GCSE Physics Unit 2 - Electricity, acceleration, forces and radioactivity

Notes covering;

  • the three pin plug, fuses and earthing
  • speed, velocity and acceleration
  • braking and stopping distances
  • forces and friction
  • momentum
  • the history of the atom
  • radioactivity
  • nuclear fission vs nuclear fusion

 Created for the AQA 2011 exam - any changes to the specification are not included.

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  • Created by: Sarah
  • Created on: 03-01-12 18:50
Preview of GCSE Physics Unit 2 - Electricity, acceleration, forces and radioactivity

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Page 2

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Earthing is a safety precaution. An earth wire is connected to the metal case of
the appliance, so that if the live wire becomes loose and touches the casing, the
current immediately flows to earth and blows the fuse, making the appliance safe to
For example
This washing machine has a metal case. Its
live wire has become loose and touched the
case, which is an electrical conductor and has
current flowing through it.…read more

Page 3

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Charge in Circuits
In wires
o Electrons carry the electric current.
o They are negatively charged.
o They pass along wires from the
negative to the positive terminal.
o This is the opposite direction to
In liquids [electrolysis]
o Ions move towards electrodes.
o Positive ions move to the cathode.
o Negative ions move to the anode.
If an object is placed at the cathode in a suitable solution eg.…read more

Page 4

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No voltage connected.
DC No Time Base DC with Time Base
(Direct Current flows in one direction) (Source = Battery)
AC No Time Base AC with Time Base
(Alternating Current flows from positive
to negative to positive etc.)
Mains Voltage is AC, the live
wire equalling 240V and the
neutral wire equalling 0V.…read more

Page 5

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Speed, Velocity & Acceleration
Distance ­ how far an object has moved (m)
Displacement ­ how far an object has moved in a certain direction (m)
Speed ­ the rate of change of distance with time (m/s)
Velocity ­ the rate of change of displacement with time (m/s)
Deceleration ­ how fast an object slows down (m/s)
Acceleration ­ the rate of change of velocity with time (m/s ² )
DistanceTime Graphs
gradient = distance = speed
spe.…read more

Page 6

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Braking Distances
Stopping distance is comprised of two distances:
o Thinking Distance.
The distance travelled by the car as the driver reacts to a situation before he
brakes. Factors include drugs, alcohol, tiredness and speed of the car.
o Braking Distance
The distance travelled by the car while the driver is braking to reduce the
speed. Factors include worn brakes, worn tyres, road conditions and
speed.…read more

Page 7

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A force is a push or a pull and is measured in Newtons (N). More than one
force can act on an object
These forces are balanced. They have no
effect on the object's movement. The object
either remains stationery or moves at the
same speed.…read more

Page 8

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Falling in a Fluid
If an object falls through a gas or a liquid, it encounters resistive forces acting in
the opposite direction, either air resistance or liquid resistance. As the speed of the
object increases, so will these resistive forces until a point where the forces are
balanced. This is terminal velocity ­ constant speed for the object.
Example 1 Timothy jumps out of a plane.
He starts to fall under gravity.
Air resistance takes effect, but his speed increases.…read more

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Page 10

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Momentum & Collisions
Momentum is conserved in any collision or explosion providing no external
forces are acting, thus total momentum before collision = total momentum after
collision. In general
(m¹ x u¹) + (m² x u²) = (m¹ x v¹) + (m² x v²)
Sometimes the trucks could be heading towards each other.
In this case we have to choose one direction as `positive' ­ here, it's right.…read more


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