The Co-ordinated Sciences Physics syllabus that follows is reproduced with the permission of Lucy Purkis, Publisher, Cambridge International Examinations

 

P1 THE STRENGTH OF SOLIDS

 

CORE

SUPPLEMENT

All students should:

In addition to what is required in the Core, students following the Extended curriculum should:

 

-know that there is a relationship between the extension of a spring and the force applied to it.

-be able to calculate the turning effect (moment) of a force

-understand that the strength of solids derives from the forces between their constituent atoms and molecules.

-know that for a body in equilibrium both forces and their turning effects must balance

-appreciate the spring-like nature of these forces by comparing the behaviour of materials under tension and compression with the behaviour of springs

-understand the difference between vector and scalar quantities

-understand that equal and opposite forces acting on the same body may have a turning effect

-be able to add two vector quantities by graphical representation to produce a resultant

appreciate that the choice of materials for a particular use depends upon the materials’ properties

 

 

P2 PARTICLES IN MOTION

 

CORE

SUPPLEMENT

All students should:

In addition to what is required in the Core, students following the Extended curriculum should:

 

-understand the meaning of the phrase kinetic theory of matter as describing a model for matter in terms of particles (atoms and molecules) in motion

-know the relationship between pressure and temperature for a gas and understand how this leads to the Kelvin scale of temperature

-appreciate that there is a connection between the temperature of an object and the movement of its particles

-be able to use and describe the displacement method to find the density of an irregularly shaped solid

 

-appreciate that the three states of matter can be understood in terms of inter-molecular and inter-atomic forces and the motion of the atoms and molecules

 

-be able to describe an experiment to determine the density of a liquid and a regularly shaped solid and know that density = mass/volume

 

-be able to describe the process of evaporation in terms of the kinetic theory

 

 

-know the relationship between the pressure and volume of a gas and understand how the relationship may be predicted by the kinetic theory

 

-be able to describe qualitatively the effect of a change in temperature on the volume of a gas

 

 

 

P3 MOTION

 

CORE

SUPPLEMENT

All students should:

In addition to what is required in the Core, students following the Extended curriculum should:

 

-understand the meaning of the terms speed and acceleration

-understand how distances traveled can be derived from the area under a speed-time graph.

-appreciate the existence of errors in measurements and understand how these may be reduced by taking the average of a number of readings

-be able to use the relationships v=at and s=1/2 at2 when applied to an object accelerating uniformly from rest

-understand the relationships between distance, time, speed and acceleration, and appreciate  how graphs may be used to display these relationships

-understand the difference between speed and velocity

-appreciate how the ideas of speed and acceleration can be applied to transport (e.g. road, rail etc.)

-appreciate that a body may accelerate by change in velocity, but without a change in speed.

 

P4 FORCE AND MOTION

 

CORE

SUPPLEMENT

All students should:

In addition to what is required in the Core, students following the Extended curriculum should:

 

-know that force is measured in newtons.

-know the relationship between force, mass and acceleration given by the equation F=ma

-understand that unbalanced forces change motion and that in the absence of an unbalanced force, an object will either remain at rest or travel with a constant velocity.

 

_be able to use the relationship F=ma in simple problems

-appreciate that friction often provides an opposing force on moving bodies.

 

 

-appreciate qualitatively that the acceleration  of a body depends both on its mass and on the size of the unbalanced force acting on it

 

 

P5 ENERGY TRANSFER

 

CORE

SUPPLEMENT

All students should:

In addition to what is required in the Core, students following the Extended curriculum should:

 

–appreciate that when change takes place, energy is transferred.

-appreciate that heat engines cannot function without transferring substantial amounts of energy to the surroundings.

-know that work measured as force x distance moved, is a measure of energy transfer

-know that hydraulic systems are force multipliers and describe everyday applications of hydraulic systems (car braking systems and hydraulic jacks)

-understand that liquids can be used to send forces when they are required

 

-know that pressure is related to the size of the force and the area over which the force acts.

 

-be able to use the relationship pressure=force/area

 

 

-understand that power is the rate at which energy is transferred

 

-appreciate that there is an energy cost in making this happen

 

-appreciate that machines are devices enabling the transfer of energy, but that the energy cost of doing a job is still at least the same as if the job were to be done without the help of a machine (and will certainly be greater than that)

 

-understand that engines are devices for transferring energy from fuels to enable force-using jobs to be done

 

-appreciate that the use of machines and engines always means some wastage of energy.

 

 

 

P6 TRANSFERRING ENERGY BY HEATING

 

CORE

SUPPLEMENT

All students should:

In addition to what is required in the Core, students following the Extended curriculum should:

 

-understand that ‘heating’ is a mode of  energy transfer

-know and be able to make simple calculations using the relationship: energy transferred (J)=mass (kg) x specific heating capacity (J/kg 0C x temperature rise ( 0C)

 

-know the meaning of the terms conduction, convection and radiation

-be able to apply the concept of energy conservation in a variety of energy transfer process

-appreciate that, unlike work, heating as a mode of energy transfer is not measured directly, but in terms of the rise in temperature it can produce.

 

-appreciate that energy may be transferred to a substance in changing it from solid to liquid or liquid to gas without raising its temperature

 

-understand the meaning of the term specific heating capacity

 

-understand the meaning and implications of the phrase conservation of energy

 

 

 

 

P7 USING ELECTRICITY

 

CORE

SUPPLEMENT

All students should:

In addition to what is required in the Core, students following the Extended curriculum should:

 

-appreciate the need for a complete circuit when making use of electricity

-understand that the readings on ammeters in simple and branching circuits conform to the idea that the behaviour of electricity in a circuit is analogous to the behaviour of, for example, currents of liquids in pipes.

 

-appreciate that energy can be transferred by an electric current and that the current can be read by an ammeter

 

-be able to apply some of these ideas to the safe use of electricity

 

 

-know that an electric current is a flow of electric charge

 

-know that electric charge is measured in coulombs and  that a flow rate of one coulomb per second is called one ampere

 

-appreciate that electric charge produced by friction is the same change which moving around a circuit, produces an electric current

 

 

P8 ENERGY AND ELECTRICITY

 

CORE

SUPPLEMENT

All students should:

In addition to what is required in the Core, students following the Extended curriculum should:

 

-understand that the ‘voltage’ of an electrical supply is a measure of the energy it can transfer from an electrical supply elsewhere, and that it can be measured with a voltmeter.

-be able to apply the idea of voltage numerically to circuits containing more than one component, and apply correctly the term potential difference.

 

-be able to correctly draw circuit diagrams containing a voltmeter.

-know that a potential difference of one volt is equivalent to an energy difference of one joule per coulomb of charge

-be able to use the relationship: power=voltage x current

-appreciate the experimental evidence leading to Ohm’s Law

-understand the meaning of the term electrical resistance and know that the resistance of a component (in ohms)= voltage across component/current through component

-be able to work out the combined resistance of two resistors in parallel

-be able to work out the combined resistance of two resistors in series.

 

-appreciate the factors affecting the resistance of a component: length of wire, temperature of wire, cross section of wire

 

 

P9 WAVES

 

CORE

SUPPLEMENT

All students should:

In addition to what is required in the Core, students following the Extended curriculum should:

 

-understand that a wave is a means of transferring energy without transferring matter.

-know the meaning of the term wavefront

 

-understand that energy is transferred in the direction in which the wave travels

-know and be able to use the equation: wave speed=wave length  x frequency in simple applications

-know the meaning of the terms wave length, amplitude, frequency and wave speed

 

-be able to distinguish between transverse and longitudinal waves and appreciate the circumstances in which either or both might occur.

 

-appreciate the way a wave can be reflected off a plane barrier.

 

-appreciate the way in which a wave can change direction as its speed changes.

 

 

P10 LIGHT AND SOUND

 

CORE

SUPPLEMENT

All students should:

In addition to what is required in the Core, students following the Extended curriculum should:

 

-understand the basic properties of reflection and refraction as they apply to light and sound

-be able to state the approximate frequencies over which human hearing takes place

 

-understand how the refraction of light by a lens can lead to the formation of real images.

 

-appreciate how reflection and refraction properties can be applied to understand the transmission of light down an optical fibre.

 

-appreciate how sound levels can be measured and appreciate the desirability of reducing noise levels yet recognize  the problems involved in doing this.

 

-know that there is limited range of frequencies over which hearing takes place

 

-appreciate the importance of communication systems in the modern world

 

       

P11 MAKING USE OF WAVES

 

CORE

SUPPLEMENT

All students should:

In addition to what is required in the Core, students following the Extended curriculum should:

 

-understand that wave motion is a useful way of describing and explaining the behaviour of light and sound

-understand that diffraction and the speed of light in glass, in relation to that in air, are some evidence for the wave nature of light

 

-understand how a prism can be used to split white light into its component colours.

-appreciate how energy can be transferred from waves and how it is possible to be selective in making that transfer

-appreciate the nature of colour vision in terms of primary and secondary colours

 

-appreciate that earthquakes involve the passage of waves through the earth

-be able to identify wavelength with colour in light

 

-appreciate that light is a part of a wide band of wavelengths called the electromagnetic spectrum 

 

-be able to associate the terms radio, microwave, infra-red, ultraviolet and X-rays with the appropriate parts of the electromagnetic spectrum and know some of the uses to which these parts of the spectrum are put

 

-know how sound can be transmitted through air as a wave

 

-be able to relate the loudness and pitch of a sound to the amplitude and frequency of the sound wave

 

 

P12 KINETIC ENERGY AND MOMENTUM

 

CORE

SUPPLEMENT

All students should:

In addition to what is required in the Core, students following the Extended curriculum should:

 

-understand the meaning of the terms kinetic energy and momentum

-be able to use kinetic energy and momentum to solve simple, quantitative problems involving force, motion and recoil.

 

-be able to find both the kinetic energy and momentum of a moving body from a knowledge of its mass and velocity

-appreciate that, in collisions between objects, their total momentum is unchanged (‘conservation of momentum’)

-be able to use kinetic energy to solve simple, qualitative problems involving force and motion

 

-be able to use momentum in simple, qualitative problems involving force and motion

 

-understand the way the concepts of kinetic energy and momentum can be applied in simple everyday situations

 

-appreciate the relationship between the transfer of energy to a gas by heating and the rise in temperature, and the increase in the kinetic energy of its particles

 

 

P13 GRAVITY

 

CORE

SUPPLEMENT

All students should:

In addition to what is required in the Core, students following the Extended curriculum should:

 

-appreciate that gravity is a force which acts between bodies even though they are not in contact

-appreciate why it is possible for objects to orbit the Earth without falling to its surface

 

-know that the Earth is the source of a gravitational field

 

-understand the part air resistance plays in the way objects fall when close to the Earth’s surface

 

-appreciate the distinction between mass and weight

 

 

P14 MAGNETISM AND ELECTRICITY

 

CORE

SUPPLEMENT

All students should:

In addition to what is required in the Core, students following the Extended curriculum should:

 

-know that magnetic materials have the ability to attract some materials but to attract and repel each other

-understand that an electric current can be induced in a wire moving relative to a magnetic field

 

-understand the meaning of the term magnetic field and know that the Earth is surrounded by one

-be able to apply this idea to understand the working of dynamos and alternators

-know that  forces can act on an electric current when in a magnetic field.

 

-know that the force on an electric current in a magnetic field is at right angles to the direction of the current and the field

 

-be able to apply these ideas in understanding how an electric motor works

 

-appreciate that an electric current itself has a magnetic field and that this can be applied to the design of electromagnets and relays

 

 

P15 COMMUNICATION

 

CORE

SUPPLEMENT

All students should:

In addition to what is required in the Core, students following the Extended curriculum should:

 

-understand how. historically, the use of light greatly increased the speed of communication but that this required the use of a code

-understand the difference between analogue signals and digital signals and recognize that the latter require an extension of the idea of a code for transmitting information

 

 

-understand how the use of electric signals has improved long-distance, high speed communication even further

 

-understand the benefits of digital coding for transmitting information

-be able to describe the operation of the microphone and earphone and relate their operation to basic physical principles

-be able to compare the operation of the telephone system with radio communication, including the need for modulation of a carrier wave

 

P16 ELECTRONS

 

CORE

SUPPLEMENT

All students should:

In addition to what is required in the Core, students following the Extended curriculum should:

 

-appreciate that the behaviour of the thermionic diode can be interpreted in terms of negatively-charged particles given off from a heated tungsten wire.

-appreciate that a flow of negatively charged particles (electrons) is the best solution in explaining the behaviour of a thermionic diode

 

-recognise that the electron, as a basic component of the atom, could be the particle carrying an electric current in a thermionic diode and also the particle responsible for carrying charge round an electric circuit

-understand how charges produced by friction can be understood in terms of an electron transfer

-understand how the production of electrons from a heated wire has led to the cathode-ray oscilloscope and the possibility of television

 

 

P17 RADIOACTIVITY

 

CORE

SUPPLEMENT

All students should:

In addition to what is required in the Core, students following the Extended curriculum should:

 

-appreciate that radiations from radioactive materials are capable of breaking up other atoms and molecules

-appreciate the link between ionization and electric charge

 

-understand the meaning of the term ionising radiation

-be able to relate radioactivity to the structure of an atom

-know how radioactivity may be detected and measured

-appreciate the idea of randomness in the decay process and relate this to half-life

-understand the meaning of the term background radiation

 

-appreciate why radioactivity can be dangerous to living things but be able to put these hazards into perspective

 

-appreciate the differences between alpha, beta, and gamma radiations

 

-appreciate some of the uses to which radioactivity has been put

 

 

P18 ENERGY RESOURCES

 

CORE

SUPPLEMENT

All students should:

In addition to what is required in the Core, students following the Extended curriculum should:

 

-understand the meaning of the term efficiency when it is applies to energy transfer process

 

 

-appreciate the necessity of finding an alternative to fossil fuels in the near future

 

-understand how energy may be released from the nuclei of atoms by both nuclear fission and nuclear fusion

 

-appreciate some of the problems involved in the use of nuclear fission as an energy resource

 

-understand that there are alternative (renewable) energy resources, but understand that no single renewable energy source is likely to act as a total replacement for present energy resources

 

-appreciate that greater efficiency in the use of energy can be as helpful as finding alternative sources

 

 

P19 ENERGY DISTRIBUTION

 

CORE

SUPPLEMENT

All students should:

In addition to what is required in the Core, students following the Extended curriculum should:

 

-understand that energy can be transferred from fuels to electricity by dynamos

-be able to describe the work of a transformer in terms of the currents induced by changing magnetic fields

 

-appreciate the problems involved in the electrical transmission of energy

-be able to use the equation Vp/Vs=Np/Ns

-understand the importance of transformers in the electrical transmission of energy

-appreciate the possible advantages of other methods of distributing energy, including  the use of petrol for cars and the use of hydraulics

 

P20 ELECTRONICS

 

CORE

SUPPLEMENT

All students should:

In addition to what is required in the Core, students following the Extended curriculum should:

 

-understand that electronics is an extension of the study of electricity

-appreciate that integrated circuits, called microprocessors, are the control units of many devices in everyday use

 

-appreciate that a knowledge of changes in resistance can be used to produce detectors which can respond to changes in the environment

-appreciate how AND, NOT and OR gates are used 

-understand how a reed relay can be used to operate devices which need larger currents than detectors can pass

 

-appreciate how electronics can be used to solve simple problems in everyday life