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Physics Papers

Physics for Leaving Certificate

Launching Rockets

Every year after we finish the Mechanics section we have a bit of fun launching water rockets powered by air pressure and elbow grease. Here is a video clip taken by Dara Callanan of 5th year in March 2014. First watch the clip then make up a theory as to how the rocket works, then see my theory as to why it works below.

Water Rocket Launch

How our water rocket works

The rocket is a decorated 2 litre plastic bottle which we filled about 1/4 full with water. We then stick it onto a rubber stopper. We already pushed a football valve through the stopper and attached a floor pump to it. When we pump it up the pressure inside the bottle increases until it overcomes the friction between the stopper and the neck of the bottle. Then the bottle shoots off the stopper, the water is pushed downwards while the bottle accelerates upwards. Some people explain it using Newton`s third law which states that for every action (force downwards on the water) there must be an equal and opposite reaction (force upwards on the bottle) but I do not think this explains it fully. The conservation of momentum says that total momentum before must equal total momentum after the explosion. Since the bottle is stationary before it shoots off then it has momentum = 0. Once it shoots off its momentum upwards must be equal and opposite to the water`s momentum downwards. One is + and one is - so they both add to 0 so momentum is conserved. Momentum is mass x velocity so to get maximum velocity you need to keep the bottle`s mass fairly small - not too much water. But if you use too little water it runs out before the pressure does so there is a balance. As usual in physics the best way to find the balance is by experiment, which is why we enjoy experiments so much! [John Loughran, April 2014]

Exam Papers and Marking Schemes

The following links allow you to easily download the Leaving Certificate exams and marking schemes in Physics, both higher and ordinary level, since the introduction of a new syllabus which was first examined in 2002. These are also available from the www.examinations.ie website but are more difficult to access. Tá siad ar fáil ansin trí Gaeilge freisin.

The files are all in PDF format for which you will need a PDF reader such as Adobe Reader or NitroPDF Reader which can be found on Google and downloaded for free if your computer has not already got one.

The first few links below are bundles of exam papers or marking schemes which are zipped (compressed) for faster dowload. Some computers unzip these automatically. If not just download a free unzipper such as "UnZip For Windows".

L. C. Physics Higher Level 2002 - 2011 zip file:
Exam Papers - Marking Schemes

L. C. Physics Ordinary Level 2002 - 2011 zip file:
Exam Papers - Marking Schemes

L. C. Physics Higher Level 2002 - Exam Paper - Marking Scheme
L. C. Physics Higher Level 2003 - Exam Paper - Marking Scheme
L. C. Physics Higher Level 2004 - Exam Paper - Marking Scheme
L. C. Physics Higher Level 2005 - Exam Paper - Marking Scheme
L. C. Physics Higher Level 2006 - Exam Paper - Marking Scheme
L. C. Physics Higher Level 2007 - Exam Paper - Marking Scheme
L. C. Physics Higher Level 2008 - Exam Paper - Marking Scheme
L. C. Physics Higher Level 2009 - Exam Paper - Marking Scheme
L. C. Physics Higher Level 2010 - Exam Paper - Marking Scheme
L. C. Physics Higher Level 2011 - Exam Paper - Marking Scheme

L. C. Physics Ordinary Level 2002 - Exam Paper - Marking Scheme
L. C. Physics Ordinary Level 2003 - Exam Paper - Marking Scheme
L. C. Physics Ordinary Level 2004 - Exam Paper - Marking Scheme
L. C. Physics Ordinary Level 2005 - Exam Paper - Marking Scheme
L. C. Physics Ordinary Level 2006 - Exam Paper - Marking Scheme
L. C. Physics Ordinary Level 2007 - Exam Paper - Marking Scheme
L. C. Physics Ordinary Level 2008 - Exam Paper - Marking Scheme
L. C. Physics Ordinary Level 2009 - Exam Paper - Marking Scheme
L. C. Physics Ordinary Level 2010 - Exam Paper - Marking Scheme
L. C. Physics Ordinary Level 2011 - Exam Paper - Marking Scheme

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