1- General Physics

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Main Points (EXTENDED)

Measurementssyl cam 2

  • Use and describe the use of rules and measuring cylinders to calculate a length or a volume
  • Use and describe the use of a mechanical method for the measurement of a small distance (including use of a micrometer screw gauge)
  • Use and describe the use of clocks and devices for measuring an interval of time.
  • Measure and describe how to measure a short interval of time (including the period of a pendulum)
  • Show familiarity with the idea of the mass of a body
  • State that weight is a force
  • Demonstrate understanding that weights (and hence masses) may be compared using a balance
  • Describe an experiment to determine the density of a liquid and of a regularly shaped solid and make the necessary calculation
  • Describe the determination of the density of an irregularly shaped solid by the method of displacement, and make the necessary calculation

(Cambridge IGCSE Physics ….Syllabus 2014)



  • Define speed and calculate speed from total distance/total time
  • Plot and interpret a speed/time graph or a distance/time graph
  • Recognise from the shape of a speed/time graph when a body is
    • at rest
    • moving with constant speed
    • moving with changing speed
  • Calculate the area under a speed/time graph to work out the distance travelled for motion with constant acceleration
  • Demonstrate some understanding that acceleration is related to changing speed.
  • State that the acceleration of free fall for a body near to the Earth is constant
  • Describe the ways in which a force may change the motion of a body
  • Find the resultant of two or more forces acting along the same line
  • Understanding the weight of the body as a force and its relation to the force
  • Distinguish between speed and velocity
  • Recognize linear motion for which the acceleration is constant and calculate the acceleration
  • Recognize motion for which the acceleration is not constant
  • Describe qualitatively the motion of bodies falling in a uniform gravitational field with and without air resistance (including reference to terminal velocity)
  • Demonstrate an understanding that mass is a property that ‘resists’ change in motion
  • Describe, and use the concept of, weight as the effect of a gravitational field on a mass
  • Recall and use the relation between force, mass and acceleration (including the direction)
  • Describe qualitatively motion in a curved path due to a perpendicular force (F = mv2/r is not required)
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the difference between scalars and vectors and give common examples
  • Add vectors by graphical representation to determine a resultant
  • Determine graphically the resultant of two vectors

(Cambridge IGCSE Physics ….Syllabus 2014)


Turning effect

  • Describe the moment of a force as a measure of its turning effect and give everyday examples
  • Describe qualitatively the balancing of a beam about a pivot
  • State that, when there is no resultant force and no resultant turning effect, a system is in equilibrium. “Conditions for equilibrium”
  • Perform and describe an experiment (involving vertical forces) to show that there is no net moment on a body in equilibrium
  • Apply the idea of opposing moments to simple systems in equilibrium

Centre of mass

  • Perform and describe an experiment to determine the position of the centre of mass of a plane lamina.
  • Describe qualitatively the effect of the position of the centre of mass on the stability of simple objects.

Effects of forces

  • State that a force may produce a change in size and shape of a body
  • Plot extension/load graphs and describe the associated experimental procedure
  • Interpret extension/load graphs
  • State Hooke’s Law and recall and use the expression F = k x
  • Recognise the significance of the term ‘limit of proportionality’ for an extension/load graph


  • Relate pressure to force and area, using appropriate examples.
  • Relate the pressure beneath a liquid surface to depth and to density, using appropriate examples.
  • Recall and use the equation p = F/A
  • Recall and use the equation p = hρg
  • Describe the simple mercury barometer and its use in measuring atmospheric pressure.
  • Use and describe the use of a manometer.

(Cambridge IGCSE Physics ….Syllabus 2014)


  • Demonstrate an understanding that an object may have energy due to its motion or its position, and that energy may be transferred and stored
  • Give examples of energy in different forms, including kinetic, gravitational, chemical, strain, nuclear, internal, electrical, light and sound
  • Give examples of the conversion of energy from one form to another, and of its transfer from one place to another
  • Apply the principle of energy conservation to simple examples
  • Show an understanding that energy is released by nuclear fusion in the Sun
  • Recall and use the expressions k.e. = ½ mv2 and p.e. = mgh


  • Relate work done to the magnitude of a force and the distance moved
  • Describe energy changes in terms of work done
  • Recall and use ΔW = Fd = ΔE


  • Relate power to work done and time taken, using appropriate examples
  • Show a qualitative understanding of efficiency.
  • Recall and use the equation of efficiency
  • Recall and use the equation P = E/t in simple systems

Energy resources

  • Distinguish between renewable and nonrenewable sources of energy
  • Describe how electricity or other useful forms of energy may be obtained from:
  • Chemical energy stored in fuel
  • Water, including the energy stored in waves, in tides, and in water behind hydroelectric dams
  • Geothermal resources
  • Nuclear fission
  • Heat and light from the Sun (solar cells and panels)
  • Give advantages and disadvantages of each method in terms of cost, reliability, scale and environmental impact

 (Cambridge IGCSE Physics ….Syllabus 2014)

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