AS Unit 2 : PHYA2 : Mechanics, Materials and Waves
This page supports the lessons for the second unit of the year 12 AS qualification:

Resources & Links
The following links and videos will help to refresh the skills you will need during this unit:
Rearranging Equations
Rearranging Formulae 1
Basic Trigonometry

Course Introduction : Expectations, course structure, resources, WikiSpace.
Powerpoint :
'A' level mindmap :
Unit 2 Mindmap :
Mechanics Mindmap :
10 rules for numerical problems :
Course book :
Density 1 : Introduction to density with a focus on HSW
  • To understand qualitatively the concept of density and how it affects us
  • To be able to successfully tackle density problems including alloys
  • To use density investigations as a vehicle for teaching “How Science Works” and “the scientific method”

Density 2 : Conceptual understanding of density. Floating and Sinking. Introduction of Micrometer and other practical skills.
Note HW handed out and the card sort used are above since they were logically part of the last lesson
  • To understand how density applies to some everyday situations
  • To look at floating and sinking with respect to density
  • To conduct a brief investigation into density

Hooke's Law Practical. HW : write up the practical
  • To investigate how a spring extends under increasing load
  • To plot a graph of load against extension
  • To begin to acquire ‘A’ level practical skills.

Hooke's Law 1 Introduction to Hooks Law with added emphasis on HSW
  • To understand what happens when an increasing force is applied to a wire or spring
  • To understand how springs in series and parallel behave
  • To understand how to calculate the energy stored in a stretched spring
  • Use this as a vehicle to check graph plotting

Young's Modulus
  • To understand the keywords associated with the deformation of different types of solids
  • To be able to calculate stress, strain and hence Young’s modulus
  • To be able to describe and compare stress strain graphs

Properties of Materials
  • To understand that once the elastic limit has been exceeded, the force-extension graphs for loading and unloading are unequal
  • To know that such curves are called hysterisis curves.
  • To be able to describe such graphs for different materials
  • To describe the energy changes during loading/unloading

SUVAT 01 derivation of SUVAT Equations
  • Starting with the motion equations met at GCSE & derive the 4 “S.U.V.A.T.” equations (Maths jiggery pokery)
  • To be able to solve problems using our new “S.U.V.A.T.” equations

SUVAT 02 derivation from a v/t graph
  • To revise distance/time and speed/time graphs if necessary.
  • To show a connection between the SUVAT equations & velocity/time graphs
  • To work through lots more examples of using the SUVAT equations
Khan Academy: Calculating Average Velocity or Speed
Khan Academy: Calculating Average Velocity for Constant Acceleration
Khan Academy: Calculating Distance from a Velocity/Time graph

Projectiles 01
  • To understand the concept of projectiles
  • To be able to complete projectile calculations successfully
YouTube Videos
Bouncing Football
Freeze Frame parabolic motion
Bomb Dropping

Ticker Tape Experiment

Projectiles 02
  • To recognise projectile-like problems
  • To check understanding via motion graphs
  • To set the scene for harder problems

Vector Addition by Scale Drawing
  • To ensure we know what scalars and vectors are
  • To be able to find the resultant for two or more vectors by scale drawing

Khan Academy: Vectors in two Dimensions
Vector Addition Link 1
Vector Addition Link 2
For those of you who were trying to do scale drawing without any drawing, or scale for that matter, and preferred to do the sums.. there is a video here showing how the cosine and sine rules can be employed to do the sums:
Cosine & Sine Rule



Calculating Resultant Vectors and Resolving vectors into components
  • To know how to add a pair of perpendicular vectors to find the single resultant vector.
  • To be able to resolve a collection of arbitrary vectors into perpendicular components
  • Urhm? Then you can apply 1 above
The Links below contain alternative video explanations of vector addition:
Vector Addition Video 1 (fizzicsorg)
Vectors 1 (from PhyzWizz see Vectors 2 below)
The Links below contain alternative video explanations of resolving vectors into perpendicular components
Resolving Vectors a beginner's guide (fizzicsorg)
Vectors 2 (from PhyzWizz see Vectors 1 above)
Vector Addition Simulator

Balanced Forces, (Forces in Equilibrium)
  • To start to use our vector adding and resolving skills to solve systems of balanced forces
There are three short video tutorials here, which will help refresh what was covered during this lesson. It is worth watching: "Scalars", "Vectors" and "Resolving Vectors".
Khan Academy: Introduction to Vectors and Scalars

Half-Term Revision for Material& Motion Exam. Open book exam and mark scheme

Inclined Planes :
  • To fully understand the terms resultant force and resolving into perpendicular components.
  • To be able to visualise the geometry and trigonometry present within such problems
  • To be able to solve inclined plane problems

Work Done
  • To understand how to calculate the work done by a force.
  • To understand how WD can be extended from GCSE to AS
Eureka! Episode 8 Work Done

Mechanical Power
  • To understand how to successfully complete mechanical power problems
  • To apply these skills to the slightly more involved questions at AS

Gravitational Potential Energy & Kinetic Energy
  • To understand qualitatively the concepts involved with K.E. & G.P.E.
  • To be able to successfully tackle K.E. & G.P.E. Problems.
  • To understand the concept of efficiency & to complete efficiency calculations
Khan Academy: Introduction to Gravity
Khan Academy: Gravity and Astronauts
Khan Academy: Would a Brick or a Feather Fall Faster?

The relationship between Force, Mass and Acceleration
  • To confirm the relationship between acceleration, force and mass
Khan Academy: Calculating Acceleration

F=ma in Practice
  • To look at the how F=ma presents itself in questions

Terminal Velocity Practicle

Newton's Laws of Motion and Terminal Velocity
  • To look at Newton’s Laws of Motions and to connect all recent work to them.
  • To understand terminal velocity
Khan Academy: Newton's First Law of Motion
Khan Academy: Newton's Second Law of Motion
Khan Academy: Newton's Third Law of Motion

Open book mechanics exam

Gravitational Potential Energy & Kinetic Energy

Moments 1
  • To fully understand what is meant by the moment of a force
  • To be able to solve problems involving moments

Moments 2
  • To connect together moments and centre of mass (centre of gravity)
  • To connect together theory and practical
  • To solve more complex moments problems

Couples, Torques & Toppling
  • To know the names of some special case moments.... (Couple/Torque)
  • To understand stable/unstable equilibrium, tilting, & toppling

Toppling Due to slopes
  • To understand Toppling and Toppling due to a slope

Waves Introduction 01
  • To understand some common sources of waves
  • To understand the differences between longitudinal and transverse waves
  • To understand properties which are common to all waves

Waves Introduction 02
  • To understand the derivation of the wave speed equation
  • To understand the concept of phase difference
  • To introduce superposition and interference

Standing Waves 01
  • To begin to understand the concept of standing waves
  • To begin to understand the concept of harmonics
  • To begin to understand how the concept of standing waves can be used to establish the frequency of a set of waves

Standing Waves 02
  • To look in more depth at standing waves on strings
  • To begin to understand how the concept of standing waves can be used to establish the frequency of a set of waves

Refraction Practicle
No powerpoint
Refraction Theory
  • To recap ray diagrams
  • To understand the concept of refraction
  • To be able to carry out refractive index calculations

Total Internal Reflection
  • To understand the concept of Total Internal Reflection (T.I.R.)
  • To be able to apply TIR to applications such as fibre optics and gem stones

Refraction 3
  • To look further at refraction maths
  • To understand dispersion

Young's Double Slits
  • To understand double slit interference and the use and implications of the experiment
  • To be able to complete calculations related to Young’s double slit experiments

  • To consolidate some terms and definitions before moving on
  • To describe a standing wave practical related to microwaves which is the basis of common exam questions

  • To understand diffraction
  • To understand how waves pass through a single slit
  • To undertake a virtual microwave diffraction experiment and to produce a good quality graph

Diffraction Gratings
  • To understand diffraction gratings
  • To understand how changing wavelength and slit size affect the transmitted pattern
  • To understand how the diffraction grating equation is derived
  • To be able to complete diffraction grating related calculations

Note additional resources related to the practical exam can be found under UNIT 3