First Law of Thermodynamics


Specific heat capacity of a substance is defined as the heat (thermal energy) per unit
mass required to raise the temperature of the substance by one unit of temperature.

Q=mc T
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H2 Physics Formulae and Definitions


Specific latent heat of a substance is the quantity of heat (thermal energy) required to
change the phase of a unit mass (1kg) of the substance.

Q=ml

Internal energy of a system is the sum of a random distribution of kinetic and


potential energies associated with the molecules of a system.
Temperature of a gas is a measure of mean kinetic energy of particles in the gas.
For melting and boiling, the heat that flows into the boiling liquid increases only the
potential energy component of the internal energy, and not the kinetic energy of
the particles. Thus the temperature does not change and the heat energy required is
known as latent heat of fusion/vaporisation.
First Law of Thermodynamics
Increase in internal energy = net heat supplied + net work done on the system

U =Q+W
Work done on a system is defined as the work done by external
forces exerted on the system.

W =p V

Work done ON system = Area under p-V graph

-End of First Law of Thermodynamics-

Motion in a Circle
Angular displacement

is defined as the angle described at the centre of the circle

by a moving body along its circular path. (Where s is the arc, s= r ,


Angular velocity

is in radians)

of an object moving in a circle is defined as angular

displacement per unit time.

Period is the time taken for the object to complete one revolution.

2
T

=2 f
Tangential velocity is the instantaneous velocity of the particle along its circular path.
The direction is therefore tangential to the circular path.

v =r

Centripetal acceleration is the acceleration directed towards the centre of the circle
during circular motion

a=

v2
=r 2=v
r

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H2 Physics Formulae and Definitions


2

Centripetal force =

F=ma=

mv
=mr 2
r

Centripetal force is a net (resultant) force, NOT A FORCE ON ITS OWN.

v min = gr
-End of Motion in a Circle-

Gravitational Field
Newtons law of gravitation states that the force of attraction between two point
masses is directly proportional to the product of the masses and inversely proportional to
the square of the distance between them.

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