Physics A Level

Head of Department      Mr Christopher Butler
Exam board                      AQA
Qualification name         Physics A
Qualification codes         GCE AS: 1451            GCE A Level: 2451

What you will study

Lower Sixth – AS and first year of A Level

  1. Measurements and their errors, including use of SI units and their prefixes, limitations of physical measurement, estimation of physical quantities.
  2. Particles and radiation, including constituents of the atom, particle interactions, collisions of electrons with atoms.
  3. Waves, including progressive waves, interference, diffraction.
  4. Mechanics and energy, including projectile motion, Newton’s laws of motion.
  5. Electricity, including current/voltage characteristics, circuits, electromotive force and internal resistance.

Upper Sixth – second year of A Level

  1. Further mechanics and thermal physics, including periodic motion, thermal energy transfer, molecular kinetic theory model.
    7. Fields, including Newton’s law of gravitation, orbits of planets and satellites, magnetic flux density.
    8. Nuclear physics, including evidence for the nucleus, radioactive decay, nuclear instability.

Plus one option from:

  • Astrophysics, including classification of stars by luminosity, Doppler effect, detection of exoplanets.
  • Medical physics, including physics of vision, ECG machines, x-ray imaging.
  • Engineering physics, including rotational dynamics, thermodynamics and engines.
  • Turning points in physics, including discovery of the electron, Einstein’s theory of special relativity.
  • Electronics, including discrete semiconductor devices, data communication systems.

How you will be assessed
Paper 1
: A two-hour written paper (34% of A Level)
Paper covers topics 1-5 and periodic motion. 60 marks: mixture of short and long questions; 25 marks: multiple choice.
Paper 2: A two-hour written paper (34% of A Level)
Paper covers topics 6-8. 60 marks: mixture of short and long questions; 25 marks: multiple choice.
Paper 3: A two-hour written paper (32% of A Level)
Practical skills, data analysis, and one optional topic are assessed. 45 marks: questions on practical experiments and data analysis; 35 marks: questions on optional topic.