Evan's Space

Wonders of Physics

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Identifying what lens, focal length and image from 2 rays – PP2010P1Q23 and SP2014P1Q11

These 2 questions are actually the same. Q23 is from 2010 Pure Physics P1 while Q11 is from 2014 Sci Physics P1. Take a look at these 2 questions. If you are not sure, view the video below for the explanation.

Capture1 PP 2010

Answer to Q23: Option A

Capture2 2014SP

Answer to Q11: Option D

If you do not know how to answer these 2 questions, view this video and also refer to the lens summary below.



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Which is better to cool the food?

ice in cooling food items

Other examples in our daily lives:


In some supermarket, the seafood are placed outside of air-conditioned place. The seafood is kept cold by putting crushed ice covering the seafood to keep the them cold and fresh.

Refer to this Sci Physics question N2008P2Q6(b)


For the solid that does not melt, when thermal energy is absorbed from the surrounding  food, its temperature starts to rise. So it is not so effective at keeping the food cool.
For ice-pack, when thermal energy is absorbed from the surrounding food, it starts to melt. During melting process, a much larger quantity of thermal energy is absorbed from the food to melt per unit mass of ice, the temperature remains constant at 1oC, and the melting process is long. Hence ice-pack is more effective at keeping the food cool.

Related posts about ice:

Density of ice – Why ice floats on water?

Will whole lake be frozen during winter?



N2010 P2Q12 Fuel gauge using variable resistor



View the video on how the gauge works.

<p><a href=”https://vimeo.com/138991946″>fuel guage using ammeter and variable resistor</a> from <a href=”https://vimeo.com/user10931667″>evantoh</a&gt; on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

As the fuel level drops, the float which stays on the fuel surface will descend. The rod which is attached to the float will turn clockwise about the pivot X. As the rod turns, the resistance on the variable resistor increases. This increases the resistance of the circuit. Hence the current flowing through the circuit will decreases, causing the needle to deflect more to the left, indicating towards E (empty). Thus the reading on the fuel gauge decreases.



(i) Both the fixed resistor and sensor are in series.

Total effective resistance Re = 5000 + 1000 = 6000 ohms

V = IR
12 = I x 6000
I = 0.0020 A

Hence potential across Y, V = IR (where I is constant in a series circuit)
= 0.0020 x 1000
= 2.0 V

(ii) When the temperature increases and the resistance of sensor Y decreases, the total effective resistance of the circuit decreases. Current flowing through the circuit increases.

Since V = IR, where the R of the fixed resistor is a constant 5000 ohms, as current I increases, the potential difference across the 5000 ohms resistor will increase.

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OLevel SP P1 Q12 2010 focal length of lens using distant object

Which distance is equal to the focal length of a lens?

(A) the distance between a distant object and the image

(B) the distance between the image of a close object and the centre of the lens

(C) the distance between the image of a distant object and the centre of the lens

(D) the distance between two principal foci

Solutions: Option C

Focal length f is the distance between the focal point and the centre of the lens (optical centre).

Note that only when parallel rays of light enter a converging lens, the rays will converge to a point. That point is considered to be focal point F (principal focus). The distance between focal point F and the optical centre is the focal length f. Refer to below.

As none of the options is similar to the above definition, you have to consider that the rays from a distant (far away) object are considered parallel. Hence the sharp image formed on the screen is considered the forcal point F of the lens and the distance between the image and the optical centre is the focal length f.

Distant object

If it is a close object, the rays entering are not considered parallel. Hence even if the rays converged to a point, that point is NOT focal point F and the distance between this converged point and the optical centre is NOT focal length f.

close object


Click the following posts for other lens concepts:



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2013 Nov Sci Phy P2 Q9 – Pressure and Moment


(a) (i) A bigger force than F can be obtained due to the level system and hydraulic system.
Level system: Applying principle of moments, the anticlockwise moment by the F is equal to the clockwise moment by the force on piston A (note that the handle is pushing the piston down, but the piston A is pushing on the handle upwards – action = reaction). As the perpendicular distance from F to the pivot is greater than the perpendicular distance of the force by piston to the pivot, the force on the piston A is greater than F at handle.
Hydraulic system: As the pressure transmitted in the liquid is the same, pressure at piston A = pressure at piston B. As P = F/A and area of piston A is smaller than area of piston B, a larger force is obtained in piston B. 
Hence these two systems allow the force on piston B to be greater than F at the handle.

(a) (ii) Both liquid and gas molecules are in a continuously random motion. But in liquid, the molecules are closely packed together and able to slide around one another. There is very little empty space between the molecules hence liquid is not compressible. Gas molecules are far apart from one another, hence gas can be easily compressed.

(b) P = F/A = 12000 / 0.060 = 200 000 Pa

(c) Velocity is the vector quantity while speed is a scalar. As the car goes round the bend, the direction of the car changes. Hence velocity is changing even though speed is constant.

Likewise, as the velocity is changing, the car is considered to have an acceleration (not in the sense of increasing speed though).