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UK GCSE level student age ~14-16 ~US grades 9-10 Scroll down and follow links

INDEX of Doc Brown's School PHYSICS Revision Study Notes for students aged ~14-16: GCSE and IGCSE level (~US grade 9-10 level)

INDEX of GCSE level physics notes

GCSE physics specification help link section

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My physics exam revision notes links are grouped under:

(Most links below lead to a sub-index of multiple pages on the topic listed)

(Some revision notes are suitable for UK KS3 level Science-Physics ~US grades 6-8)

Energy - types, sources, uses

Thermal energy: conduction, convection, radiation, specific heat

Electricity and magnetism

States of matter: properties of gases, liquids, solids

Waves: electromagnetic radiation, optics, sound, astronomy, stars

Atomic structure and radioactivity - nuclear physics

Forces: types, examples, calculations

Motion: Newton's Laws, associated forces, applications, calculations

Appendix 1 Units

Appendix 2 Numbers !!!

Help links for GCSE Combined Science and Physics courses

Energy resources, energy transfers, work done and electrical power supply

Types of energy & stores - examples compared/explained, calculations of mechanical work done & power

(4 main parts plus 10 sub-parts on types of energy and types of energy stores)

Chemical energy stores  * Elastic potential energy stores and calculations 

Electrical & electrostatic energy stores  *  Gravitational potential energy and calculations 

Kinetic energy stores and calculations  *  Nuclear energy store

Thermal energy stores  *  Light energy  * Sound energy  * Magnetic energy stores

Conservation of energy, energy transfers-conversions, efficiency - calculations and Sankey diagrams

See also Methods of reducing heat transfer eg in a house, insulating properties of materials

Energy resources: uses, survey, trends, comparing renewables, non-renewables, generating electricity

Renewable energy (1) Wind power and solar power, advantages and disadvantages

Renewable energy (2) Hydroelectric power and geothermal power, advantages and disadvantages

Renewable energy (3) Wave power and tidal barrage power, advantages and disadvantages

See also Renewable energy - biomass - biofuels & alternative fuels, hydrogen, biogas, biodiesel

Greenhouse effect, global warming, climate change, carbon footprint from fossil fuel burning

Absorption & emission of radiation - temperature & surface factors including global warming

The Usefulness of Electricity

and The 'National Grid' power supply, mention of small scale supplies, transformers

energy pages 5 and 6 spare

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Thermal ('heat') energy transfer: Explaining physical changes & physical properties using particle models

Much of this is to do with thermal energy ('heat') transfers from one store to another

1. Introduction to heat transfer - conduction (and thermal conductivity), convection and radiation

2. Specific heat capacity: how to determine it, use of data, calculations and thermal energy stores

3. More on reducing heat transfer eg in a house and investigating insulating properties of materials

4. Particle theory models: gases, liquid, solid, internal energy, heat transfer in state changes, latent heat

5. The density of materials (including measurements) and the particle model of matter

See also

Energy transfer and efficiency - calculations and Sankey diagrams (= energy section 7)

Absorption & emission of radiation by materials - temperature & surface factors including global warming

and Global warming, climate change, reducing our carbon footprint from fossil fuel burning

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Electricity and magnetism revision notes index

1. Electricity in the home, safety-fuses, energy transfer, costs & calculations, P = IV = I2R, E = Pt

2. Electrical circuits & symbols, drawing/interpretation, parallel circuits, series circuits explained

3. Ohm's Law, investigations of resistance, I-V graphs, calculations V = IR, Q = It, E = QV

4. Circuit devices and how are they used explained (e.g. thermistor, LED, LDR, diode)

5. Comparing series and parallel circuits, circuit diagrams, I, V and R measurements, calculations

6. The 'National Grid' power supply, environmental issues, uses of transformers

7. Comparison of renewable/non-renewable methods of generating electricity  (= energy Part 1)

8. Static electricity and electric fields, uses and dangers of static electricity

9. Magnetism - magnetic materials - temporary (induced) and permanent magnets - uses

10. Electromagnetism, solenoid coils, uses of electromagnets

11. Motor effect of an electric current, electric motor, loudspeaker, Fleming's left-hand rule, F = BIL

12. Generator effect, applications e.g. generators generating electricity and microphone

electricity 7 page spare

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States of matter, state changes and gas laws revision notes index

Particle models of gasesliquidssolids, explaining properties, state changes (chemistry notes)

Particle theory models, internal energy, heat transfer in state changes and latent heat and particle motion in gases and gas pressure (written more from a GCSE 'physics' point of view (= heat Part 4 page)

P-V-T pressure-volume-temperature gas laws and calculations (revision notes for physicists or chemists!)

The density of materials and the particle model of matter (= heat Part 5 page)

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WAVES - electromagnetic radiation, sound, optics-lenses, light and astronomy

General introduction to the types and properties of waves, ripple tank expts, how to do wave calculations

Illuminated & self-luminous objects, reflection, visible light, ray box experiments, ray diagrams, mirror uses

Refraction and diffraction, the visible light spectrum, prism investigations, ray diagrams explained

Electromagnetic spectrum, sources, types, properties, uses (including medical) and dangers

Absorption & emission of radiation by materials - temperature & surface factors including global warming

See also Global warming, climate change, reducing our carbon footprint from fossil fuel burning

Optics - types of lenses (convex, concave, uses), experiments and ray diagrams, correction of eye defects

The visible spectrum of colour, light filters and explaining the colour of objects

Sound waves, properties explained, speed measure, uses of sound, ultrasound, infrasound, earthquakes

The Structure of the Earth, crust, mantle, core and earthquake waves (seismic wave analysis)

Astronomy - solar system, planets, moons, stars, galaxies and use of telescopes and satellites

The life cycle of stars - mainly worked out from emitted electromagnetic radiation

Cosmology: Big Bang Theory of the Universe, red-shift, microwave background radiation

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Atomic structure, radioactivity, ionising radiations - properties and uses

0. Atomic structure, history, definitions, examples and explanations including isotopes (GCSE chemistry)

1. Atomic structure and fundamental particle knowledge needed to understand radioactivity (GCSE physics)

2. What is Radioactivity? Why does it happen? Three types of atomic-nuclear-ionising radiation

3. Detection of radioactivity, its measurement and radiation dose units, ionising radiation sources - radioactive materials, background radiation

4. Alpha, beta & gamma radiation - properties of 3 types of radioactive nuclear emission & symbols ,dangers of radioactive emissions - health and safety issues and ionising radiation

5. Uses of radioactive isotopes emitting alpha, beta (+/) or gamma radiation in industry and medicine

6. The half-life of a radioisotope - how long does material remain radioactive? implications!, uses of decay data and half-life values - archaeological radiocarbon dating, dating ancient rocks

7. What actually happens to the nucleus in alpha and beta radioactive decay and why? nuclear equations!, the production of radioisotopes - artificial sources of radioactive-isotopes, cyclotron

8. Nuclear fusion reactions and the formation of 'heavy elements' by bombardment techniques

9. Nuclear Fission Reactions, nuclear power as an energy resource

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1. What are contact forces & non-contact forces?, scalar & vector quantities, free body force diagrams

2. Mass and the effect of gravity force on it - weight, (mention of work done, GPE and circular motion, centre of mass)

3. Calculating resultant forces using vector diagrams, also includes work done calculations

4. Elasticity and energy stored in a spring, experimental investigations and calculations

5. Turning forces & moments - spanners to wheelbarrows, levers, gears & equilibrium situations

6. Pressure P = F/A calculations in various solid situations, pressure in fluids and hydraulic systems

7. Pressure & upthrust in fluids, why objects float/sink? Variation of atmospheric pressure with height

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Motion and associated forces, including Newton's Laws of Motion

1. Speed and velocity - the relationship between distance and time, distance-time graphs

2. Acceleration, velocity-time graph interpretation and calculations, problem solving

3. Acceleration, friction, drag effects and terminal velocity experiments, falling object experiments

4. Newton's First, Second and Third Laws of Motion, inertia and F = ma calculations

5. Reaction times, vehicle stopping distances, safety aspects. calculations including F = ma

6. Elastic and non-elastic collisions, momentum calculations and Newton's 2nd law of motion

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KS3 PHYSICS SCIENCE QUIZZES prior to GCSE level courses

QUIZ on "Types of energy stores, resources, energy transfers

QUIZ on "Electricity and magnetism"

QUIZ on "Forces and their effects and motion - speed, acceleration"

QUIZ on "The Earth, gravity, weight, our solar system, space beyond"

QUIZ on "Heating, cooling, state changes, thermal energy transfer"

QUIZ on "WAVES - light and sound"

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Appendix 1 - UNITS

Most GCSE physics courses will expect you to know and be able to use the following units

Be able to recall and use the following SI units:

metre, unit symbol: m;   kilogram, unit symbol: kg;   second, unit symbol: s

ampere, unit symbol: A;  kelvin, unit symbol: K;   mole, unit symbol: mol;

AND some derived units with special names: name unit abbreviation:

Frequency, hertz Hz,  Force, newton N, Energy, joule J, Power, watt W,

Pressure, pascal Pa, Electric charge, coulomb C

Electric potential difference, volt V,  Electric resistance, ohm Ω

Magnetic flux density, tesla T

Be able to recall and use multiples and sub-multiples of units, including using, with prefix letter:

giga (G, 109),  mega (M, 106),  kilo (k, 103), centi  (c, 10-2), 

milli (m, 10-3),  micro (μ, 10-6)  and  nano (n, 10-9)

Be able to convert between different units, including hours to seconds.

Be able to use significant figures and standard form where appropriate

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Appendix 2 The numbers game! Using numerical equivalents

e.g.: 1 m 10-6 m, 1 nm 1.0 x 10-9 m, 1 mm 1.0 x 10-3 m, 1 cm 1.0 x 10-2 m,

1 m 1.0 x 106 m, 1 m 1.0 x 109 nm, 1 mm 1.0 x 103 m, 1 cm 1.0 x 104 m, 1 m 1.0 x 106 m (etc.!)

Numerical prefixes you should know for your gcse science-physics courses

10n Prefix 10n Prefix
1024 yotta 10-1 deci (d)
1021 zetta 10-2 centi (c)
1018 exa 10-3 milli (m)
1015 peta 10-6 micro ()
1012 tera (T) 10-9 nano (n)
109 giga (G) 10-12 pico (p)
106 mega (M) 10-15 femto
103 kilo (k) 10-18 atto
100 (none) 10-21 zepto

Another numbers game that can cost you marks in an exam!

Significant figures and what is legitimate to quote for a final numerical answer

Since many sections of physics involve calculations, significant figure quotation should follow the rule:

Significant figures (s.f.) is the limit of numerical accuracy you can be sure of e.g.

If the data numbers in a question are 20, 25, 0.125, 678, 1.234, you can only quote the final answer to the nearest 2 sf - dictated by the 20 (only quoted to 2 s.f.) even though other data is quoted to 3 or 4 significant figures..

If the question data said 20.0, you could still only quote the final answer to 2 s.f. because of the 25.

If the question data said 20.0 and 25.1, you could then quote the final answer to 3 s.f.

Any intermediate working is not governed by this convention, only the final answer to a specific calculation.

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LINKS for my revision pages for the GCSE 9-1 science-physics courses

Revision Summaries for the new GCSE PHYSICS/combined science physics courses


AQA GCSE Physics 8463 1st Paper Topics 1-4 or Combined Science Trilogy Physics 1 Topics 18-21

AQA GCSE Physics 8463 2nd Paper Topics 5-8 or Combined Science Trilogy Physics 2 Topics 22-24

Edexcel GCSE (9-1) Physics  1st Paper Topics 1-7 or Combined Science Physics 2 Topics 1-8

Edexcel GCSE (9-1) Physics 2nd Paper Topics 1, 8-15 or Combined Science Physics 2 Topics 1, 8-10, 12-15

OCR (9-1) Gateway Science GCSE Physics A 1st Paper Topics P1-4 or Comb. Science A physics 1 Topics P1-4

OCR (9-1) Gateway Science GCSE Physics A 2nd Paper Topics P5-8 or Comb. Science A physics 1 Topics P5-8

OCR (9-1) 21st Century Science GCSE Physics B Chapters P1-3 Chapters P1-3 or GCSE Comb. Sci. B physics

OCR (9-1) 21st Century Science GCSE Physics B Chapters P4-6 Chapters P4-6 or GCSE Comb. Sci. B physics

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Basic Science Quizzes for UK KS3 science students aged ~12-14, ~US grades 6-8

BiologyChemistryPhysics for UK GCSE level students aged ~14-16, ~US grades 9-10

Advanced Level Chemistry for pre-university age ~16-18 ~US grades 11-12, K12 Honors

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▲►▼◄{ } ǁǁǁ llll ⅓  ⅔  ∑  ∆  ↑ ↓ Σ √  λ   θ  ρ   ∆ σ π α β  β+ γ Ω  π       ∕    + = < << >> >  ~ π σ Δ   

 ≈ π ← → ↑  ↓ ↔ ↕ Σ √  λ   θ  ρ   ∆ ϱ σ π α β  β+ γ Ω  π       ∕    + = < << >> >  ~ σ Δ  Doc Brown     \     

  v = f x λ  *  f = v / λ  *  λ = v / f

s = d / t  *  t = d / s  *  d = s x t

F = ma  *  m = F / a  *  a = F / m


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