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AP Physics B Practice Exam

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By — McGraw-Hill Professional
Updated on Feb 14, 2011

Below is a practice exam for AP Physics B exam.  There are two sections in this practice exam.  Section I has 70 multiple choice questions.  Section II has 7 free response questions.  For a thorough review of the concepts in this practice exam, refer to the information center on AP Physics Notes.

Multiple Choice Questions

Time: 90 minutes. You may refer to the Constants sheet found in the Appendixes. However, you may not use the Equations sheet, and you may not use a calculator on this portion of the exam.

  1. A ball is thrown off of a 25-m-high cliff. Its initial velocity is 25 m/s, directed at an angle of 53° above the horizontal. How much time elapses before the ball hits the ground? (sin 53° = 0.80; cos 53° = 0.60; tan 53° = 1.3)
    1. 3.0 s
    2. 5.0 s
    3. 7.0 s
    4. 9.0 s
    5. 11.0 s
  2. A ball is dropped off of a cliff of height h. Its velocity upon hitting the ground is v. At what height above the ground is the ball's velocity equal to v/2?
  3. A golf cart moves with moderate speed as it reaches the base of a short but steep hill. The cart coasts up the hill (without using its brake or gas pedal). At the top of the hill the cart just about comes to rest; but then the cart starts to coast down the other side of the hill. Consider the forward motion of the cart to be positive. Which of the following velocity–time graphs best represents the motion of the cart?
  4. The velocity–time graph above represents a car on a freeway. North is defined as the positive direction. Which of the following describes the motion of the car?
    1. The car is traveling north and slowing down.
    2. The car is traveling south and slowing down.
    3. The car is traveling north and speeding up.
    4. The car is traveling south and speeding up.
    5. The car is traveling northeast and speeding up.
  5. A car was caught in heavy traffic. After 20 s of moving at constant speed, traffic cleared a bit, allowing the car to speed up. The car's motion is represented by the velocity–time graph above. What was the car's acceleration while it was speeding up?
    1. 0.5 m/s2
    2. 1.0 m/s2
    3. 1.5 m/s2
    4. 2.0 m/s2
    5. 3.0 m/s2
  6. A block of mass m sits on the ground. A student pulls up on the block with a tension T, but the block remains in contact with the ground. What is the normal force on the block?
    1. T + mg
    2. T - mg
    3. mg
    4. mg - T
    5. T
  7. A proton moving at constant velocity enters the region between two charged plates, as shown above. Which of the paths shown correctly indicates the proton's trajectory after leaving the region between the charged plates?
    1. A
    2. B
    3. C
    4. D
    5. E
  8. A mass hangs from two ropes at unequal angles, as shown above. Which of the following makes correct comparisons of the horizontal and vertical components of the tension in each rope?
  9. A free-body diagram includes vectors representing the individual forces acting on an object. Which of these quantities should NOT appear on a free-body diagram?
    1. tension of a rope
    2. mass times acceleration
    3. kinetic friction
    4. static friction
    5. weight
  10. An object rolls along level ground to the right at constant speed. Must there be any forces pushing this object to the right?
    1. Yes: the only forces that act must be to the right.
    2. Yes: but there could also be a friction force acting to the left.
    3. No: no forces can act to the right.
    4. No: while there can be forces acting, no force MUST act.
    5. The answer depends on the speed of the object.
  11. A person stands on a scale in an elevator. He notices that the scale reading is lower than his usual weight. Which of the following could possibly describe the motion of the elevator?
    1. It is moving down at constant speed.
    2. It is moving down and slowing down.
    3. It is moving up and slowing down.
    4. It is moving up and speeding up.
    5. It is moving up with constant speed.
  12. A mass m is attached to a mass 3m by a rigid bar of negligible mass and length L. Initially, the smaller mass is located directly above the larger mass, as shown above. How much work is necessary to flip the rod 180° so that the larger mass is directly above the smaller mass?
    1. 4mgL
    2. 2mgL
    3. mgL
    4. mgL
    5. mgL
  13. A ball rolls horizontally with speed v off of a table a height h above the ground. Just before the ball hits the ground, what is its speed?

Questions 14 and 15

Block B is at rest on a smooth tabletop. It is attached to a long spring, which in turn is anchored to the wall. Block A slides toward and collides with block B. Consider two possible collisions:

Case I: Block A bounces back off of block B.

Case II: Block A sticks to block B.

  1. Which of the following is correct about the speed of block B immediately after the collision?
    1. It is faster in case II than in case I ONLY if block B is heavier.
    2. It is faster in case I than in case II ONLY if block B is heavier.
    3. It is faster in case II than in case I regardless of the mass of each block.
    4. It is faster in case I than in case II regardless of the mass of each block.
    5. It is the same in either case regardless of the mass of each block.
  2. Which is correct about the period of the ensuing oscillations after the collision?
    1. The period is greater in case II than in case I if block B is heavier.
    2. The period is greater in case I than in case II if block B is heavier.
    3. The period is greater in case II than in case I regardless of the mass of each block.
    4. The period is greater in case I than in case II regardless of the mass of each block.
    5. The period is the same in either case.
  3. A ball collides with a stationary block on a frictionless surface. The ball sticks to the block. Which of the following would NOT increase the force acting on the ball during the collision?
    1. increasing the time it takes the ball to change the block's speed
    2. arranging for the ball to bounce off of the block rather than stick
    3. increasing the speed of the ball before it collides with the block
    4. increasing the mass of the block
    5. anchoring the block in place so that the ball/block combination cannot move after collision
  4. A 0.30-kg bird is flying from right to left at 30 m/s. The bird collides with and sticks to a 0.50-kg ball which is moving straight up with speed 6.0 m/s. What is the magnitude of the momentum of the ball/bird combination immediately after collision?
    1. 12.0 N · s
    2. 9.5 N · s
    3. 9.0 N · s
    4. 6.0 N · s
    5. 3.0 N · s
  5. A car slows down on a highway. Its engine is providing a forward force of 1000 N; the force of friction is 3000 N. It takes 20 s for the car to come to rest. What is the car's change in momentum during these 20 s?
    1. 10,000 kg.m/s
    2. 20,000 kg.m/s
    3. 30,000 kg.m/s
    4. 40,000 kg.m/s
    5. 60,000 kg.m/s
  6. Which of the following quantities is NOT a vector?
    1. magnetic field
    2. electric force
    3. electric current
    4. electric field
    5. electric potential
  7. Which of the following must be true of an object in uniform circular motion?
    1. Its velocity must be constant.
    2. Its acceleration and its velocity must be in opposite directions.
    3. Its acceleration and its velocity must be perpendicular to each other.
    4. It must experience a force away from the center of the circle.
    5. Its acceleration must be negative.
  8. A ball of mass m on a string swings back and forth to a maximum angle of 30° to the vertical, as shown above. Which of the following vectors represents the acceleration, a, of the mass at point A, the highest point in the swing?
  9. A planet of mass m orbits in a circle around a sun. The speed of the planet in its orbit is v; the distance from the planet to the sun is d. What is the magnitude and direction of the net force experienced by the planet?
  10. A mass m on a spring oscillates on a horizontal surface with period T. The total mechanical energy contained in this oscillation is E. Imagine that instead a new mass 4m oscillates on the same spring with the same amplitude. What is the new period and total mechanical energy?
  11. A satellite orbits the moon in a circle of radius R. If the satellite must double its speed but maintain a circular orbit, what must the new radius of its orbit be?
    1. 2 R
    2. 4 R
    3. 1⁄2 R
    4. 1⁄4 R
    5. R
  12. The Space Shuttle orbits 300 km above the Earth's surface; the Earth's radius is 6400 km. What is the gravitational acceleration experienced by the Space Shuttle?
    1. 4.9 m/s2
    2. 8.9 m/s2
    3. 9.8 m/s2
    4. 10.8 m/s2
    5. zero
  13. A cube of ice (specific gravity 0.90) floats in a cup of water. Several hours later, the ice cube has completely melted into the glass. How does the water level after melting compare to the initial water level?
    1. The water level is 10% higher after melting.
    2. The water level is 90% higher after melting.
    3. The water level unchanged after melting.
    4. The water level is 10% lower after melting.
    5. The water level is 90% lower after melting.
  14. A strong hurricane may include 50 m/s winds. Consider a building in such a hurricane. If the air inside the building is kept at standard atmospheric pressure, how will the outside air pressure compare to the inside air pressure?
    1. Outside pressure will be the same.
    2. Outside pressure will be about 2% greater.
    3. Outside pressure will be about 2% lower.
    4. Outside pressure will be about twice inside pressure.
    5. Outside pressure will be about half inside pressure.
  15. A heavy block sits on the bottom of an aquarium. Which of the following must be correct about the magnitude of the normal force exerted on the block by the aquarium bottom?
    1. The normal force is equal to the block's weight.
    2. The normal force is less than the block's weight.
    3. The normal force is greater than the block's weight.
    4. The normal force is equal to the buoyant force on the block.
    5. The normal force is greater than the buoyant force on the block.
  16. The density of water near the ocean's surface is ρo = 1.025 × 103 kg/m3. At extreme depths, though, ocean water becomes slightly more dense. Let ρ represent the density of ocean water at the bottom of a trench of depth d. What can be said about the gauge pressure at this depth?
    1. The pressure is greater than ρogd, but less than ρgd.
    2. The pressure is greater than ρgd.
    3. The pressure is less than ρogd.
    4. The pressure is greater than ρogd, but could be less than or greater than ρgd.
    5. The pressure is less than ρgd, but could be less than or greater than ρogd.
  17. A 1.0-m-long brass pendulum has a period of 2.0 s on a very cold (–10°C) day. On a very warm day, when the temperature is 30°C, what is the period of this pendulum?
    1. 1.0 s
    2. 1.4 s
    3. 1.8 s
    4. 2.0 s
    5. 4.0 s
  18. The state of a gas in a cylinder is represented by the PV diagram shown above. The gas can be taken through either the cycle ABCA, or the reverse cycle ACBA. Which of the following statements about the work done on or by the gas is correct?
    1. In both cases, the same amount of net work is done by the gas.
    2. In both cases, the same amount of net work is done on the gas.
    3. In cycle ABCA net work is done on the gas; in cycle ACBA the same amount of net work is done by the gas.
    4. In cycle ABCA net work is done by the gas; in cycle ACBA the same amount of net work is done on the gas.
    5. In both cycles net work is done by the gas, but more net work is done by the gas in ACBA than in ABCA.
  19. At room temperature, the rms speed of nitrogen molecules is about 500 m/s. By what factor must the absolute temperature T of the Earth change for the rms speed of nitrogen to reach escape velocity, 11 km/s?
    1. T must decrease by a factor of 50.
    2. T must increase by a factor of 22.
    3. T must increase by a factor of 50.
    4. T must increase by a factor of 200.
    5. T must increase by a factor of 500.
  20. One mole of He (atomic mass 4 amu) occupies a volume of 0.022 m3 at room temperature and atmospheric pressure. How much volume is occupied by one mole of O2 (atomic mass 32 amu) under the same conditions?
    1. 0.022 m3
    2. 0.088 m3
    3. 0.176 m3
    4. 0.352 m3
    5. 0.003 m3
  21. On average, how far apart are N2 molecules at room temperature?
    1. 10–21 m
    2. 10–15 m
    3. 10–9 m
    4. 10–3 m
    5. 1 m
  22. Which of the following is NOT a statement or consequence of the second law of thermodynamics, the law dealing with entropy?
    1. The net work done by a gas cannot be greater than the sum of its loss of internal energy and the heat added to it.
    2. Even an ideal heat engine cannot be 100% efficient.
    3. A warm ball of putty cannot spontaneously cool off and rise.
    4. A system cannot become more ordered unless some net work is done to obtain that order.
    5. Heat does not flow naturally from a low to high temperature.
  23. Experimenter A uses a very small test charge q0, and experimenter B uses a test charge 2q0 to measure an electric field produced by stationary charges. A finds a field that is
    1. greater than the field found by B
    2. the same as the field found by B
    3. less than the field found by B
    4. either greater or less than the field found by B, depending on the accelerations of the test charges
    5. either greater or less than the field found by B, depending on the masses of the test charges
  24. Two isolated particles, A and B, are 4 m apart. Particle A has a net charge of 2Q, and B has a net charge of Q. The ratio of the magnitude of the electrostatic force on A to that on B is
    1. 4:1
    2. 2:1
    3. 1:1
    4. 1:2
    5. 1:4
  25. A uniform electric field points right to left. A small metal ball charged to +2 mC hangs at a 30° angle from a string of negligible mass, as shown above. The tension in the string is measured to be 0.1 N. What is the magnitude of the electric field? (sin 30° = 0.50; cos 30° = 0.87; tan 30° = 0.58).
    1. 25 N/C
    2. 50 N/C
    3. 2500 N/C
    4. 5000 N/C
    5. 10,000 N/C
  26. 1.0 nC is deposited on a solid metal sphere of diameter 0.30 m. What is the magnitude of the electric field at the center of the sphere?
    1. zero
    2. 25 N/C
    3. 100 N/C
    4. 200 N/C
    5. 400 N/C
  27. The parallel plate capacitor above consists of identical rectangular plates of dimensions a × b, separated by a distance c. To cut the capacitance of this capacitor in half, which of these quantities should be doubled?
    1. a
    2. b
    3. c
    4. ab
    5. abc
  28. Two identical capacitors are connected in parallel to an external circuit. Which of the following quantities must be the same for both capacitors?
    1. the charge stored on the capacitor
    2. the voltage across the capacitor
    3. the capacitance of the capacitor
    1. I only
    2. II only
    3. II and III only
    4. I and III only
    5. I, II, and III
  29. Three resistors are connected to a 1.0 V battery, as shown in the diagram above. What is the current through the 2.0 Ω resistor?
    1. 0.25 A
    2.  
    3. 0.50 A
    4.  
    5. 1.0 A
    6.  
    7. 2.0 A
    8.  
    9. 4.0 A
    10.  
  30. What is the voltage drop across R3 in the circuit diagrammed above?
    1. 10 V
    2.  
    3. 20 V
    4.  
    5. 30 V
    6.  
    7. 50 V
    8.  
    9. 100 V
    10.  
  31. Three resistors are connected to an ideal battery as shown in the diagram above. The switch is initially open. When the switch is closed, what happens to the total voltage, current, and resistance in the circuit?
  32. On which of the following physics principles does Kirchoff 's loop rule rest?
    1. conservation of charge
    2. conservation of mass
    3. conservation of energy
    4. conservation of momentum
    5. conservation of angular momentum

Questions 46 and 47

A uniform magnetic field B is directed into the page. An electron enters this field with initial velocity v to the right.

  1. Which of the following best describes the path of the electron while it is still within the magnetic field?
    1. It moves in a straight line.
    2. It bends upward in a parabolic path.
    3. It bends downward in a parabolic path.
    4. It bends upward in a circular path.
    5. It bends downward in a circular path.
  2. The electron travels a distance d, measured along its path, before exiting the magnetic field. How much work is done on the electron by the magnetic field?
    1. evBd
    2. zero
    3. evBd
    4. evBd sin (d/2π)
    5. evBd sin (d/2π)
  3. The circular wire shown above carries a current I in the counterclockwise direction. What will be the direction of the magnetic field at the center of the wire?
    1. into the page
    2. out of the page
    3. down
    4. up
    5. counterclockwise
  4. Two parallel wires carry currents in opposite directions, as shown above. In what direction will the right-hand wire (the wire carrying current I2) experience a force?
    1. left
    2. right
    3. into the page
    4. out of the page
    5. The right-hand wire will experience no force.
  5. A loop of wire surrounds a hole in a table, as shown above. A bar magnet is dropped, north end down, from above the table through the hole. Let the positive direction of current be defined as counterclockwise as viewed from above. Which of the following graphs best represents the induced current I in the loop?
  6. A rectangular loop of wire has dimensions a × b and includes a resistor R. This loop is pulled with speed v from a region of no magnetic field into a uniform magnetic field B pointing through the loop, as shown above. What is the magnitude and direction of the current through the resistor?
    1. Bav/R, left-to-right
    2. Bbv/R, left-to-right
    3. Bav/R, right-to-left
    4. Bbv/R, right-to-left
    5. Bba/R, right-to-left
  7. A proton moves in a straight line. Which of the following combinations of electric or magnetic fields could NOT allow this motion?
    1. only an electric field pointing in the direction of the proton's motion
    2. only a magnetic field pointing opposite the direction of the proton's motion
    3. an electric field and a magnetic field, each pointing perpendicular to the proton's motion
    4. only a magnetic field pointing perpendicular to the proton's motion
    5. only a magnetic field pointing in the direction of the proton's motion
  8. A guitar string is plucked, producing a standing wave on the string. A person hears the sound wave generated by the string. Which wave properties are the same for each of these waves, and which are different?
  9. A traveling wave passes a point. At this point, the time between successive crests is 0.2 s. Which of the following statements can be justified?
    1. The wavelength is 5 m.
    2. The frequency is 5 Hz.
    3. The velocity of the wave is 5 m/s.
    4. The wavelength is 0.2 m.
    5. The wavelength is 68 m.
  10. What is the frequency of sound waves produced by a string bass whose height is 2 m? The speed of waves on the string is 200 m/s.
    1. 5 Hz
    2. 0.05 Hz
    3. 50 Hz
    4. 500 Hz
    5. 5000 Hz
  11. What property of a light wave determines the color of the light?
    1. frequency
    2. wavelength
    3. velocity
    4. amplitude
    5. the medium through which the light wave travels
  12. Light traveling through glass hits a thin film of air, as shown above. For which of the following beams of light does the light wave change phase by 180°?
    1. the light reflected off of surface I
    2. the light transmitted through surface I
    3. the light reflected off of surface II
    4. the light transmitted through surface II
    5. both the light reflected off of surface I and the light reflected off of surface II
  13. Light from a coherent source passes through a diffraction grating, producing an interference pattern on a screen. Three of the bright spots produced on the screen are 2.2 cm away from one another, as shown above. Now, a new diffraction grating is substituted, whose distance between lines is half of the original grating's. Which of the following shows the new interference pattern?
  14. Which colors of visible light have the largest frequency, wavelength, and energy per photon?
  15. White light is incident on the triangular glass prism shown above. Why is it that blue and red light can be seen separately when the light exits the prism?
    1. The blue light speeds up more inside the glass.
    2. Some of the red light reflects at each interface.
    3. The light changes its frequency within the glass.
    4. The blue light bends farther away from normal at the left-hand interface.
    5. The blue light bends farther away from normal at the right-hand interface.
  16. A convex lens projects a clear, focused image of a candle onto a screen. The screen is located 30 cm away from the lens; the candle sits 20 cm from the lens. Later, it is noticed that this same lens can also project a clear, focused image of the lighted windows of a building. If the building is located 60 meters away, what is the distance between the lens and the image of the building?
    1. 12 cm
    2. 24 cm
    3. 40 cm
    4. 80 cm
    5. 90 cm
    1. concave mirror
    2. convex mirror
    3. concave lens
    4. convex lens
  17. Which of the optical instruments listed above can produce a virtual image of an object that is smaller than the object itself?
    1. I only
    2. II only
    3. III only
    4. II and III only
    5. I and IV only
  18. Which of the following does NOT describe a ray that can be drawn for a concave mirror?
    1. an incident ray through the mirror's center, reflecting right back through the center
    2. an incident ray through the center point, reflecting through the focal point
    3. an incident ray through the focal point, reflecting parallel to the principal axis
    4. an incident ray parallel to the principal axis, reflecting through the focal point
    5. an incident ray to the intersection of the principal axis with the mirror, reflecting at an equal angle.
  19. Monochromatic light is incident on a photoelectric surface with work function W. The intensity, I, of the incident light is gradually increased. Which of the following graphs could represent the kinetic energy, KE, of electrons ejected by the photoelectric surface as a function of the intensity?

Questions 65 and 66

The energy levels of a hypothetical atom are shown above.

  1. What wavelength of light must be absorbed to excite electrons from E0 to E1?
    1. 1240 nm
    2. 620 nm
    3. 100 nm
    4. 210 nm
    5. 310 nm
  2. E0 and E1 are the only atomic energy levels available to electrons inside the atom. How many different colored photons can this atom emit when it captures an electron with no kinetic energy?
    1. zero
    2. one
    3. two
    4. three
    5. four
  3. Monochromatic light is incident on a photoelectric surface of work function 3.5 eV. Electrons ejected from the surface create a current in a circuit. It is found that this current can be neutralized using a stopping voltage of 1.0 V. What is the energy contained in one photon of the incident light?
    1. 1.0 eV
    2. 2.5 eV
    3. 3.5 eV
    4. 4.5 eV
    5. 5.5 eV
  4. Which of the following observations provides evidence that massive particles can have a wave nature?
    1. When burning hydrogen is observed through a spectrometer, several discrete lines are seen rather than a continuous spectrum.
    2. When a beam of electrons is passed through slits very close together and then projected on to a phosphorescent screen, several equally spaced bright spots are observed.
    3. When waves on the surface of the ocean pass a large rock, the path of the waves is bent.
    4. When alpha particles are passed through gold foil, most of the alpha particles go through the foil undeflected.
    5. When light is reflected off of a thin film, bright and dark fringes are observed on the film.
  5. In which of the following nuclear processes do both the atomic number Z as well as the atomic mass A remain unchanged by the process?
    1. uranium fission
    2. alpha decay
    3. beta+ decay
    4. beta– decay
    5. gamma decay
  6. A thorium nucleus emits an alpha particle. Which of the following fundamental physics principles can be used to explain why the direction of the daughter nucleus's recoil must be in the opposite direcztion of the alpha emission?
    1. Newton's third law
    2. conservation of momentum
    3. conservation of energy
    1. II only
    2. III only
    3. I and II only
    4. II and III only
    5. I, II, and III

STOP.  End of Physics B - Practice Exam - Multiple Choice Quesioins

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