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A level Physics Course

What board do we do? AQA, A-level code: 7407/7408

What is Physics?
Physics is the science of how matter interacts and it spans the whole range from the very smallest particles right up to the universe itself. As a physical science there is an emphasis on predicting behaviour and testing through observation and measurement.

Which subjects combine well with Physics?
Mathematics, Chemistry, and ICT.

What careers and University courses can Physics lead to?
Physics students can pursue further study at university in Physics, Engineering, or Computer Science degrees. However, the analytical skills developed make Physics a highly sought after qualification in other careers such as medicine, computer programming, intellectual property, finance and economics.

AS

Students start AS Physics by venturing into the field of particle physics providing a new interest and dimension to their knowledge of the subject. As well as gaining insight into the standard model of particle physics topics covered in this section also include wave-particle duality, the photoelectric effect and atomic energy levels. There is also an electrical section which develops basic concepts like current, voltage and resistance in direct current circuits. Students will get a more in depth treatment of topics like kinematics, dynamics, statics and energy which they were introduced to during their GCSE. This is combined with a study of the properties of materials to complete the mechanics component. Additionally there is also a study of the properties of waves, which includes a look at progressive and standing waves, refraction, diffraction and interference.

AS Paper 1 (7407/1): 50%

70 marks of short and long answer questions split by topic.

AS Paper 2 (7407/2): 50%

Section A: 20 marks of short and long answer questions on practical skills and data analysis

Section B: 20 marks of short and long answer questions from across all areas of AS content

Section C: 30 multiple choice questions

AS practical

Over the year students will perform 6 assessed laboratory exercises individually and as part of larger groups. The goal in the experiments is to further develop their understanding of the physics involved in various scenarios but also for the student to gain experimental skills so that they may undertake their own investigations. The practical work is now internally assessed.

A level

In addition to all of the topics covered in AS, the new linear, A-level syllabus requires an in depth application of these concepts. So we take force and energy and apply them to harmonic oscillations and circular motion. It also introduces the concept of the force field and how we use this to store electrical energy and in determining satellite orbits. The connections between electricity and magnetism are investigated to demonstrate the principles of motors, generators and transformers. Developments in nuclear power and radioactivity are covered along with ideal gases and thermal physics. The syllabus provides a choice of optional topics we will do the astrophysics module. This gives students a view of the universe at large including dark matter and energy, black holes and quasars along with knowledge of the tools used by astronomers to see to the edge of space and time.

A level Paper 1 (7408/1): 34%

60 marks of short and long answer questions and 25 multiple choice questions on content.

A level Paper 2 (7408/2): 34%

60 marks of short and long answer questions and 25 multiple choice questions on content.

A level Paper 3 (7408/3): 32%

45 marks of short and long answer questions on practical experiments and data analysis.

35 marks of short and long answer questions on optional topic.

A level practical

Over the year students will perform 12 assessed laboratory exercises, both individually and as part of larger groups. The goal in the experiments is to further develop their understanding of the physics involved in various scenarios but also for the student to gain experimental skills so that they may undertake their own investigations. The practical work is now internally assessed.

Book List AS Level

AQA A Level Physics Year 1 Student Book, Jim Breithaupt (Oxford University Press, ISBN-13: 978-0-1983-5186-3)

Book List A Level

AQA A Level Physics Year 2 Student Book, Jim Breithaupt (Oxford University Press, ISBN-13: 978-0-19-835772-8)

Full specification available at: www.AQA.org.uk

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