AQA Alevel Syllabus Year 2 (ALevel) 

Periodic Motion Thermal Physics Gravity Fields Electric Fields Capacitors Magnetic Fields Radioactivity 

3.6 Further mechanics and thermal physics 

3.6.1 Periodic motion 

3.6.1.1 Circular motion 
3.6.1.2 Simple Harmonic Motion (SHM) 

Motion in a circular path at constant speed implies there is an acceleration and requires a centripetal force.
The derivation of the
centripetal acceleration formula will not be examined. Centripetal force

(Circular Motion)
(Examples)

Analysis of characteristics of simple harmonic motion (SHM).
Defining equation:
Maximum speed =
2p
fA Maximum acceleration = 2pf^{2}A 

3.6.1.3 Simple harmonic systems 
3.6.1.4 Forced vibrations and resonance 

Study of massspring system:

(SHM)
(Energy)
(SHM and Circular Motion) 
Qualitative treatment of free and forced vibrations.


3.6.2 Thermal physics 

3.6.2.1 Thermal energy transfer 
3.6.2.2 Ideal gases 

Calculations involving transfer of energy.

Gas laws as experimental relationships between p, V, T, and the mass of the gas.
Work done =
p Δ V Avogadro constant N_{A} , molar gas constant R , Boltzmann constant k
Molar mass and molecular
mass. 

3.6.2.3 Molecular kinetic theory model 


Brownian motion as evidence
for existence of atoms.
including derivation of the
equation and calculations. A simple algebraic approach
involving conservation of momentum is required. Appreciation of how knowledge and understanding of the behaviour of a gas has changed over time.


3.7 Fields and their consequences 

3.7.1 Gravitational fields 

3.7.1.1 Newton’s law 
3.7.1.2 Gravitational field strength 

Gravity
as a universal attractive force acting between all matter. Magnitude of force between point masses:

Concept of a force
field as a region in which a body
Magnitude of g in a radial field given by:


3.7.1.3 Gravitational Potential 
3.7.1.4 Orbits of planets and satellites 

Understanding of definition of gravitational potential,
Equipotential surfaces.
Significance of the negative sign.

Orbital period and speed
related to radius of circular orbit; derivation of T^{2} ∝ r^{3}


3.7.2 Electric fields 

3.7.2.1 Coulomb’s law 
3.7.2.2 Electric potential 

Force
between point charges in a vacuum:
Permittivity of free space, e_{0}.
For a
charged sphere, charge may be considered to be at the centre.
Representation of electric fields by electric field lines.
Electric field strength. E as force per unit charge defined by:
Magnitude of E in a uniform field given by:
Derivation from work done moving charge between plates:

Understanding of definition of absolute electric potential,
including zero value at infinity, and of electric potential
Work done in moving charge Q given by Δ W = Q Δ V
No work done moving charge along an equipotential surface.
Graphical representations of variations of E and V with r.


3.7.2.3 Comparison of electric and gravitational fields 


Similarities: inverse square law fields having many characteristics in common.


3.7.3 Capacitance 

3.7.3.1 Capacitance 
3.7.3.2 Parallel Plate Capacitor 

Definition of capacitance:

Dielectric action in a capacitor:
Relative
permittivity and dielectric constant. Students should be able to describe the action of a simple polar molecule that rotates in the presence of an electric field. 

3.7.3.3 Energy stored by a capacitor 
3.7.3.4 Capacitor Charge and Discharge 

Interpretation of the area under a graph of charge against pd.


Graphical representation of charging and discharging of capacitors through resistors.
Corresponding graphs
for Q, Interpretation of gradients and areas under graphs where appropriate.
Quantitative treatment of capacitor discharge:
Use of the
corresponding equations for
V
and I. Quantitative treatment of capacitor charge:


3.7.4 Magnetic fields 

3.7.4.1 Magnetic flux density 
3.7.4.2 Moving charges in a magnetic field 

Force on charged particles moving in a magnetic field, F = BQv when the field is perpendicular to velocity.

(Magnetism)
(Coils)
(Particles) 
Magnetic flux defined by F = BA where B is normal to A.


3.7.4.4 Electromagnetic induction 
3.7.4.5 Alternating currents 

Simple experimental phenomena.
Applications such as a straight conductor moving in a magnetic field.
Emf induced in a coil rotating uniformly in a
magnetic field:

(Induction)
(Generators)

Sinusoidal voltages
and currents only; root mean square, peak and peaktopeak values
for sinusoidal waveforms only.
Application to the calculation of mains electricity peak and peaktopeak voltage values.

(AC)
(CRO) 
3.7.4.6 The operation of a transformer 


The transformer equation:
Production of eddy currents.

(Transformers)
(Transmission of Electricity) 

3.8 Nuclear physics 

3.8.1 Radioactivity 

3.8.1.1 Rutherford scattering 
3.8.1.2 α , β and γ radiation 

Qualitative study of
Rutherford scattering. Appreciation of how knowledge and understanding of the structure of the nucleus has changed over time. 
Their properties and experimental identification using simple absorption experiments; applications e.g. to relative hazards of exposure to humans.
Applications, e.g.
to safe handling of radioactive sources. Background
radiation; examples of its origins and

(Radiation)
(Inverse Square Law) 

3.8.1.3 Radioactive decay 
3.8.1.4 Nuclear instability 

Random nature of
radioactive decay; constant decay
Use of activity:
Questions may be set
which require students to use
Applications e.g.
relevance to storage of radioactive waste, radioactive dating, etc. 
Graph of
N
against Z
for stable nuclei. 


3.8.1.5 Nuclear radius 
3.8.1.6 Mass and energy 

Estimate of radius from closest approach of alpha particles and determination of radius from electron diffraction. Knowledge of typical values for nuclear radius.
Dependence of radius on nucleon number:
derived from experimental data.

Appreciation that:
applies to all energy changes.
Simple calculations involving mass difference and binding energy.


3.8.1.7 Induced fission 
3.8.1.8 Safety aspects 

Fission induced by thermal neutrons; possibility
of a chain reaction; critical mass.
The functions of the moderator, control rods,
and coolant in a thermal nuclear reactor.
Details of particular reactors are not required.
Students should have studied a simple mechanical
model of moderation by elastic collisions. Factors affecting the choice of materials for the moderator, control rods and coolant. Examples of materials used for these functions. 
Fuel used, remote handling of fuel, shielding, emergency shutdown.



Periodic Motion Thermal Physics Gravity Fields Electric Fields Capacitors Magnetic Fields Radioactivity 