A2 Module 4 Waves, Fields and
Nuclear Energy 

Introduction:
This is the first A2 module building on the key ideas and knowledge
covered in AS. The properties of waves are covered, gravitational and
electric fields are introduced, as are the magnetic effects of currents.
Candidates will also study the practical application of nuclear fission as
a source of energy. 

Oscillations
and Waves 

Simple harmonic motion: graphical and analytical treatments 
Characteristic features of simple harmonic motion Exchange of potential and kinetic energy in oscillatory motion Understanding and use of the following equations a =  (2pf)^{2}x x = Acos2pft v = ±2pf ÖA^{2}  x^{2} Graphical representations linking displacement, velocity, acceleration , time and energy Velocity as gradient of displacement/time graph Simple pendulum and massspring as examples and use of the equations T = 2pÖl/g simple pendulum T = 2pÖm/k spring pendulum Candidates
should have experience of the use of datalogging techniques in analysing
mechanical and oscillatory systems 
Free
and forced vibration 
Qualitative treatment of free and forced vibration Resonance and the effects of damping Examples
of these effects from more than one branch of Physics e.g. production of
sound in a pipe instrument or mechanical vibrations in a moving vehicle 
Oscillation of the particles of the medium Amplitude, frequency, wavelength, speed, phase, path difference Recall and use of c
= fl 

Longitudinal
waves and transverse waves

Examples including sound and electromagnetic waves Polarisation
as evidence for the nature of transverse waves; applications, e.g.
polaroid sunglasses 
Superposition
of waves, stationary waves 
The formation of stationary waves by two waves of the same frequency travelling in opposite directions; no mathematical treatment required Simple
graphical representations of stationary waves, nodes and antinodes on
strings and in pipes. 

The concepts of path difference and coherence Requirements of two source and single source doubleslit systems for the production of fringes The appearance of the interference fringes produced by a double slit system. l
= ws / D 
simple explanation of diffraction 
Appearance of the diffraction pattern from a single slit The plane transmission diffraction grating at normal incidence Optical details of the spectrometer will not be required Derivation of: nl= d sin q Applications, e.g. to spectral analysis of light from
stars 

Recall
and use of C = Q /V 
Energy
stored by capacitor 
Derivation and use of E = 1/2 QV and interpretation of area under a graph of charge against p.d. 
Graphical
representation of charging and discharging of capacitors through resistors

time constant = RC Calculation
of time constants including their determination from graphical data 
Quantitative
treatment of capacitor discharge 
Q = Q_{o} e ^{t/RC} Candidates
should have experience of the use of a voltage sensor and datalogger to
plot discharge curve for a capacitor 
Uniform
motion in a circle 
w = v/r w = 2pf a = v^{2} / r = rw^{2} where
is w angular
speed 
Centripetal
force equation 
Recall and use of F
=  mv^{2} / r 
Gravity,
Newton’s law, the gravitational constant 
F =  Gm_{1}m_{2} / r^{2} Methods
for measuring G are not included 
Gravitational
field strength 
g=F/m g = GM/r^{2 }(radial field) g
= DV/Dr 
Gravitational
potential V 
V = GM/r^{ }radial field) Graphical
representations of variations of g and V with r 
Motion
of masses in gravitational fields 
Circular
motion of planets and satellites including geosynchronous orbits 
Coulomb’s
law, permittivity of free space 
Recall and use of F
= 1/4pe_{0 } Q_{1}Q_{2}/r^{2}^{
} 
Electric
field strength E 
Application, e.g. estimation of forces at closest approach in Rutherford alpha particle scattering E = F/Q E= V/d (uniform field) E
= 1/4pe_{0} Q/r^{2}^{
}(radial field) 
Electric
potential 
V
= 1/4pe_{0} Q/r 
Motion
of charged particles in an electric field 
Trajectory
of particle beams 
Similarities
and differences between electric and gravitational fields 
No
quantitative comparisons required 
Force
on a current carrying wire in a magnetic field 
F
=
BIl (field
perpendicular to current) 
Motion
of charged particles in a magnetic field 
F = BQv (field perpendicular to velocity) Circular
path of particles; application, e.g. charged particles in a cyclotron 
Magnetic
flux density B, flux f
flux linkage 
f
= BA, B normal to A 
Electromagnetic
induction 
Simple experimental phenomena, Faraday’s and Lenz’s laws For a flux change at a uniform rate magnitude of induced e.m.f. = N Df / Dt Applications,
e.g. p.d. between wingtips of aircraft in flight 
Mass
and energy 
Simple calculations on nuclear transformations; mass difference; binding energy Atomic mass unit, u Conversion
of units; 1u = 9 E = mc² Appreciation that E = mc² applies to all energy changes Graph of average binding energy per nucleon against nucleon number, A Fission and fusion processes. 
Induced
fission 
Induced fission by thermal neutrons Possibility of a chain reaction Critical mass Need for a moderator in thermal reactors Control of the reaction rate Factors influencing choice of material for moderator, control rods and coolant Examples
of materials 
Safety
aspects 
Fuel used, shielding, emergency shutdown Production,
handling and disposal of active wastes 
Artificial
transmutation 
Production
of manmade nuclides and examples of their practical applications, e.g. in
medical diagnosis. 
Waves and nuclear applications past questions from old Alevel PH02 Summer2001 to Spring1998 

Waves and nuclear applications past questions from old Alevel PH02 Summer1997 to Spring1995 

Click this button to try out some _{ }quizzes
It's a link to a few multiple choice quizzes I wrote last year. N.B. as yet there are NO resources in FunBrain that cover material from this module. So far all there are only mechanics and astrophysics quizzes.
Further Links 