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This page contains all of the IB physics topic 1 questions created from past IB physics topic 1 past papers. IB physics topic 1 covers the IB physics measurements and uncertainties content from the IB physics course. The sub-topics included are shown below, covering the IB physics topic 1 areas of: units, scientific notation, significant figures, random error, systematic error, uncertainties, vectors & scalar quantities, and vectors.

Our IB physics topic 1 questions on IB physics measurements and uncertainties test your topic 1 syllabus knowledge required for the IB physics topic 1 questions in the exam. They will also prepare you well for IB physics topic 1 past paper questions!

What is the fundamental SI unit of charge?

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Correct, the answer is A!

The SI units of charge are Ampere seconds (A s). Coulomb per second is the derived SI unit of current, Coulombs are the derived SI unit of charge, and Ohms are the derived SI unit of resistance

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Report ErrorWhich of the following are derived units?

I | Ohms (Ω) |

II | Kelvin (K) |

III | Candelas (cd) |

IV | Joules (J) |

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Correct, the answer is D!

Ohms and Joules are derived SI units, whereas Kelvin and Candelas are fundamental SI units.

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Report ErrorIt is estimated that the Sun will implode in 10^{17} seconds. In how many years would this event occur?

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Correct, the answer is A!

Converting to seconds, 10^{17} s ÷ 60 s/min ÷ 60 min/hr ÷ 24 hr/day ÷ 365.25 days/yr = 3.17 billion years

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Report ErrorHow many significant figures are in 5024.070 g?

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Correct, the answer is D!

All the digits are significant, so there are 7 significant figures

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Report ErrorWhat is the equivalent of 0.0000936 m?

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Correct, the answer is C!

The equivalent of 0.0000936 m is 0.0936 mm, 93.6 μm, or 93,600 nm

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Report ErrorWhat is the scientific notation of 4,010,000?

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Correct, the answer is B!

The scientific notation of 4,010,000 is 4.01 x10^{6}. Although 40.1 x10^{5} is technically correct, it is not in the range of 1 to 9.99 and thus incorrect notation

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Report ErrorWhat is the fundamental SI unit of voltage?

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Correct, the answer is A!

The fundamental SI units of a Volt is kg m^{2} s^{-3} A^{-1}. Volts (V) are the derived SI unit of voltage, A s is the fundamental SI unit of a Coulomb, and A s^{-3} is not a unit for quantity.

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Report ErrorWhich of the following are correct scientific notation?

I | 10.1 x10^{2} |

II | 2.03 x10^{-4} |

III | 0.930 x10^{2} |

IV | 5.758 x10^{15} |

Select an answer from the options

Correct, the answer is B!

10.1 x10^{2} and 0.930 x10^{2} are not within the 1 to 9.99 range of scientific notation, whereas 2.03 x10^{-4} and 5.758 x10^{15} are within this range

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Report ErrorWhat is the equivalent of 10,482 mW?

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Correct, the answer is D!

The equivalent of 10,482 mW is 10,482,000 μW, 10.482 W, or 0.010482 kW

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Report ErrorWhat is the fundamental SI unit of a Newton?

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Correct, the answer is D!

The fundamental SI unit of a Newton is kg m s^{-2}. The Newton (N) is a derived SI unit, and the other options are not units for quantities

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Report ErrorWhat is the standard form of 4.73 x 10^{-4}?

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Correct, the answer is C!

The standard form of 4.73 x 10^{-4} is 0.000473 as the decimal place is moved left one digit four times

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Report ErrorWhich of these numbers has 4 significant figures?

I | 3.024 |

II | 5910 |

III | 0.0304 |

IV | 5.206 x 10^{-4} |

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Correct, the answer is C!

The two options with 4 significant figures are 3.024 and 5.206 x10^{-4}. In 5910, they're 3 or 4 significant figures depending on the rounding, but is assumed to be 4, and in 0.0304, the leading zeros are non-significant, so they have 3 significant figures.

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Report ErrorThe mass of an electron is 9.109 x 10^{-31} kg. What is its equivalent?

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Correct, the answer is B!

The equivalent of 9.109 x 10^{-31} kg is 9.109 x 10^{-34} Mg, 9.109 x 10^{-37} Gg, 9.109 x 10^{-28} g, and 9.109 x 10^{-25} mg

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Report ErrorWhat is the scientific notation for 0.405 A?

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Correct, the answer is C!

The scientific notation for 0.405 A is 4.05 x 10^{-1} A. Although 405 mA and 4.05 x 10^{-4} kA are equal values, they are not in amperes

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Report ErrorWhich of these units are fundamental SI units?

I | Kilograms |

II | Volts |

III | Pascals |

IV | Amperes |

V | Joules |

Select an answer from the options

Correct, the answer is A!

Kilograms and Amperes are fundamental SI units. Volts, Pascals, and Joules are derived SI units

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Report ErrorThe Earth’s circumference is 40,007.8630 km. How many significant figures is this?

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Correct, the answer is D!

All the digits are significant, so there are 9 significant figures in 40,007.8630 km

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Report ErrorWhat is the equivalent of 40,369 mΩ?

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Correct, the answer is D!

The equivalent of 40,369 mΩ is 40,369,000 nΩ, 40.369 Ω, or 0.040369 kΩ

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Report ErrorWhat is the fundamental SI unit of a Pascal?

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Correct, the answer is D!

The fundamental SI unit of a Newton is kg m s^{-2}, whereas kg m^{2} s^{-3} A^{-1} is a Volt, kg m^{2} s^{-2} is a Joule, and kg m^{-1} s^{-2} is a Pascal

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Report ErrorHow many significant figures are in the number 0.00024857400?

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Correct, the answer is C!

There are 8 significant figures in 0.00024857400. The leading zeros are non-significant

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Report ErrorWhat is the equivalent of 258,000,000 Hz?

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Correct, the answer is C!

The equivalent of 258,000,000 Hz is 258,000 kHz, 258 MHz, or 0.258 GHz

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Report ErrorA piece of paper is measured to be 26 cm with a ruler marked in mm. What is the final measurement, including the uncertainty?

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Correct, the answer is D!

The ruler in this question is analog and its smallest unit is 1 mm or 0.1 cm. The uncertainty is thus ± 0.5 mm or ± 0.05 cm

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Report ErrorWhich of the following is correct?

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Correct, the answer is D!

Precision is how close repeat values are to one another. Accuracy is how close the values are to the true value. Therefore, a measurement can be precise but not accurate. Random errors are minimized with repeated trials, whereas systematic errors are no

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Report ErrorAn object’s mass is measured three times on a digital balance and shown in the table below

Trial 1 | Trial 2 | Trial 3 | |
---|---|---|---|

Mass (± 0.1 g) | 2.1 g | 2.0 g | 2.0 g |

What is the average mass of the object?

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Correct, the answer is B!

The average mass is (2.1 + 2.0 + 2.0) ÷ 3 = 2.033 g. The uncertainty is the sum of the uncertainties divided by the number of repeats, so (0.1 + 0.1 + 0.1) ÷ 3 = ± 0.1

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Report ErrorWhen an 80°C liquid is left to cool overnight, its temperature drops down to 16°C, measured with a thermometer marked with 2°C increments. What is the change in temperature of the liquid?

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Correct, the answer is A!

The thermometer in this question is analog and its smallest unit is 2°C. The uncertainty is thus ± 1°C.

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Report ErrorA liquid was measured in a burette marked with 0.2 mL increments. Which of the following would be a measurement with the correct uncertainty?

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Correct, the answer is B!

The burette in this question is analog and its smallest unit is 0.2 mL. The uncertainty is thus ± 0.1 mL

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Report ErrorThe current in a wire is 5.0 A ± 0.2 A. What is the percentage uncertainty?

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Correct, the answer is D!

Percentage uncertainty = (absolute uncertainty ÷ value) * 100. So, (0.2 ÷ 5.0) * 100% = 4%

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Report ErrorWhich of the following is a correctly drawn graph?

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Correct, the answer is A!

A drawn graph has labelled and scaled axes for quantitative measurement, shown by graphs II and IV. Graphs I and III do not have scaled axes and are sketched graphs

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Report ErrorA barometer measures pressure with a 5% percentage uncertainty. If the reading is 500 kPa, what is the absolute uncertainty?

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Correct, the answer is C!

Absolute uncertainty = (% uncertainty * value) ÷ 100. So, (5 * 500) ÷ 100 = 25

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Report ErrorA stopwatch is used to measure the time it takes for a ball to drop from a building. The ball falls at 5.02 seconds. What is the uncertainty?

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Correct, the answer is D!

The stopwatch in this question is a digital instrument and its smallest unit is 0.01 s. The uncertainty is thus ± 0.01 s

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Report ErrorWhich of the following will reduce random errors in an experiment?

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Correct, the answer is B!

A random error is reduced by performing repeated trials of an experiment. Using an instrument with a higher level of precision only increases precision. The remaining options are methods to reduce systematic error

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Report ErrorThe mass and volume of a cube have percentage uncertainties of ± 5% and ± 3%. What is the percentage uncertainty of the density of the cube?

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Correct, the answer is A!

The formula for density is density = mass ÷ volume. During division of two values, percentage uncertainties are summated and thus ± 5% + ± 3% = 8%

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Report ErrorWhat is true about a line of best fit?

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Correct, the answer is B!

The maximum slope is the gradient of the line between the lowest value of the first point and highest value of the last point. However, a line of best fit should go through as many data points and error bars as possible, its uncertainty is the maximum and minimum slopes, and the minimum y-intercept is found from the maximum slope

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Report ErrorA cube has a side length of 20 mm ± 1 mm. What is its volume?

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Correct, the answer is A!

The equation for the volume of a cube is V = s^{3}. So, V is 20^{3} = 8000 mm^{3}. Since the values are multiplied, their percentage uncertainties are added.

Percentage uncertainty = (absolute uncertainty ÷ value) * 100. So, (1 ÷ 20) * 100 = 5%.

Since the value was multiplied by itself three times, the total percentage uncertainty is 15%

Absolute uncertainty = (% uncertainty * value) ÷ 100. So, (15 * 8000) ÷ 100 = ± 1200 mm^{3}.

The lowest number of significant figures used was 1, so the uncertainty becomes ± 1000 mm^{3}

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Report ErrorAbsolute uncertainties are summated when

I | Two values are added |

II | Two values are multiplied |

III | Two values are divided |

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Correct, the answer is C!

Absolute uncertainties are summated when two values are added or subtracted. Percentage uncertainties are summated when two values are multiplied or divided

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Report ErrorA systematic error affects an experiment by

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Correct, the answer is D!

A systematic error is an inaccuracy that offsets all data equally. It thus decreases accuracy and does not affect precision

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Report ErrorA digital balance is used to measure a mass. The screen flickers and gives a measurement of 12.43 g, 12.44 g, and then finally lands on 12.45 g. What is the measurement with the correct uncertainty?

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Correct, the answer is B!

The measurement is the final one used, which is 12.45 g. A digital instrument has an uncertainty of ± the smallest unit, which is ± 0.01g in this question. Thus, the final measurement is 12.45 g ± 0.01 g

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Report ErrorThe minimum y-intercept can be determined from

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Correct, the answer is C!

The minimum y-intercept and maximum x-intercept are determined from the maximum line of best fit. The maximum y-intercept and minimum x-intercept are determined from the minimum line of best fit. The y-value 0 seconds could be the normal, maximum, or minimum y-intercept

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Report ErrorWhich of the following will reduce systematic errors in an experiment?

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Correct, the answer is A!

Systematic errors are reduced by eliminating methodological errors such as checking for zero error and calibration of the instrument. Performing repeated trials of an experiment reduces random error and using an instrument with a higher level of precision only increases precision

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Report ErrorA teacher is preparing a class presentation on the effect of temperature on pressure and wants to show the observed trend. Which is the appropriate graph to display this information?

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Correct, the answer is C!

Sketched graphs have labelled but unscaled axes and show qualitative trends. The graphs matching this description are graphs I and III. Graphs II and IV are drawn graphs with labelled and scaled axes to show quantitative measurements

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Report ErrorPercentage uncertainties are summated when

I | Two values are subtracted |

II | Two values are divided |

III | Two values are multiplied |

Select an answer from the options

Correct, the answer is C!

Percentage uncertainties are summated when two values are multiplied or divided. Absolute uncertainties are summated when two values are added or subtracted

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Report ErrorWhich of the following is a scalar quantity?

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Correct, the answer is B!

A scalar is a quantity with only magnitude, such as distance. A vector is a quantity with magnitude and a direction, such as force, voltage, and momentum

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Report ErrorThe two vectors below are added

What is the resultant vector?

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Correct, the answer is C!

Two vectors are added via the head-tail rule. The addition is shown below and forms the third vector

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Report ErrorTwo cars A and B travel towards a junction with velocities V_{A} and V_{B} as shown below.

What is the velocity vector of car A relative to car B?

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Correct, the answer is D!

Relative to car B, car A moves towards it. Thus, its velocity vector is down and right

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Report ErrorVectors m, n, and o are shown below

What is the equation of vector o in terms of vectors m and n?

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Correct, the answer is A!

In this question, the reverse head-tail rule can be used to put the first and last vector tails together and show the needed second vector. Doing this creates the complete vector diagram below

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Report ErrorResolve the following vector into its x and y components

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Correct, the answer is B!

The equation for the x-component of a vector is v_{x} = v * cosθ. So, vx is 5 * cos(37) = 4

The x-component is in the negative direction and thus becomes - 4

The equation for the y-component of a vector is vy = v * sinθ. So, vy is 5 * sin(37) = 3

The y-component is in the positive direction and thus stays positive

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Report ErrorA vector is shown below. What is the magnitude of its y-component?

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Correct, the answer is B!

The equation for the y-component of a vector is vy = v * sinθ. So, vy is 8 * sin(30) = 4

The y-component is in the negative direction and thus becomes - 4

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Report ErrorFrom the vectors shown below, m is subtracted from n.

What is the resultant vector?

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Correct, the answer is D!

Two vectors are added via the head-tail rule. The addition is shown below and forms the third vector

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Report ErrorWhich of the following is a vector?

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Correct, the answer is B!

A vector is a quantity with magnitude and a direction, such as current. A scalar is a quantity with only magnitude, such as length, mass, and temperature

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Report ErrorA vector is shown below. What is the magnitude of its x-component?

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Correct, the answer is C!

The equation for the x-component of a vector is v_{x} = v * cosθ. So, vx is 20 * cos(60) = 10. The x-component is in the positive direction and thus stays positive

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Report ErrorVectors m, n, and o are shown below. What is the equation of vector o in terms of vectors m and n?

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Correct, the answer is C!

In this question, the reverse head-tail rule can be used to put the first and last vector tails together and show the needed second vector. Doing this creates the complete vector diagram below

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Report ErrorNice work!

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