


MCAT Physics Equations Sheet (List of MCAT Physics Formulas) 
This MCAT Physics equations sheet provides helpful physics equations for MCAT preparation. Physics equations on motion, force, work, energy, momentum, electricity, waves and more are presented below. Please keep in mind that understanding the meaning of equations and their appropriate use will always be more important than memorization. Sometimes, formulas will be provided during the MCAT but, as you will see, you are expected to already know quite a few. Doing and reviewing practice questions and practice tests will improve your understanding of what you need to know.

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MCAT Physics Equations to memorize 
Translational motion 
x = x _{o} + v _{o} t + 1/2at^{2}  (V_{f})^{2} = (V_{o})^{2} + 2ax 
V_{ƒ} = V_{o} + at 
Frictional force 
f _{max} = μ Ν 
μ_{k} < μ_{s} always 
Uniform circular motion 
F_{c} = ma_{c} = mv^{2} /r 
a_{c}= v^{2} /r 
Momentum, Impulse 
I = F Δt = ΔM 
M = mv 
Work, Power 
W = F d cosθ 
P = ΔW/Δt 
Energy (conservation) 
E_{T} = E_{k} + E_{p} 
E = mc^{2} 
Spring Force, Work 
F = kx 
W = kx^{2} /2 
Continuity (fluids) 
A v = const. 
ρAv = const. 
Current and Resistance 
I = Q/t 
R = ρl/A 
Resistors (series, par.) 
R_{eq} = R_{1} + R_{2} . . . 
1/ R_{eq} = 1/ R_{1} +1/ R_{2} 
Sound 
dB = 10 log _{10} (I/I_{0} ) 
beats = Δ f 
Kirchoff's Laws 
Σi = 0 at a junction

ΣΔV = 0 in a loop 
Thermodynamics 
Q = mc Δ T (MCAT !) 
Q = mL 
Torque forces 
L_{1} = F_{1}× r_{1} (CCW + ve) 
L_{2} = F_{2} × r_{2} (CW ve) 
Torque force at EQ 
ΣF_{x} = 0 and ΣF_{y} = 0 
ΣL = 0 
Refraction 
( sin θ_{1} )/(sin θ_{2} ) = v_{1} /v_{2} = n_{2} /n_{1} = λ_{1} /λ_{2} 
n = c/v 


MCAT Physics Equations to memorize as pairs 
F = ma 
F = qE 
Similar Form 
F = K_{G} ( m_{1} m_{2} / r^{2} ) 
F = k ( q_{1} q_{2} / r^{2} ) 

V = IR 
P = IV 
Paired Use 
v_{av} = Δ d / Δ t 
a_{av} = Δ v / Δ t 
(avg vel, acc) 
v = λ f 
E = hf 
(f = 1/T) 
E_{k} = 1/2 mv^{2} 
E_{p} = mgh 
(kin, pot E) 
Ρ = F/A 
Δ Ρ = ρgΔh 
(pressure Ρ) 
SG = ρ substance / ρ water 
ρ = 1 g/cm^{3} = 10^{3} kg/m^{3} 
(Spec Grav) 
ρ = mass / volume 
F_{b} = Vρg = mg 
(buoyant F) 
I_{rms} = I_{max} / √2 
V_{rms} = V_{max} / √2 
Root Mean Sq 
1/ i + 1/ o = 1/ f = 2/r = Power 
M = magnification =  i/o 
Optics 
Note: Specific gravity (SG) is equivalent to the fraction of the height of a buoyant object below the surface of the fluid. 


Don't Memorize, Know How to Use... 
Ρ + ρgh + 1/2 ρv^{2} = constant 
Bernouilli's Equation 
Fluids in Motion 
L = L_{0} (1 + αΔ T ) 
Linear Expansion 
Solids, Temp Δ 
A = A_{0}(1 + γΔ T ) 
Area Expansion 

V = V_{0}(1 + βΔ T ) 
Volume Expansion 
β = 3 α 
f_{o} = f_{s} (V ± v_{o} )/( V ± v_{s} ) 
Doppler Effect: when d is decreasing use + v_{o} and  v_{s} 

V = Ed for a parallel plate capacitor 
d = the distance between the plates 

dF = dq v(B sin α) = I dl(B sin α) 
Laplace's Law 
RH rule 
1/ C_{eq} = 1/ C_{1} + 1/ C_{2} + 1/ C_{3} . . . 
Capacitors in Ser. and Par. 
C_{eq} = C_{1} + C_{2} . . . 
Potential Energy ( PE ) = W = 1/2 QV 
Work in Electricity 
W = 1/2 CV^{2} 
ΔG = ΔH  TΔS 
Gibbs Free Energy 
ΔG° = RTln K_{eq} 




Atomic Physics 
1) alpha (α) particle = _{2}He^{4} (helium nucleus);
2) beta (β) particle = _{1}e^{0} (an electron);
3) a positron _{+1}e^{0} (same mass as an electron but opposite charge);
4) gamma (γ) ray = no mass, no charge, just electromagnetic energy;
5) Δ m /Δ t = rate of decay where Δ m = change in mass, Δ t = change in time.
6) If the number of halflifes n are known we can calculate the percentage of a pure radioactive sample left after undergoing decay since the fraction remaining = (1/2)^{ n} .
N_{electrons} = 2 n^{2} , where N_{electrons} designates the number of electrons in shell n .
The state of each electron is determined by the four quantum numbers:
 principal quantum number n determines the number of shells, possible values are: 1 (K), 2 (L), 3 (M), etc...
 angular momentum quantum number l, determines the subshell, possible values are: 0 (s), 1 (p), 2 (d), 3 (f), n1, etc...
 magnetic momentum quantum number m_{l} , possible values are: ± l , ... , 0
 spin quantum number m_{s} ,determines the direction of rotation of the electron, possible values are: ±1/2.


The Basics 
sin θ = opp/hyp 
cos θ = adj/hyp 
tan θ =opp/adj 
θ = sin ^{1} x 
arcsec θ = sec^{1}θ 
r^{2} = x^{2} + y^{2} 
 angle θ may be given in radians (R) where 1 revolution = 2π^{R} = 360°
 estimate square root 3 as 1.7 and root 2 as 1.4
 crosssectional area of a tube = area of a circle = πr^{2} where π can be estimated as 3.14 and r is the radius of the circle; circumference = 2πr


Some Units to Memorize 
 Both work and energy are measured in joules where 1 joule (J) = 1 N × 1 m . {Imperial units: the footpound , CGS units: the dynecentimeter or erg }
 The SI unit for power is the watt (W) which equals one joule per second (J/s) = volts × amperes .
 Current is measured in amperes = coulombs/sec. The units of resistance are ohms, symbolized by Ω (omega), where 1 ohm = 1 volt/ampere.
 The SI unit for pressure is the pascal (1 Pa = 1 N/m^{2} ). Other units are: 1.00 atm = 1.01 × 10^{5} Pa = 1.01 bar = 760 mmHg = 760 torr.
 The SI unit for the magnetic induction vector B is the tesla where 1 T = 1 N/(A)(m) = 10^{4} gauss.



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