Physics

Physics

Introduction

The Physics Department is one of the three limbs of the Science Faculty. We provides courses in physics to Forms 5, 6 and 7. The courses run naturally on from Form 3 and 4 science courses.

Physics is an essential area of knowledge for boys looking to study engineering, chemistry, oceanography, seismology, astronomy and many more. Physics teaches boys how the building blocks of the universe work, and allows our students to leave Auckland Grammar School with the potential to make huge technological advances.

Physics Tournament

Auckland Grammar School has had recent success in the New Zealand Young Physicists tournament. The Schools challenge each other to present their solution to one of the 7 open-ended problems set by an international committee of physicists.

Form 5 (Pre-Q):

Pre-requisites: A background in Form 4 Science is assumed and an ability in Mathematics is an advantage.

Course description/aims: Physics is the branch of science concerned with the nature and properties of matter and energy. The subject matter of Physics includes mechanics, heat, light and other electromagnetic radiation, sound, electricity, magnetism, and the structure of atoms. It is the basis for most of the modern advances in technology, electronics, computers, etc.

Candidates who take Physics in Form 5 and do well can continue Physics study through Cambridge Assessment International at AS and A Level or through NCEA Level 2 and Level 3 Physics.

Course outline:

  • Topic 1 - General Physics: Measurement, base units and S.I. units, experimental techniques, graph plotting, scalars, vectors
  • Topic 2 - Motion and Force Kinematics, suvat equations, velocity, acceleration, mass, weight, density, effects of force, centripetal force, conditions for equilibrium, moments, centre of mass, momentum, energy, energy resources, efficiency, work, power, pressure
  • Topic 3 - Thermal Physics: States of matter, particle models, evaporation, gas pressure changes, gas laws, thermal expansion, temperature measurement, thermal capacity, melting and boiling, transfer of heat, conduction, convection and radiation
  • Topic 4 - Properties of Waves: General wave properties, light, refraction of light, converging lenses, dispersion of light, the electromagnetic spectrum, sound and hearing
  • Topic 5 - Electricity and Magnetism: Simple phenomena of magnetism, electric charge, current, electromotive force, potential difference, resistance, electrical energy, circuit diagrams, series and parallel circuits, action and use of components, digital electronics, dangers of electricity, electromagnetic induction, AC generators, transformers, magnetic effects of a current, force on a current carrying conductor, DC motors
  • Topic 6 - Atomic Physics: Radioactivity, characteristics of radioactive emissions, radioactive decay, half-life, safety precautions, the nuclear model of the atom

Methods of assessment: School Examinations:

  • 1 x 1 hour examination
  • 1 x 2 hour examination
  • 1 x 3 hour examination (Pre-Q)

Internal Assessment: Regular formative assessment of both theoretical and practical work throughout the course. Students sit School examinations 1 x 1 hour in Term 1 , 1 x 2 hour in Term 2 and a final three-hour examination at the end of the course.

The structure of the examinations will include a multiple choice paper, short answer theoretical questions and alternative to practical data analysis and experimental design questions.

External Assessment:The Pre-Q course does not have an external examination. All examinations are set and marked by the School.

Special equipment and costs: Theory and question workbook at $20 for the year.

Continuation of subject: The study of Physics continues into Forms 6 and 7. Form 5 Pre-Q Physics is a pre-requisite for the study of Physics in Form 6 and 7 at School and many courses at university, technical institutes and a range of careers.

Form 6 (NCEA Level 2):

Pre-requisites: Form 5 Science or Physics. An ability in Mathematics is an advantage, and students should be taking Form 6 Mathematics.

Recommended achievement levels:

  • Students who have achieved over 55% in the Form 5 School Physics examination, together with over 55% in Form 5 School Mathematics examination, have demonstrated an appropriate achievement level to study Form 6 Physics.
  • Students who have achieved 45-55% in the Form 5 School Physics examination, or 45-55% in Form 5 Mathematics examination will find Form 6 NCEA Level 2 Physics very difficult. (these students will not attempt Cambridge Assessment examinations).
  • Students who have achieved less than 45% in the Form 5 School Physics examination, or less than 45% in Form 5 School Mathematics examination, are strongly advised not to take Form 6 Physics.

Course description/aims: Physics is the branch of science concerned with the nature and properties of matter and energy. The subject matter of Physics includes mechanics, heat, light and other radiation, sound, electricity, magnetism, and the structure of atoms. It is the basis for most of the modern advances in technology, electronics and computers.

Course outline:

  • Part 1 - Experimental methods, kinematics, vectors, force, moments, momentum, energy, free fall, projectiles
  • Part 2 - Circular motion and gravitation, electric charge, electric field, DC electricity, magnetic fields
  • Part 3 - Electromagnetic induction, propagation of light, refraction, waves, interference, atomic models, radioactivity

Methods of assessment:

Internal Assessment: Students will sit 1 x 1 hour, 1 x 2 hour, and 1 x 3 hour School examinations. Approximately twenty experiments are performed, written up and marked during each year. Problem assignments are set and marked

External Assessment: NCEA Level 2 Achievement Standards that students will be prepared for include:

  • 2.1 - Carry out a practical physics investigation that leads to a non-linear mathematical relationship [4 credits, Internal]
  • 2.3 - Demonstrate understanding of waves [4 credits, External]
  • 2.4 - Demonstrate understanding of mechanics [6 credits, External]
  • 2.5 - Demonstrate understanding of atomic and nuclear physics [3 credits, Internal]
  • 2.6 - Demonstrate understanding of electricity and electromagnetism [6 credits, External]

Special equipment and costs: Hard covered laboratory book and graph paper required. Theory and question workbooks cost $20 for the year, plus a subscription to Education Perfect costs $15 (at 2019 prices).

Continuation of subject: Physics continues onto Form 7 NCEA Level 3 Physics, which is a pre-requisite for many courses at universities, technical institutes and many careers.

Form 6 (AS):

Pre-requisites: Form 5 Pre-Q Physics. An ability in Mathematics is an advantage, and students should be taking Form 6 Mathematics.

Recommended achievement levels: Students who wish to do Cambridge Assessment AS Physics should have scored in excess of 60% in School examinations and gained a 60% or better in the Pre-Q examinations.

Course description/aims: Physics is the branch of science concerned with the nature and properties of matter and energy. The subject matter of Physics includes mechanics, heat, light and other radiation, sound, electricity, magnetism, and the structure of atoms. It is the basis for most of the modern advances in technology, electronics and computers.

Course outline: The subject content of the Cambridge course is divided into two segments, AS and A2. Examinations are set at the end of each segment (with marks from AS being carried forward to the A2 course if studied). Candidates for Cambridge AS Level Physics study the following topics:

  • Physical quantities and units
  • Measurement techniques
  • Kinematics
  • Dynamics
  • Forces, density and pressure
  • Work, energy and power
  • Deformation of solids
  • Waves
  • Superposition
  • Electric fields
  • Current of electricity
  • DC circuits
  • Particle and nuclear physics

Methods of assessment:

Internal Assessment: Students will sit 1 x 1 hour, 1 x 2 hour, and 1 x 3 hour examinations. Approximately twenty experiments are performed, written up and marked during each year. Practical examinations are undertaken each term and contribute towards the examination mark awarded each term. Formative assessments are sat in each part of the course.

External Assessment: Students are prepared for the Cambridge Advanced Subsidiary (AS) examination (Syllabus 9702 AS):

  • Paper 1 [1 hour 15 min] 40 x Multiple-choice questions, 31% of Cambridge AS course mark
  • Paper 2 [1 hour 15 min] Structured questions, 46% of Cambridge AS course mark
  • Paper 3 [2 hours] Advanced practical skills, 23% of Cambridge AS course mark

Special equipment and costs: Hard covered lab book required. Theory and question workbook at $20.

Continuation of subject: Continues onto Form 7 Cambridge A2 Physics, which is a pre-requisite for many courses at universities, technical institutes and many careers.

Form 7 (NCEA Level 3):

Pre-requisites: Form 6 Physics and Mathematics.

Recommended achievement levels:

  • Students who have achieved over 55% in Form 6 Physics (NCEA or Cambridge AS) School examinations have an appropriate achievement level to study Form 7 Physics.
  • Students who have achieved 45-55% in Form 6 Physics (NCEA or Cambridge AS) School examinations will find Form 7 Physics difficult.
  • Students who have achieved less than 45% in the Form 6 Physics School examinations are not recommended to take Form 7 Physics.

Course description/aims: Physics is the branch of science concerned with the nature and properties of matter and energy. The subject matter of Physics includes mechanics, heat, light and other radiation, sound, electricity, magnetism, and the structure of atoms. It is the basis for most of the modern advances in technology, electronics and computers.

Course outline:

  • Part 1 - Experimental methods, kinematics, force, circular motion, rotational kinematics, simple harmonic motion
  • Part 2 - Progressive and standing waves, interference, Doppler Effect, capacitance, magnetism
  • Part 3 - Magnetic induction, alternating current, photoelectric effect, atomic spectra, nuclear reactions

Methods of assessment:

Internal Assessment: There are 1 x 1 hour, 1 x 2 hour, and 1 x 3 hour School examinations. Approximately twenty experiments are performed and written up during each year. Problem assignments are set and marked.

External Assessment:

  • 3.1 - Carry out a practical investigation with guidance that leads to a mathematical relationship [4 credits, Internal]
  • 3.3 - Demonstrate understanding of wave systems [4 credits, External]
  • 3.4 - Demonstrate understanding of mechanical systems [6 credits, External]
  • 3.5 - Demonstrate understanding of modern Physics [3 credits, Internal]
  • 3.6 - Demonstrate understanding of electrical systems [6 credits, External]

Special equipment and costs: Hard-covered lab book and graph paper required. Theory and question workbook costs $20 for the year plus a subscription to Education Perfect costs $15 (at 2019 prices).

Form 7 (A2):

Pre-requisites: Form 6 Physics (Cambridge AS) and Mathematics

Recommended achievement levels: Students who wish to sit Cambridge A2 examinations must pass at Cambridge AS Level in Form 6, with an A to C Grade.

It may be possible to be accepted onto the Cambridge A2 course with a D or E Grade from Cambridge AS but all such students must repeat Cambridge AS in the May/June Examination Series of 2020 to try to gain a better Cambridge AS grade. Students who fail the Cambridge AS course and still need Physics for their career choice, may be accepted into NCEA Level 3.

Course description/aims: Physics is the branch of science concerned with the nature and properties of matter and energy. The subject matter of Physics includes mechanics, heat, light and other radiation, sound, electricity, magnetism, and the structure of atoms. It is the basis for most of the modern advances in technology, electronics and computers.

Course outline: The subject content of the Cambridge course is divided into two parts, Cambridge AS and Cambridge A2. Examinations are set at the end of each part with marks from Cambridge AS being carried forward to account for 50% of the Cambridge A2 course. Cambridge A2 topics in addition to those studied at Cambridge AS level include:

  • Motion in a circle
  • Gravitational fields
  • Ideal gases
  • Temperature
  • Thermal properties of materials
  • Oscillations
  • Communication
  • Capacitance
  • Electronics
  • Magnetic fields
  • Electromagnetic induction
  • Alternating currents

Methods of assessment:

Internal Assessment:Students will sit 1 x 1 hour, 1 x 2 hour, and 1 x 3 hour School examinations. Approximately 20 experiments are performed, written up and marked during each year. Practical design and data analysis examinations are undertaken each term and contribute towards the examination mark awarded each term. Formative assessments are sat in each part of the course.

External Assessment: The Cambridge A2 examination format is:

  • Paper 4 [2 hours] Cambridge A2 structured questions (38.5% of Cambridge A Level course mark)
  • Paper 2 [1 hour 15 mins] Practical skills, planning, analysis and evaluation (11.5% of Cambridge A Level course mark)

Note: Marks from Cambridge AS examinations contribute 50% to the final A Level mark. It is possible to resit the Cambridge AS examinations in the May/June Examination Series of Form 7 to try to improve marks. Students cannot sit single papers on either the first occasion or for resit purposes.

Special equipment and costs: Hard covered lab book required. Theory and question workbook at $20.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our staff today.