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Practical Physics for Senior Students HSC 12

By | Copyright Year:2008 | ISBN-13: 9780170135238

Practical Physics is a two-book series that will help teachers meet the practical course requirements of the Board of Studies Stage 6 Physics syllabus by providing them with ready-made pracs using equipment they have readily available. Written by highly experienced Physics teachers, Practical Physics will assist students with performing, remembering, understanding and applying key concepts and formulae and will be an invaluable tool for achieving exam success.

Practical Physics provides students with:

Essential practical experience as mandated by the Board of Studies
Opportunity to develop their thinking/problem solving skills
Opportunity to improve their exam results with better understanding of content.


Chapter 1: SPACE

Part 1: Syllabus Point 9.2.1

First Hand Investigations: Determining ‘g’ using a simple pendulum.
Secondary Information: The Physics of the gravity of different plane
Solving Problems: Calculating the weight of objects on other planets

Part 2: Syllabus Point 9.2.2

Solving Problems: Calculations of Projectile motion
First Hand Investigations: Examining Projectile motions
Secondary Information: The Early Rocket Scientists who made a contribution to Space flight
Solving Problems: Centripetal force and circular motion; Kepler’s Third law

Part 3: Syllabus Point 9.2.3

Secondary Information: Examining the factors that determine the size of gravitational forces
Solving Problems: Newton’s Universal Gravitation equation

Part 4: Syllabus Point 9.2.4

First Hand Investigations: Inertial and non-inertial frames of reference
Secondary Information: A search for the “Aether Wind” and the Michelson-Morley experiment; Einstein’s Thought Experiments and the birth of Special Relativity
Solving Problems: Einstein’s equations of special relativity


Part 1: Syllabus Point 9.3.1

Solving Problems: Ampere’s Law
First Hand Investigations: The Motor effect and forces on a current carrying wire in a magnetic field
Solving Problems: The force on current-carrying wires in a magnetic field Torque in a DC Motor
Secondary Information: Application of the motor effect in the galvanometer and loudspeaker

Part 2: Syllabus Point 9.3.2

First Hand Investigations: Faraday’s Discovery: Generating an electric current through the relative motion of a coil and magnet, and the factor’s affecting the induced voltage and resulting electric current
Secondary Information: Application of induction in an electric cook top; Application of induced Eddy currents in electromagnetic braking
Part 3: Syllabus Point 9.3.3

First Hand Investigations: Generating an alternating current
Secondary Information: The advantage and disadvantages of AC and DC generators; The battle of the currents – AC vs DC; Features of the transmission wires used to supply electricity

Part 4: Syllabus Point 9.3.4

First Hand Investigations: Examining a model transformer
Solving Problems: Ideal transformers
Secondary Information: Dealing with Eddy currents created in transformer components to improve efficiency;
The role of the transformer to provide an efficient supply of electrical energy

Part 5: Syllabus Point 9.3.5

First Hand Investigations: AC Induction Motor
Secondary Information: The energy transformations in the conversion of electrical energy into other useful forms of energy


Part 1: Syllabus Point 9.4.1

First Hand Investigations: Striation patterns for different pressures in discharge tubes;
Properties of cathode rays using discharge tubes
Solving Problems: The force on electric charges in electric and magnetic fields

Part 2: Syllabus Point 9.4.2

First Hand Investigations: Production and reception of radio waves
Secondary Information: Einstein’s use of Planck’s ideas launches Quantum Theory;
The role of the Photoelectric Effect in solar cells and photocells
Solving Problems: Planck’s Equation
Secondary Information: Einstein and Planck

Part 3: Syllabus Point 9.4.3

First Hand Investigations: Modelling the behaviour of semiconductors
Secondary Information: Problems with communication technology that led to the development of solid state devices; The impact of the invention of the transistor and the development of the microprocessor on society

Part 4: Syllabus Point 9.4.4

Secondary Information: Superconductors


Peter Roberson is an experienced senior physics teacher at the SHORE School. He has contributed to several books and is Vice-President of the NSW Science Teachers¿ Association.

Stuart Ryan is an experienced Physics teacher currently teaching HSC Physics at Shore School. He has recently co-authored Practical Physics for Senior Students Preliminary and HSC.

Richard Ward is an experienced teacher currently teaching at Shore School.


Covers all the suggested student experiences obtained in the right hand column of the core topics in the NSW HSC Physics course

Includes first hand investigations, analysing secondary information, solving problems and analysing information

Suggestions and discussion points are embedded within each experiment

A suitable experiment for each of the required first hand investigations, with space provided within the book for students to collect data, analyse results, and record their conclusions. Within each experiment are 'Suggestions' and 'Discussion Points' which are included to highlight important retails (e.g. validity and realibility) and provide the opportunity for classroom teachers to appropriately reinforce the work and allow for their students to develop an understanding of practical physics as required by the Stage 6 Physics syllabus.

Second-hand investigations where students are required to gather, process, and analyse information from a secondary source, a brief outline of the essential detail required by the course is supplied, plus a number of carefully selected websites and/or references where more relevant information can be obtained. This section also includes questions on the gathered information which are designed to allow students to become fully aware of the requirement from the different key words and practice composing suitable answers.

For each of the equations involved, where students are required to solve problems, a range of questions are provided with a deliberate effort to deal with the different aspects that could arise and fully reinforce the physics involved.

Worked solutions to all 'Solving Problems' at the back of the book.