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Physics Unit 3 Notes

How to find ___ value from the graph?

Gradient or area under graph

How does it improve results?


Enables average to be taken

Shows anomalies
Will show if ___ value is changing

Why graph is straight?


Mention constant an mention the gradient

Either A B or compare with y = mx + c

Advantages of graphs?

Anomalies can be identified

Allows interpolation/extrapolation
Systematic errors can be detected
Relationship/trend can be indentified
Equation can be derived
Line of best fit averages results
Intercept/gradient/area can be determined

P.D v/s Current Graph Linear relationship

Remember E = V + Ir
Internal Resistance = negative of gradient
E.M.F = intercept with the potential difference axis/yaxis

Stress v/s Strain Graph

Gradient = Youngs Modulus

Area = energy stored per unit volume

Points to remember Fill in column headings with units
Criticize the readings/set of measurements.
Created by: Niharika Shinde


Inconsistent precision / inconsistent significant figures in __ column

Less readings
Small range
Accuracy (e.g. only recorded to nearest 10 cm)
No mention of repeats/no repeats

Average taken should be of all normal readings and have same number of significant figures as
the readings

Advantages and Disadvantages for [Analogue] device v/s [Digital Device]:

Advantages of Analogue:
- No power supply required
- Simple to operate or to set up
- Readily available, cheaper, easily transportable
Disadvantage of Analogue:
- More errors
- Effect of reaction time
- Insufficient precision for short values (e.g. short times)
- Graph would have to be drawn manually
Advantage of Digital:
- Fewer errors
- No reaction time
- Precise readings
- Graph drawn automatically
Disadvantage of Analogue:
- Power supply needed
- Needs training, setting up, alignment issues, time to set up
- Not easily available, expensive, not easily transportable

Advantages and Disadvantages for manual v/s data logger + graph method:

Advantage of manual:
- No power supply required
- Easily transportable
- cheaper
Disadvantage of manual
- Small no. of readings/ large time interval b/w readings
- Reaction time
- Random/systematic/parallax errors
- Easily broken (if apparatus like glass beaker is used)
Advantage of data logger + graph
- Large no. of readings/ small time intervals
- Graph drawn automatically
- Simultaneous reading of two values (if applicable)
Disadvantage of graph

Created by: Niharika Shinde


Power supply needed

Zero/systematic errors

Advantages and disadvantages of Digital Multimeter v/s Ammeter + Voltmeter (analogue)

Advantage of Digital Multimeter

- Only one meter needed/may be cheaper option
- No parallax error
- Variable scale/scale can be changed
- Two decimal places
- Only requires series connection
- Unlikely to be much heating effect
- Smaller uncertainty as only one reading
- No calculation required
Disadvantage of Digital Multimeter
- Zero error, contact resistance
- Internal battery required
- Less simple to graph for a fixed wire
Advantage of A+V
- Do not require individual batteries
- Graphical method possible
Disadvantage of A+V
- Two meters needed/may be more expensive4
- Parallax error
- Scales are fixed so requires interpolation
- Limited by size of scale divisions
- Requires both series and parallel connection
- Heating effect
- Greater uncertainty as two readings
- Need calculation from two readings

Percentage Uncertainty
Mean lower value 100


Higher value Mean 100



Percentage difference
(Given value your value) 100
Given Value

Rule vertical/horizontal
Release object from rest

Created by: Niharika Shinde


Avoid parallax errors

Sources of uncertainty

(if wire) small diameter/diameter only measured once/kinks in the wire

(if wire and circuit involved) Contact resistance/resistance of connecting wires
(if circuit) accuracy of ohmmeter or voltmeter or ammeter
(any device) Zero error
Wires snapping
Weights falling
Didnt reach terminal velocity/tube too narrow/distance between markers is too
small/ misreading of stopwatch or micrometer
Reaction time
Parallax error
Inaccuracy in measuring _______.

Why repeat?

Can identify anomalies, average can be taken, reduces random error/uncertainty

Why the voltmeter should have a very high resistance:


Voltmeter is in parallel with wire

Current through voltmeter should be negligible (accept very small or
The voltmeter needs a high resistance to reduce current through it.
Ammeter should measure current in just the wire
If the voltmeter takes any current, the current recorded for the wire will not be correct

Assumptions for calculating stress:


Cross section has remained the same

Refraction Experiment

Also take readings at second face


Vertical length of wire with masses on end OR horizontal wire with masses over pulley
Measure extension
use of mark on wire OR use of F = kx
extension = final initial length OR comparison of wires
Variables to be kept constant Initial length of the wires
Precautions - Use of goggles OR means of catching/avoiding falling masses, Protection
(of eyes) from snapping wire OR protection of feet/floor from falling masses

Viscosity Experiment

Apparatus: Oil. Ball Bearing, Measuring cylinder, light gates, timing device, rule,

Created by: Niharika Shinde


Quantities to be measured: Diameter, distance, time (alt Diameter, velocity)

Instruments: Micrometer, metre rule, stopwatch
Independent: diameter/radius
Dependent: Terminal Velocit/time
Radius determined from diameter, velocity from dist and time. Graph of v against r2 and
find gradient
Source of uncertainty/systematic error: terminal velocity not reached, reaction time,
temperature not constant, zero error, measurement of diameter/distance fallen, parallax
Safety precautions: low risk experiment, mop up spills, use gloves, wear goggles, normal
laboratory rules should be followed

Determining Youngs Modulus


Apparatus: Wire, support, weight, micrometer screw gauge/vernier callipers/ digital

Quantities to be measured: Length, extension, diameter, mass/weight/force
Instruments: Metre rule, travelling microscope, Micrometer for diameter, balance for size
of mass
Independent Weight/force
Dependent Extension
Use of ?r2 and youngs modulus equation
The main source of uncertainty/systematic error: Extension/diameter
Risk of weights falling (hence toe protection) and snapping wires (hence safety glasses)

% Loss of Kinetic Energy

Drops ball of known mass vertically from known height

Determines height of bounce using a metre rule
mgh = 1/2mv2
States that mass cancels OR mass stays the same OR mass measured OR mass
% loss in KE = loss in PE x 100%
initial PE
Precaution: make measurement of height of bounce at eye level

Thermistor resistance

Apparatus: Circuit, Thermistor in water, means of heating/cooling (Bunsen or water

bath), thermometer, stirrer
Quantities to be measured: Resistance, temperature (alt Current, pd, temp)
Graph of resistance v/s temperature
Sources of uncertainty/systematic error: simultaneous reading of two variables,
systematic error on thermometer, parallax error, meter zero error, uneven temperature of
Safety: hot water and heated wires

o Apparatus: Spring, mass/weight, support, rule, set square, pin, balance
Created by: Niharika Shinde


Independent: Force/Weight/Mass
Dependent: Extension
Plot force v/s extension, gradient = k
Uncertainty sources: parallax, zero error, elastic limit not exceeded

Semi-circular block refractive index accuracy

Use of paper/pins to trace path of ray

Ensure there is a thin ray (from the ray box).
Comment on using centre of block
Normal drawn (at A) / measure from normal
Mark the ray, then measure the angle
Use large angles of incidence/wide range
Repeat and take average
Work in a dark room.


Instruments: Ammeter, voltmeter, power supply, variable resistor/variable power supply

Determine R from V and I
Draw graph of R v/s V Positive intercept on R axis (either curve or straight line)
Uncertainty source: zero error on meter or difficulty of taking simultaneous
Safety Precautions: If low voltage supply low risk If bulb involved: Hot bulb, so do
not touch

Efficiency of motor
o Quantities to be measured: P.d, current, height and time
o Repeat?: Yes = for average. No = motor heats up, battery p.d reduces
o Power input = VI
Power Output = mgh/t
Efficiency = poweroutput/powerinput
o Uncertainty/Systematic error source: Zero error in meter, reaction time, parallax
o Safety Precautions: Risk of mass falling (wear shoes), low risk if p.d. is low, risk to eye if
string breaks (wear goggles)

Metre rule: Longer length so measurement to nearest mm appropriate
Micrometer: Measures to 1/100 mm
Stopwatch: reading to 0.1s or 0.01s
Ammeter/Voltmeter: 0.1A or 0.1V interval and state indentified range if bulb involved and value
>> Note: Resistance of variable resistor should not be reduced to zero so that circuit is not short
circuited (otherwise will get hot) OR to prevent high current through circuit

Reading: 5.5mm + 0.35mm = 5.85mm

Created by: Niharika Shinde