# Physics A levels

How much of of a level physics is about space and the universe

Scroll to see replies

Very little. I do AQA and we have options to choose a few different topics for paper 3- one of the option is astrophysics but school usually chooses the options.

Idk about other boards but I don't think there'll be a huge amount of astro
(edited 1 year ago)
Original post by ima.genie
How much of of a level physics is about space and the universe

Almost nothing, if any. Remember me to calculate the escape speed for a spaceship to leave the earth's gravitational field to get to space, determined the abaric point for the gravity of the moon and the earth and last but not least I explained why a satellite is moving from west to east on an orbit. That's it!
Original post by Kallisto
Almost nothing, if any. Remember me to calculate the escape speed for a spaceship to leave the earth's gravitational field to get to space, determined the abaric point for the gravity of the moon and the earth and last but not least I explained why a satellite is moving from west to east on an orbit. That's it!

We have more
Original post by Kallisto
Almost nothing, if any. Remember me to calculate the escape speed for a spaceship to leave the earth's gravitational field to get to space, determined the abaric point for the gravity of the moon and the earth and last but not least I explained why a satellite is moving from west to east on an orbit. That's it!

I trust they taught you the real reason about satellites moving West to East... leprechauns. It's the Irish, the lot of it!
I do edexcel and we have a whole topic around space, we cover the life cycle of stars, how to calculate distances in space etc etc. Though, if you are interested in pursuing a career or education around soace-y things then A level physics is really important!
We have more

The other thing I can remember is the attraction between earth and moon and vice versa. And a calculation to it. I am so curious what lessons about Astronomy you had in your physics lessons. Be my guess and tell me!
AQA has almost nothing in the main syllabus - just gravity/orbits and particle physics if that counts - but the astrophysics option has topics like telescopes, classification of stars, parallax measurements and distances, etc.
Original post by Kallisto
The other thing I can remember is the attraction between earth and moon and vice versa. And a calculation to it. I am so curious what lessons about Astronomy you had in your physics lessons. Be my guess and tell me!

Telescopes: Astronomical telescope consisting of two converging lenses, Reflecting telescopes, Single dish radio telescopes, I-R, U-V and X-ray telescopes, Advantages of large diameter telescopes.

Classification of Stars: Classification by luminosity, Absolute magnitude M, Classification by temperature, black-body radiation, Principles of the use of stellar spectral classes, The Hertzsprung-Russell (HR) diagram, Supernovae, neutron stars and black holes.

Cosmology: Doppler effect, Hubble's law, Quasars, Detection of exoplanets.

Only people who chose Astro got these though. There are other options like Medical, Engineering (iirc), Turning Points etc'.

This made me hate and love physics. My teacher didn't teach and there's barely any A-level resources for these topics online.

What exam board did you do?

@Callicious did you do AQA? what option did you do?
(edited 1 year ago)
Telescopes: Astronomical telescope consisting of two converging lenses, Reflecting telescopes, Single dish radio telescopes, I-R, U-V and X-ray telescopes, Advantages of large diameter telescopes.

Classification of Stars: Classification by luminosity, Absolute magnitude M, Classification by temperature, black-body radiation, Principles of the use of stellar spectral classes, The Hertzsprung-Russell (HR) diagram, Supernovae, neutron stars and black holes.

Cosmology: Doppler effect, Hubble's law, Quasars, Detection of exoplanets.

Only people who chose Astro got these though. There are other options like Medical, Engineering (iirc), Turning Points etc'.

This made me hate and love physics. My teacher didn't teach and there's barely any A-level resources for these topics online.

What exam board did you do?

@Callicious did you do AQA? what option did you do?

I think i do edexcel
Telescopes: Astronomical telescope consisting of two converging lenses, Reflecting telescopes, Single dish radio telescopes, I-R, U-V and X-ray telescopes, Advantages of large diameter telescopes.

Classification of Stars: Classification by luminosity, Absolute magnitude M, Classification by temperature, black-body radiation, Principles of the use of stellar spectral classes, The Hertzsprung-Russell (HR) diagram, Supernovae, neutron stars and black holes.

Cosmology: Doppler effect, Hubble's law, Quasars, Detection of exoplanets.

Only people who chose Astro got these though. There are other options like Medical, Engineering (iirc), Turning Points etc'.

This made me hate and love physics. My teacher didn't teach and there's barely any A-level resources for these topics online.

What exam board did you do?

@Callicious did you do AQA? what option did you do?

...Special Relativity (i.e. turning points)... wasn't a big fan, still am not. I mean it's interesting, it's fantastic for dealing with astrophysical phenomena (jets, "superluminal" motions... beaming... lots of stuff...) but yeah. I had a panic attack during the exam (tl;dr family life wasn't the best for me) and it almost cost me my A*. I actually got an A because my handwriting was so bad during that exam from that attack- only a month or two after my exams did they tell me "Oh hey, we didn't mark 3 pages of your work because of your handwriting... we did it now, and you got an A*!" like come on! Makes me wonder how much of my other work was failed purposefully on my other exams, many of which I also had attacks in...

Anyway, it was good overall I guess. But yeah. I would have preferred Astro (duh )
(edited 1 year ago)
Original post by Callicious
...Special Relativity (i.e. turning points)... wasn't a big fan, still am not. I mean it's interesting, it's fantastic for dealing with astrophysical phenomena (jets, "superluminal" motions... beaming... lots of stuff...) but yeah. I had a panic attack during the exam (tl;dr family life wasn't the best for me) and it almost cost me my A*. I actually got an A because my handwriting was so bad during that exam from that attack- only a month or two after my exams did they tell me "Oh hey, we didn't mark 3 pages of your work because of your handwriting... we did it now, and you got an A*!" like come on! Makes me wonder how much of my other work was failed purposefully on my other exams, many of which I also had attacks in...

Anyway, it was good overall I guess. But yeah. I would have preferred Astro (duh )

Oh, turning point doesn't sound that bad... my friends does medical and they said it's torture. Haha family life is amazing for me ... I once almost fainted during a maths exam because of them, I barely wrote anything and the paper was tear/snot stained, I got an E (still bugs me to this day).. I also get panic attacks, most of my mock exam papers are tear stained lol... Them telling you about the A* must've felt fantastic! but they waited 3 months lol... I'm sure they failed your other work on purpose because of handwriting, I mean you're obviously very intelligent.

I'm glad I do astro, can't imagine thermodynamics or something... I think they have an option for that. Yikes.
Oh, turning point doesn't sound that bad... my friends does medical and they said it's torture. Haha family life is amazing for me ... I once almost fainted during a maths exam because of them, I barely wrote anything and the paper was tear/snot stained, I got an E (still bugs me to this day).. I also get panic attacks, most of my mock exam papers are tear stained lol... Them telling you about the A* must've felt fantastic! but they waited 3 months lol... I'm sure they failed your other work on purpose because of handwriting, I mean you're obviously very intelligent.

I'm glad I do astro, can't imagine thermodynamics or something... I think they have an option for that. Yikes.

]
^ If you give me time I can write like that (though I use a normal fountain pen to do so, not a dip.)

If I'm anxious/in an exam... well, yeah Can't read it!

They let me type my Biology exams thank god Went from getting an E/D because of time to getting A* after A* thanks to my 150-160 WPM
Original post by Callicious
]
^ If you give me time I can write like that (though I use a normal fountain pen to do so, not a dip.)

If I'm anxious/in an exam... well, yeah Can't read it!

They let me type my Biology exams thank god Went from getting an E/D because of time to getting A* after A* thanks to my 150-160 WPM

Your handwriting is gorgeous... jeez.. I've never seen I guy write like that.

Lucky.
Your handwriting is gorgeous... jeez.. I've never seen I guy write like that.

Lucky.

mf why tf it rotated
(edited 1 year ago)
Original post by Callicious

mf why tf it rotated

I don't- I write them.
Original post by Callicious
...Special Relativity (i.e. turning points)... wasn't a big fan, still am not. I mean it's interesting, it's fantastic for dealing with astrophysical phenomena (jets, "superluminal" motions... beaming... lots of stuff...) but yeah. I had a panic attack during the exam (tl;dr family life wasn't the best for me) and it almost cost me my A*. I actually got an A because my handwriting was so bad during that exam from that attack- only a month or two after my exams did they tell me "Oh hey, we didn't mark 3 pages of your work because of your handwriting... we did it now, and you got an A*!" like come on! Makes me wonder how much of my other work was failed purposefully on my other exams, many of which I also had attacks in...

Anyway, it was good overall I guess. But yeah. I would have preferred Astro (duh )

I actually like turning points, Milikans oil drop experiment is especially interesting. Though this could just be due to the low amount of actual content in it so i have to memorize less.
Original post by Skiwi
I actually like turning points, Milikans oil drop experiment is especially interesting. Though this could just be due to the low amount of actual content in it so i have to memorize less.

I mainly hate it because of my exam experience (unrelated to the actual subject, more my mental health at the time.) Not a good time of my life
(...)
Cosmology: Doppler effect, Hubble's law, Quasars, Detection of exoplanets.

(...)

Doppler Effect in Astronomy, that is interesting. I have been taught about this effect in mechanics as the changing frequence of a moving object in relation to the wave source. But those were always sound waves. I think it is different in astronomy. The frequence can be determined for electromagnetic waves in general, so I suppose that the Doppler Effect is used for cosmic radiations in order to find the distance of a star or active galactic nucleus (as in a quasar) out. Am I right in thinking?
(edited 1 year ago)
Original post by Kallisto
Doppler Effect in Astronomy, that is interesting. I have been taught about this effect in mechanics as the changing frequence of a moving object in relation to the wave source. But those were always sound waves. I think it is different in astronomy. The frequence can be determined for electromagnetic waves in general, so I suppose that the Doppler Effect is used for cosmic radiations in order to find the distance of a star or active galactic nucleus (as in a quasar) out. Am I right in thinking?

Precisely that.