What Are Some Examples of Free Response Questions From the AP Physics B Exam?


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An example of a free-response question included in the 2012 Advanced Placement Physics B exam is "The momentum of a particular proton is 5.5 x 10^-20 kg·m/s. A) Calculate the de Broglie wavelength of the proton. B) Calculate the kinetic energy of the proton." A question like this typically has four parts that require answers.

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Another example of a free-response question from the same exam is "A cylindrical container is fitted with a frictionless piston that is initially locked in place. The cylinder contains a fixed amount of an ideal gas that is initially at room temperature and atmospheric pressure. A) The cylinder is placed in a hot-water bath.... Sketch a graph of pressure versus temperature for the process the gas undergoes as a result, and indicate the direction of the process on the graph. B) The cylinder is removed from the hot-water bath. After equilibrium is reached, the lock is removed so the piston is free to move. Indicate whether the piston moves up, moves down or remains stationary. Justify your answer."

Most questions in the free-response section include diagrams and consist of between four and six parts that need to be answered. Work must be shown in the exam booklet.

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