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Understanding the technological environment in which students live and developing an informed interest in science is facilitated by the Cambridge IGCSE Physics course. This course program places a significant focus on practical skills while covering the core ideas and concepts of the field, as well as some recent applications of physics.

Physics governs everything in the cosmos. Students may learn about the components and forces in nature that affect matter by taking physics courses for IGCSE, AS, and A levels. Students use conceptual understanding to explain every natural occurrence in the physical world. Additionally, students gain knowledge of the scientific abilities required for advancement to the Cambridge International AS and A Levels, higher study, or a job in science.

Measurement and Motion

Overview

This topic covers fundamental concepts that will be applicable throughout the IGCSE Physics syllabus. First, the students will look at how to measure quantities such as length and time. Then, they will look at speed, velocity, and acceleration before considering mass, weight, and density. They will then consider forces and their different effects before looking at energy, work, power, and pressure.

Measurement tools, speed, motion graphs, acceleration, weight, and displacement techniques are all included in the main content. In addition to recapping the core content’s fundamentals, the expanded material also covers the usage of pendulums, a micrometer, velocity, acceleration, terminal velocity, and the displacement technique.

Learning Objectives

  • Describe the formation of an optical image by a plane mirror, and give its characteristics
  • Recall and use the law angle of incidence = angle of  reflection
  • Relate pressure to force and area and give examples
  • Define pressure and recall its unit
  • Connect the pressure in a fluid with its depth and density
  • Recall that pressure is transmitted through a liquid and use it to explain the hydraulic jack and hydraulic car brakes
  • Use pressure = hpg to solve problems
  • Describe how a U-tube manometer may be used to measure fluid pressure
  • Describe and use a simple mercury barometer
  • Recall that the image in a plane mirror is virtual
  • Perform simple constructions, measurements, and calculations for reflection by plane mirrors

Subtopics Covered

Measurements and motion

  • Measurements
  • Speed, velocity, and acceleration
  • Graphs of equations
  • Falling bodies
  • Density

Forces and momentum

  • Weight and stretching
  • Adding forces
  • circular motion
  • Moments and levers
  • Centres of mass
  • Momentum

Energy, work, power, and pressure

  • Energy transfer
  • Kinetic and potential energy
  • Energy sources
  • Pressure and liquid pressure

Thermal Physics

Overview

Most things in the world are either solids, liquids, or gases. These are the three primary states of matter. Substances can change from a solid to a liquid in a process called melting and from liquid to gas in evaporation. Gases change to liquids by condensation, and liquids change to solids by solidification. The students are probably most familiar with these water changes.

In the core content, the fundamental ideas of thermal physics are introduced, with a particular emphasis on the states of matter, the impact of temperature on molecular structure, evaporation, thermal expansion, thermometers, and internal energy. The extended material expands onto the core material by concentrating on the distances and motions of matter molecules, evaporation factors, applying pV = constant, the size of matter expansions, thermometer factors, specific heat capacity, and latent heat.

Learning Objectives

  • Describe and explain an experiment to show Brownian motion
  • Use the kinetic theory to explain the physical properties of solids, liquids, and gases
  • State the distinguishing properties of solids, liquids, and gases
  • Describe the molecular structure of solids, liquids, and gases qualitatively in terms of the arrangement, separation, and motion of the molecules
  • Interpret the temperature of a gas in terms of the motion of its molecules
  • Describe qualitatively pressure of a gas in terms of the motion of its molecules
  • Show an understanding of the random motion of particles in a suspension as evidence for the kinetic molecular model of matter
  • Describe this motion (sometimes known as Brownian motion) in terms of random molecular bombardment
  • Explain pressure in terms of the change of momentum of the particles striking the walls creating a force
  • Show an appreciation that light, fast moving molecules may move massive particles

Subtopics Covered

Simple kinetic molecular model of matter

  • Molecules
  • The gas laws

Thermal properties and temperature

  • Expansion of solids, liquids and gas
  • Thermometers
  • Specific heat capacity
  • Specific latent heat

Thermal processes

  • Conduction and convection
  • Radiation

Properties of Waves

Overview

Light is a wave that behaves in a similar way to water waves. Sound is another type of wave, as students learn later in this topic. Studying the behaviour of waves will help them understand many of their everyday experiences, ranging from how they see objects to how they hear sounds.

The main topics are the electromagnetic spectrum, sound, rays and lenses, reflection, diffraction, wave motion and characteristics. Further reading concentrates on the wave equation, wave theory, refractive index, Snell’s law, optical fibers, lenses, electromagnetic waves, monochromatic, compression and rarefaction, and sound speed in various media.

Learning Objectives

  • Demonstrate understanding that waves transfer energy without transferring matter
  • Describe what is meant by wave motion as illustrated by vibration in ropes and springs and by experiments using water waves
  • Recall and use the equation v = f λ
  • Describe how wavelength and gap size affect diffraction through a gap
  • Describe how wavelength affects diffraction at an edge
  • Describe the main features of the electromagnetic spectrum in order of wavelength   State that all e.m. waves travel with the same high speed in a vacuum
  • State that the speed of electromagnetic waves in a vacuum is 3.0 × 108 m/s and is approximately the same in air
  • State typical values of the speed of sound in gases, liquids and solids

Subtopics Covered

General waves properties

  • Mechanical Waves

Light

  • Light rays
  • Reflection of light
  • Plane mirrors
  • Refraction of light
  • Total internal reflection
  • Lenses
  • Electromagnetic radiation

Sound

  • Sound waves

Electricity and Magnetism

Overview

Electricity is something that many people use every day – for lighting, heating, cooking, and powering many different items of equipment. In this topic, the primary content teaches the fundamentals of electricity. It emphasizes electrostatic charges, electric fields, charge, e-m-f, potential difference, resistance, circuit diagrams, components, and risks and safety measures related to electrical wires. The expanded content includes Coulombs, induction, conventional, and the movement of electrons, e.m.f., resistance in a wire, equations for power and energy, diodes, transistors, and circuit attributes; the main topics of the expanded content.

Learning Objectives

  • Describe the forces between magnets and between magnets and magnetic materials
  • Give an account of induced magnetism
  • Distinguish between magnetic and non-magnetic materials
  • Describe experiments to study the relationship between the pressure, volume, and temperature of a gas
  • Explain the establishment of the Kelvin temperature scale from graphs of pressure or volume against temperature and recall the equation connecting the Kelvin and Celsius scales
  • Recall the pV = constant and use this to solve problems
  • Explain the behaviour of gases using the kinetic theory
  • Show understanding that the direction of an induced e.m.f. opposes the change causing it
  • State and use the relative movements of force, field and induced current

Subtopics Covered

Simple phenomena of magnetism

  • Magnetic fields

Electrical quantities

  • Static electricity
  • Electric current
  • Potential difference
  • Resistance
  • Capacitors
  • Electric power
  • Electronic systems
  • Digital electronics

Electromagnetic effects

  • Generators
  • Transformers
  • Electromagnets
  • Electric motors
  • Electric meters
  • Electrons

Atomic Physics

Overview

Cancer is treated by targeting the tumour with radioactive substances that destroy the cells of the tumour but do minimal damage to the surrounding tissues.

The subject ends with this topic that discusses various radiation kinds, radioactive emissions, radioactive decay, half-life, handling radioactive materials safely, the atomic model, and the nucleus’ chemical makeup. The expanded content concentrates on radioactive emissions, various radiation types, particles, and isotope scattering.

Learning Objectives

  • Demonstrate understanding of background radiation
  • Describe the detection of αparticles, β-particles and γrays (β+ are not included: βparticles will be taken to refer to β–)
  • Discuss the random nature of radioactive emission
  • Identify α, β and γ-emissions by recalling their nature, relative ionising effects and penetrating abilities
  • Describe their deflection in electric fields and in magnetic fields
  • Interpret their relative ionising effects
  • Give and explain examples of practical applications of α, β and γ-emissions
  • State the meaning of radioactive decay
  • Use equations involving nuclide notation to represent changes in the composition of the nucleus when particles are emitted
  • Use the term half-life in simple calculations, which might involve information in tables or decay curves
  • State the meaning of nuclear fission and nuclear fusion
  • Balance equations involving nuclide notation
  • Describe how the scattering of α-particles by thin metal foils provides evidence for the nuclear atom

Subtopics Covered

  • Radioactivity
  • Atomic structure

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