Gold Standard MCAT Physics Equations Sheet (List of MCAT Physics Formulas)
This MCAT Physics Equations Sheet is by no means an exhaustive review of MCAT Physics. Our sheet is only meant to highlight key equations that are most helpful for the new MCAT. For a list of topics for the new MCAT: MCAT Physics Topics List. You can also access practice questions in our Free MCAT Practice Test, or our many fulllength MCAT Practice Tests.
This MCAT Physics Equations Sheet provides helpful physics MCAT equations for MCAT Physics practice. MCAT Physics equations for 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.
Do you see the symbols alpha: α mu: μ delta: Δ
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Gold Standard MCAT Physics Equations  Memorize
Translational motion 
x = x_{o} + v_{o}t + 1/2at^{2}  (V_{ƒ})^{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} 
Capacitors in Ser. and Par. 
1/ C_{eq} = 1/ C_{1} + 1/ C_{2} + 1/ C_{3} . . . 
C_{eq} = C_{1} + C_{2} . . 
Sound 
dB = 10 log_{10} (I/I_{0} ) 
beats = Δ ƒ 
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 
*Not technically in the new MCAT Physics syllabus but since these are simple concepts that have been the source of traditional MCAT questions, we do not believe that they should be discarded from your preparation.
Gold Standard MCAT Physics Equations  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) 
1/ i + 1/ o = 1/ f = 2/r = Power 
M = magnification =  i/o 
Optics 
ΔG = ΔH  TΔS 
Gibbs Free Energy 
ΔG° = RTln K_{eq} 
Gold Standard MCAT Physics Equations  Know How to Use  Do Not Memorize
Ρ + ρgh + 1/2 ρv_{2} = constant 
Bernouilli's Equation 
Fluids in Motion 
f_{0} = f_{s} (V ± V_{0} )/( V ± V_{s} ) 
Doppler Effect: when d is decreasing use + V_{0} 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 
Potential Energy ( PE ) = W = 1/2 QV 
Work in Electricity 
W = 1/2 CV^{2} 
Gold Standard MCAT Physics Equations  Atomic Nucleus & Electronic Structure
 Alpha (α) particle = _{2}He^{4} (helium nucleus);
 Beta (β) particle = _{1}e^{0} (an electron);
 A positron = _{+1}e^{0} (same mass as an electron but opposite charge);
 Gamma (γ) ray = no mass, no charge, just electromagnetic energy;
 Δ m /Δ t = rate of decay where Δ m = change in mass, Δ t = change in time.
 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}
 Determines the orbital
 Possible values are: ± l , ... , 0
 Spin quantum number = m_{s}
 Determines the direction of rotation of the electron
 Possible values are: ± 1/2
Gold Standard MCAT Physics Equations  Trigonometry  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
Gold Standard MCAT Physics Equations  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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