Biology Sixth

Physics

Why study Physics at A level?

Physics looks to explain the Universe around us, from the very smallest quantum phenomena to astronomical interactions. The A-level course expands upon the classical areas of Physics whilst introducing these exciting new areas of study.

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Physics is vital in present-day society and lies at the heart of the multitude of science and engineering disciplines. The study of Physics encourages an enquiring, logical and analytical mind; important traits for many less obviously related careers in for example computing, business and finance.

Most importantly you must enjoy Physics and be intrigued to find out more about the world around you.

Specification

We follow the OCR A specification for Physics. We feel this specification gives the greatest range of study; including quantum, nuclear and medical physics. Along with the rigorous demands of the examinations the specification provides a good basis for further study of Physics or related subjects.

Forces and motion

(Motion, Forces in action, Work energy and power, Materials, Laws of motion and momentum)

This unit covers more advanced classical mechanics, moving away from one dimensional problems to those in two dimensions and removing some of the simplifications used in GCSE Physics. The materials topic is especially useful for those considering study of engineering or materials science.

Electrons, waves and photons

(Charge and current, Energy power and resistance, Electrical circuits, Waves, Quantum physics)

This unit covers more advanced circuits, introducing Kirchhoff’s laws as a way of calculating currents and voltages. The waves topic covers the physics underlying the production of musical notes from instruments and the surprising consequences of interfering waves. Quantum physics introduces the concept of wave-particle duality through phenomena and calculations.

 

Newtonian world and astrophysics

(Thermal physics, Circular motion, Oscillations, Gravitational fields, Astrophysics and cosmology)

The second year of the A level course introduces many more topics for the first time. Circular motion, gravitational fields and astrophysics combine to explain the basic structure of solar systems whilst giving individually impressive conclusions such as the value of g and the sloped nature of high-speed racing tracks.

 

Particles and medical physics

(Capacitors, Electric fields, Electromagnetism, Nuclear and particle physics, Medical imaging)

This unit introduces the capacitor, one of the most prevalent and important electrical components. The interaction between electricity and magnetism is vital for electricity production; in this unit students use the powerful equations underlying this relationship. Subatomic particles are introduced along with mass-energy which fuels the Sun and is the emerging future of electricity production on Earth. Medical physics introduces the processes behind each of the most common medical scans.

 

Practical endorsement

Practical work forms a large basis of the A level Physics course. At the end of the A level pupils will receive a ‘practical endorsement’ classification in addition to their A level grade.

 

Department

Students will be taught by one or two teachers. Weekly twilight support sessions are held with further support available as necessary. Multiple lecture visits to Cambridge University are organized throughout the year along with visits to sites of scientific interest.