AS Course Outline
What is Physics?
As you probably know from GCSE, Physics is the science of the physical world. There are few completely new topics at AS-level that you won't have come across. AS level physics is simply GCSE work on mechanics, electricity and waves in more detail. Most GCSE Higher Level calculation topics are simply repeated, e.g. acceleration and kinetic/potential energy, voltage-current-resistance, while others e.g. heat, energy, electromagnetism and astronomy have calculations introduced at A-level, but are only descriptive at GCSE. Maths is involved in A-level Physics, and it is highly recommended that Maths is taken in tandem with Physics (you will even repeat the same Mechanics material in both Maths and Physics!). However, you don't need A Level Maths to be successful in Physics, you just need to be comfortable with most of the higher-tier GCSE maths, e.g. formulae (using and re-arranging them), graphs e.g. y=mx+c, Pythagoras, sin, cos and tan percentages and standard form.
AS-level Physics involves mechanics; motion, forces, momentum, kinetic/potential energy, and stretching solids, Hooke's Law. We study electricity, both circuits and how current is explained by electrons, then waves (e.g. light and sound waves). Other topics include refraction, diffraction, interference and sound waves in musical instruments. We study the wave and particle photon nature of light in quantum physics.
In the second year of the course, moving from AS to A Level, you will study further mechanics topics e.g. circular motion and oscillations, heat energy, the kinetic molecule theory of gases, astronomy-planet orbits, star life cycles, the Big Bang theory of the Universe, electromagnetism (motors, generators, transformers), radioactivity, particle physics and medical physics (e.g. how X-Ray machines work). There is no “coursework” or practical examinations to worry about. You will do experiments throughout the course and answer exam questions about these in the exams. There will be two exam papers to do in May/June. There will be multiple-choice and structured questions with a mix of calculations and descriptive work. You may need to write a paragraph to explain something but no essays. The whole AS syllabus, modules 1-4 will be examined in both papers. You get a comprehensive formula sheet in the exams.
Students will face questions based on:
What Skills Will Students Develop by Studying Physics?
|PHYSICS (OCR) Syllabus A H156 Summary of Content at AS|
Module 1: Development of Practical Skills in Physics
Module 2: Foundations in Physics
Module 3: Forces and Motion
Module 4: Electrons, waves and photons
Students will have 5 hours of contact time per week, covering the course content, practical work, and exam practice.
OCR Year 1 and AS Level ISBN 9780198352174 Oxford University Press
CGP Revision Guide New 2015 A-Level Physics: OCR A Year 1 & AS Complete Revision & Practice with Online Edition ISBN-13: 9781782942955
Physics for You Keith Johnson ISBN 13 9781408509227
Introducing Quantum Theory (great book!) J.P McEvoy, Oscar Zarate
Six Easy Pieces Richard Feynman
Advanced Physics Steve Adams Jonathan Allday
A Level Physics Roger Muncaster
Practice in Physics Tim Akrill George Bennet Chris Millar
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