In year 12 we follow the AQA Physics A specification. The course consists of 3 units which are assessed at the end of the year.
Unit 1 – Particles, quantum phenomena & electricity
This unit consists of the following sections and is assessed by a 1 hr 15 min examination.
Particles & radiation
Constituents of the atom
Stable and unstable nuclei
Particles, antiparticles & photons
Particle interactions
Classification of particles
Quarks & antiquarks
Electromagnetic radiation and quantum phenomena
The photoelectric effect
Collisions of electrons with atoms
Energy levels and photon emission
Wave-particle duality
Current electricity
Charge, current and potential difference
Current/voltage characteristics
Resistivity
Circuits
Potential divider
Electromotive force and internal resistance
Alternating current
Oscilloscope
Unit 2 – Mechanics, materials & waves
This unit consists of the following sections and is assessed by a 1 hr 15 min examination.
Mechanics
Scalars & vectors
Moments
Motion along a straight line
Projectile motion
Newton’s laws of motion
Work, energy & power
Conservation of energy
Materials
Bulk properties of solids
The Young Modulus
Waves
Progressive waves
Longitudinal & transverse waves
Refraction at a plane surface
Superposition of waves, stationary waves
Interference
Diffraction
Unit 3 – Investigative and practical skills in AS physics (ISA)
This unit assesses students’ practical skills and is carried out from March onwards. The topics for assessment change each year however students are required to complete the following;
A practical investigation provided by the examination board. Students should construct a table of results and plot a graph of their data by the end of the allocated time.
A 1 hour paper will be given for students to carry out analysis. The paper is split in to two sections-
Section A – This consists of a number of questions relating to the student’s own data
Section B – This section will provide a further set of data related to the original experiment. A number of questions relating to the analysis and evaluation of the data then follow.
The 3 units for assessment are weighted in the following way;
Unit 1 PHYA1 Particles, quantum phenomena & electricity |
Unit 2 PHYA2 Mechanics, materials & waves |
Unit 3 PHA3T Investigative and practical skills in AS physics |
For each of the examinations, students are given an equation sheet to aid their workings. A copy of the AS equation sheet can be found below.
AS Equation Sheet
Each student is provided with a textbook to support the course and throughout the year are shown suggested resources that may help their progress through the topics being covered.
For further reading, the specification can be found here.