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Unit 1: Motion Unit 2: Speeding Up and Slowing Down Unit 3: Work and Energy Unit 4: Static Electricity Unit 5: Current Electricity Unit 6: Mains Electricity Unit 7: Nuclear Physics [This is Unit 2 Physics, Additional Physics. This section comes after Core Physics in an AQA Course (Unit 1)]
P2-1 : Motion
Speed and Velocity The table below shows the distances travelled by a car over a given amount of time:
We can represent this as a graph:
We call this type of graph a distance-time graph as it plots distance travelled against time taken. A slope on a distance-time graph represents speed. The steeper the slope is, the greater the speed. We can use chosen figures to calculate the speed from the graph.
Acceleration is calculated using the following equation: Acceleration is generally measured in metres per second squared (m/s²). Velocity is speed in a given direction. the object is slowing down. its velocity changes even if its speed stays the same. When the velocity changes. or decelerating.This formula can be rearranged to show either of the following formulae which we use to work out distance or time: Generally. speed is measured in metres per second (m/s). . A velocity-time graph plots the velocity of a moving body (y axis) against the time taken (x axis). the slope of a line on one of these graphs represents acceleration – the steeper the slope the greater the acceleration if a slope has a negative gradient. it represents deceleration the area under the line of a velocity-time graph represents distance travelled – the greater the area. the greater the distance travelled We can use the gradient of a distance-time graph to calculate the speed of an object. if the graph shows that a body has moved 10 metres in 2 seconds. we say it accelerates. This means that if a moving object changes direction. For example. you can easily calculate the speed is 5m/s. If the value of acceleration is negative.
When the resultant force is not equal to zero. the resultant force must be zero. Without acceleration present. if object A exerted a force upon object B. remembering that negative acceleration is deceleration. N. These are often referred to as action and reaction forces. it exerts a force vertically down on the table. It will make the object accelerate around 10m/s² close to the earth. it means that a stationary object will be accelerated in the direction of the resultant force.” Therefore the above equation becomes: weight (N) = mass (kg) x acceleration due to gravity (m/s²) . The thinking distance is increased when the driver is under the influence of drugs or alcohol. We call this force of gravity “weight” and the acceleration “the acceleration due to gravity. The faster the speed of the vehicle. The larger the mass of an object. but the barrier exerts a force in the opposite direction of an equal amount on the car if you were to lay a book on a table. For example. it means the object will remain stationary if already stationary. Falling in Air When an object falls freely. the greater the acceleration. Resultant force. or if moving it will carry on moving at a constant speed. the bigger the force needed to give it a particular acceleration. but the table exerts an equal and opposite force on the book Resultant Force Because most objects tend to have multiple forces acting on them. or if the object is moving in the same direction as the resultant force is will dramatically accelerate. mass and acceleration are all related in the following equation: resultant force = mass x acceleration The greater the resultant force. or if the object is moving in the opposite direction to the resulatant force is will decelerate. the resultant force is the single force that would have the same effect on the object as all the other forces together. Examples include: when a car hits a barrier it exerts a powerful force on the barrier.e. When the resultant force is zero. Force and Acceleration A resultant force always causes acceleration. the bigger the deceleration needed to bring it to rest in a particular distance – i. Road Travel A vehicle travelling at a steady speed has a resultant force of zero. object B would exert an opposite force of the same power on object A. the resultant force acting on it is gravity.P2-2 : Speeding Up and Slowing Down Equal and Opposite Forces We measure forces in newtons. The stopping distance of a vehicle is the distance it travels during the driver’s reaction time (thinking distance) plus the distance it travels under the breaking force (breaking distance). the bigger the breaking force needed. Objects always exert equal and opposite forces on each other. This means the driving forces are equal and opposite to the friction forces.
the total momentum before the collision is equal to the total momentum afterwards (provided no external force acts on them) – this is known as the conservation of momentum. and the faster the speed. The greater the mass. energy is transferred and work is done. the work done is zero.g. An elastic object will go back into its original shape when it has been stretched or squashed. not falling. The faster the object falls. When an object starts to move a force must have been applied to it. The same is for explosions. A positive value for the momentum in a calculation means in the opposite direction to the negative value. In other words.g.e. After a collision. We calculate kinetic energy using the following equation: kinetic energy = ½ (mass x speed²) Momentum Every moving object has momentum. so the object will stop accelerating and begin moving at a steady velocity – called the terminal velocity. In an explosion. the greater the frictional force. This force needs a supply of energy from somewhere. kg m/s and is calculated using the equation here: momentum = mass x velocity If two objects were to collide. Kinetic energy is the energy of movement. When the object returns to its original shape this energy is released. the supplied energy is transferred to the object so the work done is equal to the energy transferred. One of these momentums will be positive. from electricity or fuel. or the may separate apart. the other negative – and as they share the same value. the fluid exerts opposite forces on the falling object reducing its motion. e. When work is done on an elastic object to stretch or squash it. Both work and energy have the unit joule. Momentum is measured in kilogram-metres per second. Two objects at rest have a momentum of zero. J. the energy transferred is stored as elastic potential energy. for example air resistance. we use: weight (N) = mass (kg) x gravitational field strength (N/kg) When an object falls through a fluid (i. a liquid or a gas. momentum has both size and direction. air). two objects will move apart with equal and opposite momentum.If the object is on the Earth. As with velocity. the total change in momentum before and after collisions is zero. P2-3 : Work and Energy Energy & Work When a force moves an object. When work is done moving the object. e. the two objects may move off together in the same direction. An example of an explosion is . Eventually. The kinetic energy depends on the mass and speed of a moving object. this would be equal to the weight of the object – this resultant force is now zero. The work done on an object is calculated using this equation: work done = force x distance moved in the direction of the force Therefore when the distance moved is nothing. the more kinetic energy it has. the total momentum after the explosion will be zero.
its momentum changes. Look at car safety features. P2-4 : Static Electricity Charge If two insulating materials rub against each other. The equation below describes this: force = change in momentum ÷ time taken for change N. When the same dry cloth is rubbed on the Perspex rod. to investigate how we make use of momentum changes. A conductor can only hold charge when it is isolated from the ground – otherwise electrons will flow to or from the earth and discharge it. and the one that loses them becomes positively charged. electrons are rubbed off one material and deposited on the other. and because the cloth therefore loses electrons. If the same cloth is then rubbed against a Perspex rod. In a solid conductor. the bigger the distance between the forces. in which case the electrons are transferred from the dry cloth onto the polythene rod. An example would be rubbing a dry cloth on a polythene rod. the dry cloth is rubbed against the polythene rod – this causes the rod to gain electrons from the dry cloth. When a charge flows through a conductor. . As you can see from the diagram. the charge carriers are electrons. metal wire.B. the weaker the force. Electric current is the rate of flow of charge. Because electrons (e¯) are negative. This is why insulators cannot conduct electricity – all the electrons are held within atoms. the bullet moves out with a momentum in one direction. especially air bags and crumple zones. the electrons from the Perspex rod would move onto the dry cloth. When a force acts on a moving object (or an object which is able to move).firing a gun: as you fire. it becomes positively charged. and the gun recoils in the opposite direction with equal movement. the material gaining electrons becomes negatively charged. Like charges repel and opposite charges attract. Which one gains and which one loses electrons depends on the materials used. The reason metals are good conductors of electricity is because they have free conduction electrons that are not confined to one single atom. the electrons are transferred from the rod onto the cloth. e. there is a current in it.g.
The filler pipes on road tankers that are used to pump fuel into storage tanks are earthed to prevent them becoming charged – because a spark could cause an explosion of the fuel vapour. a copying plate is given a charge. P2-5 : Current Electricity Electrical Circuits Every circuit component has its own symbol. they are then attracted to plates on the chimney walls with the opposite charge. The spray nozzle is connected to a positive terminal. . the higher the potential difference between the object and the earth. a spark may jump across the gap between the object and any earthed conductor brought near it [a metal object is earthed by connecting it to the ground]. If the potential difference becomes high enough. This powder is then transferred onto a piece of paper. Electrostatic smoke precipitators are used in chimneys to attract dust and smoke particles so that they aren’t released into the open air. Black ink powder is attracted to the charged parts of the plate. Apart from earthing. The paper is heated so that the powder melts and sticks to it. they pick up a positive charge. This makes the paint droplets repel each other. so they spread out to form a fine cloud. another way in which we can deal with the dangers of electrostatics is by using antistatic materials. The car will be connected to a negative terminal. Dangers of Electrostatics Static electricity has its dangers as well as uses. This means that as the paint droplets pass through it.The bigger the charge on an isolated object. The particles pass over a charged grid and pick up a charge. These are some of the main ones. Using Electrostatics In a photocopier. When light hits the image. the charge “leaks” away leaving behind a pattern of the image. and are then shaken off and collected. producing a copy of the original document. Items like cars are usually painted using an electrostatic paint sprayer. giving it a negative charge so that the positively charged paint droplets are attracted to it. An image of the page to be copied is projected onto the charged plate. The particles stick to these plates.
so the current is not directly proportional to the potential difference. The current is measured with an ammeter – which is always placed in series with the component. the graph will always show a straight line passing through the origin. graph for a filament lamp curves. or amps (A). The graph shows a current-p. graph for a wire at a constant temperature. The unit is a volt. The resistance of the filament increases as current increases. The current-p. If the resistor is kept at a constant temperature. or voltage. This shows us that the current is directly proportional to the potential difference across the resistor. Ω. this is because the resistance increases with temperature. . The potential difference. We use these symbols to make circuit diagrams to show how components are connected to make a circuit.The symbols shown relate to their descriptions below.d. the resistance stays constant. graph is no longer straight. A cell is necessary to push electrons around a completed circuit A battery consists of two or more cells joined together. V. increasing the “power supply” of the circuit A bulb is used as an indicator to show when current passes through An ammeter is used to measure electric current A voltmeter is used to measure voltage A switch enables the current to be switched on or off A fixed resistor limits the current in a circuit A variable resistor allows the current to be varied A diode allows current through one direction only A fuse will melt and break the circuit if the current gets over a certain amount A heater transforms electrical energy into heat Resistance We use current-potential difference graphs to show how the current through a component varies with potential difference across it. and is the opposition to charge flowing through the resistor.d. the resistance increases – so the line on the current-p. if the temperature increases. Potential difference and current are related by an equation from Ohms law: potential difference = current x resistance Resistance is measured in ohms. When the resistor remains at a constant temperature. The unit of current is called the ampere. is measured using a voltmeter. which is always placed in parallel with the component.d.
Series Circuits In a series circuit. The bigger the resistance of a component. the p. The resistance on an LDR (light-dependent resistor) decreases as the light falling on it gets brighter. Because there are “junctions” in the circuit. The two graphs above show the current-potential difference graphs for a filament lamp (left) and a diode (right). however. different amounts of charge can flow through different components – this means that the current can change between components. Parallel Circuits In a parallel circuit. The current depends on the potential difference (p. the smaller the charge flowing through it.d. Because there is no choice about the route of the charge as it flows around the circuit. varies between components. is constant across the whole circuit in a parallel circuit. the current varies with resistance between each component . current may continue to flow in the other parts. so if there is a break anywhere. Because each component is connected across the supply p. the potential difference across each component is the same.d.The current through a diode can only flow in one direction – in the reverse direction. the components are connected one after the other.) of the supply and the total resistance of the circuit: current = potential difference of supply ÷ total resistance The potential difference of the supply is shared between all the components in a series circuit. the resistance is so high that the current is zero. the p. As the temperature of a thermistor. The current of a component depends on the resistance – the bigger the resistance of a component. the current flowing through each component is the same. so the potential differences of each component added together is the potential difference of the supply. Remember that this means: in a series circuit.d. Likewise. the current is the same across the whole circuit in a series circuit. The total current running through the whole circuit is equal to the sum of the currents through each separate component. the resistance of each component added together is the same as the total resistance. the larger its share of the total supply potential difference. goes up – the resistance goes down. the components are connected across the supply so that if there is a break in one part of the circuit. and is dependent on resistance of each component in a parallel circuit. the current stops flowing.d.
The live wire alternates between +325 V and -325 V. e.g. as these are both good insulators. then reverses and passes in the other direction – this is called alternating current (or AC). The neutral wire remains at zero volts. Inside the three pin plug: there is a blue wire connected to the neutral pin there is a brown wire connnected to the live pin there is a green-yellow wire found in three-core cables which is connected to the earth pin but a two-core cable does not have the earth wire . and the pins themselves are made from brass (because it is naturally a good conductor. The voltage of the mains is 230V. Plugs The live wire from the mains supply alternates between a positive and a negative potential with respect to the neutral wire. the current which flows through each component varies: it may be the same (i. they will all share the same potential difference (e. the current from the mains supply passes in one direction. all at 6V) – but if one bulb had a significantly higher resistance than the others. and will not oxidise or rust). However. If they all have the same resistance. 2A and 3A P2-6 : Mains Electricity AC & DC Cells (and batteries) supply a current which only flows in one direction – this is called direct current (or DC). 2A each) if each bulb shares the same resistance.Series circuit: the current of the bulbs will have the exact same current flowing through them. Most electrical appliances are connected to the mains supply using a cable and a three pin plug. However. 8 amps. and the second bulb has a slightly higher resistance than the third bulb – they may have amp readings of 1A. or if one bulb has a higher resistance than the other two. The outer cover of the three pin plug is made from either plastic or rubber.e.g. The frequency of the UK mains supply is 50 Hertz (Hz) – this means it alternates direction 50 times a second. the potential difference of that bulb might be 4V whilst the other two have 1V Parallel circuit: the potential difference is the same throughout each component in the circuit because it is equal across the supply.
. Current in amps. The rate at which it does this is called the power. The potential difference of the mains supply is 230 volts. appliances with plastic cases do not – they are said to be “double insulated” and are connected to the mains supply using only a neutral wire and a live wire.d. it is more common to measure the current and potential difference of a device. The amount of energy that’s transformed can be worked out using the below equation: energy (joules.d. to calculate the wattage: power = current x potential difference Power again is measured in watts. C) A coulomb is the amount of electric charge transported in one second through a current of 1 amp.Appliances with a metal exterior must be earthed. A and p. in volts. In a resistor. V. A fuse is put in the live wire so that if it melts it cuts off the current. V) x charge (coulombs. the electrical energy is transformed to heat. The equation linking charge. and obviously if it is too low. Electrical appliances must have their power rating shown on them. The rating at which the fuse is set to melt should be slightly higher than the average working rating – if it is set to be too high it will not melt soon enough. So the equation above can be used to calculate the size of the fuse to use when we work out the current of the circuit. C) = current (amps. This is an electromagnetic switch that opens and cuts off the supply when the current increases above a certain value. An alternative to using a fuse is to put in a circuit breaker. when a charge flows through a circuit. There are also fuses fitted to the plugs. A) x time (seconds. In an electric circuit. it will melt and disconnect the power supply as soon as the appliance is switched on. Energy is measured in joules. If a fault develops in an earthed appliance. J and time in seconds. s. time and current is: charge (coulombs. This means that the majority of electrical appliances have vents to keep them cool. s) Because every circuit component has some resistance. melting the fuse and disconnecting the supply. a large current will flow to earth. the components will heat up. We can also use current and p. including connecting wires. J) = potential difference (volts. Electrical Power An electrical device transforms energy from one form into another and transfers energy from one place to another. Power can be calculated using this equation: power = energy transformed ÷ time Power is measured in watts (W).
protons have a relative mass of 1 and a charge of +1 2. Changes in our View on the Atom Not so long ago. like plums in a pudding. It becomes an ion (charged particle) when it gains or loses electrons. from rocks and from nuclear power stations. Three scientists (Rutherford. the atomic number decreases by 2 and the mass number decreases by 4.there is NO change to the atomic mass or mass number because gamma radiation is an electromagnetic wave which has no charge nor mass. This number of protons in an atoms is called the proton number or atomic number. An alpha particle consists of two protons and two neutrons. Also. They found that are the fired the alpha particles at the gold foil. the element radium emits an alpha particle and becomes radon: A beta particle is a high speed electron from the nucleus.P2-7 : Nuclear Physics Nuclear Reactions The atom consists of three sub-atomic particles. all atoms of a particular element have the same number of protons. This means that when a nucleus emits an alpha particle. which suggested the nucleus had a positive charge. including cosmic rays. When a nucleus emits gamma radiation . For example. most of them passed straight through – this means that most of the atom is just empty space. Atoms of the same element can also have a different number of neutrons. . Note that only neutron numbers and electron numbers differ. The proton stays inside the nucleus and so the atomic number goes up by one and the mass number is unchanged. so this was called the plum pudding model of the atom. Geiger and Marsden) devised an alpha particle scattering experiment in which they fired alpha particles at an incredibly thin sheet of gold foil. neutrons have a relative mass of 1 and a charge of zero 3. but obviously could not be done – so they attempted the best they could. A minority of the alpha particles were deflected through small angles. It is emitted when a neutron in the nucleus changes to a proton and an electron. and a very large positive charge. For example. it was believed that atoms consisted of spheres of positive charge with electrons stuck into them. electrons have a negligible mass and a charge of -1 An atom has the same number of protons as electrons – so overall has no charge. a minority of alpha particles were deflected through large angles – which lead us to believe the nucleus had a large mass. The total number of protons and neutrons in an atom is called the mass number. the proton. It comes from a variety of sources. carbon-14 emits a beta particle when it becomes nitrogen: Background radiation is the radiation present around us all the time. which was meant to be an atom thick. The electron is instantly emitted. neutron and electron. in which case it is an isotope. 1.
For fission to occur. To overcome this issue. The neutrons go on to produce further fissions. creating a chain reaction. Nuclear Fusion Nuclear fusion is the process of two atomic nuclei joining to form a single. so one fission neutron per fission on average goes on to produce further fission. but has to be contained by a magnetic field. e. During this process. which is non-fissionable. There are two fissionable isotopes in common use in nuclear reactors: uranium-235 and plutonium-239. energy is released – fusion is the process in which energy is released in stars.Nuclear Fission The process of an atomic nucleus splitting is called nuclear fission. the reaction cannot take place in a normal container. the uranium-235 or plutonium-239 nucleus must absorb a neutron. There are enormous problems with producing energy from nuclear fusion in reactors. . burning. Nuclei approaching each other will repel one another due to their positive charge.g. the nuclei must be heated to extremely high temperatures to give them enough energy to overcome the repulsion and fuse together. Naturally occurring uranium is mostly uranium-238. the process of fission is controlled. Because of these enormously-high temperatures. In a nuclear reactor. This is why most nuclear reactors use enriched uranium that contains around 2% – 3% uranium-235. The nucleus then splits in to two smaller nuclei and two or three neutrons and energy is released. The energy released in such a nuclear process is significantly more than that of a chemical process. larger nucleus.
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