Year 11 - Physics Unit 1-2


UNIT 1 Electricity and Nuclear Physics
Unit 1 begins by exploring atomic theory and developing an understanding of nuclear radiation. The students then investigate different applications of nuclear radiation including radiocarbon dating and nuclear medicine. The study of Electricity allows students to develop their understanding of electrical circuits. Practical work is an integral part of this unit.

UNIT 2 Motion and Wave Like Properties of Light
Unit 2 begins with the study of Motion, where students will be required to describe the straight line motion of objects in terms of acceleration, velocity and position. Students may use a range of methods of analysing the motion of objects including motion sensors and video recording. In the study of Light students will be introduced to the different models of light and study the properties of light. They will then investigate different mirrors and lenses to gain an understanding of the different types of images produced.

Also in each unit students will study a detailed topic chosen from: Astronomy, Astrophysics, Energy from the Nucleus, Flight, Sustainable Energy Sources or Medical Physics.

Physics is a theoretical and empirical science, which contributes to our understanding of the physical universe from the minute building blocks of matter to the unimaginably broad expanses of the Universe. This understanding has significance for the way we understand our place in the Universe. This study is designed to enhance the scientific literacy of students in the specialised area of physics. Scientifically literate physics students demonstrate interest in and understanding of the Universe, engage

in debates about the nature of evidence, theories and models, and appreciate the value of physics in society. They can describe and use theories and models, propose and investigate hypotheses, collect data, analyse the limitations of that data, draw conclusions, make recommendations, and select and use a range of appropriate technologies and mathematical techniques. The knowledge gained through physics will enhance students’ ability to be innovative and contribute to the intelligent and careful use of resources. This knowledge can be used, for example, in industrial,

medical, engineering and technical applications.  Knowledge in physics is gained through complex processes; for example, theories developed from studying the ways that matter interacts with matter, and the ways that light and matter interact, have

led to innovations in medicine, electronics, energy use, telecommunications and materials science.

On completion of these units students should be able to

–       explain and model relevant physics ideas to describe the sources and uses of nuclear reactions and radioactivity and their effects on living things,the environment and in industry.

–       investigate and apply a basic DC circuit model to simple battery operated devices, car and household (AC) electrical systems, and describe the safe and effective use of electricity by individuals and the community.

–       investigate, analyse and mathematically model motion of particles and bodies in terms of Aristotelian, Galilean and Newtonian theories.

–       describe and explain the wave model of light, compare it with the particle model of light and apply it to observed light phenomena in practical investigations.

Main Assessment Tasks

A practical investigation (student designed, adapted or extended)


A selection from the following:

• an annotated folio of practical activities

• a data analysis

• a multimedia or web page presentation

• a response to a media article

• a summary report of selected practical investigations including maintenance of a logbook

• a written report

• a test (short answer and extended response).

End of Unit Examinations.

Textbook:  – See the booklist for the correct title and edition
Scientific Calculator

Folder and Exercise book

Digital Device


Unit 1 and 2 Physics leads directly into the study of Unit 3 and 4 Physics.

Possible pathway could lead into -

Physics Unit 3-4

UNIT DESCRIPTION UNIT 3 MOTION IN ONE & TWO DIMENSIONS AND ELECTRONICS/PHOTONICS Unit 3 begin with the study of Motion. Students will investigate motion and related energy transformations…