Welcome to Unit 7 AP Physics C: Mechanics Multiple Choice Questions
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Facts about the test: The AP Physics C: Mechanics exam has 35 multiple choice questions and you will be given 45 minutes to complete the section. That means it should take you around 15 minutes to complete 12 questions.
The following questions were not written by College Board and, although they cover information outlined in the AP Physics C: Mechanics Course and Exam Description, the formatting on the exam may be different.
1. A planet has the same mass, but double the radius, of the Earth. What is the acceleration due to gravity on the surface of this planet as a function of g?
2. Which of the following statements is NOT true?
A. The ratio of the squares of the periods of two planets is equal to the ratio of the cubes of their semi-major axes.
B. If you were to draw a line from the sun to the object in orbit, the object would sweep equal areas along the ellipse in equal amounts of time.
C. The orbits of planetary bodies are circular orbits; therefore, they following the rules of uniform circular motion.
D. The orbits of planetary bodies are ellipses with the sun at one of the two foci of the ellipse.
3. A planet has an elliptical orbit around the Sun. Within the orbit, Position A is 5 times closer to the Sun than Position B. What is the ratio of the speed of the comet at Position A to the speed at Position B?
4. A moon orbits a planet with an elliptical orbit. At what point in the orbit is the kinetic energy of the moon the smallest?
A. At the point closest to the planet
B. At the point furthest away from the planet.
C. At the two points halfway between the nearest and furthest points.
D. There's not enough information to tell.
5. Which of the following statements is NOT true regarding the escape velocity of an object?
A. Escape velocity is the minimum speed needed for an object to escape from the gravitational force of a massive object.
B. When an object has escaped gravity’s influence, the total energy must equal zero.
C. When an object has escaped gravity’s influence, the gravitational potential energy must equal zero.
D. When an object has escaped gravity’s influence, the kinetic energy must be negative.
6. A satellite is orbiting the Earth a distance equal to the radius of the Earth above its surface. What is the acceleration due to gravity in this orbit?
A. 2.5 m/s^2
B. 5 m/s^2
C. 10 m/s^2
D. 20 m/s^2
7. Which of the following statements are true about satellites in a circular orbit around the Earth?
A. The only force acting on the satellite is the gravitational force of the Earth.
B. The velocity of the satellite is directly proportional to its mass.
C. The period of the orbit is determined by the mass of the satellite.
D. The gravitational potential energy of the satellite is directly proportional to its height.
8. A comet follows an elliptical orbit around the Sun. At what point in its orbit does the comet sweep
through the greatest area in a constant time t?
A. The comet sweeps through the same amounts of area in equal time only as it moves further from the Sun.
B. The comet sweeps through the same amount of area in equal time when it is furthest from the Sun.
C. The comet sweeps through the same amount of area in equal time when it is closest to the Sun.
D. The comet sweeps through the same amount of area in equal time anywhere in the orbit.
9. A satellite with mass m orbits the Earth (mass = M) in a circular orbit. Which of the following is a correct expression of the kinetic energy of the satellite?
10. Why do astronauts appear to be weightless when on the International Space Station, which is currently orbiting the Earth?
A. The astronauts are not accelerating.
B. The astronauts have no mass when in space.
C. The astronauts are in a constant state of freefall
D. The astronauts are too far away to feel the effects of the Earth's gravity,
11. A satellite orbits a planet with a radius R. If a second satellite is set into orbit with the same period, but a radius 2R, what is true about the relationship between the tangential velocities of the satellites?
A. The tangential velocity of the second satellite is smaller than the first satellite.
B. The tangential velocity of the second satellite is larger than the first satellite.
C. The tangential velocity of the second satellite is equal to the first satellite.
D. There's not enough information to tell.
12. In which of the following scenarios is the gravitational force the largest?
A. A 2 kg mass and a 3 kg mass are held 1 meter apart.
B. A 2 kg mass and a 10 kg mass are held 1 meter apart.
C. A 2 kg mass and a 10 kg mass are held 2 meters apart.
D. Two 4 kg masses are held 2 meters apart.
13. A satellite traveling at a speed v orbits a planet with mass M. If the planet had twice as much mass, what would be the orbital
speed of the satellite? Assume that it says at the same distance from the center of mass of the planet.
14. A satellite of mass M moves in a circular orbit of radius R. Which of the following statements is NOT true of the satellite?
A. The centripetal acceleration of the satellite depends on the value of R.
B. The angular velocity of the satellite depends on the value of R.
C. The magnitude of the centripetal force on the satellite is constant.
D. The satellite's tangential velocity is constant.
15. A 700 kg satellite with mass m is orbiting the Earth (mass = Me) a distance equal to the radius of the Earth above its surface. Which of the following is a correct expression for the satellite's gravitational potential energy at this distance?
A. -GmMe / 2Re
B. -GmMe / 4Re^2
C. -2GmMe / Re
D. -4GmMe / Re^2
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