I am grateful to Ms K Ward from George Heriot’s School for trawling through the new and old curriculum and recorded the changes. Thanks to her for also allowing me to reproduce it here.
Old assessment: 100 mark question paper, 30 mark project, plus pass all the units
New assessment: 155 mark question paper, scaled to 120, 40 mark project (hence project is 25%)
Changes to content:
The content is no longer divided into ‘mandatory course key areas’, ‘suggested learning activities’, and ‘exemplification of key areas’. There is simply a list of the course contents.
Where the wording has changed but I don’t see any real difference, I have said ‘no change’.
Kinematic relationships – no change
Angular motion – derivation of centripetal acceleration equation is gone
Rotational dynamics – no change
– ‘Conversion between astronomical units (AU) and metres and between light-years (ly) and metres’ – is new
– ‘Consideration of the energy required by a satellite to move from one orbit to another’ – is gone
– ‘Knowledge that the escape velocity from the event horizon of a black hole is equal to the speed of light’ – is new
Specific example of a p-p chain is now given
Hertzprung-Russell section is rewritten more clearly.
Quanta and Waves
Introduction to quantum theory – no change
Particles from space
– ‘Knowledge of the interaction of the solar wind with Earth’s magnetic field’ – is gone. New document only mentions composition of solar wind. Helical motion of charged particles is still there though, so it might not really matter.
Simple harmonic motion (SHM)– no change
Waves – no change
Relationship for interference due to division of amplitude is now specified,
opd=mλ or (m+1/2) λ where m=0,1,2…
Polarisation – no change
– ‘Knowledge of Millikan’s experimental method for determining the charge on an electron’ – this was in ‘exemplification’ before but is now specifically required knowledge
– ‘Comparison of gravitational, electrostatic, magnetic, and nuclear forces in terms of their relative strength and range’ – the words in bold are new
– ‘Knowledge that, in an RC circuit, an uncharged capacitor can be considered to be fully
charged after a time approximately equal to 5τ. Knowledge that, in an RC circuit, a fully charged capacitor can be considered to be fully discharged after a time approximately equal to 5τ.’ – is new
Electromagnetic radiation– no change
Knowledge and use of appropriate units, prefixes and scientific notation
– ‘Absolute uncertainty should normally be rounded to one significant figure. In some instances, a second significant figure may be retained.’ – the words in bold are new. It does not specify the instances in which a second figure may be retained.
– ‘Knowledge that, when uncertainties in a single measurement are combined, an uncertainty can be ignored if it is less than one third of one of the other uncertainties in the measurement’ – is new
– ‘Knowledge that, when uncertainties in measured values are combined, a fractional/percentage uncertainty in a measured value can be ignored if it is less than one third of the fractional/percentage uncertainty in another measured value’ – is new
– The equation for the uncertainty in a value raised to a power is now given:
Evaluation and significance of experimental uncertainties
– This short section is new