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National Science Olympiad Physics Question Paper :

Name of the Organization : SAASTA – South African Agency for Science & Technology Advancement
Announcement : National Science Olympiad
Year : 2016
Type : Past Papers
Subject : Physics

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National Science Olympiad Physics Question Paper

Physical Science :


** This is a multiple choice paper. Please answer all the questions on the answer sheet provided.

Related : SAASTA National Science Olympiad Chemistry Paper :

** Each question is followed by answers marked A, B, C and D. Only one answer is correct. Choose the most correct answer and shade the corresponding circle on the answer sheet completely using an HB pencil.

** NB! The answer sheets are marked electronically – do not make any other dots or marks on the answer sheet.
** Select only one answer for each question or your answer will be discarded. Ensure that you shade your selection clearly.

** Note that the question numbers 1 – 100 on the answer sheet moves from top to bottom in several columns.
** Ensure that the number of your selection on the answer sheet corresponds with the number of the question in your examination paper. Should you make a mistake, please erase the incorrect answer completely.

** The use of non-programmable electronic calculators is permitted.
** The last three pages of the examination paper contain data for physics as well as a periodic table that you are allowed to use.
** Three hours are allowed to answer the questions

Sample Questions

1. Which one of the following is a unit of power?
A. kWh
B. J
C. Nm
D. W

2. If the velocity of an object changes, we can be certain that
A. A single force acted on the object
B. A net external force acted on the object
C. The momentum of the object has been conserved
D. The direction of the object must have changed

3. The law which best explains why momentum is conserved in a collision is
A. Newton’s 1st Law
B. Newton’s 2nd Law
C. Newton’s 3rd Law
D. Newton’s Law of Universal Gravitation

4. A cup of hot tea placed on a metallic table loses heat by
A. Conduction only
B. Radiation and evaporation only
C. Convection only
D. All of the above

Questions 5 and 6 refer to the following situation.
A police car is parked at the side of a highway with its engine running. A car speeds past the police car at 30 m.s-1. The police immediately give chase, moving with a constant acceleration, until they catch the speeding car after 50 seconds. The speeding car maintains a constant speed of 30 m.s-1 throughout the chase.

5. The speed of the police car at the instant it reaches the speeding car is
A. 15 m.s-1
B. 50 m.s-1
C. 25 m.s-1
D. 60 m.s-1

6. The acceleration of the police car is
A. 1.2 m.s-2
B. 1.5 m.s-2
C. 12 m.s-2
D. 15 m.s-2

7. A car began accelerating from rest and then stopped quickly. After waiting a short time, it then moved off again in the opposite direction. Which velocity – time graph best describes the motion of the car?
A. East
B. West
C. North
D. South

9. The diagram below shows a pendulum which is used to regulate a clock. The clock is running low, so a physicist works out that if she were to place a ring with a pre-calculated mass M on the bob as shown, the clock would keep good time again. Which one of the following statements is true?
A. It wouldn’t work as the bob would then be heavier and the clock would slow even more.
B. Adding the mass would make no difference since the period of a pendulum is independent of the mass of the bob.
C. It wouldn’t work as the only way to change the period of the pendulum is to change the length of the pendulum shaft.
D. By placing the ring on the bob, the effective length of the pendulum is shortened, and so decreases the period allowing the clock to keep proper time.

10. In which interval on the following graph is the object speeding up?
A. 8 s – 11 s
B. 8 s – 13 s
C. 11 s – 13 s
D. 13 s – 16 s

11. A stone is thrown vertically upwards with a velocity of 29.4 m.s-1 from the edge of a cliff 78.4 m high. The stone falls so that it just misses the edge of the cliff and hits the ground at the foot of the cliff. The time taken by the stone to reach the ground is: (assume the acceleration due to gravity, g = 9.8 m.s-2.)
A. 2 s
B. 8 s
C. 14.7 s
D. 88.2 s

12. A vehicle of mass 1 000 kg increases its velocity from 5 m.s-1 to 10 m.s-1 in 15 seconds. The increase in kinetic energy is
A. 75 000 J
B. 37 500 J
C. 5 000 J
D. 2 500 J

13. The combined frictional force and air resistance on a cyclist has force F = kv, where v is the velocity and k is a constant of value 4 N(m.s)-1.The maximum power the cyclist can generate is 600 W. What is the cyclist’s maximum speed on a level road?
A. 12.2 m.s-1
B. 6.12 m.s-1
C. 17.3 m.s-1
D. Unable to calculate unless the air resistance is known.

14. A vehicle of mass 800 kg is moving at 8 m.s-1 is brought to rest in a distance of 40 m. The force exerted on the vehicle to do this is
A. 6 400 N opposite to the direction of motion.
B. 640 N opposite to the direction of motion
C. 640 N in the direction of motion
D. 1 288 N opposite to the direction of motion

15. A soccer ball of mass 0.42 kg is moving horizontally at 10 m.s-1 towards a footballer’s boot, who kicks it and it returns along the same path as before. If the impulse on the ball is 11 Ns, what is its speed, in m.s-1, afterwards?
A. 2.62
B. 6.8
C. 15.2
D. 16.2

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