# 2020/2021 Physics Syllabus from JAMB

The aim of the 2019 JAMB Physics Syllabus for Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME), is to prepare the candidates for the Board’s examination. It is designed to test their achievement of the course objectives, which are to:

(1) sustain their interest in physics;

(2) develop attitude relevant to physics that encourage accuracy, precision and objectivity;

(3) interpret physical phenomena, laws, definitions, concepts and other theories;

(4) demonstrate the ability to solve correctly physics problems using relevant theories and concepts.

1. MEASUREMENTS AND UNITS

Topics:

(a) Length, area and volume: Metre rule, Venier calipers MicrometerScrew-guage, measuring cylinder

(b) Mass

(i) unit of mass

(ii) use of simple beam balance

(iii) concept of beam balance

(c) Time

(i) unit of time

(ii) time-measuring devices

(d) Fundamental physical quantities

(e) Derived physical quantities and their units

(i) Combinations of fundamental quantities and determination of their units

(f) Dimensions

(i) definition of dimensions

(ii) simple examples

(g) Limitations of experimental measurements

(i) accuracy of measuring instruments

(ii) simple estimation of errors.

(iii) significant figures.

(iv) standard form.

(h) Measurement, position, distance and displacement

(i) concept of displacement

(ii) distinction between distance and displacement

(iii) concept of position and coordinates

(iv) frame of reference

Objectives:

Candidates should be able to:

i. identify the units of length, area and volume;

ii. use different measuring instruments;

iii. determine the lengths, surface areas and volume of regular and irregular bodies;

iv. identify the unit of mass;

v. use simple beam balance, e.g Buchart’s balance and chemical balance;

vi. identify the unit of time;

vii. use different time-measuring devices;

viii. relate the fundamental physical quantities to their units;

ix. deduce the units of derived physical quantities;

x. determine the dimensions of physical quantities;

xi. use the dimensions to determine the units of physical quantities;

xii. test the homogeneity of an equation;

xiii. determine the accuracy of measuring instruments;

xiv. estimate simple errors;

xv. express measurements in standard form.

Candidates should be able to:

i. use strings, meter ruler and engineering calipers, vernier calipers and micrometer, screw guage

ii. note the degree of accuracy

iii. identify distance travel in a specified direction

iv. use compass and protractor to locate points/directions

v. use Cartesians systems to locate positions in x-y plane

vi. plot graph and draw inference from the graph.

2. Scalars and Vectors

Topics:

(i) definition of scalar and vector quantities

(ii) examples of scalar and vector quantities

(iii) relative velocity

(iv) resolution of vectors into two perpendicular directions including graphical methods of solution.

Objectives:

Candidates should be able to:

i. distinguish between scalar and vector quantities;

ii. give examples of scalar and vector quantities;

iii. determine the resultant of two or more vectors;

iv. determine relative velocity;

v. resolve vectors into two perpendicular components;

vi. use graphical methods to solve vector problems;

3. Motion

Topics:

(a) Types of motion: translational, oscillatory, rotational, spin and random

(b) Relative motion

(c) causes of motion

(d) Types of force

(i) contact

(ii) force field

(e) linear motion

(i) speed, velocity and acceleration

(ii) equations of uniformly accelerated motion

(iii) motion under gravity

(iv) distance-time graph and velocity time graph

(v) instantaneous velocity and acceleration.

(f) Projectiles:

(i) calculation of range, maximum height and time of flight from the ground and a height

(ii) applications of projectile motion

(g) Newton’s laws of motion:

(i) inertia, mass and force

(ii) relationship between mass and acceleration

(iii) impulse and momentum

(iv) force – time graph

(v) conservation of linear momentum (Coefficient of restitution not necessary)

(h) Motion in a circle:

(i) angular velocity and angular acceleration

(ii) centripetal and centrifugal forces.

(iii) applications

(i) Simple Harmonic Motion (S.H.M):

(i) definition and explanation of simple harmonic motion

(ii) examples of systems that execute S.H.M

(iii) period, frequency and amplitude of S.H.M

(iv) velocity and acceleration of S.H.M

(v) simple treatment of energy change in S.H.M

(vi) force vibration and resonance (simple treatment)

(iii) conservative and non-conservative fields

(iv) acceleration due to gravity

(v) variation of g on the earth’s surface

(iv) distinction between mass and weight

(v) escape velocity

(vi) parking orbit and weightlessness

Objectives:

Candidates should be able to :

i. identify different types of motion ;

ii. solve numerical problem on collinear motion;

iii. identify force as cause of motion;

iv. identify push and pull as form of force

v. identify electric and magnetic attractions, gravitational pull as forms of field forces;

vi. differentiate between speed, velocity and acceleration;

vii.deduce equations of uniformly accelerated motion;

viii. solve problems of motion under gravity;

ix. interpret distance-time graph and velocity-time graph;

x. compute instantaneous velocity and acceleration

xi. establish expressions for the range, maximum height and time of flight of projectiles;

xii. solve problems involving projectile motion;

xiii. solve numerical problems involving impulse and momentum;

xiv. interpretation of area under force – time graph

xv. interpret Newton’s laws of motion;

xvi. compare inertia, mass and force;

xvii. deduce the relationship between mass and acceleration;

xviii. interpret the law of conservation of linear momentum and application

xix. establish expression for angular velocity, angular acceleration and centripetal force;

xx. solve numerical problems involving motion in a circle;

xxi. establish the relationship between period and frequency;

xxii. analyse the energy changes occurring during S.H.M

xxiii. identify different types of forced vibration

xxiv. enumerate applications of resonance.

Candidates should be able to:

i. identify the expression for gravitational force between two bodies;

ii. apply Newton’s law of universal gravitation;

iii. give examples of conservative and non-

conservative fields;

iv. deduce the expression for gravitational field potentials;

v. identify the causes of variation of g on the earth’s surface;

vi. differentiate between mass and weight;

vii. determine escape velocity

5. Equilibrium of Forces

Topics:

(a) equilibrium of particles:

(i) equilibrium of coplanar forces

(ii) triangles and polygon of forces

(iii) Lami’s theorem

(b) principles of moments

(i) moment of a force

(ii) simple treatment and moment of a couple (torgue)

(iii) applications

(c) conditions for equilibrium of rigid bodies under the action of parallel and non-parallel forces

(i) resolution and composition of forces in two perpendicular directions,

(ii) resultant and equilibrant

(d) centre of gravity and stability

(i) stable, unstable and neutral equilibra

Objectives:

Candidates should be able to:

i. apply the conditions for the equilibrium of coplanar forces to solve problems;

ii. use triangle and polygon laws of forces to solve equilibrium problems;

iii. use Lami’s theorem to solve problems;

iv. analyse the principle of moment of a force;

v. determine moment of a force and couple;

vi. describe some applications of moment of a force and couple;

vii. apply the conditions for the equilibrium of rigid bodies to solve problems;

viii. resolve forces into two perpendicular directions;

ix. determine the resultant and equilibrant of forces;

x. differentiate between stable, unstable and neutral equilibra.

6. (a) Work, Energy and Power

Topics:

(i) definition of work, energy and power

(ii) forms of energy

(vii) conservation of energy

(iv) qualitative treatment between different forms of energy

(viii) interpretation of area under the force-distance curve

(b) Energy and society

(i) sources of energy

(ii) renewable and non-renewable energy eg coal, crude oil etc

(iii) uses of energy

(iv) energy and development

(v) energy diversification

(vi) environmental impact of energy eg global warming, green house effect and spillage

(vii) energy crises

(viii)conversion of energy

(ix) devices used in energy production.

(c) Dams and energy production

(i) location of dams

(ii) energy production

(d) nuclear energy

(e) solar energy

(i) solar collector

(ii) solar panel for energy supply.

Objectives:

Candidates should be able to:

i. differentiate between work, energy and power;

ii. compare different forms of energy, giving examples;

iii. apply the principle of conservation of energy;

iv. examine the transformation between different forms of energy;

v. interpret the area under the force -distance curve.

vi. solve numerical problems in work, energy and power.

Candidates should be able to:

i. itemize the sources of energy

ii. distinguish between renewable and non- renewable energy, examples should be given

iii. identify methods of energy transition

iv. explain the importance of energy in the development of the society

v. analyze the effect of energy use to the environment

vi. identify the impact of energy on the environment

vii. identify energy sources that are friendly or hazardous to the environment

viii. identify energy uses in their immediate environment

ix. suggests ways of safe energy use

x. state different forms of energy conversion.

7. Friction

Topics:

(i) static and dynamic friction

(ii) coefficient of limiting friction and its determination.

(iii) advantages and disadvantages of friction

(iv) reduction of friction

(v) qualitative treatment of viscosity and terminal velocity.

(vi) Stoke’s law.

Objectives:

Candidates should be able to:

i. differentiate between static and dynamic friction

ii.determine the coefficient of limiting friction;

iii.compare the advantages and disadvantages of friction;

iv. suggest ways by which friction can be reduced;

v. analyse factors that affect viscosity and terminal velocity;

vi. apply Stoke’s law.

8. Simple Machines

Topics:

(i) definition of simple machines

(ii) types of machines

(iii) mechanical advantage, velocity ratio and efficiency of machines

Objectives:

Candidates should be able to:

i. identify different types of simple machines;

ii. solve problems involving simple machines.

9. Elasticity

Topics:

(i) elastic limit, yield point, breaking point, Hooke’s law and Young’s modulus

(ii) the spring balance as a device for measuring force

(iii.) work done per unit volume in springs and elastic strings

(i) work done per unit volume in springs and elastic strings.

Objectives:

Candidates should be able to:

i. interpret force-extension curves;

ii. interpret Hooke’s law and Young’s modulus of a material;

iii use spring balance to measure force;

iv. determine the work done in spring and elastic strings

10. Pressure

Topics:

(a) Atmospheric Pressure

(i) definition of atmospheric pressure

(ii) units of pressure (S.I) units (Pa)

(iii) measurement of pressure

(iv) simple mercury barometer, aneroid barometer and manometer.

(v) variation of pressure with height

(vi) the use of barometer as an altimeter.

(b) Pressure in liquids

(i) the relationship between pressure, depth and density (P = ?gh)

(ii) transmission of pressure in liquids (Pascal’s Principle)

(iii) application

Objectives:

Candidates should be able to:

i. recognize the S.I units of pressure; (Pa)

ii. identify pressure measuring instruments;

iii. relate the variation of pressure to height;

iv. use a barometer as an altimeter.

v. determine the relationship between pressure, depth and density;

vi apply the principle of transmission of pressure

in liquids to solve problems;

vii. determine and apply the principle of pressure in liquid;

11. Liquids At Rest

Topics:

(i) determination of density of solids and liquids

(ii) definition of relative density

(iii) upthrust on a body immersed in a liquid

(iv) Archimede’s principle and law of floatation and applications, e.g. ships and hydrometers.

Objectives:

Candidates should be able to:

i. distinguish between density and relative density of substances;

ii. determine the upthrust on a body immersed in a liquid

iii. apply Archimedes’ principle and law of floatation to solve problems

12. Temperature and Its Measurement

Topics:

(i) concept of temperature

(ii) thermometric properties

(iii) calibration of thermometers

(iv) temperature scales -Celsius and Kelvin.

(v) types of thermometers

(vi) conversion from one scale of temperature to another

Objectives:

Candidates should be able to:

i. identify thermometric properties of materials that are used for different thermometers;

ii. calibrate thermometers;

iii. differentiate between temperature scales e.g Celsius and Kelvin.

iv. compare the types of thermometers;

vi. convert from one scale of temperature to another.

13. Thermal Expansion

Topics:

(a) Solids

(i) definition and determination of linear, volume and area expansivities

(ii) effects and applications, e.g. expansion in building strips and railway lines

(iii) relationship between different expansivities

(b) Liquids

(i) volume expansivity

(ii) real and apparent expansivities

(iii) determination of volume expansivity

(iv) anomalous expansion of water

Objectives:

Candidates should be able to:

i. determine linear and volume expansivities;

ii. assess the effects and applications of thermal expansivities

iii. determine the relationship between different expansivities.

iv. determine volume, apparent, and real expansivities of liquids;

v. analyse the anomalous expansion of water.

14. Gas Laws

(i) Boyle’s law (isothermal process)

(ii) Charle’s law (isobaric process)

(iii) Pressure law (volumetric process

(iv) absolute zero of temperature

(v) general gas quation PV \ T = constant

(vi) ideal gas equation Eg. Pv = nRT

(vii) Van der waal gas

Objectives:

Candidates should be able to:

i. interpret the gas laws;

ii. use expression of these laws to solve numerical problems.

iii. interprete Van der waal equation for one mole of a real gas

15. Quantity of Heat

Topics:

(i) heat as a form of energy

(ii) definition of heat capacity and specific heat capacity of solids and liquids

(iii) determination of heat capacity and specific heat capacity of substances by simple methods e.g method of mixtures and electrical method and Newton’s law of cooling

Objectives:

Candidates should be able to:

i. differentiate between heat capacity and specific heat capacity;

ii. determine heat capacity and specific heat capacity using simple methods;

iii. solve numerical problems.

16. Change of State

Topics:

(i) latent heat

(ii) specific latent heats of fusion and vaporization;

(iii) melting, evaporation and boiling

(iv) the influence of pressure and of dissolved substances on boiling and melting points.

(ii) application in appliances

Objectives:

Candidates should be able to:

i. differentiate between latent heat and specific latent heats of fusion and vaporization;

ii. differentiate between melting, evaporation and boiling;

iii. examine the effects of pressure and of dissolved substance on boiling and melting points.

iv. solve numerical problems

17. Vapours

Topics:

(i) unsaturated and saturated vapours

(ii) relationship between saturated vapour pressure (S.V.P) and boiling

(iii) determination of S.V.P by barometer tube method

(iv) formation of dew, mist, fog, and rain

(v) study of dew point, humidity and relative humidity

(vi) hygrometry; estimation of the humidity of the atmosphere using wet and dry bulb hygrometers.

Objectives:

Candidates should be able to:

i. distinguish between saturated and unsaturated vapours;

ii. relate saturated vapour pressure to boiling point;

iii. determine S.V.P by barometer tube method

iv. differentiate between dew point, humidity and relative humidity;

vi. estimate the humidity of the atmosphere using wet and dry bulb hygrometers.

vii. solve numerical problems

18. Structure of Matter and Kinetic Theory

Topics:

(a) Molecular nature of matter

(i) atoms and molecules

(ii) molecular theory: explanation of Brownian motion, diffusion, surface tension, capillarity, adhesion, cohesion and angles of contact etc

(iii) examples and applications.

(b) Kinetic Theory

(i) assumptions of the kinetic theory

(ii) using the theory to explain the pressure exerted by gas, Boyle’s law, Charles’ law, melting, boiling, vapourization, change in temperature, evaporation, etc.

Objectives:

Candidates should be able to:

i. differentiate between atoms and molecules;

ii. use molecular theory to explain Brownian motion , diffusion, surface, tension, capillarity, adhesion, cohesion and angle of contact;

iii. examine the assumptions of kinetic theory;

iv. interpret kinetic theory, the pressure exerted by gases Boyle’s law, Charle’s law melting,boiling vaporization, change in temperature, evaporation, etc.

19. Heat Transfer

Topics:

(i) conduction, convection and radiation as modes of heat transfer

(ii) temperature gradient, thermal conductivity and heat flux

(iii) effect of the nature of the surface on the energy radiated and absorbed by it.

(iv) the conductivities of common materials.

(v) the thermos flask

(vii) land and sea breeze

(viii) engines

Objectives:

Candidates should be able to:

i. differentiate between conduction, convection and radiation as modes of heat transfer;

ii. solve problems on temperature gradient, thermal conductivity and heat flux;

iii. assess the effect of the nature of the surface on the energy radiated and absorbed by it;

iv. compare the conductivities of common materials;

v. relate the component part of the working of the thermos flask;

vi. differentiate between land and sea breeze.

vii. to analyse the principles of operating internal combustion jet engines, rockets

20. Waves

Topics:

(a) Production and Propagation

(i) wave motion,

(ii) vibrating systems as source of waves

(iii) waves as mode of energy transfer

(iv) distinction between particle motion and wave motion

(v) relationship between frequency, wavelength and wave velocity V = f λ

(vi) phase difference, wave number and wave vector

(vii) progressive wave equation e.g Y = A Sin 2π / λ (vt + or – X)

(b) Classification

(i) types of waves; mechanical and electromagnetic waves

(ii) longitudinal and transverse waves

(iii) stationary and progressive waves

(iv) examples of waves from springs, ropes, stretched strings and the ripple tank.

(c) Characteristics/Properties

(i) reflection, refraction, diffraction and plane Polarization

(ii) superposition of waves e.g interference

(iii) beats

(iv) doppler effects (qualitative treatment only)

Objectives:

Candidates should be able to:

i. interpret wave motion;

ii. identify vibrating systems as sources of waves;

iii use waves as a mode of energy transfer;

iv distinguish between particle motion and wave motion;

v. relate frequency and wave length to wave velocity;

vi. determine phase difference, wave number and wave vector

vii. use the progressive wave equation to compute basic wave parameters;

viii. differentiate between mechanical and electromagnetic waves;

ix. differentiate between longitudinal and transverse waves

x. distinguish between stationary and progressive waves;

xi. indicate the example of waves generated from springs, ropes, stretched strings and the ripple tank;

vii. differentiate between reflection, refraction, diffraction and plane polarization of waves;

viii. analyse the principle of superposition of waves.

ix. solve numerical problems on waves

x. explain the phenomenon of beat, beat frequency and uses

xi. explain Doppler effect of sound and application

21. Propagation of Sound Waves

Topics:

(i) the necessity for a material medium

(ii) speed of sound in solids, liquids and air;

(iii) reflection of sound; echoes, reverberation and their applications

(iv) disadvantages of echoes and reverberations

Objectives:

Candidates should be able to:

i. determine the need for a material medium in the propagation of sound waves;

ii. compare the speed of sound in solids, liquids and air;

iii. relate the effects of temperature and pressure to the speed of sound in air;

iv. solve problem on echoes, reverberation and speed

iv. compare the disadvantages and advantages of echoes.

vi. solve problems on echo, reverberation and speed of sound

22. Characteristics of Sound Waves

Topics:

(i) noise and musical notes

(ii) quality, pitch, intensity and loudness and their application to musical instruments;

(iii) simple treatment of overtones produced by vibrating strings and their columns F_o = 1/2L √ T / μ (μ = m / l )

(iv) acoustic examples of resonance

(v) frequency of a note emitted by air columns in closed and open pipes in relation to their lengths.

Objectives:

Candidates should be able to:

i. differentiate between noise and musical notes;

ii. analyse quality, pitch, intensity and loudness of sound notes;

iii. evaluate the application of (ii) above in the construction of musical instruments;

iv. identify overtones by vibrating stings and air columns;

v. itemize acoustical examples of resonance;

vi. determine the frequencies of notes emitted by air columns in open and closed pipes in relation to their lengths.

23. Light Energy

Topics:

(a) Sources of Light:

(i) natural and artificial sources of light

(ii) luminous and non-luminous objects

(b) Propagation of light

(i) speed, frequency and wavelength of light

(ii) formation of shadows and eclipse

(iii) the pin-hole camera.

Objectives:

Candidates should be able to:

i. compare the natural and artificial sources of light;

ii. differentiate between luminous and non luminous objects;

iii. relate the speed, frequency and wavelength of light;

iv. interpret the formation of shadows and eclipses;

v. solve problems using the principle of operation of a pin-hole camera.

24. Reflection of Light at Plane and Curved Surfaces

Topics:

(i) laws of reflection.

(ii) application of reflection of light

(iii) formation of images by plane, concave and convex mirrors and ray diagrams

(iii) use of the mirror formula 1/f = 1/u + 1/v (v) linear magnification

Objectives:

Candidates should be able to:

i. compare the natural and artificial sources of light;

ii. differentiate between luminous and non luminous objects;

iii. relate the speed, frequency and wavelength of light;

iv. interpret the formation of shadows and eclipses;

v. solve problems using the principle of operation of a pin-hole camera.

25. Refraction of Light Through at Plane and Curved Surfaces

Topics:

(i) explanation of refraction in terms of velocity of light in the media.

(ii) laws of refraction

(iii) definition of refractive index of a medium

(iv) determination of refractive index of glass and liquid using Snell’s law

(v) real and apparent depth and lateral displacement

(vi) critical angle and total internal reflection

(b) Glass Prism

(i) use of the minimum deviation formula U = sin [A + D / 2 / sin [A / 2] (ii) type of lenses

(iii) use of lens formula 1/f = 1/u + 1/v and Newton’s formular (F2 = ab)

(iv) magnification

Objectives:

Candidates should be able to:

i. interpret the laws of reflection;

ii. illustrate the formation of images by plane, concave and convex mirrors;

iii. apply the mirror formula to solve optical problems;

iv. determine the linear magnification;

v. apply the laws of reflection of light to the working of periscope, kaleidoscope and the sextant.

Candidates should be able to:

i. interpret the laws of reflection;

ii. determine the refractive index of glass and liquid using Snell’s law;

iii. determine the refractive index using the principle of real and apparent depth;

iv. determine the conditions necessary for total internal reflection;

v. examine the use of periscope, prism, binoculars, optical fibre;

vi. apply the principles of total internal reflection to the formation of mirage;

vii. use of lens formula and ray diagrams to solve optical numerical problems;

viii. determine the magnification of an image;

ix. calculate the refractive index of a glass prism using minimum deviation formula.

26. Optical Instruments

Topics:

(i) the principles of microscopes, telescopes, projectors, cameras and the human eye (physiological details of the eye are not required)

(ii) power of a lens

(iii) angular magnification

(iv) near and far points

(v) sight defects and their corrections

Objectives:

Candidates should be able to:

i. apply the principles of operation of optical instruments to solve problems;

ii. distinguish between the human eye and the cameras;

iii. calculate the power of a lens;

iv. evaluate the angular magnification of optical instruments;

v. determine the near and far points;

vi. detect sight defects and their corrections.

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