Physics

Physics is a truly fascinating subject concerned with explaining how everything works, from the smallest imaginable particle to the stars and galaxies which make up our universe.

Year 9 Physics

Topics studied:

Particle model of matter

The particle model is widely used to predict the behaviour of solids, liquids and gases and this has many applications in everyday life. It helps us to explain a wide range of observations and engineers use these principles when designing vessels to withstand high pressures and temperatures, such as submarines and spacecraft. It also explains why it is difficult to make a good cup of tea high up a mountain!

Energy

The concept of energy emerged in the 19th century. The idea was used to explain the work output of steam engines and then generalised to understand other heat engines. It also became a key tool for understanding chemical reactions and biological systems. Limits to the use of fossil fuels and global warming are critical problems for this century. Physicists and engineers are working hard to identify ways to reduce our energy usage.

Skills that will be developed:

Working scientifically particularly the development of scientific thinking, experimental skills and strategies, analysis and evaluation and scientific vocabulary, quantities, units, symbols and nomenclature.

Mathematical skills will be developed such as arithmetic and numerical computation, handling data, algebra, graphs, geometry and trigonometry.

The use of apparatus and techniques will be developed through:

  • The development of investigative skills (devising and investigating testable questions, identifying and controlling variables, analysing, interpreting and evaluating data).
  • The development of practical skills such as using specialist equipment to take measurements, handling and manipulating equipment with confidence and fluency and recognizing hazards and planning how to minimize risk.

Formal assessments: (at the end of the course):

Paper 1 lasting one hour and forty five minutes. (100 marks)

Paper 2 lasting one hour and forty five minutes. (100 marks)

Exam board and specification:

AQA is the exam board

GCSE Physics (8463) is the specification

Extended tasks/Coursework/Controlled Assessment

Ten required practicals assessing the required apparatus and techniques.

Lists of texts:

AQA GCSE Physics Student Book by Jim Breithaupt (ISBN-13: 9780198359395)

AQA GCSE Physics Student Book by Sandra Mitchell and Charles Golabek (ISBN-13: 9780008158774)

AQA GCSE Physics Student Book by Nick England, Steve Witney (ISBN-13: 9781471851377)

New Grade 9-1 GCSE Physics for AQA: Student Book with Online Edition    (PATB42)

New Grade 9-1 GCSE Physics: AQA Revision Guide with Online Edition    (PAR47)

(https://www.cgpbooks.co.uk/School/books_gcse_science_new.books_gcse_science_aqa?range=new)

On-line resources:

http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/science

Specialist equipment needed

Scientific Calculator

Ruler

Year 10 Physics

Topics studied:

Electricity

Electric charge is a fundamental property of matter everywhere. Understanding the difference in the microstructure of conductors, semiconductors and insulators makes it possible to design components and build electric circuits. Many circuits are powered with mains electricity, but portable electrical devices must use batteries of some kind. Electrical power fills the modern world with artificial light and sound, information and entertainment, remote sensing and control. The fundamentals of electromagnetism were worked out by scientists of the 19th century. However, power stations, like all machines, have a limited lifetime. If we all continue to demand more electricity this means building new power stations in every generation – but what mix of power stations can promise a sustainable future?

Forces

Engineers analyse forces when designing a great variety of machines and instruments, from road bridges and fairground rides to atomic force microscopes. Anything mechanical can be analysed in this way. Recent developments in artificial limbs use the analysis of forces to make movement possible.

Waves

Wave behaviour is common in both natural and man-made systems. Waves carry energy from one place to another and can also carry information. Designing comfortable and safe structures such as bridges, houses and music performance halls requires an understanding of mechanical waves. Modern technologies such as imaging and communication systems show how we can make the most of electromagnetic waves.

Skills that will be developed:

Working scientifically particularly the development of scientific thinking, experimental skills and strategies, analysis and evaluation and scientific vocabulary, quantities, units, symbols and nomenclature.

Mathematical skills will be developed such as arithmetic and numerical computation, handling data, algebra, graphs, geometry and trigonometry.

The use of apparatus and techniques will be developed through:

  • The development of investigative skills (devising and investigating testable questions, identifying and controlling variables, analysing, interpreting and evaluating data).
  • The development of practical skills such as using specialist equipment to take measurements, handling and manipulating equipment with confidence and fluency and recognizing hazards and planning how to minimize risk.

Formal assessments (at the end of the course):

Paper 1 lasting one hour and forty five minutes. (100 marks)

Paper 2 lasting one hour and forty five minutes. (100 marks)

Exam board and specification:

AQA is the exam board

GCSE Physics (8463) is the specification

Extended tasks/Coursework/Controlled Assessment

Ten required practicals assessing the required apparatus and techniques.

Lists of texts:

AQA GCSE Physics Student Book by Jim Breithaupt (ISBN-13: 9780198359395)

AQA GCSE Physics Student Book by Sandra Mitchell and Charles Golabek (ISBN-13: 9780008158774)

AQA GCSE Physics Student Book by Nick England, Steve Witney (ISBN-13: 9781471851377)

New Grade 9-1 GCSE Physics for AQA: Student Book with Online Edition    (PATB42)

New Grade 9-1 GCSE Physics: AQA Revision Guide with Online Edition    (PAR47)

(https://www.cgpbooks.co.uk/School/books_gcse_science_new.books_gcse_science_aqa?range=new)

On-line resources:

http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/science

Specialist equipment needed

Scientific Calculator

Ruler

Year 11 Physics

Topics studied:

P2.3. Currents in electrical circuits.

The current in an electric circuit depends on the resistance of the components and the supply.

P2.4. Using mains electricity safely and the power of electrical appliances.

Mains electricity is useful but can be very dangerous. It is important to know how to use it safely. Electrical appliances transfer energy. The power of an electrical appliance is the rate at which it transforms energy. Most appliances have their power and the potential difference of the supply they need printed on them. From this we can calculate their current and the fuse they need.

P2.5. What happens when radioactive substances decay, and the uses and dangers of their emissions?

Radioactive substances emit radiation from the nuclei of their atoms all the time. These nuclear radiations can be very useful but may also be very dangerous. It is important to understand the properties of different types of nuclear radiation. To understand what happens to radioactive substances when they decay we need to understand the structure of the atoms from which they are made. The use of radioactive sources depends on their penetrating power and half-life.

P2.6. Nuclear fission and nuclear fusion.

During the process of nuclear fission atomic nuclei split. This process releases energy, which can be used to heat water and turn it into steam. The steam drives a turbine, which is connected to a generator and generates electricity. Nuclear fusion is the joining together of atomic nuclei and is the process by which energy is released in stars.

P3.1. Medical applications of physics.

Physics has many applications in the field of medicine. These include the uses of X-rays and ultrasound for scanning, and of light for image formation with lenses and endoscopes.

P3.2. Using physics to make things work.

Many things, from simple toys to complex fairground rides, are constructed from basic machines such as the lever. A knowledge of the physics involved in balancing and turning can help us to make these appliances work.

P3.3. Keeping things moving.

Electric currents produce magnetic fields. Forces produced in magnetic fields can be used to make things move. This is called the motor effect and is how appliances such as the electric motor create movement. Many appliances do not use 230 volts mains electricity. Transformers are used to provide the required potential difference

Skills that will be developed:

How Science Works will be developed by looking at key features such as:

  • The thinking behind the doing
  • Fundamental ideas
  • Observation as a stimulus to investigation
  • Designing an investigation
  • Making measurements
  • Presenting data
  • Using data to draw conclusions
  • Evaluation
  • Societal aspects of scientific evidence
  • Limitations of scientific evidence

Formal assessments (at the end of the course):

Unit 1: Physics Paper 1 lasting one hour (100 UMS)

Unit 2: Physics Paper 2 lasting one hour (100 UMS)

Unit 3: Physics Paper 3 lasting one hour (100 UMS)

Unit 4: Controlled Assessment (100 UMS)

Exam board and specification:

AQA is the exam board

GCSE Physics (4403) is the specification

Extended tasks/Coursework/Controlled Assessment

Completion of an ISA

Lists of texts:

AQA Science GCSE Physics by Jim Breithaupt (ISBN-13: 978-1408508329)

GCSE Physics for AQA: Student Book with Interactive Online Edition    (PATB41)

GCSE Physics AQA Complete Revision & Practice    (PAS46)

(https://www.cgpbooks.co.uk/School/books_gcse_science.books_gcse_science_aqa?range=old)

On-line resources:

http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/science

 

Specialist equipment needed

Scientific Calculator

Ruler

Year 12/13 Physics (AQA): AS and A Level Year 1

Topics studied:

3.1 Measurements and their errors

3.1.1 Use of SI units and their prefixes

3.1.2 Limitation of physical measurements

3.1.3 Estimation of physical quantities

3.2 Particles and radiation

3.2.1 Particles

3.2.2 Electromagnetic radiation and quantum phenomena

3.3 Waves

3.3.1 Progressive and stationary waves

3.3.2 Refraction, diffraction and interference

3.4 Mechanics and materials

3.4.1 Force, energy and momentum

3.4.2 Materials

3.5 Electricity

3.5.1 Current electricity

Skills that will be developed:

Practical skills will be developed such as independent thinking, use and application of scientific methods and practices, numeracy and the application of mathematical concepts in a practical context, and instruments and equipment.

Mathematical skills will be developed such as arithmetic and numerical computation, handling data, algebra, graphs, geometry and trigonometry.

Competencies (CPAC) will be developed such as following written procedures, applying investigative approaches and methods when using instruments and equipment, safely using a range of practical equipment and materials, making and recording observations and researches, references and reports.

Formal assessments: (at the end of the course):

Paper 1 + Paper 2

What’s assessed

Sections 3.1 to 3.5

What’s assessed

Sections 3.1 to 3.5

 

How it’s assessed

Written exam 1 hour 30 minutes

70 marks

50% of the AS

How it’s assessed

Written exam 1 hour 30 minutes

70 marks

50% of the AS

Questions

70 marks of short and long answer questions split by topic.

Questions

Section A: 20 marks of short and long answer questions on practical skills and data analysis

Section B: 20 marks of short and long answer questions from across all areas of AS content

Section C: 30 multiple choice questions

 

Exam board and specification:

AQA is the exam board

AS and A-level Physics (AS 7407) is the specification

Extended tasks/Coursework/Controlled Assessment:

Required practical 1 – Investigation into the variation of the frequency of stationary waves on a string with length,     tension and mass per unit length of the string.

Required practical 2 – Investigation of interference effects to include the Young’s slit experiment and interference by a    diffraction grating.

Required practical 3 – Determination of g by a free-fall method.

Required practical 4 – Determination of the Young modulus by a simple method.

Required practical 5 – Determination of resistivity of a wire using a micrometer, ammeter and voltmeter.

Required practical 6 – Investigation of the emf and internal resistance of electric cells and batteries by measuring the variation of the terminal pd of the cell with current in it.

Lists of texts:

AQA Physics AS Year 1 Student Book

Authors: Jim Breithaupt

Publisher: Oxford University Press (including Nelson Thornes)

ISBN-13: 978-0-1983-5186-3

AQA A-level Physics Student Book

Author: Jim Breithaupt

Publisher: Oxford University Press (including Nelson Thornes)

ISBN-13: 978-0-19-835187-0

AQA A-level Physics Year 1 Student Book

Authors: Nick England, Nicky Thomas, Jeremy Pollard, Carol Davenport

Publisher: Hodder Education

ISBN-13: 978-1-4718-0773-2

AQA A-level Physics: Student Book 1

Author: Dave Kelly

Publisher: Collins

ISBN-13: 978-0-00-759022-3

New A-Level Physics: AQA Year 1 & AS Complete Revision & Practice with Online Edition (PAR53) (https://www.cgpbooks.co.uk/School/books_a_level_physics_aqa)

On-line resources:

http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/science/as-and-a-level/physics-7407-7408

Specialist equipment needed

Scientific Calculator

Ruler

Year 13 Physics: A Level Year 2 (AQA)

Topics studied:

3.6 Further mechanics and thermal physics.

3.6.1 Periodic motion.

3.6.2 Thermal physics.

3.7 Fields and their consequences.

3.7.1 Fields.

3.7.2 Gravitational fields.

3.7.3 Electric fields.

3.7.4 Capacitance.

3.7.5 Magnetic fields.

3.8 Nuclear physics.

3.8.1 Radioactivity.

3.12 Turning points in physics.

3.12.1 The discovery of the electron.

3.12.2 Wave-particle duality.

3.12.3 Special relativity.

Skills that will be developed:

Practical skills will be developed such as independent thinking, use and application of scientific methods and practices, numeracy and the application of mathematical concepts in a practical context, and instruments and equipment,

Mathematical skills will be developed such as arithmetic and numerical computation, handling data, algebra, graphs, geometry and trigonometry.

Competencies (CPAC) will be developed such as following written procedures, applying investigative approaches and methods when using instruments and equipment, safely using a range of practical equipment and materials, making and recording observations and researches, references and reports.

Formal assessments: (at the end of the course):

Paper 1 Paper 2 Paper 3

What’s assessed

Sections 3.1 to 3.6.1

 

What’s assessed

Sections 3.6.2, 3.7 and 3.8

Assumed knowledge from

sections 3.1 to 3.6.1

 

What’s assessed

Section A: Compulsory section: Practical skills and data analysis.

Section B: 3.12

 

How it’s assessed

·         Written exam: 2 hours

·         85 marks

·         34% of the A-level

How it’s assessed

·         Written exam: 2 hours

·         85 marks

·         34% of the A-level

How it’s assessed

·         Written exam: 2 hours

·         80 marks

·         32% of the A-level

Questions

60 marks of short and long answer questions and 25 multiple choice questions on content.

Questions

60 marks of short and long answer questions and 25 multiple choice questions on content.

Questions

45 marks of short and long answer questions on practical experiments and data analysis.

35 marks of short and long answer questions on optional topic (3.12).

 

Exam board and specification:

AQA is the exam board

A-level Physics (7408) is the specification

Extended tasks/Coursework/Controlled Assessment:

Required practical 7 – Investigation into simple harmonic motion using a mass-spring system and a simple pendulum.

Required practical 8 – Investigation of Boyle’s (constant temperature) law and Charles’s (constant pressure) law for a gas.

Required practical 9 – Investigation of the charge and discharge of capacitors. Analysis techniques should include log-linear plotting leading to a determination of the time constant RC.

Required practical 10 – Investigate how the force on a wire varies with flux density, current and length of wire using a top pan balance.

Required practical 11 – Investigate, using a search coil and oscilloscope, the effect on magnetic flux linkage of varying the angle between a search coil and magnetic field direction.

Required practical 12 – Investigation of the inverse-square law for gamma radiation.

Lists of texts:

AQA A-level Physics Student Book

Author: Jim Breithaupt

Publisher: Oxford University Press (including Nelson Thornes)

ISBN-13: 978-0-19-835187-0

AQA A-level Physics Year 2 Student Book

Author: Jim Breithaupt

Publisher: Oxford University Press (including Nelson Thornes)

ISBN-13: 978-0-19-835772-8

AQA A-level Physics Year 2 Student Book

Authors:  Nick England, Nicky Thomas, Jeremy Pollard, Carol Davenport

Publisher: Hodder Education

ISBN-13: 978-1-4718-0776-3

AQA A-level Physics: Student Book 2

Authors: Lynn Pharaoh, Chris Bishop and Chris Gidzewicz

Publisher: Collins

ISBN-13: 978-0-00-759764-2

New A-Level Physics: AQA Year 2 Complete Revision & Practice with Online Edition (PAR62) (https://www.cgpbooks.co.uk/School/books_a_level_physics_aqa)

On-line resources:

http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/science/as-and-a-level/physics-7407-7408

Specialist equipment needed

Scientific Calculator

Ruler