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Subject Leader

Dr B McGovern

Advanced Level



Why study Physics?

Physics attempts to describe how nature works using the language of mathematics. It is the most fundamental of all the natural sciences and its theories attempt to describe the behaviour of the smallest building blocks of matter, light, the universe and everything in between.

How will you be assessed?

Paper 1 (sections 1-5 and 6.1 periodic motion) ‐ Externally written examined modules –  34% of A Level grade

Paper 2 (assumed knowledge from all sections but the option Astrophysics) ‐ Examined Unit – 34% of A Level grade

Paper 3 (Part A: practical skills and data analysis; Part B: the option Astrophysics) ‐ Examined Unit –  32% of A Level grade

All examinations occur at the end of the Year 13.

What will you study?  
Section 1- Measurements and their errors Students will carry out experimental and investigative activities in order to improve their practical skills.  The examination will not involve completing a practical but answering questions related to practicals completed in class and completing a written paper.
Section 2 – Particle and radiation Particle physics introduces students to the fundamental properties of nature, matter, radiation and quantum mechanics.
Section 3 – Waves Waves studies, interference, stationary and progressive waves, fibre optics and diffraction.
Section 4 – Mechanics and  Material In mechanics, we study projectile motion, moments, Newton’s Laws, and energy conservation. Students will also look at the properties of materials, including Young Modulus.
Section 5 – Electricity Electricity involves the study of the laws underpinning electric circuits. Including applications such as superconductivity and the potential divider.
Section 6 – Further Mechanics and thermal physics Further mechanics includes momentum concepts, circular motion, simple harmonic motion and simple harmonic systems, forced vibrations and resonance. Thermal physics includes energy transfer calculations and qualitative treatment of the first law of thermodynamics, ideal gases and molecular kinetic theory modelling.
Section 7 – Fields and their consequences In this topic students will investigate forces acting at a distance. They will study gravitation, electric fields, capacitance, magnetic fields and electromagnetic induction.
Section 8 – Nuclear Physics As implied by the name, nuclear physics is focused on the nature of the atomic nucleus. Students will study phenomena such as radioactivity, nuclear instability, nuclear energy, as well as safety aspects of nuclear physics.
Option – Astrophysics Astrophysics, the application of physical laws and techniques to the observation of phenomena in space. Topics include telescopes, stellar evolution and classification and cosmology.
What will Physics offer you in the future?

Progression to University in a very wide range of subjects and a variety of careers and professions including engineering, natural sciences, financial services, architecture, computing, human resources, the law, education and research along with many others.