Physics: Spring Final Study Guide

Test 1

Physics Unit 15: Electrostatics

Physics Unit 15: Electrostatics
question bank

Test 2

Physics Unit 14: Properties of Light

Physics Unit 14: Properties of Light
question bank

Test 3

Physics Unit 13: Optics

Physics Unit 13: Optics

Test 4

Physics Unit 12: Waves and Sound

Physics Unit 12: Waves and Sound
question bank

Specific Heat Capacity

First some confusing vocabulary – this is Chemistry after all…..

Specific Heat Capacity ‘C’ relates the amount of heat (energy or work) needed to raise a sample of some material 1 degree C.
Think of Specific Heat Capacity as the sample’s capacity to absorb heat, so the formula should include the amount of material in the sample, ie its mass.

Q = m  C  ΔT

Q: heat absorbed by the sample
m: mass of the sample
C: heat capacity of the sample material
Δ: change or difference of…
T: temperature
The units of C is
Specific heat or specific heat capacity ‘s’ is the heat capacity, which is independent of the amount of substances. It can be defined as the quantity of heat required to raise the temperature of one gram of a substance by one degree Celsius (or one Kelvin) at a constant pressure. The specific heat of water is 4.18 joules/(gram degree C).

Q =

Physical Science Unit 8: Heat

Temperature Scales: Celcius, Fahrenhiet, Kelvin
Textbook 6.1-6.3

laws of Thermodynamics
Textbook 6.4-6.7

The 4 Laws of thermodynamics


There are 4 laws to thermodynamics, and they are some of the most important laws in all of physics. The laws are as follows

  • Zeroth law of thermodynamics – If two thermodynamic systems are each in thermal equilibrium with a third, then they are in thermal equilibrium with each other.  {By the power vested in me by the State of California and the Transitive Property of Geometry and Algebra, I hereby declare you in thermal equilibrium}


  • First law of thermodynamics – Energy can neither be created nor destroyed. It can only change forms. In any process, the total energy of the universe remains the same. For a thermodynamic cycle the net heat supplied to the system equals the net work done by the system. {You can’t win — you can only get out of a system as much work as has been put into it}


  • Second law of thermodynamics – The entropy of an isolated system not in equilibrium will tend to increase over time, approaching a maximum value at equilibrium. {You alsways lose  – at least a little — every time you try}


  • Third law of thermodynamics – As temperature approaches absolute zero, the entropy of a system approaches a constant minimum.  {You can’t get out of the game}








In this post, I included the lecture notes for a development of Snell’s Law (1621) using a Huygen’s Wavelet construction (c. 1670). Special case: Total Internal Reflection leads to a 10 minute mini lecture on optical fibres, T1 cables, repeaters and IR wavelength demultiplexing. Continue reading Refraction