Physics A2 AQA/A

Length of course: 5 half-day sessions
Boards: AQA/A (2451) only

This course is suitable only for students following the AQA/ Physics A (2451) specification. The following topics will be covered:

Unit 4: Fields and Further Mechanics (PHYA 4)

  • Momentum: Conservation of linear momentum; Impulse; Newton's second law
  • Circular Motion: Angular speed; Centripetal force; Motion in horizontal and vertical circles
  • The Gravitational Field: Newton's law of gravitation; Gravitational potential; Potential energy; Equipotentials; Field lines; Field strength; Escape velocity; Circular and geostationary orbits
  • Oscillations: Equation of motion; Graphical relationships between displacement; Acceleration and velocity; Energy of an oscillating system; Damped and forced oscillations; Resonance
  • Electric Fields: Coulomb's law; Electric field strength for a point charge and for two parallel plates; Motion under electric field; Work and energy; Analogy with gravitational field
  • Capacitors: Characteristics of a capacitor; Capacitance; Link with charge and potential difference; Energy stored in a capacitor; Charging/discharging graphs; Exponential decay model; Time constant
  • Magnetic Fields: Magnetic field of a current-carrying wire and a coil; Field lines; Flux density; Flux Linkage; Motion in constant magnetic field; Faraday/Lenz law of induction; Transformers

Unit 5: Compulsory Topics (PHYA 5/1)

  • Nuclear Physics: Rutherford's experiment; Radius of the nucleus; Nucleons; Binding energy; Fusion; Induced fission; Nuclear reactors; α and β decays; γ radiation; Activity; Decay constant; Half life
  • Thermal Physics: Thermal energy; Heat capacity; Gas laws; Ideal gas equation; PVT graphs; Absolute temperature scale; Boltzmann's constant; Molar and molecular masses; Kinetic theory

Unit 5: Optional Unit 1 (PHYA 5/2A): Astrophysics

Students for whom this optional unit is not relevant will be set revision work on compulsory topics.

  • Optics: Thin lenses; Optical and non-optical telescopes; Magnification; Resolving power; CCDs
  • Stellar Classification: Apparent magnitude; Absolute magnitude; Luminosity; Temperature classification; Black body radiation; Stefan's law; Wien's law; Spectral classification of stars
  • Stellar Evolution: HR diagram; Evolution of low and high mass stars; Supernovae; Schwarzschild radius
  • The Cosmic Distance Ladder: Measuring distances within the solar system; Parallax; Cepheid variables; Standard candles
  • Cosmology: The Doppler effect; Application to binary stars; Red shift; Hubble's law; Big bang theory; Quasars