Archive for the ‘Year 12’ category

It’s rubber glove time!

October 14, 2012


It’s a horrible sound – the snap of a rubber glove. The implications of impending future are… not enjoyable. You are  about to have a physics exam which is the metaphorical equivalent of a rubber glove inspection for your brain. You’d better get ready!

The best way to prepare is to do enough questions. What is enough? Well, about twice as many as you think you should have done.


Reading Assignments

July 9, 2012

It is *absolutely* necessary to make good friends with your textbook. You should know everything about it, where to find information and critical facts. You must become completely familiar with it – to annotate and develop it so completely that you have extracted every last microgram of potential knowledge out of it – you should be able to turn to any piece of information without consulting the table of contents or the index.

But that is not enough. Not nearly enough – because Physics is not an “open book” subject – you can’t bring the textbook into (most) assessment tasks. (p.s. this is something to be very thankful for – you will discover (in time) that “open book” is the nastiest thing that any teacher of any subject can do to you…). You need to understand the difference between active and passive knowledge – and you *need* to make your knowledge of physics *active*

Passive knowledge is the sort of understanding of a topic you have when an expert explains it to you, and you feel that it makes sense. Active knowledge is when you can explain the knowledge that you have to someone else in a way that they understand it – and that you can use the knowledge you have to solve problems and apply it to a variety of unfamiliar contexts.



June 12, 2012

Bursitis Hurts.

Can’t write. Can’t drive. Can’t move. Can’t sleep.

Can (barely) type.

Physics unit 3 revision files: All tests

Solufion Files: Physics_Test_01 , Physics_Test_02 , Physics_Test_03 , Physics_Test_04 , Physics_Test_05 , Physics_Test_06 , Physics_Test_07 , Physics_Test_08 , Physics_Test_09  , Physics_Test_10

Revision lectures: MEC Revision Electronics Photonics , PHYSICS Unit 3 Motion revision lecture_Singh

Physics unit 1 revision files: 2010

Email me if you need more help.

Physics Codes

June 7, 2012

Well, no class today for you – but there are still things to do. First of all, at the end of this post is the information I told you that you might want. Of course, being a physics teacher I can’t make it easy for you – I have to teach you something interesting.

Encryption is a fun mathematical process  – but it also has some very useful applications – like putting information in public view, but knowing that only those who are supposed to be able to read it can, because they have the key.

I have used a free online encrypt/decrypt tool which you can also use the link is:, and I have used Blowfish/CBC/Base64. The key is our where we have our classes at Croydon…


Time to study Relativity (updated x2)

April 29, 2012

Well, after our EPI, it’s time.

Time to get back relativity – but that does bring up the sticky issue of time itself. Time should be the most reliable thing in the universe; after all it is absolute, right? I mean aside from the jokes (like the one on the left), time is defined by how long it takes to complete a task, and that can’t be changed by how fast you are going – can it?

Well, like many questions about this level of physics, the answer is Yes, but No. It doesn’t matter how fast you are travelling, everything takes the same amount of time it normally would… from your point of view.

Ah, it’s those never-to-be-sufficiently-cursed frames of reference again.


Don’t make it an EPI(c) FAIL!

April 20, 2012

The extended practical investigation (EPI) is a real trial by fire – if you don’t prepare, you are going to get burned. The EPI is all about your ability to combine the physics theory you have learnt in class with the application to real world situations.

This combines your understanding with your ability to make measurements carefully and accurately, taking into account the amount of precision you are able to achieve with the tools you choose to use.

It is also a trial of your common sense – can you think through the scenario and make sensible decisions about what you can investigate, and how you will go about it in a timely manner.

There are four main parts of this project: Planning; Measuring; Analysing and Reporting. You will need to plan to do a lot of work outside of class and how to divide up the work with your partner – the in class times are not the time to be trying to decide what to do; you must be working diligently in every second you have available – you must know what you are going to do and get on with it. You do not have time to spend figuring out what you are going to do.


Relativity – it’s all about knowing your place

April 11, 2012

Relativity, along with Quantum Physics are used as proxies for impossible to understand science; they can be used to justify almost anything (1, 2). By the end of this unit, you will have an introductory understanding of the concept of special relativity, and how it relates to our prior studies.

The basic concept of relativity is simple enough; the speed of light is constant and nothing may go faster than it. Not difficult, right? Well the usual example to explain why such a simple concept is problematic is a thought experiment: Imagine a car that could travel near the speed of light (I want one!), then you turn on the headlights. Won’t the light travelling out from the headlights go faster than the speed of light?

Yes? well then the speed of light isn’t a limit.

No? well then velocity vector addition doesn’t work.

Take your pick, but it seems like there are no good answers – either way things don’t seem to work way they should.