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An understanding of the principles in this unit and in the general requirements is expected in familiar and unfamiliar situations. In examination questions where the context is beyond the content of the specification it will be fully described.
Suggested activities


Gravitational fields The concept of a field. Gravitational field strength.

Use of lines of force to describe fields qualitatively. g = F/m Field strength understood as a vector quantity.

Computer model to plot lines of force. Estimate the attractive force between various masses. eg two people, two oil tankers. KC Research development of models. KC KIT Estimate the mass of the Earth. Estimate g just outside the atmosphere.


Force between point masses.

Gm1 m2 r2 Measurement of G is not required. F=

Gravitational field strength in radial fields.

Inverse square law for spherically symmetric masses g = Gm/r2 Equipotential surfaces. (The relationship V = Gm/r is not required.) Application to satellite orbits.


Electric fields Electrostatic phenomena and electric charge.

Charging by contact (friction): two kinds of charge. Conductors and insulators.

The electronic charge. Measurement of charge. 5.4 Electric field strength.

The discrete nature of charge to be understood. Use of coulombmeter. Details of the meter are not required. E = F/Q

Charge polythene and acetate strips by rubbing; demonstrate attraction and repulsion. KC KPS / KWO

Demonstrate electric lines of force between electrodes. Computer model to plot lines of force. Measure force between two charges using electronic balance.


Force between point charges.


kQ1Q2 where, for free space (or r2


4 0 An experimental demonstration is not required.

air), k =

= 9.0 10 9 N m 2 C- 2


UA006823 Specification AS/A GCE in Physics Issue 3 September 2002


Electric field strength in radial fields.

Inverse square law. E = kQ/r2 (The relationship V = kQ/r is not required.) E = V/d Equipotential surfaces. V = W/Q Kinetic energy from (me2) = eV

Suggested activities Qualitative investigation of field around a charged sphere. KC KPS


Electric field strength in uniform fields. Electric potential difference. Electron beams.

Qualitative investigation of field between two parallel plates. KC KPS Plot equipotentials using conducting paper. Demonstrate variation of brightness with accelerating voltage using Maltese Cross tube.


Capacitance Capacitance.

C = Q/V Experimental investigation of charge stored. Appreciation of the significance of the area under an I-t graph. Equivalent capacitance formulae: 1 1 1 1 = + + C C1 C 2 C 3 C = C1 + C2 + C3 Comparison with resistance formulae. Energy stored E = CV 2 = QV Energy stored represented by the area under a V-Q graph.

Coulombmeter to measure charge stored.


Capacitors in series and parallel.

Capacitance meter to demonstrate formulae for capacitors in series and parallel.


Energy stored in a charged capacitor.

Investigation: energy stored by discharging through series / parallel combinations of light bulbs. KWO / KPS KN Research applications eg flash photography KC KIT Computer model to plot lines of force.


Magnetic fields Permanent magnets.

Use of field lines to describe magnetic fields. Concept of a neutral point. Magnitude of B defined by F = BIl. Direction of B given by left-hand rule. Vector nature of B. Experimental study of the force on a current-carrying conductor in a magnetic field.


Magnetic flux density (B-field).

Electronic balance to measure force. Investigation: effect of I and l on force. KWO / KPS KN KC KIT

UA006823 Specification AS/A GCE in Physics Issue 3 September 2002



Magnetic effect of a steady current.

Magnetic field in a solenoid and near a straight wire to be investigated experimentally using a pre-calibrated Hall probe. B = 0nI and B = 0I/2r

Suggested activities Use Hall probe or flux density meter. KWO / KPS KN KC KIT

5.14 5.15

Electromagnetic induction Magnetic flux, flux linkage. Electromagnetic induction.

Magnetic flux. = BA Experimental demonstration that change of flux induces an emf in a circuit. Emf as equal to rate of change of magnetic flux linkage. Lenzs law as illustrating energy conservation. = N/t Explained in terms of magnetic flux linkage. For an ideal transformer: Vp/Vs = Np/Ns
Data logging: V against t as a magnet falls through coil. Investigations: Faradays law variation of with N and rate of change of B. KWO / KPS KN KC KIT Investigation: number of turns and output voltage. KPS KN

Faradays and Lenzs laws of electromagnetic induction.


The transformer.


UA006823 Specification AS/A GCE in Physics Issue 3 September 2002