Physics 163 Second Semester Review

This web page provides links to online resources which will be useful for preparation for the second semester final exam. Each individual concept is categorized according to subject and linked to relevant pages at the GBS site. The number of questions pertaining to each subject category is listed in parenthesis. To perform well on the second semester exam, you will need to internalize the meaning of the listed concepts. These concepts will have to be utilized, applied and connected. In addition to this review sheet, there is also a series of practice questions with accompanying answers.


Unit 7: Einstein's Special Theory of Relativity (No Qs this year)

Two Postulates of Relativity

Time Dilation

  • Light clock thought experiment
  • Dependence of time measurements on reference frames and relative speed
  • Twin trip thought experiment w/flashing lights on traveling spaceship
  • Spacetime travel


Length Contraction

  • Dependence of length measurements on reference frames and relative speed
  • Equation and its use
  • Contraction in dimension of travel only


Relativistic momentum and kinetic energy

  • Dependence of mass upon reference frame and relative speed
  • Why objects cannot be pushed past the speed of light
  • Rest energy
  • E = m*c2 


Unit 8: Static Electricity (10 Q's)

Neutral and Charged Objects
  • Atomic structure: nucleus w/tightly bound protons and neutrons and electrons in an outer shell; only electrons can be added or removed by ordinary means
  • Using an electron/proton count to determine the charge (+, -, or neutral) on an object
  • Using the charge of 1 electron and the number of excess or deficient electrons to determine the charge on an object
  • Conductors vs. insulators


Charge Interactions

  • Opposites attract, likes repel, and neutral and charged objects attract
  • Polarization as an explanation of why neutral and charged objects attract
  • Coulombs' Law: equation, problem-solving, using as a guide to predicting the effect of Q or d on the force of electrical interaction


Charging an Object and Grounding an Object

  • Charging by contact - method; result; explanation
  • Charging by friction - method; result; explanation
  • Charging by induction - method; result; explanation; examples
  • Grounding a charged object such as an electroscope or an electrophorus plate; examples



Unit 9: Current Electricity (11 Q's)

Basic Circuit Principles
  • Two requirements for a circuit
  • Role of the battery in a circuit
  • Source of charge in a circuit


Mathematical Quantities in Circuits

  • Current - definition; units; symbol; direction of charge flow; comparison of i values at various locations about a circuit
  • Voltage (a.k.a. as "electric potential difference") - definition; units; symbol; comparison of V values at various locations about a circuit; relation to energy
  • Resistance - definition; units; symbol; cause of resistance; variables effecting amount of resistance
  • Power - definition; units; symbol
  • V = I*R equation
  • P = I*V=Work/time = I2*R equations


Ciruit Connections

  • Series connections - definition; effect of increasing # of devices in series upon total (equivalent) resistance, total current, bulb brightness, etc.
  • Parallel connections - definition; effect of increasing # of devices in series upon total (equivalent) resistance, total current, bulb brightness, etc.
  • Mathematics of series and parallel circuits



Unit 10: Waves (5 Q's)

Basic Wave Principles

Wave Behavior

Standing Waves



Unit 11: Sound and Music (12 Q's)

The Nature of a Sound Wave

Sound Properties and Behaviors

Resonance and Standing Waves and Musical Instruments


Unit 12: Light and Color (4 Q's)

Electromagnetic and Visible Light Spectrum
  • Regions of EM spectrum and relative frequencies and wavelengths
  • Visible light spectrum; ROYGBIV; relative frequencies and wavelengths



  • Def'n of polarized light
  • Four methods of polarizing light





Unit 13: Reflection and Mirrors (7 Q's)


Plane Mirror Ray Diagrams

Concave Mirrors

Convex Mirrors



Unit 14: Refraction and Lenses (7 Q's)

Refraction at Boundaries

Snell's Law

Total Internal Reflection






Return to:

2nd Semester Practice Questions

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Physics 163 Home Page
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This page maintained by Tom Henderson of Glenbrook South High School.

Comments and suggestions can be sent by e-mail to Tom Henderson.

This page last updated on 5/25/01.