Edexcel GCSE Physics 2PH01 - Unit P1 Topics 1-3

Class notes for the 2011 Edexcel GCSE

Physics Unit P1 Topics 1-3 - Visible light and the Solar System

The electromagnetic spectrum

Waves and the Universe

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  • Created on: 10-05-12 09:24
Preview of Edexcel GCSE Physics 2PH01 - Unit P1 Topics 1-3

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Physics P1a
Science P1a Topic 1
Physics Solar System
P1b Topic 2
Topic 3
Key Words
Amplitude The maximum distance of particles in a wave from their
normal positions (volume)
Frequency The number of oscillations of a particle in 1 second
Wavelength The distance between two points in a wave that have
moved their maximum distance
Speed of a Wave Calculated using distance travelled by time taken
Reflection When a wave bounces off a boundary between materials
Refraction The change in speed and direction of a wave when it
enters a new material
Diffraction The process by which waves are spread out as a result
of passing through a narrow aperture

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Physics P1a
e.g. SOUND
e.g.…read more

Page 3

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Physics P1a
For each of the graphs below:
· What is the time taken for 1 oscillation?
· What is the frequency?
· What is the amplitude?
2 0.4 0.8 1.2 4 1.…read more

Page 4

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Physics P1a
Calculating the speed of a wave in water
· Fill the tray with water to a depth
of 1cm
· Measure the length of the tray
· Lift one end of the tray by 1cm
and drop it gently to create a small
· Let the wave travel to the far end
and then use the stopwatch to time
how long it takes to the other end
and back 2 times.…read more

Page 5

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Physics P1a
Comparing Waves
True or False?
· Sound travels faster through air than light does
· Light waves are transverse waves
· Sound waves are longitudinal waves
· Sound can travel through a vacuum
· Sound travels faster in solids than in air
· Light travels faster through opaque objects than it
does though glass
· Sound waves cannot travel through water
· Objects cannot travel faster than the speed of
· Sound waves are produced by vibrations
Similarities Differences
move energy from…read more

Page 6

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Physics P1a
Waves are reflected from different surfaces e.g. an echo is a
reflected sound wave
speed = distance covered by the wave d
time taken
v t
· Radio wave transmitters in airports allow air traffic control to track
aircraft by reflecting radio waves.…read more

Page 7

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Physics P1a
Wave energy that is not reflected will continue to travel through
the new material. The speed of the wave will change, as will it's
direction.…read more

Page 8

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Physics P1a
angle of angle of
incidence refraction
glass 60o 35o
perpex 60o 41o
A bit of fun
What do you notice?
sine i Explain this difference
Refractive =
Index sine r
Focal Length
A lens is a transparent block
that has been shaped so that
it's interface changes the
direction of parallel light
waves.…read more

Page 9

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Physics P1a
9…read more

Page 10

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Physics P1a
Describe the similarities and differences between the way
reflecting and refracting telescopes work.
· Reflectors use a primary mirror instead of an objective
lens ­ this can allow fainter stars to be seen
· Reflectors have a secondary mirror that can block
some of the incident light ­ for smalldiameter
telescopes this is a significant problem in terms of light
· Both use an eyepiece lens to magnify the image
produced ­ this allows technology crossover between
the two types.…read more


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