Upper Secondary Physics

Physics

upper-sec_physic
Units and Measurement
  1. identify the base quantities and their SI units
  2. identify and use prefixes and learn how to convert between them
  3. identify the orders of magnitude of the sizes of common objects ranging from a typical atom to the Earth
  4. define scalar and vector quantities and give common examples of each
  5. learn how to measure a variety of lengths with appropriate accuracy by using metre rules, micrometer screw gauges and vernier calipers, along with how to account for zero errors
  6. describe how to measure a short interval of time including the period of a simple pendulum with appropriate accuracy

 

Kinematics
  1. define kinematics terms such as distance, displacement, speed and velocity and how to apply their relevant equations
  2. define acceleration and calculate the value of an acceleration using equations
  3. plot and interpret a displacement-time graph and a
    velocity-time graph
  4. deduce, from the shape of a displacement-time graph and a velocity-time graph, the state of a body’s motion
  5. describe the motion of bodies with constant weight falling with or without air resistance, including reference to terminal velocity

 

Dynamics
  1. apply Newton’s Laws to describe and calculate:
    (i) effect of balanced and unbalanced forces on a body
    (ii) the ways in which a force may change the motion of a body
    (iii) action-reaction pairs acting on two interacting bodies
  2. identify forces acting on an object and draw free body diagram(s)
  3. solve problems for a static point mass under the action of 3 forces for 2-dimensional cases through the use of vector diagrams
  4. explain and calculate the effects of friction on the motion of a body

 

Mass, Weight and Density
  1. describe the effects of inertia on different bodies
  2. define mass, gravitational field strength and weight and learn how to use their relevant equations to solve questions
  3. distinguish between mass and weight
  4. define density and learn to use its equation to solve questions and describe real life applications

 

Turning Effect of Forces
  1. describe and calculate the moment of a force in terms of its turning effect and relate this to everyday examples
  2. state the principle of moments for a body in equilibrium
  3. apply the principle of moments to solve one pivot and two pivot problems
  4. describe qualitatively the effect of the position of the centre of gravity and base area of support on the stability of objects

 

Pressure
  1. define pressure and apply its equations to solve related problems
  2. calculate and explain the transmission of pressure in hydraulic systems with particular reference to the hydraulic press
  3. calculate pressure due to a liquid column to solve related problems
  4. describe how the height of a liquid column may be used to measure the atmospheric pressure
  5. describe the use of a manometer in the measurement of pressure difference

 

Energy, Work and Power
  1. define and calculate kinetic energy, potential energy (chemical, gravitational, elastic), light energy, thermal energy, electrical energy and nuclear energy through the use of relevant formulas
  2. state the principle of the conservation of energy and use it to solve related problems
  3. calculate the efficiency of an energy conversion
  4. apply the relationships for kinetic energy and potential energy to solve and explain conserved mechanical problems
  5. define and calculate work done and power using their formulas to solve related problems

 

Kinetic Model of Matter
  1. understand the macroscopic properties of solids, liquids and gases
  2. describe the molecular structure of solids, liquids and gases, relating their properties to the forces and distances between molecules and to the motion of the molecules
  3. infer from a Brownian motion experiment the evidence for the movement of molecules
  4. describe the relationship between the motion of molecules and temperature
  5. explain how gas exerts pressure in terms of the motion of its molecules
  6. recall and explain the following relationships using the kinetic model
    (i) a change in pressure of a fixed mass of gas at constant volume is caused by a change in temperature of the gas
    (ii) a change in volume occupied by a fixed mass of gas at constant pressure is caused by a change in temperature of the gas
    (iii) a change in pressure of a fixed mass of gas at constant temperature is caused by a change in volume of the gas

 

Transfer of Thermal Energy
  1. describe, in molecular terms, how energy transfer occurs in solids
  2. describe, in terms of density changes, convection in fluids
  3. explain that energy transfer of a body by radiation and how rate of energy transfer is affected by:
    (i) colour and texture of the surface
    (ii) surface temperature
    (iii) surface area
  4. apply the concept of thermal energy transfer to everyday applications

 

Temperature
  1. explain how a physical property which varies with temperature may be used to define temperature scales
  2. describe the process of calibration of a liquid-in-glass thermometer

 

Thermal Properties of Matter
  1. describe a rise in temperature of a body in terms of an increase in its internal energy
  2. define the terms heat capacity and specific heat capacity and their associated equations to solve problems
  3. describe melting/solidification and boiling/condensation
  4. explain the difference between boiling and evaporation
  5. define the terms latent heat and specific latent heat and their associated equations to solve problems
  6. explain latent heat in terms of molecular behaviour
  7. sketch and interpret a heating curve and cooling curve
General Wave Properties
  1. describe what is meant by wave motion as illustrated by vibrations in ropes and springs and by waves in a ripple tank
  2. define speed, frequency, wavelength, period, amplitude and wavefront
  3. recall and apply the relevant wave equations
  4. define transverse and longitudinal waves and give suitable examples of each

 

Light
  1. define and use the terms for reflection, such as normal, angle of incidence and angle of reflection
  2. define law of reflection and use this principle in constructions, measurements and calculations
  3. define and use the terms for refraction, such as normal, angle of incidence and angle of refraction
  4. define law of refraction and refractive index and use its equations to solve related problems
  5. explain and calculate critical angle and total internal reflection
  6. describe the effects of a thin lens on a beam of light
  7. define and calculate the focal length for a converging lens
  8. draw ray diagrams to illustrate the formation of real and virtual images of an object by a thin converging lens

 

Electromagnetic Spectrum
  1. define electromagnetic waves and their relevant characteristics
  2. describe the main components of the electromagnetic spectrum
  3. state examples of the use of the following components
  4. describe the effects of absorbing electromagnetic waves

 

Sound
  1. describe the production of sound
  2. describe the characteristics of sound waves
  3. explain how speed of sound differs in gasses, liquids and solids
  4. describe a direct method for the determination of the speed of sound in air and make the necessary calculation
  5. relate loudness of a sound wave to its amplitude and pitch to its frequency
  6. describe how the reflection of sound may produce an echo, and how this may be used for measuring distances
  7. define ultrasound and their applications

 

Static Electricity
  1. describe positive and negative charges and how they interact
  2. draw the electric field of several scenarios
  3. describe how to charge and discharge insulators
  4. describe experiments to show electrostatic charging by induction
  5. describe examples where electrostatic charging may be a potential hazard
  6. describe the use of electrostatic charging in real life scenarios

 

Current of Electricity
  1. define current and use its formula in calculations
  2. distinguish between conventional current and electron flow
  3. define electromotive force and potential difference and use their formulas in calculations
  4. define resistance use their formulas in calculations
  5. describe an experiment to determine the resistance of a metallic conductor using a voltmeter and an ammeter, and make the necessary calculations
  6. learn how to calculate effective resistance of a number of resistors in series and in parallel to solve related problems
  7. define resistivity anduse their formulas in calculations
  8. state Ohm’s Law
  9. describe the effect of temperature increase on the resistance of a metallic conductor
  10. sketch and interpret the I/V characteristic graphs for a metallic conductor at constant temperature, for a filament lamp and for a semiconductor diode

 

D.C. Circuits
  1. draw circuit diagrams with power sources (cell, battery, d.c. supply or a.c. supply), switches, lamps, resistors (fixed and variable), variable potential divider (potentiometer), fuses, ammeters and voltmeters, bells, light-dependent resistors, thermistors and light-emitting diodes
  2. state the relationships of current, electromotive force and potential difference in series and parallel circuits and use them to solve questions
  3. describe the action of a variable potential divider
  4. describe the action of thermistors and light-dependent resistors and explain their use as input transducers in potential dividers
  5. solve simple circuit problems involving thermistors and light-dependent resistors

 

Practical Electricity
  1. describe the use of the heating effect of electricity in appliances such as electric kettles, ovens and heaters
  2. use equations of electrical power and energy to solve related problems
  3. calculate the cost of using electrical appliances
  4. compare the use of non-renewable and renewable energy sources such as fossil fuels, nuclear energy, solar energy, wind energy and hydroelectric generation to generate electricity in terms of energy conversion efficiency, production costs and environmental impact
  5. state the hazards of using electricity
  6. explain the use of fuses and circuit breakers in electrical circuits and calculate fuse ratings
  7. explain the need for earthing metal cases and for double insulation
  8. state the meaning of the terms live, neutral and earth
  9. describe the wiring in a mains plug
  10. explain why switches, fuses, and circuit breakers are wired into the live conductor

 

Magnetism
  1. state the properties of magnets
  2. describe induced magnetism
  3. describe electrical methods of magnetisation and demagnetisation
  4. draw the magnetic field pattern around a bar magnet and between the poles of two bar magnets
  5. distinguish between the properties and uses of temporary magnets (e.g. iron) and permanent magnets (e.g. steel)

 

Electromagnetism
  1. draw the pattern of the magnetic field due to currents in straight wires and in solenoids and state the effect on the magnetic field of changing the magnitude and/or direction of the current
  2. describe the application of the magnetic effect of a current in a circuit breaker
  3. describe experiments to show the force on a current-carrying conductor, and on a beam of charged particles in a magnetic field
  4. deduce the relative directions of force, field and current when any two of these quantities are at right angles to each other using Fleming’s left-hand rule
  5. describe the field patterns between currents in parallel conductors and relate these to the forces which exist between the conductors
  6. explain how a current-carrying coil in a magnetic field experiences a turning effect
  7. discuss how this turning effect is used in the action of an electric motor
  8. describe the action of a split-ring commutator in a two-pole, single-coil motor and the effect of winding the coil on to a soft-iron cylinder

 

Electromagnetic Induction
  1. define, explain and apply Faraday’s Law and Lenz’s Law
  2. describe a simple form of a.c. generator and the use of slip rings
  3. sketch a graph of voltage output against time for a simple a.c. generator
  4. describe the use of a cathode-ray oscilloscope (c.r.o.) to display waveforms and to measure potential differences and short intervals of time
  5. interpret c.r.o. displays of waveforms, potential differences and time intervals to solve related problems
  6. describe the structure and principle of operation of a simple iron-cored transformer as used for voltage transformations and their relevant equations to solve problems
  7. describe the energy loss in cables and deduce the advantages of high voltage transmission

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