PhysicsLAB MCAS Physics Exams
MCAS 2016 Session 1

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Four sleds are pulled up a hill. The table below shows the weight of each sled and its change in height after being pulled up the hill.
Which pair of sleds have the same change in potential energy?
The circuit shown below has a variable resistor connected to a 6.0 V battery.
The value of the current at several settings of the variable resistor is recorded in the table below.
What amount of current flows through the battery when the variable resistor is set for 4-ohms?
Which of the following wave characteristics is the same for any electromagnetic wave traveling through empty space?
A 1 kg sample of liquid water and a 1 kg sample of ice are placed on a table. Which of the following statements best compares these two samples?

Which of the following best compares average speed with average velocity?

Two U.S. quarters, initially at the same temperature, are heated with a flame. One of the quarters was made before 1965 and is composed of silver. The other quarter was made after 1965 and is composed mostly of copper. What information is needed to determine which quarter will heat up faster?

Two particles with the same positive charge are 100 cm apart. What happens to the electric force between the two particles when the charge on each particle doubles?

The diagram below represents a wave pattern made by an object moving in water, as seen from above the surface of the water.
Based on the wave pattern shown, in which direction is the object moving?
A student creates a circuit with a variable voltage supply and a 2-ohm resistor. The student varies the voltage and measures the current. The graph below shows the student’s results.
What was the greatest power supplied by the battery?
The free-body force diagram below represents four forces acting on an object.
What is the net force on the object?

The table below describes ball X and ball Y.
Which of the following best compares the momentum of the two balls?

What is the momentum of a 50 kg object traveling with a constant velocity of 20 m/s?
The graph below represents an object’s motion over four time intervals:
During which time interval does the object move with constant, positive velocity?
Two solid blocks with different masses are placed 1.0 m apart on a horizontal surface. Which of the following will  occur if the two blocks are moved farther apart?

A fan enables a computer’s processor to run for long periods of time without overheating. Which of the following forms of heat energy transfer does this example best represent?
Which of the following is a function of a resistor in a circuit?

A small steel rod is placed in 5 L of water. The initial temperature of the steel rod is 120°C, and the initial temperature of the water is 10°C. When does heat stop flowing between the steel rod and the water?

The planet Mars has two moons, Phobos and Deimos. What is the direction of the force that keeps Phobos orbiting Mars?

A circuit has a light bulb connected to a constant voltage source. Which of the following changes must increase the power in the circuit?

Which of the following describes properties that distinguish red light from violet light?

The diagram below shows a child on a swing. The child is swinging back and forth between points X and Z, through point Y. Points X and Z are at the same height.
Which of the following statements best describes the kinetic energy and the gravitational potential energy of the child?

Open-Response Questions
  • Show all your work (diagrams, tables, or computations) in your Student Answer Booklet.
  • If you do the work in your head, explain in writing how you did the work.
Refer to the following information for the next four questions.

The graph below shows the relationship between distance and time for a sound wave moving through a liquid.
a. Calculate the speed of the sound wave. Show your calculations and include units in your answer.

b. On your graph:
  • Label the line you copied “liquid.”
  • Draw a line labeled “gas” to represent how this sound wave would travel through a typical gas.
  • Draw a line labeled “solid” to represent how this sound wave would travel through a typical solid.

c. Explain your reasoning for the placement of the new lines (gas, solid) you drew in part (b). 

d. Identify one property or characteristic of a sound wave that remains the same when it moves from a liquid into a gas or a solid.

Refer to the following information for the next three questions.

Four charged objects, labeled W, X, Y, and Z, are arranged in a straight line, as shown below.
a. Identify the two objects that have the greatest magnitude of electric force between them. 

b. Identify the two objects that have the greatest attractive force between them. Explain why these two charges have an attractive force.

c. Identify the two objects that have the smallest magnitude of electric force between them. Explain your answer.

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