Introduction to the universe. [link]
The solar system and beyond.
E.1.1 Outline the general structure of the solar system.
E.1.2 Distinguish between a stellar cluster and a constellation.
E.1.3 Define the light year.
E.1.4 Compare the relative distances between stars within a galaxy and between galaxies, in terms of order of magnitude.
E.1.5 Describe the apparent motion of the stars/constellations over a period of a night and over a period of a year, and explain these observations in terms of the rotation and revolution of the Earth.
Stellar radiation and stellar types.
Energy source.
E.2.1 State that fusion is the main energy source of stars.
E.2.2 Explain that, in a stable star (for example, our Sun), there is an equilibrium[] between radiation pressure and gravitational pressure.
E.2.3 Define the luminosity of a star.
E.2.4 Define apparent brightness and state how it is measured.
Wiens law and the Stefan-Boltzmann law.
E.2.5 Apply the Stefan-Boltzmann law to compare the luminosities of different stars.
E.2.6 State Wiens (displacement) law and apply it to explain the connection between the colour and temperature[] of stars.
Stellar spectra.
E.2.7 Explain how atomic spectra may be used to deduce chemical and physical data for stars.
E.2.8 Describe the overall classification system of spectral classes.
Types of star.
E.2.9 Describe the different types of star.
E.2.10 Discuss the characteristics of spectroscopic and eclipsing binary stars.
The Hertzsprung-Russell diagram.
E.2.11 Identify the general regions of star types on a Hertzsprung-Russell (HR) diagram.
Stellar distances.
Parallax method.
E.3.1 Define the parsec.
E.3.2 Describe the stellar parallax method of determining the distance to a star.
E.3.3 Explain why the method of stellar parallax is limited to measuring stellar distances less then several hundred parsecs.
E.3.4 Solve problems involving stellar parallax.
Absolute and apparent magnitudes.
E.3.5 Describe the apparent magnitude scale.
E.3.6 Define absolute magnitude.
E.3.7 Solve problems involving apparent magnitude, absolute magnitude and distance.
E.3.8 Solve problems involving apparent brightness and apparent magnitude.
Spectroscopic parallax.
E.3.9 State that the luminosity of a star may be estimated from its spectrum.
E.3.10 Explain how stellar distance may be determined using apparent brightness and luminosity.
E.3.11 State that the method of spectroscopic parallax is limited to measuring steallar distances less than about 10 Mpc.
E.3.12 Solve problems involving stellar distances, apparent brightness and luminosity.
Cepheid variables.
E.3.13 Outline the nature of a Cepheid variable.
E.3.14 State the relationship between period and absolute magnitude for Cepheid variables.
E.3.15 Explain how Cepheid variables may be used as "standard candles".
E.3.16 Determine the distance to a Cepheid variable using the luminosity-period relationship.
Olbers paradox
E.4.1 Describe Newtons model of the universe.
E.4.2 Explain Olbers paradox.
The Big Bang model.
E.4.3 Suggest that the red-shift of light from galaxies indicates that the universe is expanding.
E.4.4 Describe both space and time as originating with the Big Bang.
E.4.5 Describe the discovery of cosmic microwave background (CMB) radiation by Penzias and Wilson.
E.4.6 Explain how cosmic radiation in the microwave region is consistent with the Big Bang model.
E.4.7 Suggest how the Big Bang model provides a resolution[] to Olbers paradox.
The development of the universe.
E.4.8 Distinguish between the terms open, flat and closed when used to describe the development of the universe.
E.4.9 Define the term critical density by reference to a flat model of the development of the universe.
E.4.10 Discuss how the density of the universe determines the development of the universe.
E.4.11 Discuss problems associated with determining the density of the universe.
E.4.12 State that current scientific evidence suggests that the universe is open.
E.4.13 Discuss an example of the international nature of recent astrophysics research.
E.4.14 Evaluate arguments related to investing significant resources into researching the nature of the universe.
Stellar processes and stellar evolution.
E.5.1 Describe the conditions that initiate fusion in a star.
E.5.2 State the effect of stars mass on the end product of nuclear fusion.
E.5.3 Outline the changes that take place in nucleosynthesis when a star leaves the main sequence and ecomes a red giant.
Evolutionary paths of stars and stellar processes.
E.5.4 Apply the mass-luminosity relation.
E.5.5 Explain how the Chandrasekhar and Oppenheimer-Volkoff limits are used to predict the fate of stars of different masses.
E.5.6 Compare the fate of a red giant and a red supergiant.
E.5.7 Draw evolutionary paths of stars on an HR diagram.
E.5.8 Outline the characteristics of pulsars.
Galaxies and the expanding universe.
Galactic motion.
E.6.1 Describe the distribution of galaxies in the universe.
E.6.2 Explain the red-shift of light from distant galaxies.
E.6.3 Solve problems involving red-shift and the recession speed of galaxies.
Hubbles law.
E.6.4 State Hubbles law.
E.6.5 Discuss the limitations of Hubbles law.
E.6.6 Explain how the Hubble constant may be determined.
E.6.7 Explain how the Hubble constant may be used to estimate the age of the universe.
E.6.8 Solve problems involving Hubbles law.
E.6.9 Explain how the expansion of the universe made possible the formation of light nuclei and atoms.


Radio communication.
F.1.1 Describe what is meant by the modulation of a wave.
F.1.2 Distinguish between a carrier wave and a signal wave.
F.1.3 Describe the nature of amplitude modulation (AM) and frequency modulation (FM).
F.1.4 Solve problems based on the modulation of the carrier wave in order to determine the frequency and amplitude of the information signal.
F.1.5 Sketch and analyse graphs of the power[] spectrum of a carrier wave that is amplitude-modulated by a single-frequency signal.
F.1.6 Define what is meant by sideband frequencies and bandwidth.
F.1.7 Solve problems involving sideband frequencies and bandwidth.
F.1.8 Describe the relative advantages and disadvantages of AM and FM for radio transmission and reception.
F.1.9 Describe, by means of a block diagram, an AM radio receiver.
Digital signals.
F.2.1 Solve problems involving the conversion between binary[] numbers and decimal numbers.
F.2.2 Distinguish between analogue and digital signals.
F.2.3 State the advantages of the digital transmission, as compared to the analogue transmission, of information.
F.2.4 Describe, using block diagrams, the principles of the transmission and reception of digital signals.
F.2.5 Explain the significance of the number of bits and the bit-rate on the reproduction of a transmitted signal.
F.2.6 Describe what is meant by time-division multiplexing.
F.2.7 Solve problems involving analogue-to-digital conversion.
F.2.8 Describe the consequences of digital communication and multiplexing on worldwide communications.
F.2.9 Discuss the moral, ethical, economic and environmental issues arising from access to the Internet.
Optic fibre transmission.
F.3.1 Explain what is meant by critical angle and total internal reflection.
F.3.2 Solve problems involving refractive index[] and critical angle.
F.3.3 Apply the concept of total internal reflection to the transmission of light along an optic fibre.
F.3.4 Describe the effects of material dispersion and modal dispersion.
F.3.5 Explain what is meant by attenuation and solve problems involving attenuation measured in decibels (dB).
F.3.6 Describe the variation with wavelength of the attenuation of radiation in the core of a monomode fibre.
F.3.7 State what is meant by noise in an optic fibre.
F.3.8 Describe the role of amplifiers and reshapers in optic fibre transmission.
F.3.9 Solve problems involving optic fibres.
Channels of communication.
F.4.1 Outline different channels of communication, including wire pairs, coaxial cables, optic fibres, radio waves and satellite communication.
F.4.2 Discuss the uses and the relative advantages and disadvantages of wire pairs, coaxial cables, optic fibres and radio waves.
F.4.3 State what is meant by a geostationary satellite.
F.4.4 State the order of magnitude of the frequencies used for communication with geostationary satellites, and explain why the up-link frequency and the down-link frequency are different.
F.4.5 Discuss the relative advantages and disadvantages of the use of geostationary and of polar-orbiting satellites for communication.
F.4.6 Discuss the moral, ethical, economic and environmental issues arising from satellite communication.
F.5.1 State the properties of an ideal operation amplifier (op-amp).
F.5.2 Draw circuit diagrams for both inverting and non-inverting amplifiers (with a single input) incorporating operational amplifiers.
F.5.3 Derive an expression for the gain of an inverting amplifier and for a non-inverting amplifier.
F.5.4 Describe the use of an operational amplifier circuit as a comparitor.
F.5.5 Describe the use of a Schmitt trigger for the reshaping of digital pulses.
F.5.6 Solve problems involving circuits[] incorporating operational amplifiers.
The mobile phone system.
F.6.1 State that any area is divided into a number of cells (each with its own base station) to which is allocated a range of frequencies.
F.6.2 Describe the role of the cellular exchange and the public switched telephone network (PSTN) in communications using mobile phones.
F.6.3 Discuss the use of mobile phones in multimedia communication.
F.6.4 Discuss the moral, ethical, economic, environmental and international issues arising from the use of mobile phones.

Electromagnetic waves.

The nature of EM waves and light sources.
Nature and properties of EM waves.
G.1.1 Outline the nature of electromagnetic (EM) waves.
G.1.2 Describe the different regions of the electromagnetic spectrum.
G.1.3 Describe what is meant by the dispersion of EM waves.
G.1.4 Describe the dispersion of EM waves in terms of the dependence of refractive index[] on wavelength.
G.1.5 Distinguish between transmission, absorption and scattering of radiation.
G.1.6 Discuss examples of the transmission, absorption and scattering of EM radiation.
G.1.7 Explain the terms monochromatic and coherent.
G.1.8 Identify laser light as a source of coherent light.
G.1.9 Outline the mechanism for the production of laser light.
G.1.10 Ouline an application of the use of a laser.
Optical instruments.
G.2.1 Define the terms principle axis, focal point, focal length and linear magnification as applied to a converging (convex) lens.
G.2.2 Define the power[] of a convex lens and the dioptre.
G.2.3 Define linear magnification.
G.2.4 Construct ray diagrams to locate the image formed by a convex lens.
G.2.5 Distinguish between a real image and a virtual image.
G.2.6 Apply the convention "real is positive, virtual is negative" to the thin lens formula.
G.2.7 Solve problems for a single convex lens using the thin lens formula.
The simple magnifying glass.
G.2.8 Define the terms far point and near point for the unaided eye.
G.2.9 Define angular magnification.
G.2.10 Derive an expression for the angular magnification of a simple magnifying glass for an image formed at the near point and at infinity.
The compound microscope and astronomical telescope.
G.2.11 Construct a ray diagram for a compound microscope with final image formed close to the near point of the eye (normal adjustment).
G.2.12 Construct a ray diagram for an astronomical telescope with the final image at infinity (normal adjustment).
G.2.13 State the equation relating angular magnification to the focal lengths of the lenses in an astronomical telescope in normal adjustment.
G.2.14 Solve problems involving the compound microscope and the astronomical telescope.
G.2.15 Explain the meaning of spherical aberration and of chromatic aberration as produced by a single lens.
G.2.16 Describe how spherical aberration in a lens may be reduced.
G.2.17 Describe how chromatic aberration in a lens may be reduced.
Two source interference of waves.
G.3.1 State the conditions necessary to observe interference between two sources.
G.3.2 Explain, by means of the principle of superposition, the interference pattern produced by waves from two coherent point sources.
G.3.3 Outline a double-slit experiment for light and draw the intensity distribution of the observed fringe pattern.
G.3.4 Solve problems involving two-source interference.
Diffraction[] grating.
Multiple-slit diffraction.
G.4.1 Describe the effect on the double-slit intensity distribution of increasing the number of slits.
G.4.2 Derive the diffraction grating formula for normal incidence.
G.4.3 Outline the use of a diffraction grating to measure wavelengths.
G.4.4 Solve problems involving a diffration grating.
G.5.1 Outline the experimental arrangement for the production of X-rays.
G.5.2 Draw and annotate a typical X-ray spectrum.
G.5.3 Explain the origins of the features of a characteristic X-ray spectrum.
G.5.4 Solve problems involving accelerating potential difference and minimum wavelength.
X-ray diffraction.
G.5.5 Explain how X-ray diffraction[] arises from the scattering of X-rays in a crystal.
G.5.6 Derive the Bragg scattering equation.
G.5.7 Outline how cubic crystals may be used to measure the wavelength of X-rays.
G.5.8 Outline how X-rays may be used to determine the structure of crystals.
G.5.9 Solve problems involving the Bragg equation.
Thin-film interference.
Wedge films.
G.6.1 Explain the production of interference fringes by a thin air wedge.
G.6.2 Explain how wedge fringes can be used to measure very small separations.
G.6.3 Describe how thin-film interference is used to test optical flats.
G.6.4 Solve problems involving wedge films.
Parallel films.
G.6.5 State the condition for light to undergo either a phase change of π, or no phase change, on reflection[] from an interface.
G.6.6 Describe how a source of light gives rise to an interference pattern when the light is reflected at both surfaces of a parallel film.
G.6.7 State the conditions for constructive and destructive interference.
G.6.8 Explain the formation of coloured fringes when white light is reflected from thin films, such as oil and soap films.
G.6.9 Describe the difference between fringes formed by a parallel film and a wedge film.
G.6.10 Describe applications of parallel thin films.
G.6.11 Solve problems involving parallel films.