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Physics Paper 3, May/June 2014  
Questions: 1 2 3 Main
General Comments







Question 1


You are provided with a retort stand, clamp and boss head, a pendulum bob, a piece of thread, a stop watch and other necessary materials.

(i)         Set up the apparatus as illustrated in the diagram above.
(ii)        Measure and record the distance h = 130 cm from the centre of the bob to the point of suspension of the pendulum.
(iii)       Displace the pendulum through a small angle and release.
            Allow the pendulum to oscillate freely.
(iv)       Determine the time, t for 20 complete oscillations.
(v)        Also determine the period, T of the oscillations.
(vi)       Evaluate T2 and L = h – 30.
(vii)      Repeat the procedure for four other values of h = 110 cm, 90 cm, 70 cm and 50 cm respectively.
(viii)     Tabulate your readings.
(ix)       Plot a graph with T2 on the vertical axis and L on the horizontal axis, starting both axes from the origin (0, 0)
(x)        Determine the slope, s, of the graph and intercept, e, on the vertical axis.
(xi)       Evaluate:

            (α)        k1 =    4π2

(b)       k2 =                                         [Take π  = 3.14]

(xii)      State two precautions taken to obtain accurate results.


(b)(i)      What is meant by the period of oscillation of an oscillating body?

     (ii)    Explain acceleration of free fall due to gravity.


Part (a):  This was a popular question among the candidates and performance was average.  However, few candidates could not draw good graphs using their values.

Part (b):  The (i) was well attempted while in (ii) virtually all the candidates left out the key word falling under its own weight alone in the explanation.

Candidates are expected to:

  1. Measure and record five values of h to at least 1 d.p. in cm.
  2. Determine and record five values of time t to at least 1 d.p. in seconds and in trend.
  3. Correctly evaluate and record to at least 2 d.p.
  4. Correctly evaluate and record five values of T2 to at least 2 d.p.
  5. Correctly evaluate five values of L = h – 30
  6. Show composite table containing h, L, t, T and T2


-           Plot a graph using reasonable scales
-           draw line of best fit
-           determine the slope of the graph and the intercept c
-           evaluate k1 = k1 =  4π2/s and k2 =
-           state any two of the following precautions

               e.g  -    Avoided conical oscillations 
                      -    Ensured firm suspension of pendulum
                      -    Ensured reading is repeated (shown on the table)
                      -    Avoided draught
                      -    Corrected/noted for zero error of metre rule/ stop match/clock
                      -    Avoided parallax error in reading metre rule/ stop clock
       (b)  (i)   The period of oscillation of a body is the time taken for the body to make one
                    complete to and from movement                                                                              

             (ii)   When a body is falling under its weight (alone), the rate of increase of its
                    velocity with time (as a result of the earth’s gravitational pull) is the acceleration
                    of free fall due to gravity.

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