Edexcel A-Level Syllabus

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Further Mechanics     Electric and Magnetic Fields     Nuclear and Particle Physics    Thermodynamics    Space    Nuclear Radiation   Gravity Fields   SHM 

In the exam, you are expected to:

Topic 6 - Further Mechanics

97

Understand how to use the equation impulse:

 (Newton’s second law of motion).

Mechanics 11

98

CORE PRACTICAL 9: Investigate the relationship between the force exerted on an object and its change of momentum.

Mechanics 11

99

Understand how to apply conservation of linear momentum to problems in two dimensions.

Mechanics 12

100

CORE PRACTICAL 10: Use ICT to analyse collisions between small spheres, e.g. ball bearings on a table top.

Mechanics 12

101

Understand how to determine whether a collision is elastic or inelastic.

Mechanics 12

102

Be able to derive and use the equation
 


for the kinetic energy of a non-relativistic particle.

Mechanics 11

103

Be able to express angular displacement in radians and in degrees, and convert between these units.

Further Mechanics 1

104

Understand what is meant by angular velocity and be able to use the equations:

and

Further Mechanics 1

105

Be able to use vector diagrams to derive the equations for centripetal acceleration:


and understand how to use these equations.

Further Mechanics 1

106

Understand that a resultant force (centripetal force) is required to produce and maintain circular motion.

Further Mechanics 1

107

Be able to use the equations for centripetal force:

Further Mechanics 1

 

Further Mechanics 2

(Examples)

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Topic 7 - Electric and Magnetic Fields

108

Understand that an electric field (force field) is defined as a region where a charged particle experiences a force.

Fields 4

109

Understand that electric field strength is defined as:
 

and be able to use this equation.

Fields 4

 

110

Be able to use the equation:

for the force between two charges.

Fields 4

111

Be able to use the equation

 

for the electric field due to a point charge.

Fields 4

112

Know and understand the relation between electric field and electric potential.

Fields 5

113

Be able to use the equation:


 

for an electric field between parallel plates.

Fields 4

114

Be able to use:


 

for a radial field.

Fields 5

 

115

Be able to draw and interpret diagrams using field lines and equipotentials to describe radial and uniform electric fields

Fields 4

(Field lines)

Fields 5

(Equipotentials)

116

Understand that capacitance is defined as:
 

and be able to use this equation.

Capacitors 1

117

Be able to use the equation

 

for the energy stored by a capacitor, be able to derive the equation from the area under a graph of potential difference against charge stored and be able to derive and use the equations:

 

 

Capacitors 1

118

Be able to draw and interpret charge and discharge curves for resistor capacitor circuits and understand the significance of the time constant RC.

Capacitors 2

119

CORE PRACTICAL 11: Use an oscilloscope or data logger to display and analyse the potential difference (p.d.) across a capacitor as it charges and discharges through a resistor.

Capacitors 2

120

Be able to use the equation:

 

 

and derive and use related equations:


and

 

for exponential discharge in a resistor-capacitor circuit and the corresponding log equations:

 

Capacitors 2

121

Understand and use the terms magnetic flux density, flux, and flux linkage.

Magnetic Fields 4

122

Be able to use the equation:

and apply Fleming’s left-hand rule to charged particles moving in a magnetic field.

Magnetic Fields 3

123

Be able to use the equation:

and apply Fleming’s left-hand rule to current carrying conductors in a magnetic field.

Magnetic Fields 1

124

Understand the factors affecting the e.m.f. induced in a coil when there is relative motion between the coil and a permanent magnet.

Magnetic Fields 5

125

Understand the factors affecting the e.m.f. induced in a coil when there is a change of current in another coil linked with this coil.

Magnetic Fields 7

126

Understand how to use Lenz’s law to predict the direction of an induced e.m.f., and how the prediction relates to energy conservation.

Magnetic Fields 5

127

Understand how to use Faraday’s law to determine the magnitude of an induced e.m.f. and be able to use the equation that combines Faraday’s and Lenz's laws:

Magnetic Fields 5

128

Understand what is meant by the terms frequency, period, peak value and root mean-square value when applied to alternating currents and potential differences.

Electricity 9

129

Be able to use the equations:

Electricity 9

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Topic 8 - Nuclear and Particle Physics

130

Understand what is meant by nucleon number (mass number) and proton number (atomic number).

Particles 1

131

Understand how large-angle alpha particle scattering gives evidence for a nuclear model of the atom and how our understanding of atomic structure has changed over time.

Particles 1

Nuclear Physics 2

132

Understand that electrons are released in the process of thermionic emission and how they can be accelerated by electric and magnetic fields.

Particles 4

133

Understand the role of electric and magnetic fields in particle accelerators (linac and cyclotron) and detectors (general principles of ionisation and deflection only).

Particles 4

Magnetic Fields 3

134

Be able to derive and use the equation:

for a charged particle in a magnetic field.

Magnetic Fields 3

135

Be able to apply conservation of charge, energy and momentum to interactions between particles and interpret particle tracks.

Particles 11

136

Understand why high energies are required to investigate the structure of nucleons.

Particles 4

Quantum 6

137

Be able to use the equation:

 

in situations involving the creation and annihilation of matter and antimatter particles

Particles 6

138

Be able to use MeV and GeV (energy) and MeV/c2, GeV/c2 (mass) and convert between these and SI units.

Particles 6

139

Understand situations in which the relativistic increase in particle lifetime is significant (use of relativistic equations not required).

Turning Points 6

140

Know that in the standard quark-lepton model particles can be classified as:


● baryons (e.g. neutrons and protons) which are made from three quarks;
● mesons (e.g. pions) which are made from a quark and an antiquark;
● leptons (e.g. electrons and neutrinos) which are fundamental particles;
● photons;


and that the symmetry of the model predicted the top quark.

Particles 7

 

Particles 8

 

Particles 9

 

Particles 10

141

Know that every particle has a corresponding antiparticle and be able to use the properties of a particle to deduce the properties of its antiparticle and vice versa.

Particles 6

142

Understand how to use laws of conservation of charge, baryon number and lepton number to determine whether a particle interaction is possible.

Particles 11

143

Be able to write and interpret particle equations given the relevant particle symbols.

Particles 11

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Topic 9 - Thermodynamics

144

Be able to use the equations:

and

Thermal Physics 1

145

CORE PRACTICAL 12: Calibrate a thermistor in a potential divider circuit as a thermostat.

Electricity 6

146

CORE PRACTICAL 13: Determine the specific latent heat of a phase change.

Thermal Physics 1

147

Understand the concept of internal energy as the random distribution of potential and kinetic energy amongst molecules.

Thermal Physics 3

148

Understand the concept of absolute zero and how the average kinetic energy of molecules is related to the absolute temperature.

(Thermodynamics is discussed more in Thermal Physics 4.)

Thermal Physics 2

 

Thermal Physics 3

149

Be able to derive and use the equation:

 

using the kinetic theory model.

Thermal Physics 3

150

Be able to use the equation:

for an ideal gas.

Thermal Physics 2

151

CORE PRACTICAL 14: Investigate the relationship between pressure and volume of a gas at fixed temperature.

Thermal Physics 2

152

Be able to derive and use the equation:

Thermal Physics 3

153

Understand what is meant by a black body radiator and be able to interpret radiation curves for such a radiator.

Astrophysics 5

154

Be able to use the Stefan-Boltzmann law equation:

for black body radiators.

Astrophysics 5

155

Be able to use Wien’s law equation:

for black body radiators.

Astrophysics 5

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Topic 10 - Space

156

Be able to use the equation:

where L is luminosity and d is distance from the source.

Astrophysics 4

157

Understand how astronomical distances can be determined using trigonometric parallax.

Astrophysics 4

158

Understand how astronomical distances can be determined using measurements of intensity received from standard candles (objects of known luminosity).

Astrophysics 6

159

Be able to sketch and interpret a simple Hertzsprung-Russell diagram that relates stellar luminosity to surface temperature.

Astrophysics 6

160

Understand how to relate the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram to the life cycle of stars.

Astrophysics 6

161

Understand how the movement of a source of waves relative to an observer/detector gives rise to a shift in frequency (Doppler effect).

Astrophysics 7

162

Be able to use the equations for red-shift:
 


for a source of electromagnetic radiation moving relative to an observer and

for objects at cosmological distances.

Astrophysics 7

163

understand the controversy over the age and ultimate fate of the universe associated with the value of the Hubble constant and the possible existence of dark matter.

Astrophysics 7

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Topic 11 - Nuclear Radiation

164

Understand the concept of nuclear binding energy and be able to use the equation:

 

in calculations of nuclear mass (including mass deficit) and energy.

Nuclear Physics 7

165

Use the atomic mass unit (u) to express small masses and convert between this and SI units

Nuclear Physics 7

166

Understand the processes of nuclear fusion and fission with reference to the binding energy per nucleon curve.

Nuclear Physics 7

167

Understand the mechanism of nuclear fusion and the need for very high densities of matter and very high temperatures to bring about and maintain nuclear fusion.

Nuclear Physics 7

168

Understand that there is background radiation and how to take appropriate account of it in calculations.

Nuclear Physics 4

169

Understand the relationships between the nature, penetration, ionising ability and range in different materials of nuclear radiations (alpha, beta and gamma).

Nuclear Physics 1

170

Be able to write and interpret nuclear equations given the relevant particle symbols.

Nuclear Physics 1

171

CORE PRACTICAL 15: Investigate the absorption of gamma radiation by lead.

Medical Physics 7

172

Understand the spontaneous and random nature of nuclear decay.

Nuclear Physics 5

173

be able to determine the half-lives of radioactive isotopes graphically and be able to use the equations for radioactive decay:
 

and derive and use the corresponding log equations.

Nuclear Physics 5

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Topic 12 - Gravitational Fields

174

Understand that a gravitational field (force field) is defined as a region where a mass experiences a force

Fields 1

175

Understand that gravitational field strength is defined as

and be able to use this equation.

Fields 1

176

be able to use the equation:

(Newton’s law of universal gravitation)

Fields 1

177

Be able to derive and use the equation:

for the gravitational field due to a point mass.

Fields 1

178

Be able to use the equation:

for a radial gravitational field.

Fields 2

179

Be able to compare electric fields with gravitational fields.

Fields 5

180

Be able to apply Newton’s laws of motion and universal gravitation to orbital motion.

Fields 3

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Topic 13 - Oscillations

181

Understand that the condition for simple harmonic motion is:

and hence understand how to identify situations in which simple harmonic motion will occur

Further Mechanics 4

182

Be able to use the equations:

and

as applied to a simple harmonic oscillator.

Further Mechanics 4

 

183

Be able to use equations for a simple harmonic oscillator:
 

and a simple pendulum:


 

Further Mechanics 5

184

Be able to draw and interpret a displacement–time graph for an object oscillating and know that the gradient at a point gives the velocity at that point.

Further Mechanics 4

185

Be able to draw and interpret a velocity–time graph for an oscillating object and know that the gradient at a point gives the acceleration at that point.

Further Mechanics 4

186

Understand what is meant by resonance.

Further Mechanics 3

187

CORE PRACTICAL 16: Determine the value of an unknown mass using the resonant frequencies of the oscillation of known masses.

Further Mechanics 3

188

Understand how to apply conservation of energy to damped and undamped oscillating systems

Further Mechanics 6

189

Understand the distinction between free and forced oscillations.

Further Mechanics 3

190

Understand how the amplitude of a forced oscillation changes at and around the natural frequency of a system and know, qualitatively, how damping affects resonance

Further Mechanics 3

191

Understand how damping and the plastic deformation of ductile materials reduce the amplitude of oscillation.

Further Mechanics 3

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