Properties of Matter

Here are a few lessons to give you some chance at practicals.

Let’s try this easy practical and difficult explanation for a bit of light relief during lockdown

There is no point just putting your values in to the calculator, it wont show you how to do the work!
January 2021

Electricity ONLINE

It looks like some of you are going to be doing the electricity unit online. This is tricky but we’ll try to do as much practical as possible.


Risk Assessments S1 Electricity.xlsx

Hazard Control Measures
Rechargeable Cells or PP3sDo not use rechargeable cells, lithium batteries or PP3s (the flat ones) for your own electrical kits as they have low internal resistance and could cause a high current.
Use only 1.5 V cells and zinc chloride are safer than alkaline.
Dispose of these as instructed on the packet once they no longer work. (they should be fine for the whole block)
Don’t use cells that have leaked- they must not be emitting a liquid or a powdery substance.
Only use a maximum of 2 x 1.5 V cells at a time.
Kitchen foilKitchen foil boxes usually have a sharp edge to cut the foil. Ask a grown up to tear you some off if there is a chance you can cut your finger
ScissorsBeware of sharp edges on scissors
Parcel tape or sellotapeThis can be very sticky and pose a risk to pets or young children, ask a grown up to help tape off the home made wires or complete the task well away from young children and pets.
Electrical kit useDo NOT use your electrical kit near electrical sockets or electrical items.
Do NOT use near water and other liquids.
Static ExperimentsDo NOT do your static experiements near electrical sockets or electrical items.
Balloons can cause a shock to children and pets if they burst so don’t over blow them or use sharp finger nails. Warn young children and keep away from pets.
TorchIf you take apart a torch do not lose any small parts that can be a choking hazard. Do not use LED torches. Make sure the cells in the torch haven’t leaked. You will know if they have as there will be a white powder or liquid.
Lesson 1

Watch the intro video clip for our Electricity Unit.

The Introduction Video for the S1 Electricity Block

Watch the two video clips on Electrical Safety.

Electrical safety undated for UK. It does claim about 30 lives a year in the UK so don’t let it be you. Be safe around electricity!

OK so if I’d been really time rich I would have redone the audio but this is the best I can do whilst teaching 24 periods per week.

The video below is the UK version of safety in the home.

List 10 things to be aware of to be Electrically Safe, eg don’t put knives into toaster.

Atoms- what are they?

Watch the video -The Atom, write out the passage at the end of the video. Check your answers using the wordwall game (link below)

A video covering one Model of the Atom, ending in a cloze passage.

Check whether you have filled in the answers correctly by trying the wordwall

Draw the diagram of the Model of the Atom or print it out, stick it in and label it.

Click on this sheet so that you can open the document.
Lesson 2

Check your answers from last lesson on the atom using the wordwall game. Review the work to make sure you could label a model of the atom.

Answer the microsoft Form on the Atom

Static Electricity

Watch this video on static experiments. Try these at home and pop a picture in the comments of how you get on.

Watch the clips on the Van de Graaff Generator, it is just an effective way of collecting charge. There are instructions to make your own in the electrity notes in another post.

Mrs Physics has a hair raising experience for you during lockdown

Try some of these experiments. NB styrofoam means polystyrene in the UK and try a plastic ruler if you haven’t got plastic pipe.

Here are the individual videos of the static experiments

Polythene and acetate rods do they attract or repel?
Two polythene rods do they attract or repel?
Can you pick up toilet tissue (unused please) using a charged plastic rod?
Bending a fine stream of water/ liquid using a charged rod or charge plastic ruler. If you do this in the bathroom with a fine stream make sure you don’t have a carpet! It’s easier for boys to do this as they stand!
Separating salt and pepper.
Charged balloons
Lesson 3 and 4
Lighting a bulb and making your own electrical kit! (or breaking up your old torch)

Watch the video How to Light a Bulb

Watch the video clip about Making your own Electricital Kit. Try making your own electrical kit and post some photos.

Watch the video clip to improve your circuit and try to put a switch in your own circuit if you make one.

Now use your circuit to test materials for conductors and insulators. Instructions are in the clip below. Don’t forget to record your results in the table shown.

A conductor is a material with free electrons that allows electrons through it. An insulator is a material where additional electrons cannot pass through.

Testing for Conductors and Insulators using your homemade electrical kit


S3 Transport

Need to Know

Various Need to Know sheets have been made as we’ve both tried to put something together. Check with your teacher what you’ve managed to cover.

Drat and here is one I made earlier!




The first sheet is the brief version, the second one has more detail in it.

Don’t forget you can get more information and detail from the National 5 section of this website. GO to the PHYSICS NOTES link in the header and click on the DYNAMICS section. You can also answer some of the Compendium Questions and check the answers in the LO Answer section.

Below are the same files as above but as word versions



This information will help you revise for your assessment. We have not covered the sky diver or vectors at right angles this year.



Summary of the S3 Transport Materials for National 5




In these times of covid19 here is a protractor for you to measure angles for your vector quantities. Thanks to Mr Smith
for this sheet. 


October 20th 2019 and after a week of worry I decided it was finally time to investigate the wormeries and see if the kilogram of worms were still with us. I am finding the stress and responsibility of these hard to take.

My plan, empty each wormery on an old piece of vinyl, investigate what is there and remake each one as they’ll be alone for a week. This was made more difficult as a very cute and friendly robin has been following me around the garden for the last fortnight and passes behind you after you’ve moved any piece of garden soil.

It was really heartwarming to see oodles of big fat juicy worms fall onto the vinyl. They weren’t moving much but were certainly a good size and huddled together in some big piles. The bottom of the blue wormery was quite wet, this was the one with no drainage. The paper had gone slimy and the potato skins were still undigested. Katrina, your McDonald’s straw is still there, but I think the bacteria might be thinking about working on it. So a new cardboard base, screwed up paper, the worms and then some partially digested compost. Lid back on and ready for off. The robin was flapping around so I posted a guard at the door.

Even the pink wormery had worms but the bottom was slimy with sand and paper- whoops I forgot to take a photo of this. So I’ve made up the box, with fresh cardboard and moved some of the worms from the blue box to the pink one and added more partially digested leaf mould / compost. Lid back on.

I was in two minds as to whether I ought to hold out one for the robin as a treat, but then Miss Crozier came to mind and I couldn’t bear to sacrifice one of the little cuties. Everything back in order, I stepped inside to get cleaned up and then remembered I ought to take a photo of the robin. It was then I noticed the escapees. I’ve no idea where they came from but at least 10 were making their way to freedom down the cracks in the paving and across the slabs. I couldn’t pull one up (see photos). If the robin gets you it isn’t my fault as I did give you a little tug to put you back.

So to the Sophie and Hollie- I’ve not killed them and they ought to be ready for you to get them through the winter next week!

Sorry the photos are in the wrong order with the escapees first.

Worms move in!

Well, Wednesday 4th September one group in the Climate Catastrophe Group built their wormery. We are going to look into recycling of food and break down of fruit and vegetables. Worms do create greenhouse gases, but play an important part in maintaining the soil, which has taken a hammering over the last 60 years.

Unfortunately the worms arrived late on Thursday 5th September and had to be in the wormery before the weekend. The students hadn’t quite finished the wormery, so many came up during their lunch break and helped get the worms a temporary start. Our biggest concern is the amount of moisture that we need. The wormery isn’t a draining one, so getting the air and moisture levels is important. We also had to put all the worms in the one box as the second box wasn’t ready.

Let’s hope the worms make it through the weekend. The suspense is terrible and the temperature this weekend was pretty warm, the first dry weekend in four weeks- drat.


HEAT topic resources

Scroll down for the Heat Resources

Notes for the Heat Theory

Click on the red link below to open the theory notes in pdf format.

Heat theory 2016

These are the end notes for the HEAT TOPIC

Click on the red link below to open the final summary notes in pdf format.

End of Topic Heat Notes- JAH


Thanks to Adam P for holding the camera as I did this demo. It shows so much Science in one large boiling tube! Convection, lack of conduction, state of matter, floating and sinking, density! Hope you like it.

The gauze is there only because the ice floats on the water and the ice needs to be at the bottom for the experiment to work.

3 States of matter in one tube from Mrs Physics on Vimeo.

These are a set of results from the Doll’s House. What happens at 20 000 s and what happens at 33,000s? State how the graph would be different if the house was well insulated? Why is the upstairs at a higher temperature? Try to describe the Physics behind each of the graphs.

Below are the resources for the HEAT topic that you’ll cover in S1 Physics. You might not be given all of the information by your teacher, but you can always use the additional materials to read around the subject, that’s what makes a successful learner, confident individual and responsible citizen.

Notes for the Heat Theory

Click on the red link below to open the theory notes in pdf format.

Heat theory 2016

Continue reading “HEAT topic resources”

Climate change

In these posts I’ll try to add content about the most important topic facing our world. I will only use evidence based Science to make my points.

Having Mr Physics on the case helps as he’s been involved in measuring this stuff from the late 1980s to the beginning of the twenty first century.

Here is the definitive link for all things Climate Change, ask an adult if it is too hard.

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

Light & Beyond

Inductiveload, NASA [GFDL ( or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

The S3 Physics Block covers Beyond the Visible after covering light. Attached is the outcomes that you should cover in your course.

One of the uses of UV radiation is a security feature of bank notes. Shining UV radiation on to the bank note causes them to fluoresce (the atoms in the material take in the UV radiation and re-emits it as light which we can see)

Look at how advanced the fluorescing shapes and colours are.

Experiments- Uses of UV to check the authenticity of bank notes

IR cameras are used by the police to track for criminals at night but they are also really useful to the fire brigade at finding people in smoked filled buildings, you can’t hide behind a bin bag and even a hand print can leave a “heat print”.

You can’t hide in a bin bag if someone has the IR camera on you!

Did you know you can be on the radio? Not very musical but it can drown out Radio Scotland.

Do try this at home, use cheese marshmallows or chocolate but you need to take the turntable out and DON’T put things on a metal tray!

Waves S3 Homework Book

The electromagnetic (em) spectrum is a collection of transverse waves that all travel at the same speed in air, the speed of light, 300 000 000 m/s. (equivalent to 7.5 times round the Earth every second)

One of the waves is VISIBLE LIGHT

A=amplitude λ = wavelength



The only difference between each of these waves is their wavelength or frequency. They all fit the formula

Speed= frequency × wavelength

v=f λ

The order is important and to remember it use the following rhyme!

Randy                  Radio & TV

Monkeys              Microwaves

Invade                 Infrared

Venezuela           Visible

Using                   Ultraviolet

Xylophone           X-rays

Gunships             Gamma

Period, T, is the time for one wave to pass a point and is measured in seconds.

Frequency, f is the number of waves being produced or passing a point per second. Frequency is measured in Hertz (Hz)

Here are lots of resources for you to check and practice. My utmost apologies if I have not credited people for sending this material. As soon as I know who you are I will thank you personally.