Y13: A2 Physics


In year 13 we follow the AQA Physics A specification. The course consists of 3 units which are assessed at the end of the year.

Unit 4 – Fields & further mechanics

This unit consists of the following sections and is assessed by a 1 hr 45 min examination.

Further mechanics
Momentum concepts
Circular motion
Simple harmonic motion
Simple harmonic systems
Forces vibrations and resonance

Newton’s law
Gravitational field strength
Gravitational potential
Orbits of planets and satellites

Electric fields
Coulomb’s law
Electric field strength
Electric potential
Comparison of electric and gravitational fields

Energy stored by a capacitor
Capacitor discharge

Magnetic fields
Magnetic flux density
Moving charges in magnetic fields
Magnetic flux and flux linkage
Electromagnetic induction

Unit 5 – Nuclear physics, thermal physics and astrophysics

This unit consists of the following sections and is assessed by a 1 hr 45 min examination.

Evidence for the nucleus
α, β and γ radiation
Radioactive decay
Nuclear instability
Nuclear radius

Nuclear energy
Mass and energy
Induced fission
Safety aspects

Thermal physics
Thermal energy
Ideal gases
Molecular kinetic theory

Lenses and optical telescopes
Astronomical telescope consisting of two converging lenses
Reflecting telescopes
Resolving power
Charge coupled device

Non-optical telescopes
Single dish radio telescopes, I-R, U-V, and X-Ray telescopes

Classification of stars
Classification by luminosity
Apparent magnitude, m
Absolute magnitude, M
Classification by temperature, black body radiation
Principles of the use of stellar spectral classes
The Hertzsprung-Russell diagram
Supernovae, neutron stars and black holes

Doppler effect
Hubble’s law

Unit 6 – Investigative and practical skills in A2 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 4 PHYA4                                                                                   Fields & further mechanics
Written examination – (75 marks/120 UMS), 6 or 7 structured questions
1 ¾ hours
Section A is 25 multiple choice questions, each worth one mark
Section B is a written paper of 4/5 structured questions and consists of 50 marks
20% of the total A Level marks

Unit 5 PHA5A                                             Nuclear physics, thermal physics and astrophysics
Written examination – (75 marks/120 UMS)
1 ¾ hours
Section A: Nuclear and Thermal physics – 40 marks – 4/5 structured questions
Section B: Astrophysics – 35 marks – 4/5 structured questions
20% of the total A Level marks

Unit 6 PHA6T                                                   Investigative and practical skills in A2 physics
Centre marked route T – 50 marks
Practical skills assessment (9 marks)
Investigative skills assessment (41 marks)
10% of the total A Level marks

For each of the examinations, students are given an equation sheet to aid their workings. A copy of the A2 equation sheet can be found below.
A2 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.

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