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# Edexcel

AS Physics Unit
2

Waves

Frequency
The number of oscillations per unit time
Measured in Hertz (Hz)

Period

## through one complete oscillation

Measured in seconds
T =

Amplitude
The maximum displacement of a wave from

## the equilibrium position

Measured in metres (m)

Wavelength,
The distance between two corresponding

points on a wave
Measured in metres (m)

Trough
The minimum or lowest point of a wave in a

cycle

Crest
The maximum or highest point of a wave in a

cycle

Mechanical waves
Waves which require a medium to travel

through
E.g. water waves, sound waves and seismic

waves

Propagation
The direction of travel of a wave

Continuous waves
Waves with an infinite length

Wave trains
Waves with a finite length

Pulse
Very short wave motion

Transverse waves
Disturbance occurs perpendicular to the

## propagation of the wave

Longitudinal waves
Disturbance occurs parallel to the propagation

of the wave

Wave fronts
An imaginary surface that moves with a wave

## Wave speed (ms-1)

Wave speed= Frequency (Hz) x Wavelength

(m)
V =

Rays
The direction in which the energy of a wave is

travelling
Lines which pass through wave fronts at 90

Electromagnetic
spectrum
The range of electromagnetic waves listed

## light, Ultraviolet, X-Rays and Gamma

Electromagnetic waves
Waves consisting of oscillating electric and

## magnetic fields (vectors) that are

perpendicular to each other and to the
direction of movement of the wave energy
Travel at 3 x 10-8 ms-1 in a vacuum
Energy is transported as photons
Transverse

Wavelength
Frequency
Origin
=
Detection
Properties

= >10cm
= between 108 and 1010 m
Oscillating electrons
= Reflected by ionosphere,
easily
diffracted
Uses
astronomy

Microwaves
Wavelength
Frequency
Origin
=
Detection
Properties

## = Between 10cm and 10mm

= 1010 Hz
Magnetrons
= Tuned cavities
= Reflected by metals,
absorbed
by metals
Uses
= Communications, cooking

Infrared
Wavelength
Frequency
Origin
=
Detection
Properties
Uses

controls

## = Between 1mm and 700nm

= 1012 Hz
Hot bodies
= Photography, heating effect
= Emitted by all bodies above
zero Kelvin, penetrates fog
= Satellite surveying, TV

Visible light
Wavelength = Between 700nm and 400nm
Frequency
= 1014Hz
Origin
= Hot bodies, electron de-

excitation
Detection
= Eye, photography
Properties
= Colour
Uses
= Sight, communication

## Visible light spectrum

Red light (620-750nm, 400-484THz)
Orange light (590-620nm, 484-508THz)
Yellow light (570-590nm, 508-526THz) decrease
Green light (495-570nm, 526-606THz) s,
increase
Blue light (450-495nm, 606-668THz)
s
Indigo light (420-440nm, 715-665THz )
Violet light
(380-450nm, 668-789THz)
Remember: Richard Of York Gave Battle In

Vain

Ultraviolet
Wavelength = Between 400nm and 1nm
Frequency
= 1015Hz
Origin = Mercury lamps, electron de-

excitation
Detection = Photography, fluorescence,
solid state detectors
Properties = Causes skin cancer (ionisation),
absorbed in
upper atmosphere
Uses = Food sterilisation, sun beds

X-Rays
Wavelength = Between 1nm and 1pm
Frequency
= 1018Hz
Origin
= X-Ray tube, de-excitation of

inner electrons
Detection
= Photography, fluorescence
Properties
= High penetration, health
hazard
Uses
astronomy

Gamma rays
Wavelength
Frequency
Origin
=
Detection

## = Between 1pm and 1fm

= 1020Hz
Nuclear decay
= Photography, GM counter,
scintillation counter
Properties
= Very highly penetrating,
health hazard
Uses

Superposition
When two or more waves meet, the total

## displacement at any point is the sum of the

displacements that each individual wave
would cause at that point

Interference
An effect that occurs when two or more waves

## overlap to produce a new wave pattern

(change in amplitude)
Interference patterns provide evidence for the

## wave nature of light

Constructive Interference
The interference that occurs when two or more waves

## meet at a point such that the resultant displacement

is greater than the largest individual displacement
Bright bands/ loud sounds
Maxima

In phase, n

Destructive Interference
The interference that occurs when two or more waves

## meet at a point such that the resultant displacement is

less than the largest displacement
Waves must have same or and the same amplitude
Antiphase, (n+)
Dark bands/ no sound
Minima

Polarisation
Unpolarised wave= waves oscillate in many

planes
Polarised wave = waves oscillate in one

plane only
Polaroid filter only enables waves oscillating in

## one plane to pass through

Filters at 90

Doppler Effect
The change of frequency of a wave due to

## relative motion between the source and the

observer

Resonance
A phenomenon that occurs when the

## frequency at which an object is made to

vibrate (the forced frequency of vibration) is
equal to the natural frequency of vibration

Damping
Energy is lost due to friction between the

## oscillating body and the particles in the air

The amplitude of oscillations decrease with

time
The higher the damping, the faster the

## Simple harmonic motion

The motion of an object such that its

## acceleration is proportional to its

displacement from a fixed point and is always
directed to that point

1st Harmonic

2nd Harmonic

3rd Harmonic

Stationary (standing)
wave
A wave in which the vibrational energy is

## stored, rather than transmitted

Node
A point on a standing wave where the

## amplitude vibration is zero or a minimum

Anti-node
A point on a standing wave where the

Tension

## Higher tension increases frequency (higher

pitch)
V=
V = wave speed (ms-1 )
T = tension (N)
M = mass per metre of the string (kgm-1 )

Phase difference
A measure of how much one wave leads or

## lags behind another wave

E.g. Cosine curve lags behind the Sine curve

by a phase

## difference of 90 (/2 rad)

Diffraction

wave as it passes
through an aperture
(gap)
Maximum diffraction

## occurs when the size

of the aperture is
similar to the
wavelength

Refraction
The change of direction of a wave as it passes

## the boundary between two media

As the wave refracts, wave speed and

wavelength changes
Frequency of the wave doesnt change

Snells Law

n=

n1sin1=n2sin2

= refractive index
i or 1 = angle of incidence
r or 2 = angle of refraction

Refractive index, (n or )
Constant for a medium
Snells law: n =
n=
E.g.

nair

nwater

= 1.0
= 1.33

Critical angle, C

## the angle of refraction is 90

C=

sin-1

i <

C Ray is refracted

i =

## i > C Total internal reflection

Redshift
The wavelength of light emitted from a star

## gets shifted towards the red end of the

spectrum if the distance travelled by each
successive wave increases
If the distance travelled is less, the

## wavelength gets shifted to the blue end

Evidence for the expansion of the universe

Electricity

The Electron
Fundamental particle (lepton)
Charge = -1.6 x 10_34 C
Mass = 9.11 x 10-31 kg
Found in orbitals surrounding the nucleus of

an atom

Potential Difference
The electrical energy per coulomb transferred

## between two points in a circuit

Measured in volts (V)

Electromotive Force
The energy supplied per unit coulomb to the

## circuit by the cell

Measured in volts (V)

Resistance R
The ratio of the potential difference across a

## component and the current flowing through it

R=V/I
Caused by collisions between metal ions and electrons
Measured in ohms ()
Dependent on the metals length, cross-sectional area

and resistivity

Micro meter
A device used to measure very small

distances
Diameter of a wire
Need to measure at multiple points along

## wire diameter slightly varies

Multimeter
A device used to measure resistance between

## two points on a metal wire

Resistivity
R=l/A
Resistance= coefficient of resistivity x length

of metal
cross-sectional area
Measured in m
Constant for a material

Internal Resistance, Vr
The resistance to a movement of charge

## (current) within an electrical power source

Vr= E-V
Vr = Potential difference across internal

## resistance (lost volts)

E = Electromotive force
V = Terminal potential difference

I=Q/t
I

= Current (amps)

Q = Charge (Coulombs)
t = time (seconds)

I=navq
I=current (amps)
n= number of charge carriers per unit volume
v=drift velocity (ms-1 )
q= electron charge (1.6 x 10-19 C)

## Energy Transferred (W)

Energy transferred = charge x potential

difference
W=QV
Measured in joules

Work done
The total amount of energy transferred
Work done= Power x time
Power

= Voltage x current

Work done

Series Circuits
RT = R1 + R2

## Current is the same for each component in

the circuit
Potential difference increases
Resistance increases

Parallel Circuits
1 = 1 + 1

RT

R1

R2

RT = (R1R2)

(R1+R2)
Total current is shared between the components
Components have the same potential difference
Bulbs in parallel 4x brighter than in series less

resistance

Potential divider

To calculate ...

## Step 1: Calculate the ratio of the resistances

Step 2: Multiply by its corresponding

resistance ration

Filament lamp
Non-ohmic

Current

## metal filament temp.

Metal atoms vibrate
faster and further from
initial positions
More collisions

increases)

Metallic Conductor
(at constant temperature)

Ohmic
V I (at
constant
temp.)

Semiconductor diode
Non-ohmic
Has 2 resistances
depending on
polarity (way it is
connected)
Forward
direction= low
resistance
Reverse direction
= high resistance

Thermistor
Temp.
Current
Charge
carrier
density
Resistance

## Light-dependent resistor (LDR)

e- released when light
shines on it
Charge carrier density

Current

Resistance

## Dark = no extra eavailable higher

resistance

Power dissipation P
The
rate at which energy is transferred to an

element in a circuit
Measured in Watts (W)
P=VI
P=I2R
P=

Where
P = Power
(W)
I = Current (A)
V = Voltage (V)

## Kirchhoff's 1st Law

The total current into any point in a circuit is

E.g.
I1+I2=I3+I4+I5

## Kirchhoffs 2nd Law

The sum of the potential rises and falls around

## a closed path in a circuit is zero

The Nature of
Light

Black body
A perfect emitter and absorber of

Plancks constant, h
h= 6.63 x 10-34 Js
Where

E= h

E= hc

= h = h

mv

= Photon energy
(eV)
= frequency
(Hz)
= speed of light
(3 x 10-8 ms-1)
= de Broglie Wavelength (m)
p = momentum
(kgms-1)
m = mass of an electron
(9.1 x 10-31 kg)
v = velocity of

## Maximum kinetic energy, mv2max

Increases with

frequency
mv2max= h
h = photon energy
= work function of

metal

Photoelectric effect
The ejection of an electron from a metal

## surface when the surface is irradiated with

electromagnetic radiation of a high enough
frequency

## Gold Leaf Electroscope

Zinc plate given electrostatic charge
Electromagnetic wave with a frequency above

## the threshold frequency or energy above

hits the plate, electrons emitted
The gold leaf loses charge so will fall

Threshold frequency
The minimum frequency required in order for

## photoelectrons to be emitted from a metal

surface

Frequency of incident

## Increases kinetic energy of emitted electrons

This is because the energy of the photon is

increased
=
=

Where...
(Hz)
(m)
c= 3 x 10-8
(ms-1)
E= Photon energy
(eV)
h=Planks constant
(6.63 x 10-34
Js)

Intensity of incident
The higher the intensity of a beam of light, the more

## electrons are emitted from a metal surface

This is because more photons are hitting the metal per

second
Intensity has no effect on the speed of the

## photoelectrons emitted, only increases the number of

electrons emitted
Intensity Amplitude2 (for a sinusoidal wave)

Work Function
The energy required to release an electron

## from the surface of a metal

Constant for a metal
= h

Where
h = Plancks constant
Js)
= threshold frequency

(6.63 x 10-34
(Hz)

## outward movement of electrons emitted by

photoelectric action.
mv2max = eVstop

Energy levels
Electrons occupy discrete energy levels
Ground state= lowest energy level an atom

## can occupy (n=1)

Energy is transferred in the collisions
When they gain energy, electrons move to
ground state by emitting photons
E=hf

## Energy level diagrams

Shortest wavelength highest energy photon
Energy shown as negative as energy must be

## provided in order for a electron to move to a

more excited state
E.g. Energy level
diagram for
hydrogen. Shortest
wavelength (in red),
longest wavelength (in
green)

The
amount of energy landing on an area per

unit time
F=
F= Intensity (Wm-2 )
P=Power (W)
A=Area (m2 )

Photovoltaic Efficiency
Efficiency = useful energy (or power) input

x 100%
total energy (or power) input

Electronvolt
The energy transferred when an electron

## travels through a potential difference of one

volt
1eV= 1.6 x 10-19 C

## Absorption and Emission spectra

The spectrum of frequencies of

## electromagnetic radiation emitted or absorbed

due to an atom's electrons making a transition
from a high energy state to a lower energy
state
Two types: continuous and line