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Wonders of Physics

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When to use the concept PV = constant and P1V1 = P2V2 to solve?

When temperature is constant (for o-level), when a fixed mass of gas (fixed number of air molecules) is compressed in a closed system (e.g. piston), the volume V decreases and pressure P increases, and vice versa.

But when you multiply pressure and volume, PV, it is always a constant.

PV = constant

Hence we can always equate the PV of the first scenario = to the PV of the second scenario, provided there is no addition or removal of air molecules from the system.

Hence, you have P1V1 = P2V2

The followings are 4 different questions which require this concept to solve. Do revise them.

Solutions: Option D (refer to the worked solutions below)

Solutions: Option D

Solutions: A




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Different Lens Ray Diagram questions

Drawing ray diagrams for converging lens come in many forms. But the basic concepts needed are the 3 rays (which have rules to follow) to locate the image. The following ray diagrams for the 4 scenarios must be learned well, together with the respective image characteristics and applications.



With the basic concepts learned, when questions are asked in different ways, you should be able to draw the ray diagrams. Refer to some different ray diagram questions below and their video tutorials.














Lens J from evantoh on Vimeo.

Click the followings for other lens ray diagram questions. https://evantoh23.wordpress.com/2010/11/09/20101109converging-lens-important-concepts/


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Vector Diagram – Parallelogram Method for 4 different kinds of questions

For Combined Science Physics Olevel, when constructing vector diagram, a method called Parallelogram Method is commonly used.

Parallelogram Method is used when 2 forces are known, and the resultant (net) force R, can be found.

Below show 5 different variations of questions when can be solved by using Parallelogram Method:

(A) Body has acceleration, forces are unbalanced, there is a resultant force R (Newton’s 2nd law)
(B) Body at rest, all forces are balanced, there is no resultant force R (Newton’s 1st law)
(C) Body moving at constant velocity, all forces are balanced, there is no resultant force (Newton’s 1st law)
(D) Finding unknown force (with resultant force R  + another known force are given)
(F) Vector diagram is applicable to all vector quantities (with magnitude and direction). Not just for forces.

Click here to view video tutorials on how to construct parallelogram step-by-step

Vector Diagram Parallelogram 01Vector Diagram Parallelogram 02Vector Diagram Parallelogram 03Vector Diagram Parallelogram 04

For Pure Physics, another method is the closed-loop triangle, where only 1 known force with 2 other unknown force. Click here to view the video tutorials.