ChemPhys 173 - Semester Review

Second Semester, 2007-2008



Background Information

The physics exam for ChemPhys 173 will be during the week of Finals. The exam will be a 90-minute exam covering all topics learned during the year. The majority of questions will focus on second semester topics. Detailed questions and problems regarding topics from the first three units of the school year are not likely; rather, it is more likely that major ideas from those units would be targetted. The exam will be started the moment the exam period begins and will be collected at the end of the 90-minute exam period; extra time will not be alloted. If there are special circumstances that require that you need additional time, then see Mr. Henderson privately before the day of the exam to discuss those circumstances.

Most of the questions are multiple-choice. Eight of the approximately 93 questions will not be multiple choice; rather, you will determine the numerical answer to a physics word problem. Many of the multiple choice questions include up to 10 possible choices - from a through e and such choices as ab, ac, ad, etc. Planning to guess on questions is unlikely to be a wise alternative to planning to prepare. All questions are worth the same amount of credit; there is no partial credit on any of the questions. Each section/Mods will have a separate form of the exam with very similar questions. The exam is not likely to be curved; it would not be surprising if there were a few perfect or near-perfect scores. Your exam score in physics will be averaged with your exam score in chemistry. This averaged score will comprise 20% of your semester grade in ChemPhys.



Contents of Exam

There are approximately 93 questions on the final exam. The questions cover the following topics:


Approx. # of Qs

Reflection and Refraction:

  • The law of reflection
  • Plane mirror images and their characteristics
  • Curved mirror images; the effect of object location on image characteristics
  • Real vs. virtual images
  • Refraction - definition, cause, direction of bending, the lone exception
  • Snell's law
  • Total internal reflection
  • Lenses - effect on light; image characteristics

~5 Qs

Waves, Sound and Music:

  • Wave characteristics - wavelength, amplitude, frequency, speed, period, etc.
  • Nature of a sound wave; longitudinal, mechanical, pressure wave.
  • Properties of sound and their relationships; frequency, pitch, wavelength, period, amplitude, loudness, intensity, deciBel scale, speed
  • Doppler effect
  • Resonance, natural frequency and forced vibration; standing wave patterns; harmonics and fundamental
  • Guitar string mathematics; standing wave patterns; lambda-length relationships; v-f-lambda relationships
  • Air column instruments - mathematics; standing wave patterns; lambda-length relationships; v-f-lambda relationships
  • Sound interference; beats; timbre

~17 Qs

Light and Color:

  •  Electromagnetic and visible light spectrum; wavelength and frequency
  •  Polarization of light; polarized vs. unpolarized light; use of polaroid filters; polarization axis vsl molecule alignment; polarization by reflection
  • Two-point source interference; nodal and anti-nodal lines; path difference and type of interference
  • Young's experiment; relationship between variables; mathematical computation of wavelenth
  • Primary colors of light
  • Color addition; secondary colors of light
  • Pigments; secondary colors of light
  • Color subtraction
  • Filters and shadows

~18 Qs

One-Dimensional Kinematics:

  • Vector vs. scalar; examples
  • Distance vs. displacement; speed vs. velocity
  • Average speed and average velocity; versus instantaneous values
  • Acceleration - definition, units, direction, equation, calculations of a
  • Representing motion by dot diagrams; constant speed vs. accelerated motion
  • Representing motion by position-time and velocity-time data
  • Representing motion by position-time graphs; meaning of shape and slope of plots; determination of velocity; relating the motion to graph features
  • Representing motion by velocity-time graphs; meaning of shape, slope and area of plots; determination of displacement and acceleration; relating the motion to graph features
  • Kinematic equations and problem solving
  • Free fall scenarios and problem solving

~23 Qs

Vectors and Projectiles:

  • Vector vs. scalar; examples; direction
  • Vector addition - graphical method; component method; resultant
  • Vector resolution; vector components; trigonometric analysis
  • Relative velocity; riverboat problems (3 basic questions)
  • Independence of perpendicular components of motion
  • Projectile concepts - definition; acceleration, velocity, dot diagram, vector diagrams
  • Projectile mathematics - horizontally launched projectiles; non-horizontally launched projectiles

~23 Qs

Several of the questions require the use of a calculator; complex analysis are not common. Many quantitative questions are accompanied by a diagram - e.g., a resonance pattern or a velocity-time graph - which forms the basis of the computation. When a calculation is involved, it is usually a straight-forward calculation. There are very few blue problems (if any). Lots of questions can be answered quickly. Many questions are easy to very easy; others are of medium difficulty; few (if any) are complex; and none are impossible. The questions are much more general than what you would normally find on unit tests; small nuances are not the focus of the exam. Keep in mind that all questions are worth the same number of points. So do not blow 10 minutes trying to solve a standing wave in an air column question at the expense of other easier questions. If such a problem is that difficult for you, then count it as a loss and continue on with those questions which you do know. Return to the troublesome questions at the end of the test.

The following math equations will be provided on the test. You will be responsible for knowing the meaning of the symbols. All other equations (equations for acceleration, average speed, etc.) will have to be commited to memory.

f = 1 / T
v = f * lambda
c = 3.0 * 108 m/s
lambda = y * d / (m*L)
v = d / t
a = Delta v / t
d = [(vo + vf) / 2] • t
d = vo • t + 0.5 • a • t2

vf = vo + a • t

vf2 = vo 2 + 2 • a • d


How to Prepare

There are numerous ways to prepare for the test. The best ways are those which help you learn the material. This will be different for differnt learners with different learning styles. The main thing is to devote some time to the preparation process. There are numerous preparation tasks which can be done, all of which should help. The following provides some ideas:


Some absolute imperatives include:



Return to:

|| ChemPhys Review Session || Physics Classroom || Multimedia Physics Studios || ChemPhys Home || ChemPhys 173 Home || ChemPhys 273 Home || GBS Physics Home Page ||

Last update: 5/29/2008