Multiple Choice Questions


  1. At what angle is light refracted if it strikes the surface of water at

an angle of 30 degrees?


A) 20 degrees

B) 23 degrees
C) 42 degrees

D) 48 degrees


2. If a ray of light strikes a pane of glass at 45 degrees to the normal, it:


A) passes straight through as if the glass were not there.

B) leaves the glass at a smaller angle to the normal

C) leaves the glass at a larger angle to the normal

D) leaves with the same angle to the normal, but is deflected to the side.



3. Two coins are at equal distances from your eye. One is under 40 cm

of water, the other under 40 cm of glass. Which coin appears closer?


A) The one under the glass.

B) The one under the water.

C) Neither, they both appear at the same distance.

D) I prefer pheasant under glass.



4. You are standing at the edge of a swimming pool filled with water looking at a logo painted on the bottom. The logo appears to be:


A) close to you than it actually is.

B) further from you than it actually is.

C) the same distance away as it actually is.

D) the logo is not visible from the edge of the pool.





5. The critical angle for total internal reflection at an air-water interface is approximately 48 degrees. In which of the following situations will total internal reflection occur?


A) light incident in water at 40 degrees

B) light incident in water at 55 degrees

C) light incident in air at 40 degrees

D) light incident in air at 55 degrees


6. Telephone companies are proposing using “light pipes” to carry telephone signals between various locations. The light is contained in these fiber-optic light pipes


A) because they are coated with silver.

B) as long as they are straight.

C) by total internal reflection if the curves are not too sharp.

D) because laser light does not travel well through air.


7. Roy G. Biv is


A) a country singer.

B) a famous scientist who did much work in optics.

C) a mnemonic for remembering the colors of the rainbow.

D) a way of remembering how mirages are formed.


8. Assume that the following colors of light pass through a prism. Which color ray is bent the most?


A) red

B) blue

C) green

D) yellow


9. Two lenses with identical shapes are made from glasses with different

indices of refraction . Which one has the shorter focal length?


A) The one with the higher index of refraction

B) The one with the lower index of refraction

C) The focal lengths are the same

D) All glass has the same index of refraction – this is not possible


10. Rainbows are due to


A) reflection from the surface of raindrops.

B) refraction and reflection by raindrops.

C) refraction and reflection by ice crystals.

D) interference between different wavelengths of light.


11. Assume that the following colors of light pass through a prism. Which colour ray is bent the LEAST?


A) red

B) blue

C) green

D) yellow


12. Isaac Newton developed one of the first modern models of light -- he thought that light consisted of tiny particles. Within this model, the prediction is that light should travel _______ in water than in air.


A) slower

B) faster

C) the same

D) divergently.



13. A concave lens has a focal length of -20 cm. Where is the image located when an object is placed 60 cm from the lens?


A) 15 cm on the object side.

B) 30 cm on the object side.

C) 60 cm on the object side.

D) 15 cm on the image side.


14. A convex lens has a focal length of 20 cm. Where is the image located when an object is placed 60 cm from the lens?


A) 15 cm on the image side.

B) 30 cm on the image side.

C) 60 cm on the image side.

D) 15 cm on the object side.


15. The image formed on the film of a camera is


A) virtual and upright

B) real and upright

C) virtual and inverted

D) real and inverted


16. The condition typically experienced by older people, where they have difficulty focusing on objects close the them is called


A) nearsightedness

B) myopia

C) presbyopia

D) hyperopia


17. When a wave crosses a boundary (for example, water waves going from deep to shallow water), the property that remains unchanged is the


A) wavelength

B) velocity

C) frequency

D) amplitude


18. The dispersion of light when it passes through a prism shows that


A) the prism contains many narrow, equally spaced slits.

B) all wavelengths have the same speed in a material.

C) different wavelengths have different speeds in the material.

D) the index of refraction is the same for all wavelengths.


19. If the speed of light in vacuum is 300 million m/s and the index of refraction for light in a piece of glass is 1.5, the speed of light in glass is


A) 450 million m/s

B) 300 million m/s

C) 200 million m/s

D) 150 million m/s





20. If it takes light 5 ns to travel 1 m in an optical cable, what is the index of refraction of the cable?


A) 0.67

B) 1.5

C) 2

D) 5



21. What is the wavelength of light that has a frequency of 5 x 1014 Hz?


A) 6 x 10-7 m

B) 6 x 10-10 m

C) 1.5 x 1023 m

D) 2 x 10-6 m


22. Which of the following is a conductor?


A) plastic

B) human body

C) glass

D) silk


23. Which of the following is an insulator?


A) copper

B) sea water

C) teflon

D) aluminum



24. In the modern view of electricity, an object with a positive charge has


A) an excess of positive charge.

B) an excess of negative charge.

C) a deficiency of negative charge.

D) an excess of positive charge OR a deficiency of negative charge.



25. You have three identical metal spheres on insulating stands. The spheres hold charges Q1 = -2q, Q2 = -q, and Q3 = 4q. First, sphere 1 is brought into contact with sphere 3, and then separated. Second, sphere 3 is brought into contact with sphere 2, and then separated. The resulting charge on sphere 2 is

A) zero
B) +0.5q
C) +1.5q
D) +1.25q


26. A positively charged object repels


A) negatively charged objects.

B) positively charged objects.

C) all objects.

D) both positively and negatively charged objects.


27. The electric charge on an electron


A) is identical to that on a proton.

B) is larger than that on a proton.

C) is smaller than that on a proton.

D) has the same size but the opposite sign as that on a proton.



28. What is the size of the electric field at a distance of 3 metres from a 2 microCoulomb positive charge?


A) 6,000,000,000 N/C

B) 2,000,000,000 N/C

C) 6000 N/C

D) 2000 N/C

29. A metal sphere with a charge of +4 Coulombs experiences an electric force of 50 N directed to the left. If the charge on the sphere is changed to -8 Coulombs, what force will it experience?


A) 50 N to the left

B) 50 N to the right

C) 100 N to the left

D) 100 N to the right


30. Points A and B each have an electric potential of +12V. How much work would be required to take 3C of positive charge from A to B?


A) zero

B) 3 J

C) 9 J

D) 36 J


31. When two batteries are connected in series, the total voltage of the combination is


A) the sum of the two voltages

B) equal to the voltage of one battery

C) the sum of the reciprocals of one battery

D) zero


32. The type of current provided by the local power company is called


A) alternating current

B) direct current

C) Virginia current

D) kilowatts



33. The PEAK voltage of a typical U.S. electrical outlet is


A) 120 V

B) 110 V

C) 170 V

  1. 240 V


34. The current through a resistor is 4 Amps. The number of electrons flowing through the resistor in one minute is


A) 1.60 x 10-19

B) 240

C) 6.25 x 1018

D) 1.50 x 1021


35. Which of the following does NOT affect the resistance of a wire


A) current

B) type of material

C) length

D) cross-sectional area


36. A 100 Ohm resistor is connected in parallel with a 50 Ohm resistor. Which of the following best describes the equivalent resistance of this parallel network?


A) greater than 150 Ohms

B) equal to 150 Ohms

C) equal to 75 Ohms

D) less than 50 Ohms



37. What is the resistance of three 6 Ohm resistors connected in series?


A) 2 Ohms

B) 3 Ohms

C) 9 Ohms

D) 18 Ohms


38. What voltage is needed to produce a current of 0.5 A in a 50 Ohm resistor?


A) 12 V

B) 25 V

C) 500 V

D) 100 V


39. What is the power of a light bulb that draws 0.5 A when it is plugged into a 110 Volt outlet?


A) 55 W

B) 110 W

C) 220 W

D) 440 W


40. Which costs the most to operate?


A) a 1500W heater for 1 hour

B) a 100W light bulb for 8 hours

C) a 40W refrigerator for 20 hours

D) a 250W outdoor light for 3 hours




41. Which of the following does NOT apply to both electric and magnetic phenomena?


A) Each has two types of charge.

B) Each can attract neutral objects.

C) Each gets weaker with increasing distance.

D) “Charges” of each can be isolated.


42. If a bar magnet is broken into two pieces, each piece


A) has only one magnet pole.

B) has an electric charge.

C) has two magnetic poles.

D) is no longer magnetic.


43. An electron has a velocity of 5 x 106 m/s perpendicular to a magnetic field of 1.5 T. What force does the electron experience?


A) 1.0 x 10-12 N

B) 3.0 x 10-7 N

C) 3.3 x 106 N

D) 7.5 x 106 N



44. The voltage in the lines that carry electric power to homes is typically 2400 V. What is the required ratio of loops in the primary and secondary coils of the transformer to drop the voltage to 120 V?


A) 10:1

B) 20:1

C) 1:10

D) 1:20