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Scholastic Test of Excellence in Mathematical



Physics Exam
School Category

January 13, 2018

Message from The S.T.E.M.S. Team
Dear applicant,

Greetings from team Tessellate. This is the first edition of Scholastic Test of Excellence in Math-
ematical Sciences. All that we have to say before the exam is: DO NOT BE NERVOUS! The
questions can be too hard for some of you, and too easy for the rest. Remember, the aim should
not be to solve every question completely. Rather, try to attempt the questions, and write whatever
you are thinking, even if it is a couple of lines. If you think that you are not being able to solve the
questions, and they are too hard, well then they will be hard for everyone and the ranking will be
relative. We are NOT looking for exactly correct answers for all the questions! Rather, we would
like to see what you are thinking. We shall be as lenient as possible with our grading, and try to
give as much part marks as possible in every subjective question.

Best wishes! Rock the exam.

Rules and Regulations
Submission of Answer sheets

1. The digital copy of the answer sheet has to be mailed to stems.physch2@gmail.com.

The submissions should be sent strictly within the time limit.

2. You are allowed to scan/take pictures of your answer sheet for submission. You may use TeX
if you wish to submit a soft copy of the solution as a pdf file.

3. Ensure that your submitted copy is clear and readable. Illegible submissions such as bad
handwriting and unclear photographs will be disqualified.

4. Send the entire answer sheet in one single mail. Repeated mails of solutions will not be

5. Email back the answer sheet from the same email id you registered from (this is the same id
that you received the question paper in).

6. Do NOT write your name or school/location in your answer sheet. Write your registration
ID if you have it.

Marking Scheme

1. The question paper is divided in two parts. Objective and Subjective.

2. Each objective question has 4 options out of which only one is correct, and is worth 4

3. You are not required to show your work for the objective part of the paper.

4. For the objective section, write your answers in the form of a tabular column where the rows
denote the question number in order and the columns options (a) to (d) and tick the appropri-
ate grids.For instance if you want to mark the answers (a) and (d) for question 1, and option
(b), (c) for question 12, then this is how the corresponding row would look like:

(a) (b) (c) (d)

(1) X X
(10) X X

5. The first two subjective questions are of 10 points each. The next two fetch 12 points each
followed by the last two having 13 points each.

6. For the subjective questions you need to give the detailed solutions. Marks will be awarded
for partially correct solutions.

7. There is no negative marking in the subjective section as well.

8. The subjective part will be graded only if you score above a certain cut-off (which will
be decide later) in the objective section of the paper.


1. Any form of plagiarism will lead to disqualification

2. For solving the problems, you are allowed to use the Internet and books as resources.

3. Write the answer clearly, in a legible way. Write formal proofs wherever necessary. Be clear
with your reasoning.

4. You are not allowed to post/discuss the problems in any online forum within the exam time.

5. For any querries regarding the paper, please email stems.school.physics@gmail.com.

We shall respond to you as soon as possible. Note that the email mentioned above is
only for clarifying doubts related to question paper. Technical queries must be emailed at
stems.tessellate@gmail.com .

Objective Questions
Problem 1. Suppose the earth rotates in a circular orbit around the sun with an orbital velocity v~0
and radius R. Hypothetically the earth starts to loose mass at a constant rate λ. Then

(a) The earth will stop orbiting and remain stationary

(b) The earth will continue to orbit at a radius R as the magnitude v~0 doesn’t change

(c) The earth will spiral inwards

(d)The earth will spiral outwards

Problem 2. A baseball player is standing on a cart which was initially at rest on a track with
negligible friction. He throws a ball at a partition that is fixed on the cart vertically. After hitting
the partition the ball bounces straight back as shown.

The cart is

(a) moving to the right

(b) moving to the left

(c) at rest

(d) more information is required.

Problem 3. Which of the following statements are true regarding work function φ?

(a) φ is constant for a given material

(b) φ depends on the frequency of light used for excitation

(c) φ is proportional to the threshold frequency

(d) φ is a function of the surface of the metal

Problem 4. Two spheres, S1 and S2 have radius r1 and r2 (r1 > 2r2 ), are on a smooth horizontal
surface. Sphere S2 is released from position P1 (as in fig.) Find the distance (in cms.) moved by
sphere S2 when S1 reaches position P2 . mass of S1 = 5 kg
mass of S2 = 500 gms
r1 = 12 cm r2 = 1 cm



(a) 2 cm (b) 1 cm (c) 10 cm (d) 5 cm

Problem 5. A V -shaped glass tube of uniform cross-section is kept in a vertical plane as shown.
In equilibrium the level of liquid in both limbs of tubes are same. Then the angular frequency of
small oscillations of liquid is

g sin α. cos β
(a) ω =

g cos α. cos β
(b) ω =
g sin α. sin β
(c) ω =
g cos α. sin β
(d) ω =
Problem 6. In a double-slit experiment, instead of taking slits of equal width, one slit is made
twice as wide as the other. Then, in the interference pattern

(a) The intensities of both the maxima and the minima increases

(b) The intensity of the maxima increase and minima has zero intensity

(c) The intensity of the maxima decreases and that of minima increases

(d) The intensity of the maxima decreases and the minima has zero intensity

Problem 7. In the infinite hexagonal grid, resistance of each branch is R. Determine the electrical
resistance of the circuit between the terminal pairs A − B.

(d) R

Problem 8. A metallic cylindrical vessel whose inner and outer radii are r1 and are r2 is filled
with ice at 0o C. The mass of the ice in the cylinder is m. Circular portion of the cylinder is sealed
with completely adiabatic walls. The vessel is kept in air. Temperature of the air is T. How long
it take for the ice to melt completely? (Thermal conductivity of the cylinder is k and length is l.
Assume latent heat of fusion is L.)

mL ln
(a) t =
mL ln
(b) t =
mL log
(c) t =
mL log
(d) t =
Problem 9. The ratio of Z/R is plotted for a series LCR circuit against frequency



f1 f2 f3

When the power is B, the power consumed in circuit is half of maximum possible power consump-
tion then

(a) f2 − f1 = f3 − f2
f2 f3
(b) =
f1 f2

(c) =2
(d) Both (a) and (b)

Problem 10. Let q1 and q2 be two positive charges which are held at a distance d > 0 from each
other. At t = 0, q1 is given a velocity of magnitude v1 towards q2 and q2 is given a velocity of
magnitude v2 towards q1 along the line joining their centers. Let β denote the distance of closest
approach then which of the following graphs are correct?




q1 q2







(a) (i), (iii), (v)

(b) (ii), (iii), (vi)

(c) (i), (ii), (vi)

(d) (iii), (iv), (vi)

(e) None of the above

Problem 11. The previous problem needs further assumptions. Which of the following are abso-
lutely necessary for the analysis to be correct?

(i) v2 > 0
kq1 q2 1
(ii) 12 m1 v12 + 21 m2 v22 > , where k =
d 4π0
(iii) d should be finite

(iv) We need to take into account, the magnetic effects produced by the moving charges for the
analysis to be correct.

(a)(i), (ii) (b)(iv), (iii) (c)(iii)only (d)(ii), (iii), (iv)

Problem 12. In the figure shown, a ring A is initially rolling without sliding with a velocity v on
the horizontal surface of the body B (of same mass as A). All surfaces are smooth. B has no initial
velocity. What will be the maximum height reached by A on B?

3v 2
Problem 13. Calculate the ratio of the moment of inertia of a cube about an axis which is passing
through its center of mass and perpendicular to one of its face to that of an axis about its body
diagonal which is passing through its center of mass.

(a) 1 : 2 cm (b) 1 : 3 cm (c) 1 : 3 (d) 1 : 1

Problem 14. A capillary tube is made of glass of refractive index µ. The outer radius of the tube
is R. The tube is filled with a liquid of refractive index µ0 (µ0 < µ). What should be the minimum
internal radius rmin of the tube so that any ray that hits the tube would enter the liquid?
R Rµ0 Rµ R
(a) (b) (c) (d)
µ µ µ0 µ0
Problem 15. A point particle is projected from a point O in a horizontal surface OA with speed
v and the angle of projection φ. It just grazes the plane BC which make an angle α with the
horizontal as shown in figure.


B α


The time taken by the projectile to reach P from the instant of projection is

2v sin φ
g cos α
v sin φ
g cos α
v sin |φ − α|
g cos α
v cos |φ − α|
g cos α

Subjective Questions
Problem 16. A rectangular box has a movable and smooth partition which  canslide along the
length of the box. Both chambers contain 1 mole of mono-atomic gas γ = at a pressure
P0 , volume V0 and temperature T0 . Left chamber is slowly heated by an electric heater. The walls
of box and partition are thermally insulated. Due to heating, gas in left chamber expands until
pressure in both chambers become 32P0 . Determine:

(a) The final temperature in each chamber

(b)The work done by gas in the right chamber

Problem 17. A uniform horizontal plank is resting symmetrically in a horizontal position on two
cylindrical drums, which are spinning in opposite direction about their horizontal axes with equal
angular velocity. The distance between the axes is 2L and the coefficient of friction between the
plank and the cylinder is µ. If the plank is displaced slightly from its equilibrium position along its
and released, show that it performs simple harmonic motion. Calculate its time period.

Problem 18. In free space, from a point P on the axis of a rigid cone, a particle like ball is pro-
jected at an angle α = 37o with the axis as shown in the figure. Apex angle of the cone is β = 20o
and the distance of point P from the apex O is x = 10 cm. All the collisions of the ball with the
walls of the cone are perfectly elastic.

(a) Find the distance of closest approach of the ball from the apex.

(b) How many times will the ball collide with the walls of the cone?

Problem 19. A particle of charge q and mass m is projected from the origin with velocity ~v = v0 î
~ = −B0 xk̂. Here v0 and B0 are positive constants of proper
in a non-uniform magnetic field B
dimensions. Find the maximum positive x-coordinate of the particle during its motion.

Problem 20. A plastic greetings card with its flaps making 2o , is brought in contact with water
keeping its common edge vertical as shown in figure. Find the height of water column at a distance
of 2 cm from the common edge. Surface tension of water is 0.075 N/m. Take the angle of contact
for water and plastic to be 0o .

Problem 21. In a thought experiment to be performed in free space, two disks of masses m1 and
m2 are used to close the ends of a perfectly evacuated tube of mass m and length l. One of the
disks emits a photon of frequency ν that is absorbed by the other disk. Find the displacement ∆r
of the tube in this process. Denote the Planck’s constant by h, and the speed of light by c.