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#### Unit 1: Thermal, nuclear and electrical physics

##### Topic 1: Heating processes

Kinetic particle model and heat flow

Unit 1: Thermal, nuclear and electrical physics > Topic 1: Heating processes > Kinetic particle model and heat flow

- Describe the kinetic particle model of matter

- Define and distinguish between thermal energy, temperature, kinetic energy, heat and internal energy

- Explain heat transfers in terms of conduction, convection and radiation.

Temperature and specific heat capacity

Unit 1: Thermal, nuclear and electrical physics > Topic 1: Heating processes > Temperature and specific heat capacity

- Use \( T_K = T_C + 273 \) to convert temperature measurements between Celsius and Kelvin

- Use digital and other measuring devices to collect data, ensuring measurements are recorded using the correct symbol, SI unit, number of significant figures and associated measurement uncertainty (Absolute and percentage; all experimental measurements should be recorded in this way)

- Explain that a change in temperature is due to the addition or removal of energy from a system (without phase change)

- Define specific heat capacity and the concept of proportionality

- Interpret tabulated and graphical data of heat added to a substance and its subsequent temperature change (without phase change)

- Solve problems involving specific heat capacity.

- Mandatory practical: Conduct an experiment that obtains data to be plotted on a scatter graph (with correct title and symbols, units and labels on the axes), analysed by calculating the equation of a linear trend line, interpreted to draw a conclusion, and reported on using scientific conventions and language.

- Mandatory practical: Conduct an experiment that determines the specific heat capacity of a substance, ensuring that measurement uncertainties associated with mass and temperature are propagated. Where the mean is calculated (in this, and future experiments), determine the percentage and/or absolute uncertainty of the mean.

Phase changes and specific latent heat

Unit 1: Thermal, nuclear and electrical physics > Topic 1: Heating processes > Phase changes and specific latent heat

- Explain why the state temperature of the system remains the same during the process of state change; explain it in terms of the internal energy of a system and the kinetic particle model of matter

- Define specific latent heat

- Solve problems involving specific latent heat.

Energy conservation in calorimetry

Unit 1: Thermal, nuclear and electrical physics > Topic 1: Heating processes > Energy conservation in calorimetry

- Define thermal equilibrium in terms of the temperature and average kinetic energy of the particles in each of the systems

- Explain the process in which thermal energy is transferred between two systems until thermal equilibrium is achieved, and recognise this as the zeroth law of thermodynamics

- Solve problems involving specific heat capacity, specific latent heat and thermal equilibrium.

Energy in systems — mechanical work and efficiency

Unit 1: Thermal, nuclear and electrical physics > Topic 1: Heating processes > Energy in systems — mechanical work and efficiency

- Explain that a system with internal energy has the capacity to do mechanical work

- Recall that the change in the internal energy of a system is equal to the energy added or removed by heating plus the work done on or by the system, and recognise this as the first law of thermodynamics and that this is a consequence of the law of conservation of energy

- Explain heat energy transfers and transformations in mechanical systems always result in some heat loss to the environment, so that the amount of useable energy is reduced

- Define efficiency

- Solve problems involving finding the efficiency of heat transfers.

##### Topic 2: Ionising radiation and nuclear reactions

Nuclear model and stability

Unit 1: Thermal, nuclear and electrical physics > Topic 2: Ionising radiation and nuclear reactions > Nuclear model and stability

- Describe the nuclear model of the atom characterised by a small nucleus surrounded by electrons

- Explain why protons in the nucleus repel each other

- Define the strong nuclear force

- Explain the stability of a nuclide in terms of the operation of the strong nuclear force over very short distances, electrostatic repulsion, and the relative number of protons and neutrons in the nucleus.

Spontaneous decay and half-life

Unit 1: Thermal, nuclear and electrical physics > Topic 2: Ionising radiation and nuclear reactions > Spontaneous decay and half-life

- Explain natural radioactive decay in terms of stability

- Define alpha radiation, beta positive radiation, beta negative radiation and gamma radiation

- Describe alpha, beta positive, beta negative and gamma radiation, including the properties of penetrating ability, charge, mass and ionisation ability

- Explain how an excess of protons, neutrons or mass in a nucleus can result in alpha, beta positive and beta negative decay

- Solve problems involving balancing nuclear equations

- Represent spontaneous alpha, beta positive and beta negative decay using decay equations, e.g. \( _{92}^{238}U \rightarrow _{90}^{234}Th + \alpha \) \( _{6}^{12}C \rightarrow _{7}^{12}N + e^{-} + \bar{\nu} \) \( _{27}^{60}Co \rightarrow _{28}^{60}Ni + e^{-} + \nu \) \( _{53}^{125}I \rightarrow _{54}^{125}Xe + e^{-} + \nu \)

- Explain how a radionuclide will, through a series of spontaneous decays, become a stable nuclide

- Define half-life

- Solve radioactive decay problems involving whole numbers of half-lives.

Energy and mass defect

Unit 1: Thermal, nuclear and electrical physics > Topic 2: Ionising radiation and nuclear reactions > Energy and mass defect

- Describe energy in terms of electron volts (eV) and joules (J)

- Define artificial transmutation

- Distinguish between artificial transmutations and natural radioactive decay

- Define nuclear fission

- Explain a neutron-induced nuclear fission reaction, including references to extra neutrons produced from many of these reactions

- Research nuclear safety, considering the suitability of using the sources of information in terms of their credibility

- Explain a fission chain reaction

- Define nuclear fusion

- Define mass defect, binding energy and binding energy per nucleon

- Recall Einstein’s mass–energy equivalence relationship

- Solve problems involving Einstein’s mass–energy equivalence relationship

- Explain that more energy is released per nucleon in nuclear fusion than in nuclear fission because a greater percentage of the mass is transformed into energy.

##### Topic 3: Electrical circuits

Current, potential difference and energy flow

Unit 1: Thermal, nuclear and electrical physics > Topic 3: Electrical circuits > Current, potential difference and energy flow

- Recall that electric charge can be positive or negative

- Recall that electric current is carried by discrete electric charge carriers

- Recall the law of conservation of electric charge

- Recall that electric charge is conserved at all points in an electrical circuit and recognise this as Kirchhoff’s current law

- Define electric current, electrical potential difference in a circuit, and power

- Solve problems involving electric current, electric charge and time

- Explain that the energy inputs in a circuit equal the sum of energy output from loads in the circuit and recognise this as Kirchhoff’s voltage law

- Recall that the energy available to electric charges moving in an electrical circuit is measured using electrical potential difference

- Solve problems involving electrical potential difference

- Explain why electric charge separation produces an electrical potential difference (no calculations required to demonstrate this)

- Solve problems involving power

Resistance

Unit 1: Thermal, nuclear and electrical physics > Topic 3: Electrical circuits > Resistance

- Define resistance

- Recall and solve problems using Ohm’s Law

- Compare and contrast ohmic and non-ohmic resistors

- Interpret graphical representations of electrical potential difference versus electric current data to find resistance using the gradient and its uncertainty.

- Mandatory practical: Conduct an experiment that measures electric current through, and electrical potential difference across an ohmic resistor in order to find resistance. Write a research question. Suggest modifications to the methodology used in class to improve the outcome. Collect sufficient data. Consider safety and manage risks.

Circuit analysis and design

Unit 1: Thermal, nuclear and electrical physics > Topic 3: Electrical circuits > Circuit analysis and design

- Define power dissipation over resistors in a circuit

- Solve problems involving electrical potential difference, electric current, resistance and power

- Recall resistor, voltmeter, ammeter, cell, battery, switch and bulb circuit diagram symbols

- Recognise series and parallel connections of components in electrical circuits

- Solve problems involving finding equivalent resistance, electrical potential difference and electric currents in series and parallel circuits

- Design simple series, parallel and series/parallel circuits.

#### Unit 2: Linear motion and waves

##### Topic 1: Linear motion and force

Vectors

Unit 2: Linear motion and waves > Topic 1: Linear motion and force > Vectors

- Define the terms vector and scalar, and use these terms to categorise physical quantities, e.g. velocity and speed

- Calculate resultant vectors through the addition and subtraction of two vectors in one dimension.

Linear motion

Unit 2: Linear motion and waves > Topic 1: Linear motion and force > Linear motion

- Define the terms displacement, velocity and acceleration

- Compare and contrast instantaneous and average velocity

- Describe the motion of an object by interpreting a linear motion graph

- Calculate and interpret the intercepts and gradients (and their uncertainties) of displacement–time and velocity–time graphs, and the areas under velocity–time and acceleration–time graphs

- Solve problems involving the equations of uniformly accelerated motion in one dimension

- Recall that the acceleration due to gravity is constant near the Earth’s surface.

- Mandatory practical: Conduct an experiment to verify the value of acceleration due to gravity on the Earth’s surface. All data sets that suggest a non-linear relationship, data (e.g. \( F \) versus \( s \)) should be linearised and plotted, allowing for the calculation of the equation of a linear trend line. An evaluation of the experimental process undertaken, and of the conclusions drawn, will require students to - discuss the reliability and validity of the experimental process with reference to the uncertainty and limitations of the data - identify justifiable sources of imprecision and inaccuracy - suggest improvements or extensions to the experiment using the uncertainty and limitations identified.

- Mandatory practical: Conduct an experiment that requires students to construct and interpret displacement-time and velocity-time graphs with resulting data. Where appropriate, students should use vertical error bars when plotting data. This ensures that they can determine the uncertainty of the gradient and intercepts using minimum and maximum lines of best fit.

Newton’s laws of motion

Unit 2: Linear motion and waves > Topic 1: Linear motion and force > Newton’s laws of motion

- Define Newton’s three laws of motion and give examples of each

- Identify forces acting on an object

- Construct free-body diagrams representing forces acting on an object

- Determine the resultant force acting on an object in one dimension

- Solve problems using each of Newton’s three laws of motion

- Define the terms momentum and impulse

- Recall the principle of conservation of momentum

- Solve problems involving momentum, impulse, the conservation of momentum and collisions in one dimension

- Determine and interpret the area under a force–time graph.

Energy

Unit 2: Linear motion and waves > Topic 1: Linear motion and force > Energy

- Define the terms mechanical work, kinetic energy and gravitational potential energy

- Solve problems involving work done by a force

- Solve problems involving kinetic energy and gravitational potential energy

- Determine and interpret the area under a force–displacement graph

- Interpret meaning from an energy–time graph

- Define the terms elastic collision and inelastic collision

- Compare and contrast elastic and inelastic collisions

- Solve problems involving elastic and inelastic collisions

##### Topic 2: Waves

Wave properties

Unit 2: Linear motion and waves > Topic 2: Waves > Wave properties

- Recall that waves transfer energy

- Define the term mechanical wave

- Compare the terms transverse wave and longitudinal wave

- Describe examples of transverse and longitudinal waves, such as sound, seismic waves and vibrations of stringed instruments

- Recall the terms compression, rarefaction, crest, trough, displacement, amplitude, period, frequency, wavelength and velocity, identifying them on graphical and visual representations of a wave

- Interpret and calculate the amplitude, period, frequency and wavelength from graphs of transverse and longitudinal waves

- Solve problems involving the wavelength, frequency, period and velocity of a wave

- Define the terms reflection, refraction, diffraction and superposition

- Using the wave model of light, explain phenomena related to reflection and refraction

- Describe the reflection and refraction of a wave at a boundary between two media

- Apply the principle of superposition to determine the resultant amplitude of two simple waves

- Explain constructive interference and destructive interference of two simple waves

- Explain the formation of standing waves in terms of superposition with reference to constructive and destructive interference, and nodes and antinodes.

Sound

Unit 2: Linear motion and waves > Topic 2: Waves > Sound

- Solve problems involving standing wave formation in pipes open at both ends, closed at one end, and on stretched strings

- Define the concept of resonance in a mechanical system

- Define the concept of natural frequency

- Identify that energy is transferred efficiently in resonating systems.

Light

Unit 2: Linear motion and waves > Topic 2: Waves > Light

- Recall that light is not modelled as a mechanical wave, because it can travel through a vacuum

- Recall that a wave model of light can explain reflection, refraction, total internal reflection, dispersion, diffraction and interference

- Describe polarisation using a transverse wave model

- Use ray diagrams to demonstrate the reflection and refraction of light

- Solve problems involving the reflection of light on plane mirrors

- Define Snell’s Law

- Solve problems involving the refraction of light at the boundary between two mediums

- Recall that the speed of light in a vacuum is \( c = 3 \times 10^8 \text{m s}^{-1} \)

- Contrast the speed of light and the speed of mechanical waves

- Define the concept of intensity

- Solve problems involving the proportional relationship between intensity of light and the inverse-square of the distance from the source.

- Mandatory practical: Conduct an experiment to determine the refractive index of a transparent substance.

#### Unit 3: Gravity and electromagnetism

view_agenda query_stats##### Topic 1: Gravity and motion

view_agenda query_statsVectors

view_agenda query_statsProjectile motion

view_agenda query_statsInclined planes

view_agenda query_statsCircular motion

view_agenda query_statsGravitational force and fields

view_agenda query_statsOrbits

view_agenda query_stats##### Topic 2: Electromagnetism

view_agenda query_statsElectrostatics

view_agenda query_statsMagnetic fields

view_agenda query_statsElectromagnetic induction

view_agenda query_statsElectromagnetic radiation

view_agenda query_stats#### Unit 4: Revolutions in modern physics

view_agenda query_stats##### Topic 1: Special relativity

view_agenda query_statsSpecial relativity

view_agenda query_stats##### Topic 2: Quantum theory

view_agenda query_statsUnit 4: Revolutions in modern physics > Topic 2: Quantum theory

- Mandatory practical: Conduct an experiment (or use a simulation) to investigate the photoelectric effect. Data such as the photoelectron energy or velocity, or electrical potential difference across the anode and cathode, can be compared with the wavelength or frequency of incident light. Calculation of work functions and Planck’s constant using the data would also be appropriate.

##### Topic 3: The Standard Model

view_agenda query_statsThe Standard Model

view_agenda query_statsParticle interactions

view_agenda query_stats