This is a suggested solution to the question in GCE O Level Physics Paper 2, Section A, question 4a & b.

Suggested Solution

(a)Gravitational Field Strength is defined as the gravitational force acting per unit mass on an object due to the earth’s gravitational pull.

(b) When the Gravitational Field strength was 9.7N/kg, his weight was:

Weight = 9.7N/kg x 80kg

When the Gravitational Field strength was 9.8N/kg, his weight was:

Weight = 9.8N/kg x 80kg

Hence the increase in weight was = 0.1 N/kg x 80 kg =8 N

 

Explanation

In this question, it was stated that the skydiver jumped from the edge of space from his space ship and free-fall until he opened his parachute. During the free fall, the gravitational field strength increased from 9.7 N/kg to 9.8 N/kg. Candidates are required to calculate the increate in weight of the diver during his free-fall. As per the definition of gravitational field strength, it is the force acted on the diver as a result of gravity. This force is the weight of the diver and this force is given by the equation F=mg where g is the gravitational field strength and m is the mass.