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Year 9 Science Exam Revision Notes



Respiration is a chemical reaction that happens in all living cells. It is the way that energy is released from glucose, for
our cells to use to keep us functioning.

Remember that respiration is not the same as breathing (which is properly called ventilation).

Aerobic respiration

The glucose and oxygen react together in the cells to produce carbon dioxide and water. The reaction is called aerobic
respiration because oxygen from the air is needed for it to work.
Here is the word equation for aerobic respiration:

glucose + oxygen → carbon dioxide + water (+ energy)

(Energy is released in the reaction. We show it in brackets in the equation because energy is not a substance.)

Now we will look at how glucose and oxygen get to the cells so that respiration can take place and how we get rid of the
carbon dioxide.

Glucose from food to cells

Glucose is a type of carbohydrate, obtained through digestion of the food we eat. Digestion breaks food down into small
molecules. These can be absorbed across the wall of the small intestine into the bloodstream.
Glucose is carried round the body dissolved in blood plasma, the pale yellow liquid part of our blood. The dissolved
glucose can diffuse into the cells of the body from the capillaries. Once in the cell glucose can be used in respiration.
Oxygen from the air to cells

When we breathe in oxygen enters the small air sacs, called alveoli, in the lungs. Oxygen diffuses from there into the

Oxygen is not carried in the plasma, but is carried by the red blood cells. These contain a red substance called
haemoglobin, which joins onto oxygen and carries it around the body in the blood, then lets it go when necessary. Like
glucose, oxygen can diffuse into cells from the capillaries.
Red blood cells carry oxygen around the body

Carbon dioxide from cells to the air

The carbon dioxide produced during respiration diffuses out of the cells and into the blood plasma. The blood carries it to
the lungs. It then diffuses across the walls of the alveoli and into the air, ready to be exhaled.

The respiratory system and ventilation

The respiratory system

The human respiratory system contains the organs that allow us to get the oxygen we need and to remove the waste
carbon dioxide we don't need. It contains these parts:

 lungs

 tubes leading from the lungs to the mouth and nose

 various structures in the chest that allow air to move in and out of the lungs.

Movements of the ribs, rib muscles and diaphragm allow air into and out of the lungs. Take care - this is called
breathing or ventilation, not respiration. When we breathe in, we inhale. When we breathe out, we exhale.
Air passes between the lungs and the outside of the body through the windpipe, called the trachea. The trachea divides
into two bronchi, with one bronchus for each lung.
Each bronchus divides further in the lungs into smaller tubes called bronchioles. At the end of each bronchiole, there is a
group of tiny air sacs. These air sacs have bulges called alveoli to increase their surface area.
Antagonistic muscles

Muscles work by getting shorter. We say that they contract, and the process is called contraction.
Muscles are attached to bones by strong tendons. When a muscle contracts, it pulls on the bone, and the bone can
move if it is part of a joint.
Muscles can only pull and cannot push. This would be a problem if a joint was controlled by just one muscle. As soon as
the muscle had contracted and pulled on a bone, that would be it, with no way to move the bone back again. The
problem is solved by having muscles in pairs, called antagonistic muscles.

Biceps and triceps

The elbow joint lets our forearm move up or down. It is controlled by two muscles, the biceps on the front of the upper
arm, and the triceps on the back of the upper arm. The biceps and the triceps are antagonistic muscles.
 when the biceps muscle contracts, the forearm moves up

 when the triceps muscle contracts, the forearm moves down.

This solves the problem. To lift the forearm, the biceps contracts and the triceps relaxes. To lower the forearm again, the
triceps contracts and the biceps relaxes.
- Fertilisation and foetal devel

Development of the foetus

The foetus relies upon its mother as it develops. These are some of the things it needs:

 protection

 oxygen

 nutrients (food and water).

It also needs its waste substances removing.

The foetus is protected by the uterus and the amniotic fluid, a liquid contained in a bag called the amnion.
The placenta is responsible for providing oxygen and nutrients, and removing waste substances. It grows into the wall of
the uterus and is joined to the foetus by the umbilical cord.
The mother's blood does not mix with the foetus's blood, but the placenta lets substances pass between the two blood
 oxygen and nutrients diffuse across the placenta from the mother to the foetus
 waste substances, such as carbon dioxide, diffuse across the placenta from the foetus to the mother.

pH scale
Food chains - Plants and photosynthesis
Plants and photosynthesis

Animals eat food to get their energy. But green plants don't. Instead they make their own food, glucose, in a process
called photosynthesis. We say that plants can photosynthesise.

These are the things that plants need for photosynthesis:

 carbon dioxide

 water

 light

These are the things that plants make by photosynthesis:

 glucose

 oxygen

We can show photosynthesis in a word equation, where light energy is shown in brackets because it is not a substance:

carbon dioxide + water (+ light energy) → glucose + oxygen

Plants get carbon dioxide from the air through their leaves, and water from the ground through their roots. Light energy
comes from the sun.

The oxygen produced is released into the air from the leaves. The glucose produced can be turned into other substances,
such as starch, which is used as a store of energy. This energy can be released by respiration.

Compounds and mixtures - Chemical formulae


Chemical formulae

Remember that we use chemical symbols to stand for the elements. For example, C stands for carbon, O stands for
oxygen, S stands for sulphur and Na stands for sodium. For a molecule we use the chemical symbols of the atoms it
contains to write down its formula.
For example the formula for carbon monoxide is CO. It tells you that each molecule of carbon monoxide consists of one
carbon atom joined to one oxygen atom.
Take care when writing your symbols and formulae. Be careful about when to use capital letters. For example CO means
a molecule of carbon monoxide but Co is the symbol for cobalt.

Formula and formulae

The word 'formulae' ("form-u-lee") is the plural of 'formula'. If we have more than one formula, we don't say formulas,
we say formulae.

Numbers in formulae

If the molecule contains more than one atom of an element we use numbers to show this. The numbers are written below
the element symbol. For example, the formula for carbon dioxide is CO2. It tells you that each molecule has one carbon
atom and two oxygen atoms.
Take care when writing these formulae. The small number go at the bottom. For example CO 2 is correct but CO2 is wrong.

Some formulae are more complicated. For example, the formula for sodium sulphate is Na2SO4. It tells you that sodium
sulphate contains two sodium atoms (Na2), one sulphur atom (S) and four oxygen atoms (O4).

Universal indicator and the pH scale

Universal indicator is a mixture of several different indicators. Unlike litmus, universal indicator can show us exactly how
strongly acidic or alkaline a solution is. This is measured using the pH scale. The pH scale runs from pH 0 to pH 14.
Universal indicator has many different colour changes, from red for strong acids to dark purple for strong bases. In the
middle, neutral pH 7 is indicated by green.
Universal indicator shows how acidic or alkaline a solution is
These are the important points about the pH scale:

 neutral solutions are pH 7 exactly

 acidic solutions have pH values less than 7

 alkaline solutions have pH values more than 7

 the closer to pH 0 you go, the more strongly acidic a solution is

 the closer to pH 14 you go, the more strongly alkaline a solution is

Acids, bases and metals - Reactions of acids with bases

A chemical reaction happens if you mix together an acid and a base. The reaction is called neutralisation, and a neutral
solution is made if you add just the right amount of acid and base together.

Metal oxides and metal hydroxides

Metal oxides and metal hydroxides are two types of bases. For example copper oxide and sodium hydroxide.

Here are general word equations for what happens in their neutralisation reactions with acids.

metal oxide + acid → a salt + water

metal hydroxide + acid → a salt + water
Notice that a salt and water are always produced. The mixture usually warms up a little during the reaction, too. The
exact salt made depends upon which acid and base were used.

Carbonates and hydrogen carbonates

Carbonates and hydrogen carbonates are two other types of base. They also make a salt and water when we neutralise
them with acid. But this time we get carbon dioxide gas too.
The reaction fizzes as bubbles of carbon dioxide are given off. This is easy to remember because we see the word
'carbonate' in the chemical names.

These are the general word equations for what happens:

acid + metal carbonate → a salt + water + carbon dioxide

acid + metal hydrogen carbonate → a salt + water + carbon dioxide

Compounds and mixtures - The reactivity series

Reactive and unreactive

Magnesium burns very brightly when heated in air

Some metals are very unreactive. That means they do not easily take part in chemical reactions. For example platinum
does not react with oxygen in the air, even if it is heated in a Bunsen burner flame.

Some metals are very reactive. They easily take part in chemical reactions to make new substances.

Magnesium is like this. If it is heated in a Bunsen burner, it ignites and burns with a brilliant white flame.

Putting metals in order of reactivity

The reactivity series for some common metals

Displacement reactions – when a more reactive metal takes the place of a less reactive metal in a compound

Magnets and electric current - Bar magnets


Bar magnets are permanent magnets. This means that their magnetism is there all the time and cannot be turned on or
off. They have two poles:

Bar magnet

1. north pole (or north-seeking pole)

2. south pole (or south-seeking pole).

The north pole is normally shown as N and the south pole as S.
Magnets are made from magnetic materials. These are metals that can be magnetised or will be attracted to a magnet.
Most materials are not magnetic, but iron, cobalt and nickel are magnetic. Steel is mostly iron, so steel is magnetic

Attract and repel

If you bring two bar magnets together, there are two things that can happen:

 if you bring a north pole and a south pole together, they attract and the magnets may stick together
 if you bring two north poles together, or two south poles together, they repel and the magnets push each other
We say that unlike poles attract, and like poles repel.

Testing for magnets

How can you test if a piece of metal is a magnet. Seeing if it sticks to a magnet is not a good test, because unmagnetised
iron, steel, cobalt and nickel objects will be attracted to either pole of a magnet.

So you can't test for what it is attracted to. But you can test what it repels:

You can only show that an object is a magnet if it repels a known magnet.

Magnets and electric current - Electromagnets

When an electric current flows in a wire it creates a magnetic field around the wire.

By winding the wire into a coil we can strengthen the magnetic field. Electromagnets are made from coils like this.

Making an electromagnet stronger

We can make an electromagnet stronger by doing these things:

 wrapping the coil around an iron core

 adding more turns to the coil
 increasing the current flowing through the coil.
The magnetic field of an electromagnet

The magnetic field around an electromagnet is just the same as the one around a bar magnet. It can, however, be
reversed by turning the battery around.

Unlike bar magnets, which are permanent magnets, the magnetism of electromagnets can be turned on and off just by
closing or opening the switch.

Solar System

The universe contains over 100 billion galaxies. A galaxy is a group of billions of stars. Our own galaxy is called the Milky
Way, and it contains about 300 billion stars (300,000,000,000) and one of these is our Sun.

Planets and other objects go round the Sun, and these make up the solar system, with the Sun at the centre. The solar
system contains different types of objects including:
 a star - the Sun

 planets, which go around the Sun

 satellites, which go around planets

 smaller objects such as asteroids and comets

The planets in order from the Sun

Mercury to Neptune

There are eight planets in the solar system. Starting with Mercury, which is the closest to the Sun, the planets are:
 Mercury

 Venus

 Earth

 Mars

 Jupiter

 Saturn

 Uranus

 Neptune

If you can't remember the correct order, try this sentence, or make one up of your own:

My Very Easy Method Just Speeds Up Naming

Pluto and the dwarf planets

Scientists have discovered other objects orbiting the Sun. These include comets, asteroids and dwarf planets, like
Pluto and Eris.
Pluto used to be considered the ninth planet in our solar system. But in 2006 scientists renamed it as a dwarf planet. So
now we have 8 planets in the solar system.

Forces - Pressure
You may get told off if you swing around on one leg of a chair instead of sitting properly. Apart from the risk that you will
damage the chair or hurt yourself, the chair leg can damage the floor. This is because it puts too much pressure on the

Distance-time graphs

You should be able to draw and explain distance-time graphs for objects moving at steady speeds or standing still.

Background information

The vertical axis of a distance-time graph is the distance travelled from the start, and the horizontal axis is the time

taken from the start.

Features of the graphs

When an object is stationary, the line on the graph is horizontal. When an object is moving at a steady speed, the line on

the graph is straight, but sloped.

The diagram shows some typical lines on a distance-time graph.

Distance - time graph

Note that the steeper the line, the greater the speed of the object. The blue line is steeper than the red line because it

represents an object moving faster than the object represented by the red line.

The red lines on the graph represent a typical journey where an object returns to the start again. Notice that the line

representing the return journey slopes downwards.

Changes in distances in one direction are positive, and negative in the other direction. If you walk 10m away from me,

that can be written as +10m; if you walk 3m towards me, that can be written as –3 m.

Working out pressure

To work out pressure, we need to know two things:

1. the force or weight applied

2. the area over which the force or weight works.

This is the equation for working out pressure:

pressure = force ÷ area


A force of 20 N acted over an area of 2 m2 (two square metres). What is the pressure?

Show answer
force ÷ area = pressure

20 ÷ 2 = 10 N/m2

Notice that the unit of pressure here is N/m2 (newtons per square metre). Sometimes you will see another unit being
used. This is called the pascal, Pa.
1 Pascal = 1 N/m2, so in the example above the pressure is 10 Pa.