Physics experiments

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All experiments required for physics leaving cert
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Measurement of the focal length of a concave mirror

1/f = 1/u + 1/v, focus crosshairs using a mirror, distance between crosshairs and ray box is focal length


Measurement of the focal length of a converging lens

Image of distant object on paper, distance between lens and paper is focal length


Measurement of the refractive index of a solid or liquid. Verification of snells law

Pins, two apparent position, two normal, construct angles for sin I and sin R


Measurement of the wavelength of monochromatic light

⦁ Use a spectrometer and measure the angles at which the fringe of light can be observed for the 1st, 2nd, 3rd orders
⦁ Nλ = d sin0* , d = distance between diffraction gratings, = 1/N x 10 ^-3 (N = order)
⦁ λ = wavelength, 0* = angles measured on spectrometer N = order (1st, 2nd, etc.)


Measurement of velocity and acceleration

⦁ V^2 = U^2 2as
⦁ V^2 - U^2 / 2S
⦁ air track experiment


To verify Newtons 2nd Law. To show that a <( F.,

Last one but with weights


Verification of the principle of conservation of momentum

P = mv, air track with second trolley, measure speed before and after collision between trolleys.


Measurement of acceleration due to gravity, by means of a simple pendulum.

⦁ T = 2Pi x Square root of l/g
⦁ T = period, l = length of pendulum, g = force of gravity.


Investigation of the laws of equilibrium for a set of co-planar forces

Meter stick, balance it with weights using moments of force.


Verification of Boyle’s law

Pressure apparatus, P <( 1/V


Measurement of the speed of sound in air.

⦁ Fill a graduated cylinder with water, immerse a “resonance tube” in the water and strike a tuning fork, move the resonance tube until it resonates with the tuning fork, note the length between the top of the water and the top of the resonance tube, repeat for different tuning forks.
⦁ λ(L + 3d), L = length between top of water and top of resonance tube. D = diameter of resonance tube


Investigation of variation of the fundamental frequency of a stretched string with length.

Same but with screws instead of bridges, variating the tension with the screws.


Calibration curve of a thermometer using the mercury thermometer as a standard

Graph length of column of liquid against temperature from a thermometer


To find the specific heat capacity of a metal

S = 0* / MDelta0*

S = specific heat capacity, M = mass, Delta0* = change in temperature.


To find the specific latent heat of the fusion of ice

mcDelta0* + McDelta0* = ml + mcDelta0*
ice water latent heat molten ice


To find the specific latent heat of the vaporisation of water

Same thing above but with different states


To investigate the variations of current with potential difference for a metallic conductor.

P = RPiD^2 / 4L
P = potential difference, d = diameter of wire, l = length of wire


To investigate how the resistance of a metallic conductor varies with temperature

Coil of wire in boiling water, connected to battery and ohmmeter, measure resistance and temperature


To investigate how the resistance of a thermistor varies with temperature.

Same as above but replace wire with a thermistor


To verify Joule’s law.

H <( Delta0*

Coil through known mass of water, more heat from coil, i.e more energy, higher the temperature.

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