Leaving Certificate Experiments


These should be read when the experiments are being performed

The principle of science, the definition, almost, is the following: The test of all knowledge is experiment. Experiment is the sole judge of scientific "truth." But what is the source of knowledge? Where do the laws that are to be tested come from? Experiment, itself, helps to produce these laws, in the sense that it gives us hints. But also needed is imagination to create from these hints the great generalizations---to guess at the wonderful, simple, but very strange patterns beneath them all, and then to experiment to check again whether we have made the right guess.
-- Richard Feynman (The Feynman Lectures on Physics, 1963)

Mechanics Heat Light/Sound/Waves
Measurement of velocity and acceleration. Calibration curve of a thermometer using the laboratory mercury thermometer. Measurement of the focal length of a concave mirror. (ods)

To show a proportional to F. (ods)

Measurement of the specific heat capacity, e.g. of water or a metal by a mechanical or electrical method.

Verification of Snell's law of refraction. (ods)

Verification of principle of conservation of momentum. (ods) Measurement of the specific latent heat of fusion of ice. Measurement of the refractive index of a liquid or a solid.

Measurement of g. (ods)

Measurement of the specific latent heat of vaporisation of water. Measurement of the focal length of a converging lens. (ods)

Verification of Boyle's Law. Or alternative version.

Measurement of the wavelength of monochromatic light.

Investigation of the laws of equilibrium for a set of co-planar forces.

Measurement of the speed of sound in air. (ods)
Investigation of the variation of the fundamental frequency of a stretched string with length.(ods)


Verification of Joule's law. (ods)
Measurement of the resitivity of the material of a wire.
To investigate the variation of the resistance of a metallic conductor with temperature. (ods)
To investigate the variation of the resistance of a thermistor with temperature. (ods)
To investigate the variation of current (I) with pd (V) for (a) metallic conductor, (b) filament bulb, (c) copper sulfate solution with copper electrodes and (d) semiconductor diode.


Question Bank & Suggested Solutions

I have been known to use the occasional question from below in 5th & 6th year class tests :-)
Science is what you know. Philosophy is what you don't know.
--Bertrand Russell (1872-1970)
Mechanics Heat Light/Sound/Waves
Laws/Definitions/Formulae DES - Sample Paper, Q12b DES - Sample Paper, Q2
DES - Sample Paper, Q1 2002 Q2 DES - Sample Paper, Q12c
DES - Sample Paper, Q6 2003 Q2 2002 Q3
DES - Sample Paper, Q12a 2004 Q7 2002 Q7
2002 Q1 2005 Q2 2002 Q12b
2002 Q6 2006 Q12c 2003 Q3
2002 Q12a 2007 Q2 2003 Q7
2003 Q1 2008 Q2 2004 Q2
2003 Q6 2009 Q11 2004 Q12b
2004 Q1 2010 Q2 2005 Q12c
2004 Q6 2011 Q7 2005 Q3
2004 Q12a 2012 Q12c 2005 Q7
2005 Q1 2013 Q12d 2006 Q2
2005 Q12a 2014 Q12c 2006 Q3
2005 Q6 2015 Q2 2006 Q7
2006 Q1 2015 Q12c 2007 Q12b
2006 Q12a 2016 Q7 2007 Q3
2006 Q6 2007 Q7
2007 Q1 2008 Q12b
2007 Q12a 2008 Q3
2007 Q6 Miscellaneous Heat Problems 2008 Q9
2008 Q1 2009 Q2
2008 Q12a 2009 Q3
2008 Q6 2009 Q7
2009 Q1 2009 Q12c
2009 Q6 2010 Q3
2009 Q12a   2010 Q7
2010 Q1   2010 Q12c
2010 Q6   2011 Q3
2010 Q12a   2011 Q8
2011 Q1   2011 Q12b
2011 Q2   2012 Q2
2011 Q6   2012 Q3
2011 Q12a   2012 Q7
2012 Q1   2012 Q12b
2012 Q6   2013 Q3
2012 Q12a   2013 Q7
2013 Q1   2013 Q12b
2013 Q2   2014 Q2
2013 Q6   2014 Q3
2013 Q12a   2014 Q7
2014 Q1   2014 Q12b
2014 Q6   2015 Q3
2014 Q12a   2015 Q9
2015 Q1   2015 Q12b
2015 Q6   2016 Q2
2015 Q12a   2016 Q3
2016 Q1   2016 Q11
2016 Q6   2016 Q12c
Misc. Mechanics Problems


Electricity/Magnetism Modern/Particle Physics Miscellaneous
Laws/Definitions/Formulae 2002 Q9 DES - Rev Sample Paper, Q5
2002 Q4 2002 Q10a 2003 Q5
2002 Q8 2002 Q12d 2004 Q5
2002 Q11 2004 Q9 2005 Q5
2002 Q12c 2004 Q10a 2006 Q5
2003 Q4 2005 Q11 2007 Q5
2004 Q8 2005 Q12d 2008 Q5
2004 Q11 2005 Q8 2009 Q5
2004 Q12c 2006 Q10 2010 Q5
2004 Q12d 2006 Q12d 2011 Q5
2005 Q10 2006 Q8 2012 Q5
2005 Q12b 2007 Q10a 2013 Q5
2005 Q4 2007 Q11 2014 Q5
2005 Q9 2007 Q12d 2015 Q5
2006 Q4 2008 Q10 2016 Q5
2006 Q11 2008 Q11  
2006 Q12b 2008 Q12c 2012 Q11
2006 Q9 2009 Q8 2013 Q11
2007 Q4 2009 Q10
2007 Q12c 2009 Q12d
2007 Q8 2010 Q9
2007 Q9 2010 Q10
2008 Q12d 2010 Q11
2008 Q4 2010 Q12b
2008 Q7 2011 Q10
2008 Q8 2011 Q11
2009 Q4 2011 Q12d  
2009 Q9 2012 Q8  
2009 Q12b 2012 Q10  
2010 Q4 2013 Q9  
2010 Q8 2013 Q10  
2010 Q12d 2014 Q8  
2011 Q4 2014 Q11  
2011 Q9 2015 Q7  
2011 Q12c 2015 Q10  
2012 Q4 2015 Q12d  
2012 Q9 2016 Q9  
2013 Q4 2016 Q12a  
2013 Q8 2016 Q12b  
2013 Q12c 2016 Q12d  
2014 Q4    
2014 Q9    
2014 Q10    
2014 Q12d    
2015 Q4    
2015 Q8    
2015 Q11    
2016 Q4    
2016 Q8    
2016 Q10    




Simulations demonstrated in class are below, with some others - take the time to go through them at your own pace.

In science one tries to tell people, in such a way as to be understood by everyone, something that no one ever knew before. But in poetry, it's the exact opposite.
-- Dirac, Paul Adrien Maurice (1902-1984 )

Mechanics Heat Light/Sound/Waves

Distance vs. Displacement

Microwave heating Concave & Convex Mirrors and Lenses
Addition of Vectors- how two vectors add together Image formation by a converging lens
Boat crossing a river - practical illustration of vectors Image formation by a diverging lens
Linear motion - The moving man Convex lens ray diagram
  Image formation in lenses & mirrors

Defects of vision
Newton's laws of motion
Newton's laws on a bike Transverse Waves
Forces in one dimension Longitudional waves
Forces in two dimensions Longitudional waves B
The Ramp Transverse waves - superposition
Forces & Motion  
Elevator Problem

Refraction of Waves
Archimedes playground Diffraction & Interference

Sound waves
Circular Motion - The Ladybird Standing waves in a pipe
Simple Pendulum Waves in pipes (B)
Spring force and SHM  
Pendulum Lab   Fundamentals & Overtones
Gravity - EdTed    
SHM - youtube video   Doppler effect

  Doppler effect B
Physics of Skydiving.    
Great Mechanics Videos from Walter Lewin at MIT   Ripple Tank - Interference of Waves
    Illustration of polarisation of light
    Physics of Music


Electricity/Magnetism Modern/Particle Physics Miscellaneous
Electric field lines Photoelectric effect Greenhouse Effect
Electric field pattern Nuclear Physics Powers of 10
Electric charges and fields Rutherford scattering Vernier Scale

Resistance of a wire Powers Of Ten Video
Ohm's law Scale of the Universe
Circuit construction Graphing Lines
John Travoltage

Magnets & Electromagnets
Magnetic field of bar magnet
Magnetic field of straight current carrying wire
Direct current motor
Moving charge in magnetic field
Faraday's Electromagnetic Lab


General Information


Useful stuff for physics research
The scientist does not study nature because it is useful; he studies it because he delights in it, and he delights in it because it is beautiful. If nature were not beautiful, it would not be worth knowing, and if nature were not worth knowing, life would not be worth living.
--Jules Henri Poincaré (1854-1912) French mathematician.


Some Physics Sites Careers Information TY & Astronomy
Leaving Certificate Syllabus Qualifax - Subjects that may require physics European Space Agency
Exam papers and marking schemes physics.org hubblesite.org
Physics Central Institute of Physics Cosmic Evolution
physics.org   NASA
physics hypertextbook   IFAS
howstuffworks Some Women in Physics International Astronomical Union
Physics Nobel Prize winners Rising Star of Astronomy WorldWideTelescope
hyperphysics SETI
What if? help SETI at home
fearofphysics Light Pollution Awareness Campaign
Physics Study Guide Open Source Planetarium for your home computer
CERN Hours of Daylight per Day
Broadcasts from CERN Celestial Horizon
The LHC - A Guide Seasons and the Ecliptic
particleadventure.org Sun position on Horizon
Modern Physics Timeline Sun Motion throughout Year
Young Scientists & Technology Exhibition Zodiac
skoool.ie   Planetary Motion
Computer Games    
Pendulum Waves    
Sense About Science
TY - 5 Minute Datalogging Activities - Browse and then generate your own ideas

Please let Mr. Garvey know about any dead links.




5th Year
6th Year




Class of 2016

class of 2016






Revision Booklet





























































































Java is needed
for most physlets and should be latest version.