AQA 7407; 7408

Why study Physics?

Physics probes at the very heart of matter, from a tiny atom to the huge universe. As such it encompasses everything in the world of a physical nature. You will learn just what Einstein’s equation E=mc2 really means, how you can save a nuclear power station from disaster, balance enormous forces in order to put a satellite into orbit and discover why time travel is likely to remain the domain of science fiction perhaps forever.
The study of physics will provide you with a vehicle to extend your mind and develop your imagination, as you explore a myriad of particles, with exotic names like quarks, mesons and pions. You will be introduced to some of the more esoteric concepts of quantum mechanics, such as Strangeness and Charm. The everyday definitions of these terms bare little or no relationship to their usage in physics. They are perhaps a vain attempt by physicists to show that they have a genuine sense of humour.

Although conceptually demanding, physics can be very rewarding as one discovers the secrets of the universe from the Big Bang to the Big Chill. Einstein’s Special Relativity is but one of the special tools employed. 
It will equip you with a number of highly prized, transferable skills alongside a deeper understanding of the way the world works. Skills such as numeracy, problem solving, practical skills, logical thinking, analysis of complex situations and methodical approaches will be priceless in your future, be that an academic future or in the workplace. 

In science there is only physics; all the rest is stamp collecting.”  Ernest Rutherford

Syllabus: AS/A Level Physics

Examination Board: AQA 7407, 7408

Course Requirements

Five grade 9 to 4 (or A* to C) GCSE passes including the minimum of a grade 6 (or B) in Mathematics and grade 6-6 (or B) in Science.

Course Outline

These modules form part of the course requirements (AS level = 2 examined papers; A Level = three examined papers).

What should I study with physics?

It is recommended as a minimum that you successfully complete the Maths AS course and preferably continue on to the full A Level. This will provide the requisite mathematical skills to access the more quantitative aspects of the course.

AS Level
  • Mechanics and Materials
  • Waves and Optics
  • Current Electricity
  • Particle Physics and Quantum Phenomena
  • Measurement and their errors
A Level (additional content)
  • Further Mechanics
  • Thermal Physics
  • Nuclear Physics
  • Fields
  • Optional Unit: Astrophysics or Engineering physics

How the Course is Assessed

  • Two or three examinations in May/June
  • A separate endorsement of practical skills, assessed by teacher

Links to Careers

Research, Education, Engineering, Geo- science, Technology, IT and Finance.

Links to University

Many HEls offer (or require) Physics in one form or another for BScs, MScs, BEngs, MEngs.

More Information: Dr N. Alaian