BBC Bitesize AQA Physics Unit 1a

All the resources off the BBC Bitesize website for GCSE AQA Physics Unit 1a compiled to a word document, so it can be transferred from place tom place and used when there is no internet access available.

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BBC GCSE Bitesize

Part 1

Electricity is a very convenient form of energy that can be generated using different energy resources.
Some of these resources are renewable and some are non-renewable. Each resource has advantages and

Fossil fuels

Fossil fuels for power stations

Physics Unit 1a

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Energy transfer for the generation of electricity from a fossil fuel

The fossil fuels are coal, oil and natural gas. They are fuels because they release heat energy when they are
burned. They are fossil fuels because they were formed from the remains of living organisms millions…

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Nuclear fuels
You should be able to outline how electricity is generated using nuclear fuels.
Uranium and plutonium
The main nuclear fuels are uranium and plutonium. These are radioactive metals. Nuclear fuels are not burnt
to release energy. Instead, the fuels are involved in nuclear reactions in…

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A wind turbine

Wind turbines have huge blades mounted on a tall tower. The blades are connected to a nacelle or housing
that contains gears linked to a generator. As the wind blows, it transfers some of its kinetic energy to the
blades, which turn and drive…

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Hydroelectric power (HEP)
Like tidal barrages, hydroelectric power stations use the kinetic energy in moving water. But the water comes
from behind a dam built across a river valley. The water high up behind the dam contains gravitational
potential energy. This is transferred to kinetic energy as…

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How a generating station creates energy


Geothermal energy is a renewable energy resource and there are no fuel costs. No harmful polluting gases
are produced.


Most parts of the world do not have suitable areas where geothermal energy can be exploited.

Solar energy

You should…

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Solar-powered ticket machine

Solar cells are devices that convert light energy directly into electrical energy. You may have seen small solar
cells in calculators. Larger arrays of solar cells are used to power road signs in remote areas, and even larger
arrays are used to power satellites…

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Resources compared

You should be able to compare and contrast the different energy resources used to produce electricity. You
may be given information in the examination for you to discuss.

Power stations

Power stations fuelled by fossil fuels or nuclear fuels are reliable sources of energy. This…

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Heat Transfer
And Efficiency

Heat can be transferred from place to place by conduction, convection and radiation. Dark matt surfaces
are better at absorbing heat energy than light shiny surfaces. Heat energy can be lost from homes in many
different ways and there are ways of reducing…

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Thermogram of a pan being heated on a stove

Heat energy can move through a substance by conduction. Metals are good conductors of heat, but
non-metals and gases are usually poor conductors of heat. Poor conductors of heat are called insulators.
Heat energy is conducted from the…


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