Stellar Physics

Here is a great little video- what do you expect from the IoP? Life Cycle of Stars

Good Morning campers, on this dreich Scottish Morning, after a bus trip from home to school, where the driver was going for the Formula 1 Bus record, I was delighted to take my mind off the journey with an excellent programme of lessons on the Stellar Physics. Following this course allows you to go at your own pace and cover what you need.

Chapter 4: by Dr. Christopher Palma

If you need more info on Log graphs try this Khan Academy Video.

AH Past Papers

If you wish to do your past paper questions in topic order then Mr C Davie from Glenrothes High School has completed the task for you and you can access it clicking on the link below.

Digital Paper
AH QP & MI SpecimenAH QP & MI
N AH 20192019MI 20192019 Report
2018 Digital QPNAH 20182018MI 2018Report 2018
2017 Digital QPN AH 20172017MI 2017Report 2017
2016 Digital QPN AH 20162016MI 2016Report 2016
Exemplar AH
Specimen AH
SpecimenExemplar AH
Specimen AH
Marking Principles

Below are the Revised Advanced Higher Past Papers, the content is very very similar to the new National (CfE) Advanced Higher, although the marks would be different. These were the last past papers with half marks!

Revised AH Paper YEARMarking
Exam Feedback
Rev 20152015MI 2015Report 2015
Rev 20142014MI 2014Report 2014
Rev 20132013MI 2013Report 2013

These are the traditional Advanced Higher Past Papers Remember some of this material is no longer on the syllabus, and some is relevant to Higher.

AH 20152015MI 2015Report 2015
AH 20142014MI 2014Report 2014
AH 20132013MI 2013Report 2013
AH 2012
2012MI 2012Report 2012
AH 20112011MI 2011Report 2011
AH 20102010MI 2010Report 2010
AH 20092009MI 2009Report 2009
AH 20082008MI 2008Report 2008
AH 20072007MI 2007Report 2007
AH 20062006MI 2006Report 2006
AH 20052005MI 2005Report 2005
AH 20042004MI 2004Report 2004
AH 20032003MI 2003Report 2003
AH 20022002MI 2002Report 2002
AH 20012001MI 2001
20002000 MIs
MI 1999 CSYS
1998 MIs
CSYS 19971997
MI 1997 CSYS

Conditions of use

The past papers are copyright to SQA. They may be reproduced to support SQA qualifications only, on a non-commercial basis. If they are to be used for any other purpose, written permission must be obtained from SQA’s Marketing team on

This site is non commercial, and purely for helping the teaching of physics in Scotland.


Thanks to Mr Stuart Farmer and Mr Andy McPhee for the course reports- their filing systems are so much better than mine, but then that’s why I am doing this! Thanks guys!


Rotational Motion Background Documents

Welcome to the 2017-2018 AH Physics course. Another year, another journey together. I hope you feel that this site meets your requirements and that you can find the materials that you need.

1 calculus intro4

1 Jumper and building Answers

1b Mechanics Learning Outcomes 1 Answers

1b Mechanics Learning Outcomes 1 Questions

1c homework on differentiation

1c differentiation answers

RMA-726390 A set of Problem Solving Questions based on the original HSDU material by Andrew McGuigan, in pdf format

RMA 726390 A  set of Problem Solving Questions based on the original HSDU material by Andrew McGuigan, in word format

2 Circular Motion_2

2a Flea soln

2b Linear motion

3 uncertainties answers

Damping Practicals

Using Tracker to Discuss Damping

Great teamwork this week, with teachers, technicians and students all getting some great results using tracker.

We wanted to see if we could get some damping examples.

We took a pendulum that was just over a metre long and set it in motion over a blue tray. We filmed the pendulum and uploaded this into tracker. Part of a metre stick was used for calibration purposes.

Theo has analysed this to try to show that the amplitude remains constant, if there is no damping. The graph does seem to shift a little towards the positive direction and we are having some good ideas as to why, such as camera slide and swinging forward and back rather than side to side,  but it was probably due to the blurred film.

We then poured water into the tray and repeated the experiment pulling the pendulum back to the same point. Angus produced the tracker trace below. This is pretty blurred and distorted due to the refraction by the water.

Daniel had a clearer film to analyse and got a great plot of displacement with time to show how the amplitude decays with time.

If you can afford the top of the range camera, unlike the teacher, you can get a lovely plot, even if the pendulum appears to be hanging upside down!

You can clearly see that the amplitude decreases. Calculating the period, peaks arrive at the following times

Time (s)

This gives a period of approx. 2.4-2.5 seconds.

HSDU / ES Materials to help you through your course

There was some amazing material produced for the previous revision of AH (when it changed from SYS to AH). Some of this material is out of date, but most is not. It is a shame not to share it, especially as the previous host Education Scotland has removed the materials from their site. These materials should not be sold and should only be used for educational purposes.

further AH questions  These ought to be named, good simple starter questions for each part of the course.

Guide to excel 5795 This is a little out of date but still contains some cracking materials.

student material for AH check_uncert_mech_5959

student material for AH elec_wave_6581

student material for AH mechcorr_elec_wave 6581

Tutorial solutions

Mech Q (further) and solutions

AH (Wave Phenomena)

Uncertainties Norman Fancey Gemmell Millar This is a great document and essential reading for all those who want an excellent introduction to Uncertainties at this level. Ignore the parallelogram plot though.

AH Physics staff guide N Fancey G Millar J Woolsey

quantity symbol sheet Again the document is not totally up-to-date, but it contains some really important information.

Revised AH Materials

Revised AH is is very similar to the current CfE AH course, so materials should be compatible.

AH Space and Time TeachersNotes_tcm4-726395

Rotational Motion and Astrophysics_tcm4-726390



AH Physics SpaceandTimeTeachersNotes Mary Webster

AH Physics QuantumTheoryTeachersNotes Mary Webster


Project Information

2017 Group

Below is a list of the titles for potential projects that we can offer. If you think of something else do discuss it with your teacher. A good project is something where the data can be used to generate a graph, from which information can be obtained. This then gives plenty of opportunities for analysis, and collecting marks!

Topic Comments
g Good one
Focal length Good one
Young’s Modulus Can be good but watch the numbers
Refractive Index But you’d need to find a method to generate graphs
Sheep Difficult, but interesting
Sound Lots of potential but work needed
LCR Circuits If you like circuits this can be a good one
Planck’s Constant If that is what you like!
Wavelength of Sodium Light If that is what you like!
SHM If that is what you like!
Moment of Inertia  Of Bike Wheels, fly wheels, spinners???
Viscocity If you can find a way to generate graphs
Surface Tension If you can find a way to generate graphs

Also LASERs, Strings,
Here is the mark scheme for the project. It is worth 30 marks, so please ensure that you check off each part. Further details can be found in the Investigation Booklet, attached.


SQA mark scheme  Mark scheme 2017 a pdf version of the mark scheme with space for marking.

Mark scheme 2017 a word version of the mark scheme with space for marking.

Project Mark Scheme 2 page marking scheme with room for comments.

Mark-Scheme 2 page marking scheme with room for comments on page 1. The pdf file of the above document.

Project Mark Scheme pdf file single page marking scheme, no room for comments.

Investigating unit day book

UPDATED VERSION 2:  AH Physics Project Advice for Teachers

Here is the information from Tom B, former PA for AH Physics, it is more for teachers than students, but it can’t do harm to read it and you might get some great tips.

AH Physics Project Advice for Teachers pdf version

AH Physics Project Advice for Teachers word version February 2017

Here is an excellent information sheet to using MS Excel for your project write ups including how to create error bars. (Thanks Tom B)

Use of Excel in AH 2010 this is the word version, below is the same document as a pdf file.

Use of Excel in AH 2010

I am not allowed to give you a template to use for your project write-up, however, I think that you ought to be aware of the usefulness of WORD and how it can do many of the things that you need for your project write-up. I see this as similar to the Excel help that is given below.

If you’re lucky enough to have excel 2013- here is a document from Mr Taylor from Strathhaven on plotting graphs in excel with error bars etc.

AH Sciences Graphs in Excel 2013

AH Sciences Graphs in Excel 2013

AH Science Project write up word

AH Science Project write up pdf file

word set up AH Science Project word file

Initial word set up AH Science Project pdf document

I’ll keep adding more as it arrives!


Quanta & Waves Resources

Below are some accumulated resources. Thanks to all of those who produced them.

ah-quanta-summary notes problems-2015 Thanks to RGC for these notes

quanta-and-waves-student-booklet-i-ror Thanks to Mr Orr for these.

Quanta and Waves Student booklet I ROR pdf version of the above

4.2 Energy changes during simple harmonic motion

ah waves summary notes and problems 2013 RGC notes thanks for these

PhysicsQuantaandWaves_tcm4-726389 Andrew McGuigan Numerical Questions

ah quanta summary notes and problems 2015 LA

ah quanta tutorial solutions 2015

ah uncertainties experiments 2013

ah waves summary notes and problems 2013

ah waves tutorial solutions 2013



stellar  physics pdf       stellar physics.doc



cosmic-rays A quick research task on cosmic rays.

cosmic-rays-answers The answers to the sheet above.



Scientist think that the Earth is due a “Magnetic Flip” Research this starting at the link below and then answer the AH Revised question on this from the 2015 Paper Q11

Here is a Radio 4 programme talking about the consequences of a polar flip. If you want to view further programmes click on the link below. case of Rutherford and Fry


The number of sunspots is an indication of solar activity. Research this and then complete the AH Revised 2013 paper Q6.




Quantum Tunnelling – strange but true


What is the Uncertainty Principle? Minute Physics

Quantum Tunnelling is the process by which a particle gets across a barrier that it cannot classically pass.

It is related to wave-particle duality in that it is a result of the wave nature of a particle.

The probability of the particles getting through the barrier drops exponentially with the thickness of the barrier.

“>What is Quantum Tunnelling? Minute Physics

How to walk through walls- Quantum Tunnelling

Is Quantum Tunnelling faster than the speed of light?

Quantum Entanglement








Tutorial AH Revised Booklet v2




Quantum Mechanics

  • I think I can safely say that nobody understands quantum mechanics.

But here is a great video to help you understand what is happening

Quantum Theory Full Documentary this link is set up so you miss the blurb at the beginning.

Here is a link to brief notes on the important discoveries leading to the Quantum Mechanics ideas we know today.

The Sectrets of Quantum Physics

  • We have always had a great deal of difficulty understanding the world view that quantum mechanics represents. At least I do, because I’m an old enough man that I haven’t got to the point that this stuff is obvious to me. Okay, I still get nervous with it…. You know how it always is, every new idea, it takes a generation or two until it becomes obvious that there’s no real problem. I cannot define the real problem, therefore I suspect there’s no real problem, but I’m not sure there’s no real problem.
    • Richard Feynman, in Simulating Physics with Computers appearing in International Journal of Theoretical Physics (1982) p. 471.
  • We choose to examine a phenomenon [Double-slit experiment] which is impossible, absolutely impossible, to explain in any classical way, and which has in it the heart of quantum mechanics. In reality, it contains the only mystery. We cannot make the mystery go away by “explaining” how it works. We will just tell you how it works. In telling you how it works we will have told you about the basic peculiarities of all quantum mechanics.
    • Richard Feynman, The Feynman Lectures on Physics: Commemorative Issue, Vol. 3 Quantum Mechanics (1989) 1-1, “Quantum Behavior.”