This is the updated version of the Dynamics booklet, updated to match the 2017 SQA changes.
Category: Course Materials
Materials for the SQA National 5 Physics Course
Learn these Experiment
Thanks to S Gray, Drummond Community High School, for putting together this book of experiments that you should have covered in your N5 Physics lessons. Any of these could be discussed in your exam as a question.
SPACE
Mrs Physics and Ms Horn are working on the last unit for the N5 course the new Space Topic.
There have been several changes from the previous outcomes.
Space 2018 final word
Space 2018 final pdf
You can read about some of the risks of human spaceflight in the infographic below.
Source Space.com: All about our solar system, outer space and exploration
Here are a few links and documents. Hope you can get access to them.
www.open.edu/History of Universe Timeline
Quantity Symbol, Unit and Unit Symbol
I’ve put together, with Mrs Mac’s help, a document with quantity, symbol, unit and unit symbol so that you know the meaning of the terms in the Relationships Sheet. It is in EXCEL so that you can sort it by course, quantity or symbol.
Quantity, Symbol, Units the excel sheet
Quantity, Symbol, Units N5 a pdf sheet sorted by course and then alphabetical by quantity.
Quantity, Symbol, Unit, Unit Symbol N5AH
N  H  A  Physical Quantity  sym  Unit  Unit Abb. 

5  absorbed dose  D  gray  Gy  
5  absorbed dose rate  H (dot)  gray per second gray per hour gray per year  Gys^{1} Gyh ^{1} Gyy^{1}  
5  6  7  acceleration  a  metre per second per second  m s^{2} 
5  6  7  acceleration due to gravity  g  metre per second per second  m s^{2} 
5  activity  A  becquerel  Bq  
5  6  7  amplitude  A  metre  m 
5  6  7  angle  θ  degree  ° 
5  6  7  area  A  square metre  m^{2} 
5  6  7  average speed  v (bar)  metre per second  m s^{1} 
5  6  7  average velocity  v (bar)  metre per second  m s^{1} 
5  6  7  change of speed  ∆v  metre per second  m s^{1} 
5  6  7  change of velocity  ∆v  metre per second  m s^{1} 
5  count rate    counts per second (counts per minute)    
5  6  7  current  I  ampere  A 
5  6  7  displacement  s  metre  m 
5  6  7  distance  d  metre, light year  m , ly 
5  6  7  distance, depth, height  d or h  metre  m 
5  effective dose  H  sievert  Sv  
5  6  7  electric charge  Q  coulomb  C 
5  6  7  electric charge  Q or q  coulomb  C 
5  6  7  electric current  I  ampere  A 
5  6  7  energy  E  joule  J 
5  equivalent dose  H  sievert  Sv  
5  equivalent dose rate  H (dot)  sievert per second sievert per hour sievert per year  Svs ^{1} Svh^{1} Svy ^{1}  
5  6  7  final velocity  v  metre per second  m s^{1} 
5  6  7  force  F  newton  N 
5  6  7  force, tension, upthrust, thrust  F  newton  N 
5  6  7  frequency  f  hertz  Hz 
5  6  7  gravitational field strength  g  newton per kilogram  N kg^{1} 
5  6  7  gravitational potential energy  E_{p}  joule  J 
5  halflife  t_{1/2}  second (minute, hour, day, year)  s  
5  6  heat energy  E_{h}  joule  J  
5  6  7  height, depth  h  metre  m 
5  6  7  initial speed  u  metre per second  m/s 
5  6  7  initial velocity  u  metre per second  m s^{1} 
5  6  7  kinetic energy  E_{k}  joule  J 
5  6  7  length  l  metre  m 
5  6  7  mass  m  kilogram  kg 
5  number of nuclei decaying  N      
5  6  7  period  T  second  s 
5  6  7  potential difference  V  volt  V 
5  6  7  potential energy  E_{p}  joule  J 
5  6  7  power  P  watt  W 
5  6  7  pressure  P or p  pascal  Pa 
5  radiation weighting factor  w_{R}      
5  6  7  radius  r  metre  m 
5  6  7  resistance  R  ohm  Ω 
5  6  7  specific heat capacity  c  joule per kilogram per degree Celsius  Jkg^{1} °C ^{1} 
5  6  specific latent heat  l  joule per kilogram  Jkg ^{1}  
5  6  7  speed of light in a vacuum  c  metre per second  m s ^{1} 
5  6  7  speed, final speed  v  metre per second  ms ^{1} 
5  6  7  speed, velocity, final velocity  v  metre per second  m s^{1} 
5  6  7  supply voltage  V_{s}  volt  V 
5  6  7  temperature  T  degree Celsius  °C 
5  6  7  temperature  T  kelvin  K 
5  6  7  time  t  second  s 
5  6  7  total resistance  R_{}  ohm  Ω 
5  6  7  voltage  V  volt  V 
5  6  7  voltage, potential difference  V  volt  V 
5  6  7  volume  V  cubic metre  m^{3} 
5  6  7  weight  W  newton  N 
5  6  7  work done  W or E_{W}  joule  J 
7  angle  θ  radian  rad  
7  angular acceleration  a  radian per second per second  rad s^{2}  
7  angular displacement  θ  radian  rad  
7  angular frequency  ω  radian per second  rad s^{1}  
7  angular momentum  L  kilogram metre squared per second  kg m^{2} s ^{1}  
7  angular velocity, final angular velocity  ω  radian per second  rad s^{1}  
7  apparent brightness  b  Watts per square metre  Wm^{2}  
7  back emf  e  volt  V  
6  7  capacitance  C  farad  F  
7  capacitive reactance  X_{c}  ohm  W  
6  critical angle  θ_{c}  degree  °  
density  ρ  kilogram per cubic metre  kg m^{3}  
7  displacement  s or x or y  metre  m  
efficiency  η      
6  7  electric field strength  E  newton per coulomb volts per metre  N C ^{1} Vm ^{1} 

7  electrical potential  V  volt  V  
6  7  electromotive force (e.m.f)  E or ε  volt  V  
6  energy level  E _{1} , E _{2} , etc  joule  J  
feedback resistance  R_{f}  ohm  Ω  
focal length of a lens  f  metre  m  
6  frequency of source  f_{s}  hertz  Hz  
6  7  fringe separation  ∆x  metre  m  
6  7  grating to screen distance  D  metre  m  
7  gravitational potential  U or V  joule per kilogram  J kg^{1}  
halfvalue thickness  T_{1/2}  metre  m  
6  7  impulse  (∆p)  newton second kilogram metre per second  Ns kgms^{1} 

7  induced e.m.f.  E or ε  volt  V  
7  inductor reactance  X_{L}  ohm  W  
7  initial angular velocity  ω _{o}  radian per second  rad s^{1}  
input energy  E _{i}  joule  J  
input power  P_{i}  watt  W  
input voltage  V _{1} or V_{2}  volt  V  
input voltage  V_{ i}  volt  V  
6  internal resistance  r  ohm  Ω  
6  7  irradiance  I  watt per square metre  W m^{1}  
7  luminoscity  L  Watt  W  
7  magnetic induction  B  tesla  T  
7  moment of inertia  I  kilogram metre squared  kg m^{2}  
6  7  momentum  p  kilogram metre per second  kg m s^{1}  
6  number of photons per second per cross sectional area  N      
number of turns on primary coil  n _{p}      
number of turns on secondary coil  n _{s}      
6  observed wavelength  λ _{observed}  metre  m  
output energy  E _{o}  joule  J  
output power  P _{o}  watt  W  
output voltage  V _{o}  volt  V  
6  peak current  I_{peak}  ampere  A  
6  peak voltage  V_{ peak}  volt  V  
7  phase angle  Φ  radian  rad  
6  7  Planck’s constant  h  joule second  Js  
7  polarising angle (Brewster’s angle)  i _{p}  degree  ̊  
power (of a lens)  P  dioptre  D  
power gain  P_{gain }      
7  Power per unit area  Watts per square metre  Wm^{2}  
primary current  I _{p}  ampere  A  
primary voltage  V_{p}  volt  V  
7  radial acceleration  a_{r}  metre per second per second  m s^{2}  
6  redshift  z      
6  7  refractive index  n      
6  relativistic length  l'  metre  m  
6  relativistic time  t'  second  s  
rest mass  m_{o}  kilogram  kg  
6  rest wavelength  λ_{rest}  metre  m  
6  root mean square current  I _{rms}  ampere  A  
6  root mean square voltage  V_{rms}  volt  V  
7  rotational kinetic energy  E_{rot}  joule  J  
7  schwarzchild radius  r_{Schwarzchild}  metre  m  
secondary current  I_{s}  ampere  A  
secondary voltage  V_{s}  volt  V  
7  selfinductance  L  henry  H  
6  7  slit separation  d  metre  m  
7  tangential acceleration  a_{t}  metre per second per second  m s^{2}  
6  threshold frequency  f_{o}  hertz  Hz  
7  time constant  t  second  s  
7  torque  Τ  newton metre  Nm  
7  uncertainty in Energy  ∆E  joule  J  
7  uncertainty in momentum  ∆p^{x}  kilogram metre per second  kgms^{1}  
7  uncertainty in position  ∆x  metre  m  
7  uncertainty in time  ∆t  second  s  
6  velocity of observer  v_{o}  metre per second  m s^{1}  
6  velocity of source  v_{s}  metre per second  m s^{1}  
voltage gain        
voltage gain  A_{o} or V _{gain }      
5  6  7  wavelength  λ  metre  m 
6  work function  W  joule  J 
Properties of Matter Notes
March 2018 Snow Days but Miss Horn’s class should answer the following questions from the sheet and the past paper questions below.
combined gas law questions word
combined gas law questions pdf
past paper questions
SG C 2013 – Q12
SG C 2011 – Q11, Q12a
SG C 2010 Q12
Here is the final set of notes that I am working on. These are my final copies which I hope haven’t many changes when they are proof read. If you’d like to proof read and get back to me with changes I’d be delighted. I really hope I’ve covered everything.
Properties of matter notes pdf
Properties of matter notes word
Thanks to other Physics teachers who have provided resources for these notes.
ELECTRICITY from 2017
Updated 30/12/17
Electricity 2017 Final word version of the final electricity unit for Lockerbie
Electricity 2017 Final pdf version
The booklet is large as it contains lots of questions for you to practice, some practicals for you to complete and some notes.
Please return your copy to the faculty on 8th May!
The section numbers are linked to the compendium with all the things to cover in National 5 Physics.
They are large notes so that you ought to be able to work your way through whether you are in class or away at college etc.
Here are some additional notes that might help as you go through the materials. Check out the post on using your calculators to measure resistance (I’ll add the link here when I’ve found the post!)
EE1 – Electricity LOCKERBIE The old electricity notes (based on a colleagues work thank you and I’ll find out who you are), these will be superceded when the document above is completed.
AC_DC[1] This is a powerpoint presentation that someone passed to be in the days of SG. It covers AC and DC traces
resistor network Try this when you think you have got to grips with resistances in series and parallel.
Elect & elect D&G Prob Book no answers These are some great little questions by Mr Belford from Dumfries Academy, but some of the numbers are a little bit fictional!
Elect & elect D&G Prob Book no answers The above document as a pdf file.
VOLTAGE DIVIDER FORMULAE The formula sheet for voltage dividers
VOLTAGE divider Q Practice those horrible voltage divider questions with this pdf version of the document below. The answers are given for you to check. VOLTAGE divider Q
Ring main Based on the SG course notes and not really in the N5 course, but it might give a little background to why when calculating the fuse rating for an appliance you use 240V and not the 230 V as stated.
…… to be continued!
My National 5 Class
As my class is very small this year I can liken each to a Mr Men/ Little Miss . I wonder if they can spot themselves. There is more than one each, so I wonder who they’ll pick
Dynamics 2017
I am in the middle of updating the Dynamics and Space Unit to be in line with the course from 2017. These are the current notes, but as you can see there is still a lot of work to do to get them completed.
Dynamics 2018 word
Dynamics 2018 pdf
These are examples to find acceleration and displacement from vt graphs. vt graph examples.
Currently I’ve worked out the displacements. I’ll add the accelerations when I’ve done them! vt graph example answers
LO Dynamics (1st half) Here are the revision questions for the first part of the unit. Eventually I’ll get them all completed. Answers to follow a.s.a.p.
LO Q N5_2017_5 word
Here are the answers for the Dynamics Learning Outcome Questions. I haven’t finished, but I am getting through them. It is a lot harder than just writing them out as I’ve the equations to type in! Well that is my excuse
LO LO Dynamics ANSWERS pdf This is as far as I’ve got Monday 30/10 21:16
LO Dynamics ANSWERS word This is as far as I’ve got!
Homework
parachutes pdf file of the power point
parachutes power point
Projectile questions pdf file of projectile questions
Revision Questions
Use the pdf file, printed from a powerpoint presentation to practice work for the D&S topic. Some space has been left so that you can record your answers on the sheets. They are saved 6 slides to a page
Dynamics and Space Revision ANSWERS Don’t peek at the answers until you’ve finished going through the questions and created your own answers.
Revision Practice
Need help with motion graphs, practice with this link
https://tinycards.duolingo.com/decks/motion graphs
https://tinycards.duolingo.com/decks/equations
https://tinycards.duolingo.com/decks/more equations
Resources from other schools
I would like to thank all the schools who have produced notes that are reproduced here. Know that I am really grateful. I have a half finished set of my own notes, but don’t think I can get them suitably done in time. Be assured that at least you’ll have some excellent higher notes next year, and after those scores I am expecting a big Higher class 20172018!
The above two booklets count as one!
N4 N5 Unit 1 Summary Notes[1] These are the same set of notes, one is in word, but for those that cannot read that the other is a pdf file, which you ought to be able to read.
The notes below would be combined into one booklet (the one at the end of this section)
N5 DS Mar 13 Dynamics Teacher notes
N5 DS Mar 13 Forces Pupil notes
N5 DS Mar 13 Forces Teacher notes
N5 DS Mar 13 Space Pupil notes
N5 DS Mar 13 Space Teacher notes
N5 DS Pupil material notes FINAL COPY 13th JUNE
N5 DS Pupil material notes FINAL COPY 13th JUNE
The booklet below is an Intermediate 2 booklet and contains some material for other topics and some material is missing. It might be a good idea to get yourself a copy of this, if possible, especially if you are not a great lover of the heat section!
Here are some more notes produced for Intermediate 2. There are some good questions here, but it does not cover all of the topic we are about to complete.
I will add some cutouts and single page resources as we go through the course. If you lose yours, you will have to print them off yourself or take a photo!
Other Resources
PhysicsCoursePhysicsofFlightLearner_tcm4752866 PhysicsCoursePhysicsofFlightStaff_tcm4752868 PhysicsCourseTelescopeLearner_tcm4756621 PhysicsCourseTelescopeStaff_tcm4756620
REVISION OF BGE TRANSPORT MATERIALS
Past Papers for National 5 Physics
N5 Papers  Year  Marking  Exam Reports  Digital QP 

2019  
QP 2018  2018  MI 2018  Report 2018  
Specimen QP & MI  New Model  Specimen QP & MI  Assignment Assessment  Specimen Sect1 DQP Sect2 DQP RelationSheet DQP 
QP 2017  2017  MI 2017  Report 2017  2017 DQP 
QP 2016  2016  MI 2016  Report 2016  2016 DQP 
QP 2015  2015  MI 2015  Report 2015  2015 Sect1 DQP 2015 Sect2 DQP 
QP 2014  2014  MI 2014  Report 2014  2014 DQP 
Specimen QP & MI  Model  Specimen QP & MI  
READ THIS  FIRST  MARK GUIDE 
If you’d like to work through past papers by topic then Mr Davie from Glenrothes has done all the hard work for you and has promised to keep this list up to date. He says
http://bit.ly/N5pastpapers
This document was created in order to make it easier to find past paper questions both for teachers and students. I will do my best to keep this document up to date and include new past paper questions as they become available.
Mr C Davie
SG Physics Papers
As well as the National 5 Physics Papers above I’ve added some Standard Grade Physics Papers.
My thanks to J Boyle for passing these on. They are really good practice for students to use for revision for N4/5 etc.
CREDIT PAPERS
Paper  Year  M.I.  Exam Report 

SG(C) 2013  2013  SG(C) 2013 MI  2013 Report 
SG(C) 2012  2012  SG(C) 2012 MI  2012 Report 
SG(C) 2011  2011  SG(C) 2011 MI  2011 Report 
SG(C) 2010  2010  SG(C) 2010 MI  2010 Report 
SG(C) 2009  2009  SG(C) 2009 MI  2009 Report 
SG(C) 2008  2008  SG(C) 2008 MI  2008 Report 
SG(C) 2007  2007  SG(C) 2007 MI  2007 Report 
SG(C) 2006  2006  SG(C) 2006 MI  2006 Report 
SG(C) 2005  2005  SG(C) 2005 MI  2005 Report 
SG(C) 2004  2004  2004 Report  
SG(C) 2003  2003  2003 Report  
SG(C) 2002  2002  2002 Report  
SG(C) 2001  2001  SG(C) soln 0004  
SG(C) 2000  2000  SG(C) soln 0004  
SG(C) 1999  1999  SG(C) soln 9599 pdf  
SG(C) 1998  1998  SG(C) soln 9599 pdf  
SG(C) 1997  1997  SG(C) soln 9599 pdf  
SG(C) 1996  1996  SG(C) soln 9599 pdf  
SG(C) 1995  1995  SG(C) soln 9599 word  
SG(C) 1994  1994  SG(C) soln 9094 pdf  
SG(C) 1993  1993  SG(C) soln 9094 pdf  
SG(C) 1992  1992  SG(C) soln 9094 pdf  
SG(C) 1991  1991  SG(C)red soln 9094 word  
SG(C) 1990  1990  SG(C) soln 9094 pdf 
GENERAL PAPERS
Intermediate 2 Physics Papers
Here are the Intermediate 2 Physics Papers. The table isn’t yet complete, but you might want to start looking over some questions. Many of these could pop up on National 5 papers.
Int 2 Papers  Year  Marking Instructions  Exam Reports 

Int2 2015  2015  MI 2015  
Int2 2014  2014  MI 2014  
Int2 2013  2013  MI 2013  I2 Report 2013 
Int2 2012  2012  MI 2012  I2 Report 2012 
Int2 2011  2011  MI 2011  I2 Report 2011 
Int2 2010  2010  MI 2010  I2 Report 2010 
Int2 2009  2009  MI 2009  I2 Report 2009 
Int2 2008  2008  MI 2008  I2 Report 2008 
Int2 2007  2007  MI 2007  I2 Report 2007 
Int2 2006  2006  MI 2006  I2 Report 2006 
Int 2 2005  2005  MI 2005  I2 Report 2005 
Int2 2004  2004  MI 2004  I2 Report 2004 
Int2 2003  2003  MI 2003  I2 Report 2003 
Int2 2002  2002  MI 2002  I2 Report 2002 
2001  MI 2001  
2000  MI 2000  
Int2 Specimen  Specimen  Specimen Answers  
READ THIS  FIRST  MARK GUIDE 
Introduction to the Physics Dept
Welcome to National 5 Physics.
We hope you will enjoy the experience of learning Physics over the next year. This information gives you a clear idea of what you’ll complete during the course.
SURVIVING THE COURSE.
1. The structure of the Course.
The first thing to understand if you are to achieve your best in Physics at National 5, is to have a clear understanding of how the course is run. The course is made up of several parts; divided up in several ways.
There are six units and the Assignment (which changed for the session 201718):
 Waves
 Radiation
 Dynamics
 Space
 Electricity
 Properties of Matter
 Assignment (20% of the course covered in class but marked externally)
The topics covered in each unit are given below:
 Dynamics – vectors and scalars; velocity–time graphs; acceleration; Newton’s laws; energy; projectile motion.
 Space – space exploration; cosmology.
 Electricityelectrical charge carriers; potential difference (voltage); Ohm’s law; practical electrical and electronic circuits; electrical power.
 Properties of matter –specific heat capacity; specific latent heat; gas laws and the kinetic model.
 Waves – the topics covered are: wave parameters and behaviours; electromagnetic spectrum; refraction of light.
 Radiation –is nuclear radiation.
Eventually, you will have a set of Learning Outcome Questions to complete, containing what you have to know for the exam.
The SQA states that the Assignment and Exam will test:
 knowledge and understanding of physics by making accurate statements
 knowledge and understanding of physics by describing information and providing explanations and integrating knowledge
 applying physics knowledge to new situations, interpreting information and solving problems
 planning or designing experiments to test given hypotheses or to illustrate particular effects, including safety measures
 carrying out experimental procedures safely
 selecting information from a variety of sources
 presenting information appropriately in a variety of forms
 processing information (using calculations and units, where appropriate)
 making predictions based on evidence/information
 drawing valid conclusions and giving explanations supported by evidence/justification
 evaluating experimental procedures
 suggesting improvements to experiments/practical investigations
 communicating findings/information
In summary the course will be completed in the following order:
 Maths and Intro
 Waves
 Dynamics
 Radiation or Electricity
 Electricity or Radiation
 Assignment
 Properties of Matter
 Space
 The exam
2. The Need to Know Booklet and organising you work.
Currently, all the information you need to pass the exam is highlighted in the Compendium. Check this every lesson and note your progress through the course, ensure you understand what you need to know.
Eventually, we hope to produce a set of Learning Outcome Questions, the answers will provide you with a perfect set of revision notes. These should be answered clearly and concisely in your Notes. Either copy out each question or print the questions and stick these in your notes. Then others can test you. Alternatively, you can make these into flash cards.
Another hint is to make your work as colourful and neat as possible. This is going to form your most important work so take care of it. If it is bright, colourful, well presented and laid out it will be easy to revise from. Hand in your notes regularly for checking.
At the back of the notes jotter keep a list of all of your quantities etc. in a table like the one below. These are also in the compendium.
Quantity, Symbol, Unit, Unit Symbol N5AH
N  H  A  Physical Quantity  sym  Unit  Unit Abb. 

5  absorbed dose  D  gray  Gy  
5  absorbed dose rate  H (dot)  gray per second gray per hour gray per year  Gys^{1} Gyh ^{1} Gyy^{1}  
5  6  7  acceleration  a  metre per second per second  m s^{2} 
5  6  7  acceleration due to gravity  g  metre per second per second  m s^{2} 
5  activity  A  becquerel  Bq  
5  6  7  amplitude  A  metre  m 
5  6  7  angle  θ  degree  ° 
5  6  7  area  A  square metre  m^{2} 
5  6  7  average speed  v (bar)  metre per second  m s^{1} 
5  6  7  average velocity  v (bar)  metre per second  m s^{1} 
5  6  7  change of speed  ∆v  metre per second  m s^{1} 
5  6  7  change of velocity  ∆v  metre per second  m s^{1} 
5  count rate    counts per second (counts per minute)    
5  6  7  current  I  ampere  A 
5  6  7  displacement  s  metre  m 
5  6  7  distance  d  metre, light year  m , ly 
5  6  7  distance, depth, height  d or h  metre  m 
5  effective dose  H  sievert  Sv  
5  6  7  electric charge  Q  coulomb  C 
5  6  7  electric charge  Q or q  coulomb  C 
5  6  7  electric current  I  ampere  A 
5  6  7  energy  E  joule  J 
5  equivalent dose  H  sievert  Sv  
5  equivalent dose rate  H (dot)  sievert per second sievert per hour sievert per year  Svs ^{1} Svh^{1} Svy ^{1}  
5  6  7  final velocity  v  metre per second  m s^{1} 
5  6  7  force  F  newton  N 
5  6  7  force, tension, upthrust, thrust  F  newton  N 
5  6  7  frequency  f  hertz  Hz 
5  6  7  gravitational field strength  g  newton per kilogram  N kg^{1} 
5  6  7  gravitational potential energy  E_{p}  joule  J 
5  halflife  t_{1/2}  second (minute, hour, day, year)  s  
5  6  heat energy  E_{h}  joule  J  
5  6  7  height, depth  h  metre  m 
5  6  7  initial speed  u  metre per second  m/s 
5  6  7  initial velocity  u  metre per second  m s^{1} 
5  6  7  kinetic energy  E_{k}  joule  J 
5  6  7  length  l  metre  m 
5  6  7  mass  m  kilogram  kg 
5  number of nuclei decaying  N      
5  6  7  period  T  second  s 
5  6  7  potential difference  V  volt  V 
5  6  7  potential energy  E_{p}  joule  J 
5  6  7  power  P  watt  W 
5  6  7  pressure  P or p  pascal  Pa 
5  radiation weighting factor  w_{R}      
5  6  7  radius  r  metre  m 
5  6  7  resistance  R  ohm  Ω 
5  6  7  specific heat capacity  c  joule per kilogram per degree Celsius  Jkg^{1} °C ^{1} 
5  6  specific latent heat  l  joule per kilogram  Jkg ^{1}  
5  6  7  speed of light in a vacuum  c  metre per second  m s ^{1} 
5  6  7  speed, final speed  v  metre per second  ms ^{1} 
5  6  7  speed, velocity, final velocity  v  metre per second  m s^{1} 
5  6  7  supply voltage  V_{s}  volt  V 
5  6  7  temperature  T  degree Celsius  °C 
5  6  7  temperature  T  kelvin  K 
5  6  7  time  t  second  s 
5  6  7  total resistance  R_{}  ohm  Ω 
5  6  7  voltage  V  volt  V 
5  6  7  voltage, potential difference  V  volt  V 
5  6  7  volume  V  cubic metre  m^{3} 
5  6  7  weight  W  newton  N 
5  6  7  work done  W or E_{W}  joule  J 
7  angle  θ  radian  rad  
7  angular acceleration  a  radian per second per second  rad s^{2}  
7  angular displacement  θ  radian  rad  
7  angular frequency  ω  radian per second  rad s^{1}  
7  angular momentum  L  kilogram metre squared per second  kg m^{2} s ^{1}  
7  angular velocity, final angular velocity  ω  radian per second  rad s^{1}  
7  apparent brightness  b  Watts per square metre  Wm^{2}  
7  back emf  e  volt  V  
6  7  capacitance  C  farad  F  
7  capacitive reactance  X_{c}  ohm  W  
6  critical angle  θ_{c}  degree  °  
density  ρ  kilogram per cubic metre  kg m^{3}  
7  displacement  s or x or y  metre  m  
efficiency  η      
6  7  electric field strength  E  newton per coulomb volts per metre  N C ^{1} Vm ^{1} 

7  electrical potential  V  volt  V  
6  7  electromotive force (e.m.f)  E or ε  volt  V  
6  energy level  E _{1} , E _{2} , etc  joule  J  
feedback resistance  R_{f}  ohm  Ω  
focal length of a lens  f  metre  m  
6  frequency of source  f_{s}  hertz  Hz  
6  7  fringe separation  ∆x  metre  m  
6  7  grating to screen distance  D  metre  m  
7  gravitational potential  U or V  joule per kilogram  J kg^{1}  
halfvalue thickness  T_{1/2}  metre  m  
6  7  impulse  (∆p)  newton second kilogram metre per second  Ns kgms^{1} 

7  induced e.m.f.  E or ε  volt  V  
7  inductor reactance  X_{L}  ohm  W  
7  initial angular velocity  ω _{o}  radian per second  rad s^{1}  
input energy  E _{i}  joule  J  
input power  P_{i}  watt  W  
input voltage  V _{1} or V_{2}  volt  V  
input voltage  V_{ i}  volt  V  
6  internal resistance  r  ohm  Ω  
6  7  irradiance  I  watt per square metre  W m^{1}  
7  luminoscity  L  Watt  W  
7  magnetic induction  B  tesla  T  
7  moment of inertia  I  kilogram metre squared  kg m^{2}  
6  7  momentum  p  kilogram metre per second  kg m s^{1}  
6  number of photons per second per cross sectional area  N      
number of turns on primary coil  n _{p}      
number of turns on secondary coil  n _{s}      
6  observed wavelength  λ _{observed}  metre  m  
output energy  E _{o}  joule  J  
output power  P _{o}  watt  W  
output voltage  V _{o}  volt  V  
6  peak current  I_{peak}  ampere  A  
6  peak voltage  V_{ peak}  volt  V  
7  phase angle  Φ  radian  rad  
6  7  Planck’s constant  h  joule second  Js  
7  polarising angle (Brewster’s angle)  i _{p}  degree  ̊  
power (of a lens)  P  dioptre  D  
power gain  P_{gain }      
7  Power per unit area  Watts per square metre  Wm^{2}  
primary current  I _{p}  ampere  A  
primary voltage  V_{p}  volt  V  
7  radial acceleration  a_{r}  metre per second per second  m s^{2}  
6  redshift  z      
6  7  refractive index  n      
6  relativistic length  l'  metre  m  
6  relativistic time  t'  second  s  
rest mass  m_{o}  kilogram  kg  
6  rest wavelength  λ_{rest}  metre  m  
6  root mean square current  I _{rms}  ampere  A  
6  root mean square voltage  V_{rms}  volt  V  
7  rotational kinetic energy  E_{rot}  joule  J  
7  schwarzchild radius  r_{Schwarzchild}  metre  m  
secondary current  I_{s}  ampere  A  
secondary voltage  V_{s}  volt  V  
7  selfinductance  L  henry  H  
6  7  slit separation  d  metre  m  
7  tangential acceleration  a_{t}  metre per second per second  m s^{2}  
6  threshold frequency  f_{o}  hertz  Hz  
7  time constant  t  second  s  
7  torque  Τ  newton metre  Nm  
7  uncertainty in Energy  ∆E  joule  J  
7  uncertainty in momentum  ∆p^{x}  kilogram metre per second  kgms^{1}  
7  uncertainty in position  ∆x  metre  m  
7  uncertainty in time  ∆t  second  s  
6  velocity of observer  v_{o}  metre per second  m s^{1}  
6  velocity of source  v_{s}  metre per second  m s^{1}  
voltage gain        
voltage gain  A_{o} or V _{gain }      
5  6  7  wavelength  λ  metre  m 
6  work function  W  joule  J 
Your formulae should also be in the notes section. Keep the list up to date! Each time that you learn a new formula put this in your notes. Make sure you include units, symbols and the meaning of each letter. Check that you can rearrange the formula to find any missing quantity.
The work that you do in class should usually be written in your class work jotter. Date all work and record a title for each activity. Sometimes notes will go straight into your notes jotter, so you must have this with you every lesson.
You will also keep a profile of your performance in your profile section. This should start with your contract (see the end of this post), profile of you and an introduction About Yourself. This will help us to gain a good understanding of how you function. You will need to set targets each month on how you can improve your performance or maintain your performance at the current level, if it really is the best you can deliver. We will also try to tailor some of the tasks to items that interest you and assist you in meeting these targets. All progress that you make should be recorded in this jotter and it would be helpful to discuss these targets with folk at home. Include a progress bullseye chart each month like the one below, electronic copies can be downloaded from the links below too.
The main reason we use the pupil profile is to give you the chance to discuss with your teacher, at your leisure, any concerns, worries or problems you might have. This is not to prevent you from talking directly to your teacher, but it gives you the opportunity to enter into a dialogue with your teacher at a time that is convenient to you both. This will become part of your homework on a monthly basis. Your pupil profiles should be handed in on the first lesson of every month. Get into the routine of handing this in. Please mark in your student planners that this homework is due on the first Physics lesson of every month. Obviously, if you wish to hand this in more often you may do so, in fact hand this in whenever you have a concern. Your teacher will record and note any concerns and comments and deal with these as soon as possible. This may be in the form of additional work, additional help or additional resources. But don’t forget your pupil profiles can also tell us when you’re really happy with the course, enjoying it and feel that you are making good progress. Don’t rush your response, but engage with how you can improve and what areas you feel are your weakest and strongest.
3. Follow the Rules & Routines & Bring Equipment
The five rules of the Physics Department are for pupils follow to ensure a pleasant and safe environment.
 Follow the teacher’s instructions.
 Raise your hand, and wait for permission before speaking.
 Allow people to get on with their work.
 Follow the laboratory rules
 No put downs. (or only say positive things about people).
Remember Science is about trial and error and looking for ways to fix mistakes, what a better example for life!
ROUTINES
In addition to the core rules the following routines are expected of pupils during their time in this department. Pupils should:
 Enter the room quietly, calmly and on time;
 Come prepared for the work with jotters and pen or pencil etc.;
 Complete all homework and hand it in on time;
 Not deface jotters, desks folders, etc.;
 Pay attention;
 At the end of a lesson, when told to do so, pack away quietly, place stools under the desk and leave in an orderly manner.
3. Homework and Review
You will be expected to complete all the homework set and hand it in on time. We will contact parents/carers if we think you are not completing this vital part of the course. We do not issue homework because we want you to spend all your life working, but because it gives you the opportunity to consolidate the work completed in class. It has been proved that students who complete homework do better in their exams.
4. The Timeline
You will be issued with a timeline. This may be on a monthly, weekly or termly basis. This will show you what homework you will have to do, where on the course you are and when assessment dates are likely to be. We may have to update this through the year but it should be used to plan study and work. Don’t waste it, use it!
5. ASK!
If you do not understand any aspect of the course or work and you have read through the material at home then ask. Both members of the Department (Mrs Physics and Ms Horn) are willing to help you with your work.
6. Equipment
This is a list of the equipment you need to bring to Physics
 Pen
 Pencil
 Ruler (30 cm)
 Eraser
 Protractor or angle measurer.
 Scientific calculator, nothing fancy but it must be capable of doing scientific functions. Most pupils find it easier to use a Casio DAL, SVPAM calculator, particularly the Casio FX83 or Casio FX85. With these calculators you enter the numbers into the calculator in the manner in which they are written. There is a post in the maths section giving you some example of how to work your calculator and I’ll add a few more hints later in the year.
Pupils will be issued with
 A classwork jotter for practice and results
 A notes jotter
 A homework / profile jotter
 An A5 Content booklet containing the Content Requirements, Relationships’ Sheet, Periodic Table and a few maths hints. This should be brought to every lesson and used every night to check content coverage and for revision and review. This can be kept at the end of the course as it will be covered in student writing.
 Students will receive topic booklets with content and questions. These should be returned at the end of the course.
7. Take Responsibility for your Learning
Sometimes there may be a distraction in the classroom that is out of our control. Make sure that you use your time wisely if there is a distraction. Check and complete one or more of the activities listed below.
 Finish off the work that has been set.
 Complete Learning Outcome Questions/ Summary of content statements.
 Check off the content covered in the Vital Booklet (good name needed)
 Write out a summary of what you have been doing.
 Read through the work that we have been covering.
 Read through the next section of work to prepare.
 Revise/ Learn your formulae
 Produce a revision test for the class.
Your work is in your hands. This is time that can be used or abused. If you abuse your time now you will have to use your free time later. SPEND YOUR TIME WELL.
8. Layout for Tackling Mathematical Problems
Always set out maths problems using the structure given below. It may seem to take longer but it will save time in the long run as it makes the question clearer.
USE IESSUU
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u7akhlAS5Ck
 Information– Summarise the question by writing down what you know from the information given. Use the letter that goes with the quantity and this will help you be able to work out the correct formula
 Equation – write down the equation as it occurs in the data sheet. Do not attempt to rearrange it before substituting.
 Substitution – put the numbers into the equation as they appear in the formula
 Solution – work out the answer. You are ALWAYS allowed to use a calculator
 Units– you will need to use the correct units so will need to learn these. No or wrong units no mark for the answer
 Underline – underline with 2 lines the answer to make it clear what is your final answer.
In short:
 (Information) Summarise the question.
 Change any units that are not standard.
 (Equation) Write out the formula.
 (Substitution) Put the numbers in.
 Use the magic triangle to rearrange the formula, only if you must!
 (Solution) Work out the answer.
 Write out the answer, but not to too many sig fig.
 (Units) Add units to your answer.
 (Underline) Underline the answer.
http://www.mrsphysics.co.uk/usefullinks/generalmarkingprinciples/
http://www.sqa.org.uk/sqa/files_ccc/Physicsgeneralmarkingprinciples.pdf
9. Revising The Syllabus
REVISING Here are some really important ideas to help you with your revision (which shouldn’t just take place the night before a test but should be an ongoing process).
Find out:
 About the Exam www.sqa.org.uk exam timetable
 The Content that you are required to learn Course Specification
 Look through relevant Past Papers
 Make a Revision Calendar (I’ve made one for you Click Here! The instructions can be found in the Revision section)
 Stick a large calendar next to where you study.
 Mark in the dates and times of Exams (whether prelims or final exams). A countdown timer is on the N5 Home Page.
 Shade in the dates and times of other commitments.
 Make a list of topics to cover for each subject.
 Calculate how many hours you have available and how much time you will allocate to each subject.
 Decide on the order in which to tackle your subjects. Don’t tackle the easy subjects first as you’ll never get on to the harder ones! It is best to start revising the hard subjects and topics as these will take you more time to learn
 Draft your revision timetable.
 Leave one or two revision slots free each week for extra revision or difficult topics.
 BE SURE TO LEAVE YOURSELF SOME TIME FOR REST AND FUN ACTIVITIES including being healthy.
Working in Revision Groups
This can be useful but:
 Discipline is needed
 Decide before you meet on the topic that you’ll cover e.g. prepare revision cards or answer past paper questions.
 Teach each other a topic
 Take an ACTIVE APPROACH to your Revision
 Talking with others about what to revise can lessen the anxiety.
 Before starting a Session decide HOW and WHAT to revise
DON’T JUST SIT THERE READING AND REREADING YOUR NOTES.
A STEP BY STEP REVISION STRATEGY
 FIND A FOCUS
 MAKE REVISION CARDS
 TEST YOURSELF
 LEARN IT!
 TEST YOURSELF
 CHECK IT!
10. Relax
Believe it or not we also expect you to make sure you relax. Relaxation should be in proportion. Too much and you won’t finish the work, too little and you will not function properly; balance is important. Make sure that your relaxation includes plenty of exercise and fresh air. Don’t just vegetate in front of something electrical.
Now you have your survival guide may we wish you all the best and hope you perform Physics to the best of your ability, whatever that standard!
Remember we are a TEAM! It is not YOU ALONE! It will be most effective if YOU, ME and PEOPLE FROM HOME can all work together to support you through the next nine months. We each have a role to play. I need to explain what we need to do in the best way I can, and ensure you know the course content. Your role is to listen well in class, learn what you are taught, ask if you have not understood what you’ve been taught and review and revise little and often. Tell me if you are finding the work hard so that I can give you additional support. People at home are there to support and encourage you in your work and if possible test you on your learning, (provided you’ve laid it out as well as possible).
After a Test
It is important that you review your performance after a test. One way to do that is through a Thinking about Revising Sheet.
Thinking about revising this is the pdf version
Thinking about revising this is the word version
Here is the link to the SQA N5 Physics website
Monthly Progress Chart
Each month, (handing in your jotter on the first Physics period of the month), give an update on how you feel you’re getting on in Physics, reassess your targets and check through your progress. You ought to be able to tackle new past paper questions every month. For the first Progress Chart answer the questions contained in the profile below and write out the expectations and sign these.
pupil profile jotter word
PUPIL PROFILE
Name:
Date of Birth:
Register Class:
Registration Room:
Register Teacher:
Pupil Support Teacher:
House:
Previous Physics Grade:
Maths Class:
Maths Teacher:
Approx. level Maths: N3, N4, N5
English Class:
English Teacher:
Approx. level English: N3, N4, N5.
Other subjects taken:
1
2
3
4
5
About myself
Tell us a little bit about yourself so that we can make the work as relevant to you as possible. Include things like
 where you live,
 the other people in your family,
 what your hobbies are,
 what you most like doing,
 how you spend your time outside school.
You could also include what kind of career you would like to have, what your goals are in life, and why you chose to take Physics.
Target Setting
During my time in Physics I want to achieve the following targets.
Expectations
I …{insert your name}
will always do my best in N5 Physics
I will work hard in class, and follow the classroom code.
I will look over the work I have done each evening, and I complete each piece of homework and hand it in on time.
If I am absent I will catch up on the missed work and homework and ask if I am stuck.
I will ask my teacher for help when I am having difficulties, and will not give up.
I will show my homework to my parents when completed.
signed (you)
(and your parent/guardian to show that they have seen this)
Best Wishes for a lovely journey through N5 Physics
Waves Resources
2018 Wave Notes as produced by Miss Horn
Wave notes pdf
Wave notes word
Here are a list of current wave resources. I will add more as I go through them. Thanks to other schools if you have kindly supplied material. I really appreciate it as do my students.
wavessummarynotesgairloch1 Some of these notes are for National 4, use with the content statements so you don’t spend too long learning the National 4 work.
vflambdavdt This starts with a practical model that you can complete in class using the Virtual Physics/ Flash Learning. It then shows how v=fλ is equivalent to v=d/t. Finally some questions will let you practise what you know.
WAVES questions word WAVES questions pdf
Here are the WAVES outcome answers. Not quite finished, but I bet I’ve done a better job than most of you
Definitions for Space
These are some very basic definitions for the Space Topic
Universe:  Sum total of everything that exists. 
Galaxy:  A basic building block of the universe that includes stars, star clusters, clouds of gas, dust and interstellar molecules. 
Solar System:  Is one or more suns surrounded by orbiting planets. Our solar system is composed of the sun, 9 known planets and at least 44 moons, thousands of “minor planets” (asteroids) meteors and perhaps billions of comets. 
Sun:  Dominant member of a solar system accounts 99% of the mass of the solar system. The sun is a giant star it produces heat and light. A big ball of plasma 
Star:  Principle components of galaxies. Living stars emit radiation across the electromagnetic spectrum. Peak depends on the heat of the surface. 
Planet:  A relatively large body rotating in an elliptical orbit around a sun. 
Moon:  A natural satellite of a planet i.e. rotates around a planet. Moons do not produce their own light. 
Mass:  Mass is a measure of the amount of matter in an object. It is measured in kilograms. Wherever you go your mass stays the same. 
Weight:  Weight is the force of gravity acting on an object pulling it towards the centre of the Earth or any other large mass. Weight is a force and so is measured in Newtons. The weight of an object varies depending on where you are (which planet etc and how far you are from it’s surface, the further away from the surface the smaller is your weight).. 
gravitational field strength :  gravitational field strength, g, is the weight per unit mass. It is measured in Newtons per kilogram. It is the force of gravity or pull on each kilogram of mass. 
Inertia:  Inertia is the property of an object which makes it hard to get an object to move, or to stop a moving object. Inertia varies with mass, so the bigger your mass the bigger your inertia.. 
Acceleration due to gravity:  All objects will acceleration due to gravity. On the Earth, close to the surface objects accelerate at 9.8 ms2 . 
Light year:  The distance light travels in a year equivalent to 9.46 . 
Light
Light does not travel at an infinite speed. It takes time to travel. It is so fast that we do not usually notice, although out in space the distances involved are so big that light takes a reasonable amount of time to reach us.
Light travels at: 3 × 10^{8} ms ^{1}
Given that it takes 8 minutes for light to get from the sun, how far is it away is it from the Earth?
8 × 60 = number of seconds in minutes = 480s
Each second light travels 3 × 10^{8}m
d= v t
d= 3 × 10^{8 }× 480 = 1.44 ×10^{11}m
How far does light travel in one year?
1 year = 365days
365days × 24 = 8760 hours
8760 ×60 × 60 = 31536000s in one year
Distance travelled in 1 year, d = v t
d = 3 × 10^{8 }× 31536000 = 9.46 × 10^{15} m in one year = one light year
The light year (ly) is the distance light travels in one year.
Light travels at 3 × 10^{8} ms^{1}
Source  Time taken for light
to reach us 
Distance (m)  Working 
Moon  1.2 s  3.6 × 10^{8}  1.2 × 3 × 10^{8 } 
Sun  8 min  1.44 × 10^{11}  480 × 3 × 10^{8} 
Next nearest Star  4.3 y  4.07 × 10^{16}  4.3 × 9.46 × 10^{15} 
Other side of galaxy  100 000 y  9.46 × 10^{20}  100 000 × 9.46 × 10^{15} 
Andromeda galaxy  2 200 000 yr  2.08 × 10^{22}  2 200 000 × 9.46 × 10^{15} 
Continuous Spectra
Many light sources produce a continuous spectrum containing all the wavelengths of visible light, e.g. an ordinary light bulb.
Line Spectra.
Some light sources emit only some wavelengths. They produce a line spectrum. Each line corresponds to a particular wavelength.
Each chemical element has its own line spectrum pattern(so it is like a finger print!)
Line spectra can be varied using a spectroscope in the classroom.
Line spectra are used to tell us about the chemical composition of the stars.
^{ }
Radiation
The notes are finally finished. Thanks to Miss Horn for these.
radiation notes word
radiation notes pdf
From Helpmyphysics
When it goes wrong
Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster 1986 Effects and Summary
Chernobyl Surviving Disaster (BBC Drama Documentary)
Where to find what you want
If you want to find notes for each section of your course click on the individual sections from the drop down menu. Happy hunting! It is all there!
Half Life
Half Life
Half Life is the time for the activity to halve.
Time for activity to (decrease by) half
or time for half the nuclei to decay
(It is measured in units of time, e.g seconds, minutes, days, years, millions of years!)
Note the SQA do NOT accept: Time for radiation/radioactivity/ count rate to half
From the Yellow Chemcord Book this is how to answer the questions HALF LIFE QUESTIONS
Chemcord have kindly giving permission to upload these questions here. If you thought they were useful you can buy the National 5 Revision books soon:
half life Questions A print out for those who would like a copy of the National 5 Chemcord revision questions on half life. Here are the questions written out: HALF LIFE QUESTIONS
 What is meant by the half life of a radioactive substance?
 The activity of a source drops from 1000 kBq to 125 kBq in 9 days. Calculate the half life of the source.
 The activity of a source drops from 4800 kBq to 150 kBq in 10 days. Calculate the half life of the source.
 The activity of a source drops from 720 MBq to 45 MBq in 20 years. Calculate the half life of the source.
 The activity of a source drops from 4096 kBq to 1 kBq in 2 days. Calculate the half life of the source.
 The activity of a source drops from 448 kBq to 3.5 kBq in 17.5 years. Calculate the half life of the source.
 A source has an activity of 1800 kBq and a half life of 2 days. What is its activity 10 days later?
 A source has an activity of 576 MBq and a half life of 30 years. What is its activity 180 years later?
 A source has an activity of 2400 kBq and a half life of 8 s. What is its activity 32 s later?
 A source has an activity of 3200 kBq and a half life of 5.3 days. What is its activity 37.1 days later?
 A source has an activity of 800 kBq after being stored for 4 days. If the half life is 1 day, what was its initial activity?
 A source has an activity of 1800 kBq after being stored for 72 s. If the half life is 24 s, what was its initial activity?
 A source has an activity of 40 kBq after being stored for 10 years. If the half life is 2 years, what was its initial activity?
 A source has an activity of 30 kBq after being stored for 2 days. If the half life is 8 h, what was its initial activity?
 A source has an activity of 40 MBq and a half life of 15 s. How long will it take for its activity to drop to 625 kBq?
 A source has an activity of 25 MBq and a half life of 8 days. Approximately how long will it take for its activity to drop to below 1MBq?
 A source has an activity of 320 MBq and a half life of 1000 years. Approximately how long will it take for its activity to drop to 500 kBq?
 A background count rate of 20 counts per minute is measured in the absence’ of a source. When the source is present the count is 140 counts per minute initially, dropping to 35 counts per minute after 15 days. What is the half life to of the source?
 If the background count is 28 counts per minute and the count with a source drops from 932 to 141 counts per minute in 24 h, what is the half life of the source?
 If the background count rate is 24 counts per minute and the count rate with a source present drops from 4120 to 25 counts per minute in 2 days, what is the half life of the source?
 In an experiment with a radioactive source, the count rate corrected for background radiation was measured and the following results obtained.
Time
in minutes 
Corrected
Count Rate in c.p.m. 
0
1 2 3 4 5 
100
58 32 18 10 5.6 
a) Plot a graph to show these results.
b) Estimate the half life of the source from these results.
22. In an experiment with a source, carried out in an area where there is a high background radiation, the following results were obtained.
Time (s)  Count Rate
(c.p.m.) 
0
30 60 90 120 150 180 210 240 270 300 
88
72 60 52 44 39 36 34 32 29 30 
a) Plot a graph to show these results.
b) Estimate the background count rate.
c) Estimate the half life of the source from these results.
ANSWERS
 time taken for the activity to decrease by half
 3 days
 2 days
 5 years
 4h
 2.5 years
 56.25kBq
 9 MBq
 l50 kBq
 25 kBq
 12.8 MBq
 14.4 MBq
 1.28 MBq
 1920 kBq
 90s
 32 to 40days
 9500 years
 5 days
 8 h
 73. 4h
For Questions 26 (to find t ½ when Ao and A known)
Step
 Summarise
 Starting with the original activity keep halving until you reach the final activity
 COUNT THE ARROWS. This is the NUMBER of half lives.
 Use the formula t½= time÷No. of t ½
 Don’t forget to write out the time.
For Questions 710 (to find the final activity when t and t ½ are known) Step
 Summarise
 Use the formula to find the number of half lives (this will be the number of arrows) No. of t ½ = time÷ t½
 Starting with the original activity keep halving until you reach the final activity
 COUNT THE ARROWS. This is the NUMBER of half lives.
 Don’t forget to write out the units for final activity.
For Questions 1114 (to find Ao when A, t ½ and time are known)
Steps
 Summarise
 Use the formula to find the number of half lives (this will be the number of arrows) No. of t ½ = time÷ t½
 DOUBLE the final activity for the number of t ½ eg If you have 4 half lives double the final activity 4 times. NB DO NOT MULTIPLY BY 4
 The alternative is to MULTIPLY the final activity by 2^{n} (2 to the power n where n is the number of half lives)
 The number at the end of the arrows is your original activity, don’t forget to add the units.
For Questions 1517
Step
 Summarise
 Starting with the original activity keep halving until you reach the final activity
 Count the Arrows
 Use the formula time = t½ × No. of t ½
Experiment to Measure Half Life
The activity of a radioactive source decreases time. However the rate of decrease slows with time. Because of this, and because the decay of individual atoms is random and unpredictable, theoretically a radioactive source will never completely lose all of its activity. The time taken for half of the atoms in a radioactive sample to decay is a constant for that source called the halflife of the source. So the halflife of a radioactive source is the time period during which the activity of the source falls to half of its original value. The halflife of some sources is as low as a fraction of a second; for others it is many thousands of years.
Finding the halflife of a radioactive source
Apparatus: GeigerMuller tube, Scaler counter or ratemeter, Source (eg.sealed protactinium234 radioactive source and drip tray).
Instructions:
 Use the GeigerMuller tube and scaler counter to measure the background count rate.
 Record this value.
 Set up the apparatus shown in the diagram.
 Measure and record values of count rate and time interval for a suitable time period.
 Correct all your measurements for background by taking the background count off all other measured count rates..
 Plot a graph of COUNT RATE or ACTIVITY against TIME.
 Find the half life from the graph
Half life and safety
To measure the halflife of a radioactive source, the level of the background radiation is first measured. Then the count rate with the radioactive source present is measured over a suitable period of time using a suitable detector such as a GeigerMuller tube connected to a scaler. A graph of the count rate (with the source present), corrected for background radiation, is plotted.A suitable count rate value is chosen, say 80 counts per minute, and the time at which the source had this count rate, t_{1}, is marked as above. In a similar way the time t_{2} at which the count rate is half the previous value, 40 counts per minute, is found. The halflife of the source is the time period t_{2} t_{1}. Any starting value can be chosen, the time period for the count rate to halve in value will always be the same.
EXAMPLE
In six years, the activity of a radioactive isotope drops from 200 kBq to 25kBq. Calculate the halflife of the isotope.
SOLUTION: original activity = 200 kBq
⇓
Activity after 1 halflife = ½ ×200 kBq = 100 kBq
⇓
Activity after 2 halflives = ½ × 100 kBq = 50 kBq
⇓
Activity after 3 halflives = ½ × 50kBq = 25 kBq
So 6 years represents 3 halflives, thus one halflife is 2 years.
Safety with radiation
There are several safety precautions that must be taken when handling radioactive substances.
 Always handle radioactive substances with forceps. Do not use bare hands.
 Never point radioactive substances at anyone.
 Never bring radioactive substances close to your face, particularly your eyes.
 Wash hands thoroughly after using radioactive substances especially after using open sources or radioactive rock samples.
 Unauthorised people must not be allowed to handle radioactive substances. In particular, in the United Kingdom, no one under 16 years of age may handle radioactive substances.
In addition there are several safety precautions relating to the storage and monitoring of radioactive substances.
 Always store radioactive substances in suitable leadlined containers.
 As soon as source has been used, return it to its safe storage container, to avoid unnecessary contamination.
 Keep a record of the use of all radioactive sources.
The equivalent dose received by people can be reduced by three methods:
 shielding;
 limiting the time of exposure;
 increasing the distance from the source.
Stay safe and keep under your annual dose of 2.2 mSv!