# Physics

Physics Syllabus

CXC / CSEC PAST PAPERS

Videoes

SECTION A: MECHANICS

Scientific Method

Galileo

Simple Pendulum

Measurement

• Express the result of a measurement or a calculation to an appropriate number of significant figures;
• Discuss the possible types and sources of error in any measurement;
• Use a variety of instruments to measure different quantities;
• Assess the suitability of instruments on the basis of sensitivity, accuracy and range;
• Apply the formula for density p=m/v.

Vectors

Statics

Forces, F

• Explain the effects of forces;
• Identify types of forces;
• Determine the weight of objects;
• Show how derived quantities and their related units are produced;
• Recall the special names given to the units for some derived quantities;
• Express derived units using the index notation;
• Identify situations in which the application of a force will result in a turning effect.

Turning Forces

• Define the moment of a force T;
• Apply the principle of moments;
• Explain the action of common tools and devices as levers;
• Determine the location of the centre of gravity of a body;
• Relate the stability of an object to the position of its centre of gravity and its weight.

Deformation

•  Investigate the relationship between extension and force;
• Solve problems using Hooke’s law.

Dynamics: Motion in a Straight Line

• Define the terms: distance, displacement, speed, velocity, acceleration;
• Apply displacement-time and velocity-time graphs.

Aristotle

• Discuss Aristotle’s arguments in support of his “law of motion”, that is vαF.

Newton’s Laws

• State Newton’s three laws of motion;
• Use Newton’w laws to explain dynamic systems;
• Define linear momentum;
• Describe situations that demonstrate the law of conservation of linear momentum;
• Apply the law of conservation of linear momentum.

Energy

Forms of energy

• Define Energy;
• Identify the various forms of energy;
• Describe the energy transformations in a given situation;
• Apply the relationship: work = force x displacement;
• Discuss the use of energy from alternative sources, and its importance to the Caribbean.

Potential Energy, Ep

• Define potential energy;
• Calculate the change in graviational potential energy using: ΔEp = mgΔh.

Kinetic Energy, Ek

• Define kinetic energy;
• Calculate kinetic energies using the expression: Ek = ½ mv2.

Conservation

• Apply the law of conservation of energy.

Power, P

• Define power and apply definition;
• Explain the term efficiency;
• Calculate efficiency in given situations.

Hydrostatics

• Define pressure and apply definition;
• Relate the pressure at a point in a fluid to its depth and the density;
• Apply Archimedes’ principle to predict whether a body would float or sink in a given fluid.

SECTION B: THERMAL PHYSICS AND KINETIC THEORY

Nature of Heat

• Differentiate between caloric and kinetic theories of heat as they existed in the eighteenth century;
• Discuss the role of Joule’s experiments in establishing the principle of conservation of energy.

Macroscopic Properties and Phenomena

Temperature, T

• Relate temperature to the direction of net thermal energy transfer;
• Identify physical properties which may vary with temperature and may be used as a basis for measuring temperature;
• Relate the use of a thermometer to its design;
• Define the fixed points on the Celsius scale;
• Relate the temperature of a body to the kinetic energy of molecules.

Phases of Matter

• Distinguish among solids, liquids and gases;
• Use the kinetic theory to explain the different macroscopic properties of solids, liquids and gases.

Expansion

• Explain observations of the effects of thermal expansion.

Gas Laws

• Relate graphs of pressure or volume against temperature to establishment of the Kelvin temperature scale;
• Use the relationship between Kelvin and Celsius scale. T/K = 0 degrees C+ 273;
• Apply the gas laws;
• Give the qualitative explanations of the gas laws in terms of kinetic theory.

Thermal Measurements

Specific Heat Capacity, c

• Distinguish between specific heat capacity, ‘c’ and heat capacity ‘C’;
• Apply the relationship EH = mcθ or EH = mcΔT;
• Determine the specific heat capacity of metals and liquids.

Specific Latent Heat, l

• Demonstrate that temperature remains constant during a phase change;
• Apply the relationship EH = ml;
• Determine the specific latent heat of vaporization lv, and fusion, lf of water;
• Distinguish between evaporation and boiling.

Transfer of Thermal Energy

• Explain the transfer of thermal energy by conduction;
• Explain the transfer of thermal energy by convection;
• Explain the transfer of thermal energy by radiation;
• Conduct experiments to investigate the factors on which absorption and emission of radiation depend;
• Recall that good absorbers are good emitters;
• Relate the principles of thermal energy transfer to the design of other devices.

SECTION C: WAVES AND OPTICS

Wave Motion

Types of Waves

• Differentiate between types of waves.

Wave Parameters

• Apply speed, frequency, wavelength, period and amplitude;
• Represent transverse and longitudinal waves in displacement position and displacement-time graphs.

Sound

Production and Propagation

• Describe how sound is produced and propagated in a medium;
• Relate the terms ‘pitch’ and ‘loudness’ to wave parameters.

Speed of Sound

• Apply the speed of sound to practical situations;
• Cite evidence that sound waves reflect, refract, diffract and interfere;
• Describe the use of ultrasound.

Electromagnetic Waves

• State the properties of e.m. waves;
• Differentiate between types of e.m.waves in terms of their wavelengths;
• Identify a source and use of each type of e.m.wave.

Light Waves

Wave Particle Duality

• Compare the rival theories of light held by scientists;
• Conduct a Young’s double slit experiment to show that light is a wave.

Rays of Light

• Explain why diffraction of light is not normally observed;
• Apply the principle that light travels in straight lines.

Reflection

• Apply the laws of reflection;
• Describe the formation of images in a plane mirror.

Refraction

• Give examples of observations which indicate that light can be refracted;
• Describe the refraction of light rays;
• Describe how a prism may be used to produce a spectrum;
• Apply Snell’s Law.

Critical Angle and Total Internal Reflection

• Explain ‘critical angle’ and ‘total internal reflection’;
• Relate critical angles to total internal reflection;
• Draw diagrams illustrating applications of total internal reflection.

Lenses

Action of Lenses

• Illustrate the effect of converging and diverging lenses on a beam of parallel rays;
• Define the terms: principal axis, principal focus, focal length, focal plane, magnification.

Image Formation

• Differentiate between real and virtual images;
• Apply the equations for magnification;
• Determine the focal length of a converging lens.

SECTION D: ELECTRICITY AND MAGNETISM

Electrostatics

Electric Charge, Q

• Explain the charging of objects;
• Describe the forces that electric charges exert on each other;
• Explain charging by induction.

Electric Fields

• Define an electric field;
• Describe one hazard and one useful application of static charge.

Current Electricity

• Distinguish between conductors and insulators;
• State than an electric current in a metal consists of a flow of electrons;
• Differentiate between electron flow and conventional current;
• State the unit of electrical current;
• apply the relationship Q= It.

Alternating Current

• Differentiate between direct and alternating currents;
• Analyse current-time or voltage time graphs.

Electrical Quantities

Power, P and Energy, E

• Cite examples of conversion of electrical energy to other forms and vice versa;
• Apply the relationship V= E/Q;
• Apply the relationship P= IV;
• Discuss the importance of conserving electrical energy and the means of doing so.

Circuit and Components

Circuit Diagrams

• Use symbols to construct circuit diagrams;
• Differentiate between series and parallel circuits.

Cells

• Explain the functions of the various parts of a zinc-carbon cell;
• Distinguish between primary and secondary cells;
• Draw a circuit diagram to show how a secondary cell can be recharged.

I-V Relationships

• Investigate the relationship between current and potential difference.

Resistance, R

• Explain the concept of resistance;
• Apply the relationship R= V/I;
• Explain why it is necessary for an ammeter to have a very low resistance;
• Explain why it is necessary for a voltmeter to have very high resistance;
• Solve problems involving series and parallel resistance;
• Solve problems involving series, parallel and series parallel circuits.

Electricity in the Home

• Discuss the reasons for using parallel connections of domestic appliances;
• Explain the purpose of a fuse or circuit breaker and the earth wire;
• Select a fuse or circuit breaker of a suitable current rating for a given appliance;
• State the adverse effects of connecting electrical appliances to incorrect or fluctuating voltage supplies.

Electronics

• Describe how a semi-conductor dioxide can be used in half wave rectification;
• Differentiate between direct current from batteries and rectified alternating current by a consideration of V-t graphs for both cases.

Logic Gates

• Recall the symbols for AND, OR, NOT, NAND, NOR logic gates;
• State the function of truth gates with the aid of truth tables;
• Analyse the circuits involving the combinations of not more than three logic gates;
• Discuss the impact of electronic and technological advances on society.

Magnetism

Permanent Magnets

• Differentiate between magnetic and non-magnetic materials;
• Explain how a magnet can attract an unmagnetised object;
• Distinguish between materials used to make “permanent” and “temporary” magnets;
• Identify the poles of a magnetic dipole.

Magnetic Forces

• Investigate the forces between magnetic poles;
• Define a magnetic field;
• Map magnetic fields.

Electromagnetism

• Conduct simple experiments to investigate the magnetic field pattern around current carrying conductors;
• Apply suitable rules which relate the direction of current flow to the direction of the magnetic field;
• Describe a commercial application of an electromagnet.

Electromagnetic Force

• Conduct an experiment which demonstrates the -existence of a force on a current-carrying conductor placed in a magnetic field;
• Sketch the resultant magnetic flux pattern when a current carrying wire is placed perpendicular to a uniform magnetic field;
• Apply Flemming’s left hand motor rule;
• Identify factors that affect the force on a current-carrying conductor in a magnetic field.

Motors

• Explain the action of a D.C motor.

Induced e.m.f

• Describe simple activities which demonstrate an induced e.m.f;
• Conduct simple experiments to show the magnitude of an induced e.m.f;
• Predict the direction of induced current given the direction of motion of the conductor and that of the magnetic field;
• Explain the action of the A.C. generator.

Transformers

• Explain the principle of transformation of a transformer;
• State the advantages of using a.c. for transferring electrical energy;
• Apply the ideal transformer formula Pout = Pin

SECTION E: THE PHYSICS OF THE ATOM

Models of the Atom

• Describe the work done in establishing the modern view of the atom;
• Describe the Geiger-Marsden experiment.

Structure of the Atom

Particles in the Atom

• Sketch the structure of simple atoms;
• Compare the mass and charge of the electron with the mass and charge of the proton;
• Explain why the atom is normally neutrally stable;
• Apply the relationship: A = Z+N;
• Explain what is meant by the term “isotope”;
• Relate the shell model of the atom to the periodic table.

• Describe Marie Curie’s work in the field of radioactivity;
• State the nature of the three types of radioactive emissions;
• Describe experiments to compare the ranges of α, β and γ emission;
• Describe the appearance of the tracks of radioactive emissions in a cloud chamber;
• Predict the effects of magnetic and electric fields on the motion of α and β particles and γ rays;
• Interpret nuclear reactions in the standard form;
• Conduct an activity to demonstrate the nature of radioactive decay;
• Recall that the decay process is independent of the conditions external to the nucleus.

Half-life

• Use graphs of random decay to show that such processes have constant half-lives;
• Solve problems involving half-life.