Physics P2 AQA Specification

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Resultant Forces

a) Whenever two objects interact, the forces they exert on each other are equal and opposite.

b) A number of forces acting at a point may be replaced by a single force that has the same effect on the motion as the original forces all acting together. This single force is called the resultant force.

c) A resultant force acting on an object may cause a change in its state of rest or motion.

d) If the resultant force acting on a stationary object is:

zero, the object will remain stationary

not zero, the object will accelerate in the direction of the resultant force.

e) If the resultant force acting on a moving object is:

zero, the object will continue to move at the same speed and in the same direction

not zero, the object will accelerate in the direction of the resultant force.

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Forces and Motion

a) The acceleration of an object is determined by the resultant force acting on the object and the mass of the object.

a =F/m or F = m x a

b) The gradient of a distance–time graph represents speed.

c) Calculation of the speed of an object from the gradient of a distance–time graph.

d) The velocity of an object is its speed in a given direction.

e) The acceleration of an object is given by the equation:

a =v u/t

f) The gradient of a velocity–time graph represents acceleration.

g) Calculation of the acceleration of an object from the gradient of a velocity–time graph.

h) Calculation of the distance travelled by an object from a velocity–time graph.

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Forces and Motion Equations

F is the resultant force in newtons, N

m is the mass in kilograms, kg

a is the acceleration in metres per second squared, m/s2

Candidates should be able to construct distance–time graphs for an object moving in a straight line when the body is stationary or moving with a constant speed.

a is the acceleration in metres per second squared, m/s2

v is the final velocity in metres per second, m/s

u is the initial velocity in metres per second, m/s

t is the time taken in seconds, s

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Forces and Braking

a) When a vehicle travels at a steady speed the resistive forces balance the driving force.

b) The greater the speed of a vehicle the greater the braking force needed to stop it in a certain distance.

c) The stopping distance of a vehicle is the sum of the distance the vehicle travels during the driver’s reaction time (thinking distance) and the distance it travels under the braking force (braking distance).

d) A driver’s reaction time can be affected by tiredness, drugs and alcohol.

e) When the brakes of a vehicle are applied, work done by the friction force between the brakes and the wheel reduces the kinetic energy of the vehicle and the temperature of the brakes increase.

f) A vehicle’s braking distance can be affected by adverse road and weather conditions and poor condition of the vehicle.

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Forces and Terminal Velocity

a) The faster an object moves through a fluid the greater the frictional force that acts on it.

b) An object falling through a fluid will initially accelerate due to the force of gravity. Eventually the resultant force will be zero and the object will move at its terminal velocity (steady speed).

c) Draw and interpret velocity-time graphs for objects that reach terminal velocity, including a consideration of the forces acting on the object.

d) Calculate the weight of an object using the force exerted on it by a gravitational force:

W = m x g

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Forces and Elasticity

a) A force acting on an object may cause a change in shape of the object.

b) A force applied to an elastic object such as a spring will result in the object stretching and storing elastic potential energy.

c) For an object that is able to recover its original shape, elastic potential energy is stored in the object when work is done on the object to change its shape.

d) The extension of an elastic object is directly proportional to the force applied, provided that the limit of proportionality is not exceeded:

F = k x e

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Forces and Energy

a) When a force causes an object to move through a distance work is done.

b) Work done, force and distance are related by the equation:

W = F x d

c) Energy is transferred when work is done.

d) Work done against frictional forces.

e) Power is the work done or energy transferred in a given time.

P =E/t

f) Gravitational potential energy is the energy that an object has by virtue of its position in a gravitational field.

Ep = m x g x h

g) The kinetic energy of an object depends on its mass and its speed.

Ek =1/2xm x v2

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Forces and Energy Equations

W is the work done in joules, J

F is the force applied in newtons, N

d is the distance moved in the direction of the force in metres, m

P is the power in watts, W

E is the energy transferred in joules, J

t is the time taken in seconds, s

Ep is the change in gravitational potential energy in joules, J

m is the mass in kilograms, kg

g is the gravitational field strength in newtons per kilogram, N/kg

h is the change in height in metres, m

Ek is the kinetic energy in joules, J

m is the mass in kilograms, kg

v is the speed in metres per second, m/s

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Momentum

a) Momentum is a property of moving objects.

p =m xv

b) In a closed system the total momentum before an event is equal to the total momentum after the event.This is called conservation of momentum.

p is momentum in kilograms metres per second, kg m/s

m is the mass in kilograms, kg

v is the velocity in metres per second, m/s

Candidates may be required to complete calculations involving two objects. Examples of events are collisions and explosions.

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Static Electricity

a) When certain insulating materials are rubbed against each other they become electrically charged. Negatively charged electrons are rubbed off one material and onto the other.

b) The material that gains electrons becomes negatively charged. The material that loses electrons is left with an equal positive charge.

c) When two electrically charged objects are brought together they exert a force on each other.

d) Two objects that carry the same type of charge repel. Two objects that carry different types of charge attract.

e) Electrical charges can move easily through some substances, eg metals.

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Electrical Circuits (1)

a) Electric current is a flow of electric charge.

The size of the electric current is the rate of flow of electric charge. The size of the current is given by the equation:

I =Q/t

b) The potential difference (voltage) between two points in an electric circuit is the work done (energy transferred) per coulomb of charge that passes between the points.

V =W/Q

c) Circuit diagrams using standard symbols.

d) Current–potential difference graphs are used to show how the current through a component varies with the potential difference across it.

e) The current–potential difference graphs for a resistor at constant temperature.

f) The resistance of a component can be found by measuring the current through, and potential difference across, the component.

g) The current through a resistor (at a constant temperature) is directly proportional to the potential difference across the resistor.

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Electrical Circuits Equation

I is the current in amperes (amps), A

Q is the charge in coulombs, C

t is the time in seconds, s

V is the potential difference in volts, V

W is the work done in joules, J

Q is the charge in coulombs, C

Candidates will be required to interpret and draw circuit diagrams. Knowledge and understanding of the use of thermistors in circuits, eg thermostats is required. Knowledge and understanding of the applications of light-dependent resistors (LDRs) is required, eg switching lights on when it gets dark.

V is the potential difference in volts, V

I is the current in amperes (amps), A

R is the resistance in ohms, _

Candidates should be able to explain resistance change in terms of ions and electrons.

 

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Electrical Circuits (2)

h) Calculate current, potential difference or resistance using the equation:

V = I x R

i) The current through a component depends on its resistance. The greater the resistance the smaller the current for a given potential difference across the component.

j) The potential difference provided by cells connected

in series is the sum of the potential difference of each cell (depending on the direction in which they are connected).

k) For components connected in series:

the total resistance is the sum of the resistance of each component

there is the same current through each component

the total potential difference of the supply is shared between the components.

I) For components connected in parallel:

the potential difference across each component is the same

the total current through the whole circuit is the sum of the currents through the separate components.

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Electrical Circuits (3)

m) The resistance of a filament bulb increases as the temperature of the filament increases.

n) The current through a diode flows in one direction only.

The diode has a very high resistance in the reverse direction.

o) An LED emits light when a current flows through it in the forward direction.

p) The resistance of a light-dependent resistor (LDR) decreases as light intensity increases.

q) The resistance of a thermistor decreases as the temperature increases

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Household Electricity (1)

a) Cells and batteries supply current that always passes in the same direction. This is called direct current (d.c.).

b) An alternating current (a.c.) is one that is constantly changing direction.

c) Mains electricity is an a.c. supply. In the UK it has a frequency of 50 cycles per second (50 hertz) and is about 230 V.

d) Most electrical appliances are connected to the mains using cable and a three-pin plug.

e) The structure of electrical cable.

f) The structure and wiring of a three-pin plug.

g) If an electrical fault causes too great a current, the circuit is disconnected by a fuse or a circuit breaker in the live wire.

h) When the current in a fuse wire exceeds the rating of the fuse it will melt, breaking the circuit.

i) Some circuits are protected by Residual Current Circuit Breakers (RCCBs).

j) Appliances with metal cases are usually earthed.

k) The earth wire and fuse together protect the wiring of the circuit.

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Household Electricity (2)

Candidates should be able to compare and calculate potential differences of d.c. supplies and the peak potential differences of a.c. supplies from diagrams of oscilloscope traces.

Higher Tier candidates should be able to determine the period and hence the frequency of a supply from diagrams of oscilloscope traces.

Candidates should be familiar with both two-core and three-core cable.

Knowledge and understanding of the materials used in three-pin plugs is required, as is the colour coding of the covering of the three wires.

Candidates should realise that RCCBs operate by detecting a difference in the current between the live and neutral wires. Knowledge of how the devices do this is not required.

Candidates should be aware of the fact that this device operates much faster than a fuse.

Candidates should be aware that some appliances are double insulated, and therefore have no earth wire connection.

Candidates should have an understanding of the link between cable thickness and fuse value.

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Current, Charge and Power

a) When an electrical charge flows through a resistor, the resistor gets hot.

b) The rate at which energy is transferred by an appliance is called the power.

P =E/t

c) Power, potential difference and current are related by the equation:

P = I x V

d) Energy transferred, potential difference and charge are related by the equation:

E = V x Q

Candidates should understand that a lot of energy is wasted in filament bulbs by heating. Less energy is wasted in power saving lamps such as Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs).

Candidates should understand that there is a choice when buying new appliances in how efficiently they transfer energy.

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Current, Charge and Power Equation

P is power in watts, W

E is energy in joules, J

t is time in seconds, s

Candidates should be able to calculate the current through an appliance from its power and the potential difference of the supply, and from this determine the size of fuse needed.

P is power in watts, W

I is current in amperes (amps), A

V is potential difference in volts, V

E is energy in joules, J

V is potential difference in volts, V

Q is charge in coulombs, C

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Atomic Structure

a) The basic structure of an atom is a small central nucleus composed of protons and neutrons surrounded by electrons.

b) The relative masses and relative electric charges of protons, neutrons and electrons.

c) In an atom the number of electrons is equal to the number of protons in the nucleus. The atom has no overall electrical charge.

d) Atoms may lose or gain electrons to form charged particles called ions.

e) The atoms of an element always have the same number of protons, but have a different number of neutrons for each isotope. The total number of protons in an atom is called its atomic number. The total number of protons and neutrons in an atom is called its mass number.

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Atoms and Radiation

a) Some substances give out radiation from the nuclei of their atoms all the time, whatever is done to them.These substances are said to be radioactive.

b) The origins of background radiation.

c) Identification of an alpha particle as two neutrons and two protons, the same as a helium nucleus, a beta particle as an electron from the nucleus and gamma radiation as electromagnetic radiation.

d) Nuclear equations to show single alpha and beta decay.

e) Properties of the alpha, beta and gamma radiations limited to their relative ionising power, their penetration through materials and their range in air.

f) Alpha and beta radiations are deflected by both electric and magnetic fields but gamma radiation is not.

g) The uses of and the dangers associated with each type of nuclear radiation.

h) The half-life of a radioactive isotope is the average time it takes for the number of nuclei of the isotope in a sample to halve, or the time it takes for the count rate from a sample containing the isotope to fall to half its initial level.

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Nuclear Fission

a) There are two fissionable substances in common use in nuclear reactors: uranium-235 and plutonium-239.

b) Nuclear fission is the splitting of an atomic nucleus.

c) For fission to occur the uranium-235 or plutonium-239 nucleus must first absorb a neutron.

d) The nucleus undergoing fission splits into two smaller nuclei and two or three neutrons and energy is released.

e) The neutrons may go on to start a chain reaction.

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Nuclear Fusion

a) Nuclear fusion is the joining of two atomic nuclei to form a larger one.

b) Nuclear fusion is the process by which energy is released in stars.

c) Stars form when enough dust and gas from space is pulled together by gravitational attraction. Smaller masses may also form and be attracted by a larger mass to become planets.

d) During the ‘main sequence’ period of its life cycle a star is stable because the forces within it are balanced.

e) A star goes through a life cycle. This life cycle is determined by the size of the star.

f) Fusion processes in stars produce all of the naturally occurring elements. These elements may be distributed throughout the Universe by the explosion of a massive star (supernova) at the end of its life.

Candidates should be able to explain how stars are able to maintain their energy output for millions of years. Candidates should know that elements up to iron are formed during the stable period of a star. Elements heavier than iron are formed in a supernova. Candidates should be able to explain why the early Universe contained only hydrogen but now contains a large variety of different elements

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