STEP I, Question 5
(Please someone check this, I'm not very confident, because I did last year)
Spoiler:Show
(i) Triangle with x on the adjacent, x on the opposite, and h+R on the hypotenuse, implies , so .
(ii) h is small relative to h, so distance tends to , but (for obviously small ), so , so .
(iii) We draw some strange diagram... and then... !
, where is an angle ZOK, where K is a side of the earth, as well as that angle being the angle XZO. So two triangles are congruent, and the opposite is R, hypotenuse h+R and x the adjacent.
, and since h gets large compared to R, . Then, , so and .
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STEP I, II, III 1999 solutions
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 24032009 18:27

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 24032009 18:54
STEP I 1999 Question 7
Could somebody verify the method used in the third part? It really would not hold up as any kind of a proof in my eyes. I did this one last year, too.
Spoiler:ShowFirst part:
Substituting into the differential equation:
.
As required, it is satisfied.
Second part:
, so , and
, , so , . At x = 0, also , so . At the differential equation, also, . Equating the x terms, we get . So, . Thus, is a polynomial solution to the differential equation.
Third part:
If we let for , then we get the equivalent solutions . This holds because the initial conditions hold for the polynomial solution and for the trigonometric solution. Thus, they must equal.
Last edited by AurelAqua; 24032009 at 19:12. 
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 24032009 19:09
(Original post by AurelAqua)
STEP I 1999 Question 7
Could somebody verify the method used in the third part? It really would not hold up as any kind of a proof in my eyes. I did this one last year, too.
The following isn't really any different to what you wrote, but it feels a little bit better, somehow:
My versionBy the first part, we know Y(x) = sin(3 arcsin x) is a solution to the DE, and we can see Y(0) = 0 and Y'(0) = 3. So this must equal our other solution and so
sin(3 arcsin x) = 3x  4x^3.
Then for 1 <= x <= 1 we can write x = sin y to get
sin 3y = 3 sin y  4 sin^3 y.
I don't think you'd lose more than 2 marks for what you did though (and that would basically be because of not checking the initial conditions). 
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 24032009 19:15
STEP I 1999 Question 10
(Someone please verify that my assumption is correct).
Spoiler:ShowDiagram: points A, P and B in one vertical line (A at the top), l being the length of AND, and showing is going up.
The spring can be assumed as two separate [equallength] ones.
At equilibrium, , so .
We also know that and .
Equating the forces in the general case, . Also and . Thus,
. We know that the spring constant is the same for both parts , so:
and then
, where k is the spring constant, which clearly is SHM.
. From this, the period will only be dependent on the mass, and nothing else (since the spring constant is unique to the spring itself and its natural length, not deformed length).
Last edited by AurelAqua; 24032009 at 19:39. 
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 24032009 19:21
(Original post by AurelAqua)
STEP I, Question 5
(Please someone check this, I'm not very confident, because I did last year)
Spoiler:Show
(i) Triangle with x on the adjacent, x on the opposite, and h+R on the hypotenuse, implies , so .
(ii) h is small relative to h, so distance tends to , but (for obviously small ), so , so .
(iii) We draw some strange diagram... and then... !
, where is an angle ZOK, where K is a side of the earth, as well as that angle being the angle XZO. So two triangles are congruent, and the opposite is R, hypotenuse h+R and x the adjacent.
, and since h gets large compared to R, . Then, , so and .

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 24032009 19:24
I don't see how you can assume the string to be the same as two separate equal length ones, when we're given there are two lengths a and b.

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 24032009 19:38
(Original post by DFranklin)
I don't see how you can assume the string to be the same as two separate equal length ones, when we're given there are two lengths a and b. 
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 24032009 19:55
STEP I 1999 Question 14
Post rating:1 
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 24032009 19:56
STEP I, Question 2

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 24032009 20:57
STEP II, Question 10
Please check it
Spoiler:ShowFirst part
Forming the basic equations:
Thus, .
Second part
For the last hit particle not to be hit by the one before that, the condition: (This means: final velocity of particle n must be less than the initial particle's (n+1) velocity, so there would be N1 impacts), which, after factoring, gives:
.
. We also know that , , and so . Summing,
. Initial K.E. .
, as required.

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 24032009 21:02
STEP II, Question 13
Spoiler:ShowWlog our stick is of unit length and by symmetry we can choose the length of the shorter piece. Let
The probability that is
Since we're choosing from a uniform distribution, this probability is
This is the cumulative distribution. Therefore the probability density function is
The expected value will be
and the variance
Last edited by SimonM; 24032009 at 21:29.Post rating:1 
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 24032009 21:11
STEP II, Question 13
Don't even quote me on this question, there is absolutely no guidance within it.
Post rating:1 
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 24032009 21:14
Heh. Different method, different answers. Not great
Last edited by SimonM; 24032009 at 21:31. 
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 24032009 21:24
Simon: Surely you really want to have p(R < r) = 1 in the case where r=1?
Edit: I don't think you're taking into account that your uniform variable is on [0,1/2], not [0,1], (and so has density 2 instead of density 1).Last edited by DFranklin; 24032009 at 21:27. 
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 24032009 21:26
(Original post by DFranklin)
Simon: Surely you really want to have p(R < r) = 1 in the case where r=1?
Ah... spotted the problem. Not too bad to fix
Edit: Yeah, that was what I ascertained. Stupid mistakeLast edited by SimonM; 24032009 at 21:30. 
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 24032009 21:41
STEP II, Question 14
Spoiler:ShowYour tactic will essentially be "stop rolling if greater than a given number", this is because each result is independent on the previous ones, so you must take a decision based on what you have rolled. The probability of obtaining any of the scores in the "stop" range is the same (symmetry, relabelling, etc). Therefore, considering cases we have:
Stop after first:
Stop if larger than 2
Stop if larger than 3
Stop if larger than 4
Stop if larger than 5
Therefore we should stop if we get greater than 3. (or 4, I guess we should consider variances)Last edited by SimonM; 24032009 at 21:44. 
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 16042009 07:12
I think i got the same answer as yours

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 16042009 20:58
And we end up with a somwhat neater final answer:
Last edited by Unbounded; 16042009 at 21:00. 
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 19042009 15:16
For paper III Q2. PDF attached.

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 21042009 20:33
STEP III Question 13
I am not certain that this method is correct, so it would be very much appreciated if somebody were to follow my working and check I have not made any wrong assumptions.
Firstly,
so
ie expected proportion of cake.
Currents are randomly placed so the expected number of currents = 4 * 2/3 = 8/3
Now taking a proportion X of the cake gives probability X^4 that all 4 currents will be in that portion.
So taking a portion X and getting all 4 currents in that portion has pdf:
Hence,
and,
So finally
I have spent a whole day thinking about pdfs and probabilities and venn diagrams and integrals and have got about 100 wrong answers to this question, let alone a lot of messing about with excel formulas to convert rand() into the continuous random variable you want, so now my brain hurts! But, I think I finally understand how to do this question. If anybody has any comments, that would be great, and also if anybody could point me in the direction of similar questions to practice this, that would be good too, as I'm hoping that probability will be one of my specialist subjects in STEP. Now to attempt number 14...
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Updated: December 4, 2015
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