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Organisation : Department of Basic Education
Exam : National Senior Certificate Examinations
Document Type : NSC Sample Question Paper
Subject : Physical Sciences
Category : Grade 12
Year : 2017
Website :
Download Sample Question Paper :
Paper 1
Paper 2 :
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Education NSC Examination Physical Sciences Question Paper

Marks: 150
Time : 3 hours
** This question paper consists of 16 pages and 3 data sheets.

Related / Similar Question Paper :
NSC Examination Information Technology Question Paper 2017

Instructions & Information

1. Write your centre number and examination number in the appropriate spaces on the ANSWER BOOK.
2. This question paper consists of 10 questions. Answer ALL the questions in the ANSWER BOOK.

3. Start EACH question on a NEW page in the ANSWER BOOK.
4. Number the answers correctly according to the numbering system used in this question paper.
5. Leave ONE line between two subquestions, for example between QUESTION 2.1 and QUESTION 2.2.

6. You may use a non-programmable calculator.
7. You may use appropriate mathematical instruments.
8. You are advised to use the attached DATA SHEETS.
9. Show ALL formulae and substitutions in ALL calculations.
10.Round off your final numerical answers to a minimum of TWO decimal places.
11.Give brief motivations, discussions et cetera where required.
12.Write neatly and legibly.

Sample Questions

Various options are provided as possible answers to the following questions. Write down the question number (1.1–1.10), choose the answer and make a cross (X) over the letter (A–D) of your choice in the ANSWER BOOK.

1.1 According to Newton’s Second Law of Motion, the acceleration of an object is …
A independent of its mass.
B always equal to its mass.
C directly proportional to its mass.
D inversely proportional to its mass.

1.2 The diagram below shows three blocks, P, Q and R, suspended from a ceiling. The blocks are identical, stationary and have the same mass but are at different heights above the ground.
The connecting strings are massless and inextensible. The tensions in the strings attached to blocks P, Q and R are TP, TQ and TR respectively.
A TP > TQ > TR
B TP < TQ < TR
C TP = TQ = TR
D TP > TQ and TQ < TR

1.3 A ball is projected vertically upwards from the ground. It returns to the ground, makes an elastic collision with the ground and then bounces to a maximum height. Ignore air resistance.
Which ONE of the following velocity-time graphs CORRECTLY describes the motion of the ball?

1.4 When the velocity of a moving object is doubled, the …
A net work done by the object is doubled.
B kinetic energy of the object is doubled.
C potential energy of the object is doubled.
D linear momentum of the object is doubled.(2)

1.5 The net work required to stop a moving object is equal to the …
A inertia of the object.
B change in kinetic energy of the object.
C change in momentum of the object.
D change in impulse of the object.

(Start on a new page.)
In the diagram below, a small object of mass 2 kg is sliding at a constant velocity of 1,5 m·s-1 down a rough plane inclined at 7o to the horizontal surface.
At the bottom of the plane, the object continues sliding onto the rough horizontal surface and eventually comes to a stop.
The coefficient of kinetic friction between the object and the surface is the same for both the inclined surface and the horizontal surface.

2.1 Write down the magnitude of the net force acting on the object. (1)
2.2 Draw a labelled free-body diagram for the object while it is on the inclined plane. (3)

2.3 Calculate the:
2.3.1 Magnitude of the frictional force acting on the object while it is sliding down the inclined plane (3)
2.3.2 Coefficient of kinetic friction between the object and the surfaces (3)
2.3.3 Distance the object travels on the horizontal surface before it comes to a stop (5) [15]

(Start on a new page.)
A hot-air balloon moves vertically downwards at a constant velocity of 1,2 m·s-1. When it reaches a height of 22 m from the ground, a ball is dropped from the balloon. Refer to the diagram below.
Assume that the dropping of the ball has no effect on the speed of the hot-air balloon. Ignore air friction for the motion of the ball.
3.1 Explain the term projectile motion. (2)
3.2 Is the hot-air balloon in free fall? Give a reason for the answer. (2)

3.3 Calculate the time it takes for the ball to hit the ground after it is dropped. (4) When the ball lands on the ground, it is in contact with the ground for 0,3 s and then it bounces vertically upwards with a speed of 15 m·s-1.

3.4 Calculate how high the balloon is from the ground when the ball reaches its maximum height after the first bounce.

(Start on a new page.)
4.1 Define the term impulse in words. (2)
4.2 The diagram below shows a gun mounted on a mechanical support which is fixed to the ground. The gun is capable of firing bullets rapidly in a horizontal direction.
The gun fires 220 bullets per minute. The mass of each bullet is 0,03 kg.

Calculate the :
4.2.1 Magnitude of the momentum of each bullet when it leaves the gun (3)
4.2.2 The net average force that each bullet exerts on the gun (5)
4.3 Without any further calculation, write down the net average horizontal force that the mechanical support exerts on the gun. (2)

(Start on a new page.)
A lift arrangement comprises an electric motor, a cage and its counterweight. The counterweight moves vertically downwards as the cage moves upwards. The cage and counterweight move at the same constant speed. Refer to the diagram below.
The cage, carrying passengers, moves vertically upwards at a constant speed, covering 55 m in 3 minutes. The counterweight has a mass of 950 kg. The total mass of the cage and passengers is 1 200 kg. The electric motor provides the power needed to operate the lift system. Ignore the effects of friction.

5.1 Define the term power in words. (2)

5.2 Calculate the work done by the:
5.2.1 Gravitational force on the cage (3)
5.2.2 Counterweight on the cage (2)

QUESTION 6 : (Start on a new page.)
6.1 A sound source is moving at constant velocity past a stationary observer. The frequency detected as the source approaches the observer is 2 600 Hz. The frequency detected as the source moves away from the observer is 1 750 Hz. Take the speed of sound in air as 340 m·s-1.

6.1.1 Name the phenomenon that describes the apparent change in frequency detected by the observer. (1)
6.1.2 State ONE practical application of the phenomenon in QUESTION 6.1.1 in the field of medicine. (1)
6.1.3 Calculate the speed of the moving source. (6)

6.1.4 Will the observed frequency INCREASE, DECREASE or REMAIN THE SAME if the velocity of the source increased as it:
(a) Moves towards the observer (1)
(b) Moves away from the observer (1)

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