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Carmel Alison Lam Foundation Secondary School

Physics AL / ASL Past - Examinations Questions

(For AL only) 1981 IIA 7 (a)Considering the earth to be a sphere of radius R and uniform density ,show how the gravitational field EG varies with distance x from the centre for values of x given by a x R and x > R. Hence sketch a graph showing the variation of E G with x from x = 0 to x - 2 R. (Note : the gravitational field is the force per unit mass acting on a small mass placed in the field.) Use this same model in parts (b) and (c). (b)Determine whether the gravitational field at a small height above the surface of the earth is greater that or less than that at a small depth h. (c)Due to the drag effect of the earth's atmosphere on a satellite, the radius of the circular orbit of the satellite becomes smaller with time. Determine and sketch out, on the same graph, the variations of the kinetic energy, the potential energy and the total energy of the satellite with the radius of the orbit, r. 1986 IIA 6 (a) Consider a satellite of mass m moving in a circular orbit of radius r around an assumed homogeneous spherical earth of mass M and radius R. (i) Show that the period T of the satellite for a complete orbit is proportional to r 3/ 2 . (ii) Derive an expression for the total energy of the satellite in terms of the given parameters, together with G ,the gravitational constant. (b)Due to the friction of the earth's atmosphere the satellite experiences a dray force C v2 , where is the density of the atmosphere and v is the speed of the satellite, C being a constant. (i) Explain why the speed v of the satellite would be expected to increase with time, t. (ii) From a consideration of the work done by the drag force and the rate of loss energy of the satellite, show that dr / dt = 2Cvr / m . (iii) Assuming that ( dr / dt ) changes slowly and may be considered constant over one orbit show that the small fractional change in period time is given by T / T = 6 Cr / m. (iv) Describe the path taken by the satellite, explaining what, finally, should happen to it. 1995 IIB 1c(AL) (i) For a planet revolving round the sun in a circular orbit of radius r and with period T, show that r3 = KT2 where K is a constant. (ii)Is the equation r3 = KT2 , with the same constant K for the planet, also valid for a satellite circling round the earth ? Explain briefly. 1997 IIB 1b(AL) Using a spring balance, a small object is found to weigh heavier at the north pole than at the equator. (i) State and explain TWO reasons for this observation. (ii)What would the result be if the object is weighed again at the two places using a beam balance ? Explain briefly.


Section C : Fields, Electricity and Electromagnetism (1. Gravitational field Essay-type-Q)