AQA New Specification P2B

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Circuits and resistance

  • Electrical current is the flow of electrons. The amount of charge carried by a current of: 1A flowing for 1s = 1 coulomb.charge (C) = current (A) x time (s)
  • Electrical energy is transformed to heat energy when charge flows through the resistor. --------------------- energy transformed (J) = potential difference (V) x change (C)
  • A potential difference (voltage) exerts a force that pushes free electrons along. 
  • Electrical resistance in wires due to free electrons colliding with fixed, positive ions and their bound electrons.
  • Resistance in wires depend on their length, thickness, temperature and type of material. 
  • Metals have free electrons and are good conductors with low resistances. 
  • Insultators do not have free electrons and so are poor conductors with very high resistances. 
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Circuits and resistance 2

  • Ohm's Law states that: resistance (Ω) = potential difference/current (A)
  • The resistance of: a light-dependant resistor (LDR) decreases as light intensity increases, a thermistor decreases as the temperature increases, a filament lamp increases as the temperature of the filament increases.
  • Components in an electrical circuit can be connected in the series and in parallel. 
  • In a series circuit: current through all components in the same at all points; total p.d. is shared between all components; total resistance = sum of resistances of components. 
  • In parallel circuit: total current is the sum of currents through the seperate components; the p.d. across all components is the same.

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Domestic electricity

  • UK domestic electricity is an alternating current of frenquency 50Hz, average p.d. 230V. An oscilloscope shows the p.d. and frenquency of a.c and d.c.
  • Fuses, circuit breakers and earth wires protect appliances from damage and people from injury or death. Three-pin plugs must be correctly wired and hold the correct fuse. 
  • The current through an appliance and the size of the fuse required can be calculated from:            power (W) = current (A) x p.d. (V)
  • The rate of which energy is transformed is called power:                                                              power (W) = energy transformed (J) / time taken (s)
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Radioactive substances

  • Different forms of an element with the same number of protons but with a different number of neutrons in their atoms are called isotopes. 
  • Isoptopes have the same atomic number but different mass number. 
  • Isotopes with unstable nuclei emit energy ----> as particles or rays called radiation. 
  • A beta particle is a high energy electron.
  • A gamma ray is an electromagnetic wave with no charge or mass. 
  • Background radiation comes mainly from rocks, soil, cosmetic rays, living things and medical X-rays. 
  • Using scattering experiments, Rutherford and Marsden revealed the structure of an atom:         a small dense nucleus of protons and neutrons (held together by strong nuclear forces); fast moving electrons orbiting round the nucleus; and lots of empty space.
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Nuclear fusion and nuclear fission

  • Nuclear fission = is the splitting of a nucleus.
  • Neautrons are fired at unstable isotopes and energy is released. This produces more neautrons and sets up a chain reaction.
  • Nuclear Fusion = two small nuclei join together to form a larger one, as happens in stars:             2 hydrogen nuclei --> 1 helium nucleus + ENERGY
  • Uranium-235 and plutonium-239 are fissionable elements and are used to ----> produce nuclear energy in nuclear power stations.
  • The minimum amount of pure uranium-235 needed to produce large amounts of energy is called critical mass. 
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Thanks, very helpful!

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