Year 11 Physics

VCE Physics
Unit 1
Unit 1: Areas of Study
• Wave-like Properties of Light (10 weeks)
• Nuclear and Radioactivity Physics ( 2 weeks)
• Energy from the Nucleus (3 weeks)
Wave-like Properties of Light
Key Knowledge and Skills
• What can Light do?
• Describing Waves
• Using the Wave model to explain what Light
can do
• What else could Light do?
Use the ray model of light to
• describe the reflection of light from plane and
curved mirrors
• explain the formation of images by mirrors and
determine their properties
• describe the refraction of light by different media
• calculate angles and refractive indices using
Snell’s Law
Use the ray model of light to
• explain the formation of images by lenses
• explain the operation of optical fibres as repeated
internal reflection
• describe colour dispersion in prisms and lenses
• describe the dispersion problems of optical fibres
Better Models of Light
Describe the nature, types and properties of waves
• model waves as the transfer of
energy without matter transfer
• describe the two types of
waves: transverse and
• describe waves in terms of
particle motion and direction
of propagation, amplitude,
wavelength and period and
• use the wave equation v = fl
Use the wave model of light to
• explain properties of light such as refraction and
• identify visible light as part of the electromagnetic
Use the wave model of light to
• describe the polarisation of light and its support for
the transverse wave model for light
• describe interference effects
Practical Activities: Demos,
Round robins, Expts, Investigations
Wave-like Properties of Light
• Round robin of introductory activities
• Images in Plane Mirrors
• Focal length of a Concave Mirror
• Focal length of a Soup Spoon
• Snell’s Law
• Focal length of a Convex Lens
• Refraction of Particles
Practical Activities: Demos,
Round robins, Expts, Investigations
Wave-like Properties of Light (ctd)
• Waves on a spring
• Refraction of Waves
• Polaroid Filters
• Brewster’s angle
• Interference of Light demonstrations
Practical Activities: Demos,
Round robins, Expts, Investigations
Radioactivity and Nuclear Physics
• Radioactive sources (range and absorption)
• Half life of Dice
• Half Life of Protactinium
Energy from the Nucleus
Lenses & mirrors (hazelwood)
Both lens and mirror types are possible. The focal lengths
are adjustable. The applet offers the source of a parallel
beams, an object or a point source. The beam of several
parallel rays can both be moved and tilted. The point
source also has several rays. The object has just the
standard three rays. The change of lens or mirror is done
by moving the position of the focus through to the other
side. This is the most versatile applet.
Resources: Applets
Nuclear Reactor
Fusion Reactor
Assessment Tasks
Possible Practical Investigations
Optical fibres
• How does signal output vary with bending?
• Birefringence of sticky tape
• Scattered sunlight
• Refractive indices of different colours for water
Assessment Tasks
Possible Practical Investigations
• Sources of natural radioactivity
• Radon in the classroom
• Range of alpha and beta particles
Other Assessment Tasks
“identify sources of bias and error ….”
Such articles could form the basis of:
•A multimedia presentation,
•A response to a media article or
•A written report
A useful source of such articles on Radioactivity
and Nuclear Energy is Nuclear: Organizations
Depth of Treatment?
• “model wave behaviour as transfer of energy
…” Should sound be described?
• “apply a wave model of energy transfer to
visible light and the em spectrum”
Should the Maxwell model of crossed electric
and magnetic fields be described?
Depth of Treatment?
• “describe the colour components of white light
and colour effects including interference effects
What other colour effects should be covered?
Should interference be explained as
cancellation and reinforcement due to path
Depth of Treatment?
• “evaluate the strengths and limitations of a
wave model ..” What are the limitations of the
wave model? Is it the need for a medium?
• “apply a ray model to … reflection,
refraction, …”
Does this include lenses and mirrors?
Depth of Treatment?
• “apply the nuclear model … stability of
nuclei, … strong nuclear forces …”
What depth of treatment is appropriate?
• “explain nuclear fusion …” How deep?