The Equations – AS Physics Revision

The Booklet

  • Here’s a link to the OCR Advancing Physics formula booklet, which seems to be the one you’re given in the exam
  • The vast majority of the equations and values in there seem to be for A2 Physics (that’s a LOT to learn next year…)
  • You might want to memorize the position of the equations you can’t remember, so you can find the (SUVAT) Equations for Uniformly Accelerated Motion quickly, for example
  • The booklet states the values of constants, but usually they’re given in the question anyway (as a clue, to tell you how many significant figures to use…)
  • There are also some handy conversion factors and other pieces of useful mathematical knowledge (such as how many seconds are in a day or year, and metres in a light year, degrees in a radian… the formulae for the area and volume of various shapes, Pi and e to a couple of decimal places…)
  • You probably know your standard-form-unit-prefix-times-ten-to-the-power-of-multiplier-things, but they’re in there, too

Equivalents

  • There are loads of these equations relating forces with mass, distance, time, height, gravity, acceleration and whatever
  • Some of them aren’t given in the formula and constants book in the exam!
  • The thing is, some equations are the same, just expressed differently…
  • Take this one: Gravitational Potential Energy = mass * g * change in height
  • You know that Force = mass * acceleration, and g is the acceleration under gravity
  • You also know that Work = Force * distance… work’s getting done vertically, here
  • Work and energy are both in Joules, so in this case the G.P.E. is the work, and mass * g is the force (thanks to F=ma) and change in height is the distance
  • If that had occurred to me when I was doing my mock exam, I wouldn’t have had to look around the classroom and find the equation for gravitational potential energy (G.P.E., for short) on the wall

To Know

  • A lot of stuff is given in the booklet, but you should probably learn Newton’s second law, F=ma
  • Please remember that mass is used in kilograms (don’t convert it to grams)
  • The other units are used in their normal forms, though (not kilo, milli or mega)
  • The formula for kinetic energy, 0.5 * m * v^2 doesn’t seem to be in the booklet
  • There might be some other things, too – I suggest having a look through, to make sure the things you usually rely on looking up are in there…

Things that seem to be given

  • The speed of light (in a vacuum), c, is given in the booklet
  • The charge on an electron is given
  • The mass of an electron is given
  • The Planck constant, h, is given
  • The acceleration due to gravity (“gravitational field strength at the Earth’s surface in the UK”), g, is given
  • The formula relating density, mass and volume is given
  • The formula relating momentum, mass and velocity is given
  • The formula relating work, force and distance is given
  • The formula relating power, force and speed is given
  • The (SUVAT) equations for uniformly accelerated motion are given
  • The wave equation relating speed, frequency and wavelength is given
  • The diffraction grating / double slit equation relating wavelength, slit separation, order and angle is given
  • The formula relating Planck’s constant, photon energy and photon frequency is given
  • The formula relating Planck’s constant, wavelength and momentum is given (for electrons? It seems to be under a heading for photons… not sure about that one)
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About Matt

I like writing, filmmaking, programming and gaming, and prefer creating media to consuming it. On the topic of consumption, I'm also a big fan of eating.
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