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Senior External School (Year 11-12)

Physics 2020

Paul McInerney
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The branch of science concerned with the nature and properties of matter and energy.

A knowledge of physics is useful in:

  • exercising our responsibilities as citizens;
  • confronting technologies;
  • understanding the relationships between the physical and social environment; and
  • pursuing hobbies and appreciating the challenge of a particular way of knowing the world.

Thus, two basic reasons emerge for the study of physics at secondary level: firstly, it is the study of some of our attempts to understand the universe and secondly, its applications have produced and continue to produce pressures to change our society.


Physics Syllabus

Here is the course outline:

1. April Exam and Instructions

- Exam Instructions are now available - The Exam will be available half-an-hour before the exam start time

2. Introduction, syllabus and physical quantities

Introduction to the physics syllabus and physical quantities and measurement.

3. Forces and Motion

In this unit we will study how objects move (kinematics) and why objects move (dynamics).

4. Energy and Momentum

In this topic we investigate the concepts of energy and momentum which culminate in the laws of conservation of these quantities. The conservation laws facilitate powerful and elegant solutions to a wide range of problems.

5. Mechanical Waves

Waves transfer energy. The study of the properties of mechanical waves leads to an understanding of the wave like properties of electromagnetic radiation.

6. Electrostatics and Electricity

The ideas of electromotive force and electrical potential difference are fundamental to the notion of electric circuits and controlling electrical potential. These concepts lead to an understanding of voltage, current, resistance and electronic components.

7. Magnetism and electromagnetism

Magnetism is a force of nature that draws comparison to other forces and field effects such as gravitation and electric fields. This topic contains important principles that underlie most modern technology.

8. Wave model of light

Energy can be transported by wave motion, which does not involve the transfer of material. The properties and characteristics of waves may be investigated as they travel in different media.

9. Quantum Theory

Energy given off by atoms is not continuous but is given off in small discrete packets of energy known as quanta.

10. Special Relativity

Observations of relative motion, light and matter can not be explained by classical physics. The special theory of relativity describes the phenomena of time dilation, length contraction and relativistic momentum.

11. Atomic and Nuclear Physics

Atomic and nuclear physics marks the beginning of 'modern physics'. In this topic the student learns the sources and properties of radiation. Informed discussion and decision making about nuclear energy requires understanding of the principles of nuclear energy.

12. The Standard Model

The standard model attempts to classify all the particles that make up the matter and antimatter of the universe and how these particles interact.

13. Worked solutions to CYL sheets

Scanned copies of my worked solutions to the end of chapter Check Your Learning sheets. Some of these are incomplete and will be updated. I can't guarantee they are error free, so if you disagree with my answer please let me know! Book 2 sheets are now the 'published' answers. Beware that this doesn't guarantee that they are error free either.

14. Revision by Topic

Resources for the revision of topics from syllabus Units 3 and 4.

15. June Exam and Instructions

This Tab contains the following documents: - Physics June Exam Multiple Choice Questions - Physics June Exam - Senior Physics 19 Formula Data Book

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