AQA physics AS issues and preparation problems Watch

yussefsoudan
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Okay, so, I'm doing physics, maths, chemistry and further maths (AS's). I'm willing to take physics to uni as this is what I want to do.

In my mocks, I've got high A's for all modules in each subject except for physics, which is my favourite. I got a high B for unit 1, and a high D for unit 2. I was absolutely gutted. My physics teacher sucks. He is not consistent in what he teaches at all. The whole lesson feels like throwing random stuff off of his head on the board. It's an utter waste of time. Problem is that he's the head of the sciences and maths department in my college. So he's the big head. I can't report him to someone higher.

I feel absolutely terrified that I won't get an A in the real test. It's terrifying. Physics is the most subject I put effort and time in, and it's the least I do well at. There're very few resources. AQA just has 8 past papers online. NOT enough for such a tough subject at all, of course. The book has many unnecessary things. And it feels like the topic is very easy, and the book just tries to make it look as convoluted and hard as it ever can.

Does anyone have the same problem? If so, share your thoughts or tips.

Thank you
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ErwinJ
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Ok, luckily Physics is a course which you are given a lot of help in the exam for, in regards to formulas and whatnot. You seem adept with Unit 1, but not with unit 2. That is the opposite to me, but each to their own. With unit two, what can be a bit of a bummer is that there is more "tricks" and of the top of the head knowledge to know compared to unit 1. For example, in stationary waves, you will only know be able to find the wavelength if you know that the distance between 2 nodes is 2 lambda. Thats an example of course, but generally, there is more to memorise for Unit 2. FORTUNATELY, the data sheet in unit 2 is your bible. Know it inside out. Finally, just do other past papers. It is not too hard to find on the internet ones from before. Your school will have some from before then. And remember, at the end of the day, Physics is a subject a lot of people take and a lot of people struggle in. You are doing better than you think compared to many. I go to one of the top grammar schools in the country and even still your mock results are better than some of my peers. You are doing fine, just keep going, and realise that the grade boundaries are generally rather low. good luck!
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yussefsoudan
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(Original post by ErwinJ)
Ok, luckily Physics is a course which you are given a lot of help in the exam for, in regards to formulas and whatnot. You seem adept with Unit 1, but not with unit 2. That is the opposite to me, but each to their own. With unit two, what can be a bit of a bummer is that there is more "tricks" and of the top of the head knowledge to know compared to unit 1. For example, in stationary waves, you will only know be able to find the wavelength if you know that the distance between 2 nodes is 2 lambda. Thats an example of course, but generally, there is more to memorise for Unit 2. FORTUNATELY, the data sheet in unit 2 is your bible. Know it inside out. Finally, just do other past papers. It is not too hard to find on the internet ones from before. Your school will have some from before then. And remember, at the end of the day, Physics is a subject a lot of people take and a lot of people struggle in. You are doing better than you think compared to many. I go to one of the top grammar schools in the country and even still your mock results are better than some of my peers. You are doing fine, just keep going, and realise that the grade boundaries are generally rather low. good luck!
Thank you
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yussefsoudan
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(Original post by ErwinJ)
Ok, luckily Physics is a course which you are given a lot of help in the exam for, in regards to formulas and whatnot. You seem adept with Unit 1, but not with unit 2. That is the opposite to me, but each to their own. With unit two, what can be a bit of a bummer is that there is more "tricks" and of the top of the head knowledge to know compared to unit 1. For example, in stationary waves, you will only know be able to find the wavelength if you know that the distance between 2 nodes is 2 lambda. Thats an example of course, but generally, there is more to memorise for Unit 2. FORTUNATELY, the data sheet in unit 2 is your bible. Know it inside out. Finally, just do other past papers. It is not too hard to find on the internet ones from before. Your school will have some from before then. And remember, at the end of the day, Physics is a subject a lot of people take and a lot of people struggle in. You are doing better than you think compared to many. I go to one of the top grammar schools in the country and even still your mock results are better than some of my peers. You are doing fine, just keep going, and realise that the grade boundaries are generally rather low. good luck!
But how is "the distance between 2 nodes is 2 lambda"?
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samb1234
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(Original post by yussefsoudan)
But how is "the distance between 2 nodes is 2 lambda"?
I think he means lamda/2 . If you took a standing wave which just has a node at each end you will notice that you have only one anti node so you have half a wave so hence the distance between the nodes is half a wavelength

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yussefsoudan
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(Original post by samb1234)
I think he means lamda/2 . If you took a standing wave which just has a node at each end you will notice that you have only one anti node so you have half a wave so hence the distance between the nodes is half a wavelength

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I think so too. Thanks for contributing anyway
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samb1234
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(Original post by yussefsoudan)
I think so too. Thanks for contributing anyway
What topics do you struggle with most in unit 2? And unit 1 for that matter

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yussefsoudan
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(Original post by samb1234)
What topics do you struggle with most in unit 2? And unit 1 for that matter

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I didn't get any question wrong in mechanics by far.
I think my problem is with the waves-optics bit, and a little bit of the materials.
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yussefsoudan
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(Original post by samb1234)
What topics do you struggle with most in unit 2? And unit 1 for that matter

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Unit 1 is cool. Mostly silly mistakes, but 6 marks questions drive me crazy.
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samb1234
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(Original post by yussefsoudan)
I didn't get any question wrong in mechanics by far.
I think my problem is with the waves-optics bit, and a little bit of the materials.
All of waves or certain parts of it?

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yussefsoudan
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(Original post by samb1234)
All of waves or certain parts of it?

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The intensity graphs bit, I'm not sure if the exam actually requires me to draw an intensity graph beside a given one. The marking scheme states that it must be accurate. It's frustrating. The confusion between path and phase difference as well.


Oh, and in mechanics, some 6-mark questions ask you to describe how to carry out a certain experiment. I never answered that correctly.
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samb1234
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(Original post by yussefsoudan)
The intensity graphs bit, I'm not sure if the exam actually requires me to draw an intensity graph beside a given one. The marking scheme states that it must be accurate. It's frustrating. The confusion between path and phase difference as well.


Oh, and in mechanics, some 6-mark questions ask you to describe how to carry out a certain experiment. I never answered that correctly.
I have to go quickly I'll be back in 30 mins so post anything else you want help with. For single slit remember that the central fringe is double the width of the other fringes and that for double they are all the same width. I'll answer your other questions when I get back

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yussefsoudan
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(Original post by samb1234)
I have to go quickly I'll be back in 30 mins so post anything else you want help with. For single slit remember that the central fringe is double the width of the other fringes and that for double they are all the same width. I'll answer your other questions when I get back

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Thank you so much. And take your time, I'm not on a hurry at all.
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samb1234
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(Original post by yussefsoudan)
The intensity graphs bit, I'm not sure if the exam actually requires me to draw an intensity graph beside a given one. The marking scheme states that it must be accurate. It's frustrating. The confusion between path and phase difference as well.


Oh, and in mechanics, some 6-mark questions ask you to describe how to carry out a certain experiment. I never answered that correctly.
Path and phase difference are related but they are different. Phase difference is a measure of where one part of the wave is in relation to another part of the wave in relation to it's wave cycle, where phase difference =2πd/lamda. Path difference is only used for explaining interference patterns really so I'll use an example to illustrate it. If you used a coherent monochromatic light source and a double slit to diffract them you would observe bright and dark fringes. Why does this happen?

So the first thing to know is that the light source is coherent, so for the sake of this example I'll assume that the phase difference is 0 (as long as its fixed its fine). So if I took a point p on the wave, which let's say starts at 0 amplitude. If the wave was to travel one wavelength, p would move up to its Max then down to its min then back to 0. If the wave travels a multiple of lamda it will still end up in the same place. Since the source is coherent we can assume that p starts in the same place from each slit.

The path difference itself is the difference in distance between the top slit and the bottom slit to that point on the screen. Let's say the distance from the bottom is 1 and the distance from the top is 1+2lamda. The path difference is therefore 2lamda. As explained above, this extra distance effectively has no effect on the position of p so it will arrive perfectly in phase (well technically it is a multiple of 2π out phase but same idea) so you get constructive interference and a bright fringe.

If the path difference was a multiple of (n+0.5)lamda eg 1/2lamba then on one wave p will be at exactly the opposite point as it would be on the other one, so you get destructive interference and a dark fringe



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yussefsoudan
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(Original post by samb1234)
Path and phase difference are related but they are different. Phase difference is a measure of where one part of the wave is in relation to another part of the wave in relation to it's wave cycle, where phase difference =2πd/lamda. Path difference is only used for explaining interference patterns really so I'll use an example to illustrate it. If you used a coherent monochromatic light source and a double slit to diffract them you would observe bright and dark fringes. Why does this happen?

So the first thing to know is that the light source is coherent, so for the sake of this example I'll assume that the phase difference is 0 (as long as its fixed its fine). So if I took a point p on the wave, which let's say starts at 0 amplitude. If the wave was to travel one wavelength, p would move up to its Max then down to its min then back to 0. If the wave travels a multiple of lamda it will still end up in the same place. Since the source is coherent we can assume that p starts in the same place from each slit.

The path difference itself is the difference in distance between the top slit and the bottom slit to that point on the screen. Let's say the distance from the bottom is 1 and the distance from the top is 1+2lamda. The path difference is therefore 2lamda. As explained above, this extra distance effectively has no effect on the position of p so it will arrive perfectly in phase (well technically it is a multiple of 2π out phase but same idea) so you get constructive interference and a bright fringe.

If the path difference was a multiple of (n+0.5)lamda eg 1/2lamba then on one wave p will be at exactly the opposite point as it would be on the other one, so you get destructive interference and a dark fringe



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Wow, that was really helpful. I'm really thankful for your time.
I appreciate it!
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samb1234
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(Original post by yussefsoudan)
Wow, that was really helpful. I'm really thankful for your time.
I appreciate it!
No worries. Anything else?

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yussefsoudan
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(Original post by samb1234)
No worries. Anything else?

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Any tips for the 6-mark questions both in unit 1 and unit 2?
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samb1234
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(Original post by yussefsoudan)
Any tips for the 6-mark questions both in unit 1 and unit 2?
I'm guessing since you do FM like me you're fairly good at maths so for mechanics based ones you can basically just explain the maths behind situations eg for terminal velocity air resistance is proportional to v. Mg is constant so the resultant force downwards decreases as v increases so since f=ma acceleration decreases. Eventually mg =r so no acceleration.

There are a couple of experiments you need to remember how to do but not much else

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KhamZ_98
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You mentioned that AQA didnt have many papers available.
I compiled all of the papers for our specification which started in 2009 and put them up here
http://aqa-physics-papers.comlu.com/
For obvious reasons, they are missing the June 2014 papers but you can ask a teacher for these.
Hope this helps.
Check out my site uberyaks.com for any other notes you may need
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yussefsoudan
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(Original post by KhamZ_98)
You mentioned that AQA didnt have many papers available.
I compiled all of the papers for our specification which started in 2009 and put them up here
http://aqa-physics-papers.comlu.com/
For obvious reasons, they are missing the June 2014 papers but you can ask a teacher for these.
Hope this helps.
Check out my site uberyaks.com for any other notes you may need
Thank you for this. But I've mentioned earlier that they are not enough. They are only 8 for this spec that are out. I am trying to get the 2014 ones from my teacher.
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