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IB DP Physics Questions

4.3 Wave Characteristics

Question 1

Which of the following statements best describes the law of reflection?

A. The angle of incidence is equal to the angle of refraction.

B. The angle of incidence is perpendicular to the angle of reflection.

C. The angle of incidence is equal to the angle of reflection.

D. The angle of reflection is twice the angle of incidence.

Question 2

When light travels from air into water, it bends towards the:

A. Normal

B. Incident ray

C. Reflected ray

D. Tangent to the surface

Question 3

Which of the following is NOT an application of plane-polarised light?

A. Sunglasses

B. 3D cinema glasses

C. Liquid crystal displays

D. Magnifying glasses

Question 4

According to Snell's law, if the angle of incidence increases while moving from air to glass, the angle of refraction:

A. Increases

B. Decreases

C. Remains the same

D. Becomes zero

Question 5

Which of the following materials can polarise light?

A. Transparent plastic

B. Clear water

C. Polaroid filter

D. Regular window glass

Question 6

a) Explain the laws of reflection for light waves, and provide an example of how these laws are applied in everyday life. [3]

b) A light ray strikes a mirror at an angle of incidence of 40 degrees. Calculate the angle of reflection using the laws of reflection. [2]

Question 7

a) Explain Snell's law and how it governs the behaviour of light when it passes from one medium to another. Provide an example to illustrate its application. [3]

b) A light ray passes from air into a glass medium at an angle of incidence of 30 degrees. If the refractive index of glass is 1.5, calculate the angle of refraction using Snell's law. [2]

Question 8

a) Describe what is meant by plane-polarised light and explain how it is created. Provide an example of an application of plane-polarised light. [3]

b) A beam of unpolarised light is incident on a polarising filter, and only 40% of the light intensity passes through. Calculate the angle between the polarisation direction of the filter and the initial direction of polarisation of the light. [2]

Question 9

a) Explain how the laws of reflection apply to curved mirrors, such as concave and convex mirrors. Provide a real-world example that demonstrates the behaviour of light in curved mirrors. [4]

b) A concave mirror has a focal length of 15 cm. An object is placed 30 cm away from the mirror. Calculate the position and nature of the image formed by the mirror. Use ray diagrams to illustrate your answer. [5]

c) Discuss the concept of the focal point in concave and convex mirrors and explain how it relates to the formation of images. [2]

Question 10

a) Explain the phenomenon of total internal reflection and its practical applications in optical fibres. Provide an example of an optical fibre application. [4]

b) A light ray passes from water into air at an angle of incidence of 50 degrees. Calculate the critical angle for this transition, and determine whether total internal reflection will occur for this angle. [3]

c) Discuss how the critical angle varies with different pairs of media and why it is essential for understanding total internal reflection. [2]

Question 11

If the angle of incidence in air is greater than the critical angle for a given medium, what will happen to the light ray?

A. It will refract.

B. It will reflect.

C. It will pass straight through.

D. It will disperse into different colours.

Question 12

Which of the following statements about plane-polarised light is FALSE?

A. It oscillates in a single plane.

B. It can reduce glare from surfaces.

C. It is produced by unpolarised light passing through a Polaroid filter.

D. It oscillates in multiple directions simultaneously.

Question 13

For a given pair of media, if the refractive index of the second medium increases, the critical angle:

A. Increases

B. Decreases

C. Remains the same

D. Becomes 90 degrees

Question 14

In which of the following scenarios will light NOT undergo refraction?

A. Light passing from air to water

B. Light passing from glass to air

C. Light travelling within a single medium

D. Light passing from water to glass

Question 15

Which of the following is a common application of the laws of reflection?

A. Magnifying objects using a convex lens

B. Creating rainbow patterns in soap bubbles

C. Viewing images in a plane mirror

D. Bending light using a prism

Question 16

a) Describe the phenomenon of polarisation by selective absorption, and provide an example of how it is applied in sunglasses to reduce glare. [3]

b) Explain how Brewster's angle is related to the phenomenon of polarisation. Calculate the Brewster's angle for a glass-air interface with a refractive index of 1.5. [4]

c) Discuss the significance of Brewster's angle in practical applications, especially in the design of anti-glare coatings for optical devices. [2]

Question 17

a) Explain the concept of dispersion in the context of light waves. Describe how a prism can be used to demonstrate dispersion and provide a diagram illustrating this process. [4]

b) A beam of white light passes through a glass prism and disperses into its constituent colours. Calculate the angle of deviation for violet light (with a wavelength of approximately 400 nm) when it passes through the prism. Use Snell's law and the prism's refractive index of 1.5. [4]

c) Discuss the significance of dispersion in phenomena like the formation of rainbows and the design of optical instruments. [2]

d) In a different experiment, a beam of monochromatic light (single wavelength) passes through the same glass prism. Explain what happens to the light in terms of dispersion and deviation in this case. [3]

Question 18

a) Describe the phenomenon of optical interference and its relevance in explaining the colours observed in thin films, such as soap bubbles or oil slicks. Provide an example of how interference leads to colour patterns. [4]

b) Two beams of light, one with a wavelength of 600 nm and another with a wavelength of 450 nm, are incident on a thin film of oil. Explain how the thickness of the oil film affects the colours observed due to interference. Include a diagram to illustrate your explanation. [5]

c) Discuss the practical applications of interference in optical devices and technologies, highlighting its role in improving the performance of certain devices. [2]

d) Explain how changes in the angle of incidence can alter the interference pattern observed in thin films. Use specific examples to illustrate your answer. [3]

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