Edexcel AS Syllabus 

In the exam, you are expected to: 

Topic 1  Working as a Physicist 

1 
Know and understand the distinction between base and derived quantities and their SI units 
Induction 1 
2 
Be able to demonstrate their knowledge of practical skills and techniques for both familiar and unfamiliar experiments 
Induction 4 
3 
Be able to estimate values for physical quantities and use their estimate to solve problems 
Induction 8 
4 
Understand the limitations of physical measurement and apply these limitations to practical situations 
Induction 4 
5 
Be able to communicate information and ideas in appropriate ways using appropriate terminology 
Induction 7 
6 
Understand applications and implications of science and evaluate their associated benefits and risks 
Induction 0 
7 
Understand the role of the scientific community in validating new knowledge and ensuring integrity 
Induction 0 
8 
Understand the ways in which society uses science to inform decision making 
Induction 0 

While not specified on the syllabus, the use of standard form and proficiency in handling equations will be expected as a matter of course. 
(Standard Form) (Equations) 
Topic 2  Mechanics 

9 
Be able to use the equations for uniformly accelerated motion in one dimension:

Mechanics 6 
10 
Be able to draw and interpret displacementtime, velocitytime and accelerationtime graphs 
Mechanics 6 
11 
Know the physical quantities derived from the slopes and areas of displacementtime, velocitytime and accelerationtime graphs, including cases of nonuniform acceleration and understand how to use the quantities 
Mechanics 6 
12 
Understand scalar and vector quantities and know examples of each type of quantity and recognise vector notation 
Mechanics 1 
13 
Be able to resolve a vector into two components at right angles to each other by drawing and by calculation 
Mechanics 1 
14 
Be able to find the resultant of two coplanar vectors at any angle to each other by drawing, and at right angles to each other by calculation 
Mechanics 2 
15 
Understand how to make use of the independence of vertical and horizontal motion of a projectile moving freely under gravity 
Mechanics 9 
16 
Be able to draw and interpret freebody force diagrams to represent forces on a particle or on an extended but rigid body 
Mechanics 2 
17 
Be able to use the equation
and understand how to use this equation in situations where
m
is constant (Newton’s second law of motion), including Newton’s
first law of motion where
a = 0, objects at rest or
travelling at constant velocity. Use of the term terminal velocity is expected 
(Newton's Laws)
(Terminal Velocity)
(Friction and Drag)

18 
Be able to use the equations for gravitational field strength
and weight

Mechanics 7 
19 
CORE PRACTICAL 1: Determine the acceleration of a freelyfalling object. 
Mechanics 7 
20 
Know and understand Newton’s third law of motion and know the properties of pairs of forces in an interaction between two bodies 
Mechanics 10 
21 
Understand that momentum is defined as:

Mechanics 11 
22 
Know the principle of conservation of linear momentum, understand how to relate this to Newton’s laws of motion and understand how to apply this to problems in one dimension 
Mechanics 12 
23 
Be able to use the equation for the moment of a force, moment of force = Fx where x is the perpendicular distance between the line of action of the force and the axis of rotation 
Mechanics 3 
24 
Be able to use the concept of centre of gravity of an extended body and apply the principle of moments to an extended body in equilibrium 
Mechanics 4 
25 
Be able to use the equation for work
including calculations when the force is not along the line of motion. 
Mechanics 13 
26 
Be able to use the equation
for the kinetic energy of a body 
Mechanics 15 
27 
Be able to use the equation
for the difference in gravitational potential energy near the Earth’s surface 
Mechanics 15 
28 
Know, and understand how to apply, the principle of conservation of energy including use of work done, gravitational potential energy and kinetic energy 
Mechanics 15 
29 
Be able to use the equations relating power, time and energy transferred or work done:
and

Mechanics 13 
30 
Be able to use the equations: and 
Mechanics 14 
Topic 3  Electric Circuits 

31 
Understand that electric current is the rate of flow of charged particles and be able to use the equation:

Electricity 1 
32 
Understand how to use the equation:

Electricity 1 
33 
Understand that resistance is defined by:

Electricity 2 
34 
Understand how the distribution of current in a circuit is a consequence of charge conservation 
Electricity 7 
35 
Understand how the distribution of potential differences in a circuit is a consequence of energy conservation 
Electricity 7 
36 
Be able to derive the equations for combining resistances in series and parallel using the principles of charge and energy conservation, and be able to use these equations 
Electricity 7 
37 
Be able to use the equation and be able to derive and use related equations, e.g.

Electricity 5 
38 
Understand how to sketch, recognise and interpret currentpotential difference graphs for components, including ohmic conductors, filament bulbs, thermistors and diodes 
Electricity 3 
39 
Be able to use the equation:

Electricity 4 
40 
CORE PRACTICAL 2: Determine the electrical resistivity of a material. 
Electricity 4 
41 
Be able to use I = nqvA to explain the large range of resistivities of different materials 
Electricity 4 
42 
Understand how the potential along a uniform currentcarrying wire varies with the distance along it 
Electricity 6 
43 
Understand the principles of a potential divider circuit and understand how to calculate potential differences and resistances in such a circuit 
Electricity 6 
44 
Be able to analyse potential divider circuits where one resistance is variable including thermistors and light dependent resistors (LDRs) 
Electricity 6 
45 
Know the definition of electromotive force (e.m.f.) and understand what is meant by internal resistance and know how to distinguish between e.m.f. and terminal potential difference 
Electricity 8 
46 
CORE PRACTICAL 3: Determine the e.m.f. and internal resistance of an electrical cell. 
Electricity 8 
47 
Understand how changes of resistance with temperature may be modelled in terms of lattice vibrations and number of conduction electrons and understand how to apply this model to metallic conductors and negative temperature coefficient thermistors 
Electricity 4 
48 
Understand how changes of resistance with illumination may be modelled in terms of the number of conduction electrons and understand how to apply this model to LDRs. 
Electricity 6 
Topic 4  Materials 

49 
Be able to use the equation:

Materials 1 
50 
Understand how to use the relationship upthrust = weight of fluid displaced 
Materials 4 
51 
a. Be able to use the equation for viscous drag (Stokes’ Law):

Materials 4 
52 
CORE PRACTICAL 4: Use a fallingball method to determine the viscosity of a liquid. 
Materials 4 
53 
Be able to use the Hooke’s law equation,
where k is the stiffness of the object. 
Materials 2 
54 
Understand how to use the relationships 
Materials 3 
55 
a. Be able to draw and interpret forceextension and
forcecompression graphs 
Materials 2 
56 
Be able to draw and interpret tensile or compressive stressstrain graphs, and understand the term breaking stress. 
Materials 3 
57 
CORE PRACTICAL 5: Determine the Young modulus of a material 
Materials 3 
58 
Be able to calculate the elastic strain energy E_{el} in a deformed material sample, using the equation:
and from the area under the forceextension
graph The estimation of area and hence energy change for both linear and nonlinear forceextension graphs is expected. 
Materials 3 
Topic 5  Waves and Particle Nature of Light 

59 
Understand the terms amplitude, frequency, period, speed and wavelength. 
Waves 1 
60 
Be able to use the wave equation:

Waves 1 
61 
Be able to describe longitudinal waves in terms of pressure variation and the displacement of molecules. 
Waves 2 
62 
Be able to describe transverse waves. 
Waves 2 
63 
Be able to draw and interpret graphs representing transverse and longitudinal waves including standing/stationary waves. 
Waves 1 
64 
CORE PRACTICAL 6: Determine the speed of sound in air using a 2beam oscilloscope, signal generator, speaker and microphone. 
Waves 2 
65 
Know and understand what is meant by wavefront, coherence, path difference, superposition, interference and phase. 
Waves 1 
66 
Be able to use the relationship between phase difference and path difference. 
Waves 1 
67 
Know what is meant by a standing/stationary wave and understand how such a wave is formed, know how to identify nodes and antinodes. 
Waves 4 
68 
Be able to use the equation for the speed of a transverse wave on a string:

Waves 4 
69 
CORE PRACTICAL 7: Investigate the effects of length, tension and mass per unit length on the frequency of a vibrating string or wire. 
Waves 4 
70 
Be able to use the equation intensity of radiation:

Waves 1 
71 
Know and understand that at the interface between medium 1 and medium 2
where refractive index is:

Waves 6 
72 
Be able to calculate critical angle using:

Waves 6 
73 
Be able to predict whether total internal reflection will occur at an interface. 
Waves 6 
74 
Understand how to measure the refractive index of a solid material. 
Waves 6 
75 
Understand the term focal length of converging and diverging lenses. 
Medical Physics 2 
76 
Be able to use ray diagrams to trace the path of light through a lens and locate the position of an image. 

77 
Be able to use the equation power of a lens:

Medical Physics 2 
78 
Understand that for thin lenses in combination:

Astrophysics 1 
79 
Know and understand the terms real image and virtual image. 
Medical Physics 2 
80 
Be able to use the equation:
for a thin converging or diverging lens with the real is positive convention. 
Medical Physics 2 
81 
Know and understand that magnification = image height/object height and:

Medical Physics 2 
82 
Understand what is meant by plane polarisation. 
Waves 2 
83 
Understand what is meant by diffraction and use Huygens’ construction to explain what happens to a wave when it meets a slit or an obstacle. 
Waves 8 
84 
Be able to use
for a diffraction grating. 
Waves 8 
85 
CORE PRACTICAL 8: Determine the wavelength of light from a laser or other light source using a diffraction grating. 
Waves 8 
86 
Understand how diffraction experiments provide evidence for the wave nature of electrons. 
Quantum 6 
87 
Be able to use the de Broglie equation:

Quantum 6 
88 
Understand that waves can be transmitted and reflected at an interface between media. 
Waves 6 
89 
Understand how a pulseecho technique can provide information about the position of an object and how the amount of information obtained may be limited by the wavelength of the radiation or by the duration of pulses. 
Medical Physics 5 
90 
Understand how the behaviour of electromagnetic radiation can be described in terms of a wave model and a photon model, and how these models developed over time. 

91 
Be able to use the equation E = hf that relates the photon energy to the wave frequency. 
Quantum 1 
92 
Understand that the absorption of a photon can result in the emission of a photoelectron. 
Quantum 2 
93 
Understand the terms threshold frequency and work function and be able to use the equation:

Quantum 2 
94 
Be able to use the electronvolt (eV) to express small energies. 
Particle Physics 6 
95 
Understand how the photoelectric effect provides evidence for the particle nature of electromagnetic radiation. 
Quantum 2 
96 
understand atomic line spectra in terms of transitions between discrete energy levels and understand how to calculate the frequency of radiation that could be emitted or absorbed in a transition between energy levels. 
Quantum 3 