Revision Materials for the CfE Higher Physics Course

Get organised! The most important advice I can give you for this year.

Monthly Calendar Here is a  monthly calendar to help you plan your study and life during this year. Most people find their Higher year the hardest they’ll ever do. It will pass quicker than you imagine, so don’t leave things until the last minute.

Weekly Planner Here is a weekly planner if you prefer this layout to your homework planner.

and if you are just starting out and want to know about how and why to learn check out Mr Burke’s site

Here is a 10 week revision plan from Mr Kennedy- thanks

Adjust to your own order.


Teamwork by Mr Stewart (Berwickshire HS) and I. He designed and made them and I tweaked them. Thanks Mr Stewart they’re ace!


Contains UPSN, OEQ, Uncertainties and is 4 pages

Our Dynamic Universe

Thanks Mr R Stewart!

Particles and Waves

Link working!

Particles from the Particles and Waves section- 4 pages+ references (don’t print that one!)
These currently are 5 draft pages

Parrot sheets

Whilst you are waiting for the Knowledge organisers (I’m on the case, but writing a prelim for you!) here is a fab parrot sheet. Thank C Forster, and I hope you don’t mind that I’ve made a few of changes- obviously you do as my changes haven’t saved! No time tonight but I’ll try to do this tomorrow.


Everyone loves a Mindmap!

Mr Risbridger comes to the rescue again. After the excellent N5 Mind maps he’s started on some Higher ones. Thanks Sir!

ODU Mindmaps

Motion, Equations and Graphs
Force, Energy and Power
Collisions, Explosions and Impulse
Gravitation and Special Relativity
The Expanding Universe

Particles and Waves Mindmaps

The Standard Model
Forces on Charged Particles
Wave Particle Duality
Nuclear Reactions
Inverse Square Law

Electricity Mindmaps

Monitoring and measuring A.C.
Current, pd, power and resistance
EMF and internal resistance

More Resources

higher revision cards

Revision Techniques[1]  Ideas about revision techniques

What type of Learner are you? I would expect by this stage you have a fair idea, but just in case it has passed you by go through some of the documents below. You might need a friend to work through this with you.


Inventory of Learning styles

learning style Learning_style_questionnaire


VAK_assessment_sheet_for_students VAK_Powerpoint

Below are a few pointers on how to answer exam questions.

Sketch Graphs

Here is a document for you to mark to see what you would consider the marking scheme for each diagram. NB This is the marking scheme for the unrevised Higher, so although the ideas are the same the mark scheme will be slightly different.

Sketch Graphs pptx

The power point that explains the graph marking scheme above.

Must Justify

Work on how to answer questions that include justify statement.


Updated for the 2018 exam on 8th May 2018

CfE Higher Physics – Unit by Unit – Past Paper Questions

Some hints to CfE type questions

Hope the revision goes well, don’t forget to take some regular breaks and get some exercise, including fresh air and a walk or a run. You better remind me too. I only make about 5k steps a day! All the best, it was lovely sharing this journey with you.

Mrs Physics January 2022

ODU Resources

You moaned and I responded. Here are just the notes for the ODU section, no questions to put you off. I will move the questions to the Learning Outcome Booklet.

ODU Notes and Practicals

Updated for the 2018 changes

Part 1, containing notes, tutorials and practicals



Part 2 of the notes in word format, you can adapt these if you can open them.

These are part 2 of the notes in pdf format, so you all ought to be able to open them.


Well after spending 18 months or more several years ago putting everything together students have unanimously declared they want everything separated, so your wish is my command students- here is the complete Our Dynamic Universe section notes with nothing but the essential practicals plus one!

These are part 1 of the notes in pdf format, so you all ought to be able to open them. There is a word version underneath.

These are part 1 of the notes in word format, you can adapt these if you can open them.


Teamwork by Mr Stewart (Berwickshire HS) and I. He designed and made them and I tweaked them. Thanks Mr Stewart they’re ace!

Thanks Mr R Stewart- what a team!

Thanks Mr R Stewart!

For those having trouble with Unit 1 part 1 try this little document

1. 1a Equations of motion

1. 1a Equations of motion

I’ve removed the Time Dilation detailed version and added it as a separate document as I suspect most of you wont read them; which is a pity as it makes everything seem fine! Based on Russell Stannard’s excellent book “Relativity- a very short introduction” Oxford. (2008)  ISBN 978–0–19–923622–0)

ODU worked ANSWERS_4 Currently the most up to date version of the worked answers.

ODU worked ANSWERS_4 The pdf version of the most up to date version of the worked answers.

Additional Support

Chapter 1 exam questions B for CFE higher

Chapter 1 exam Answers B for CFE higher

These are powerpoints prepared for the Revised Higher in 2000. They are still relevant now, and talk through example questions. They are great for revision.

It might be old, but sometimes the old ones are the best. Link for the ppp below!

Linked to some talking questions and answer. ppp below

For those struggling with the vectors try these to give you some practice Great Resource from Mr Crookes. Set up your 2 vectors, either use a scale diagram or components and compare to the given answer. Enjoy!

If you don’t like proving v2=u2+2as from v=u+at then use this neat little sheet from Mr Mackenzie.

A lovely little summary from G Gibb!

Equations of Motion

4.4 ODU EqoM 2012 this document has the macros enabled (actually I think you might need to contact me to get the macros, they are not allowed to be uploaded on a WordPress Website. It allows you to check your answers for the acceleration time graphs that you drew from the velocity time graph diagrams.

using displacement equation to prove the last equation

Click on the image to open a power point of Adding Vectors.

Forces, Energy and Power


africanfastfood This is an introduction to the momentum topic; think about the collision and where the energy is transferred.

Collisions- Think Safety before buying a car!


Projectiles thanks to Mr. Rossi for this one.

Battleships & AWACS Projectiles thanks to Mr. Rossi for this one too.

Special Relativity

Time dilation02

Cleonis [CC BY-SA 3.0 (]

The green dots and red dots in the animation represent spaceships. The ships of the green fleet have no velocity relative to each other, so for the clocks onboard of the individual ships, the same amount of time elapses relative to each other, and they can set up a procedure to maintain a synchronized standard fleet time. The ships of the “red fleet” are moving with a velocity of 0.866 of the speed of light with respect to the green fleet.

The blue dots represent pulses of light. One cycle of light-pulses between two green ships takes two seconds of “green time”, one second for each leg.

{\displaystyle {\sqrt {3}}}

As seen from the perspective of the reds, the transit time of the light pulses they exchange among each other is one second of “red time” for each leg. As seen from the perspective of the greens, the red ships’ cycle of exchanging light pulses travels a diagonal path that is two light-seconds long. (As seen from the green perspective the reds travel 1.73 ({\displaystyle {\sqrt {3}}}) light-seconds of distance for every two seconds of green time.)The animation cycles between the green perspective and the red perspective, to emphasize the symmetry.

OnVelocities This is a document referred to in the Research Task in the ODU part 2 notes.

PHYSICS WORLD ARTICLE DECEMBER 2009 This is a document referred to in the Research Task in ODU part 2 notes

The Expanding Universe

The expanding universe powerpoints. Might not be quite the final version

This is the pdf version of the powerpoint

The above is the pdf version of the powerpoint

Are we missing something in the Expanding Universe?

AH (Doppler)– some of this is relevant to Higher.


The homework booklets are now in the HOMEWORK section.

Homework Booklet Complete pp6-8 (first question), 10-16, 18. Complete notes on Units prefixes and Sci Notation, Uncertainties, Equations of Motion. Read up on Forces.

Updated August 2019

Particles and Waves Resources

Powers of Ten- this was high tech when I was at school!

Since then a few things have moved on, not least with the physics as well as the graphics.

Orders of Magnitude

The class of scale or magnitude of any amount, where each class contains values of a fixed ratio (most often 10) to the class preceding it. For example, something that is 2 orders of magnitude larger is 100 times larger; something that is 3 orders of magnitude larger is 1000 times larger; and something that is 6 orders of magnitude larger is one million times larger, because 102 = 100, 103 = 1000, and 106 = one million

In its most common usage, the amount scaled is 10, and the scale is the exponent applied to this amount (therefore, to be an order of magnitude greater is to be 10 times, or 10 to the power of 1, greater).

Orders of magnitude are generally used to make very approximate comparisons and reflect very large differences. If two numbers differ by one order of magnitude, one is about ten times larger than the other. If they differ by two orders of magnitude, they differ by a factor of about 100. Two numbers of the same order of magnitude have roughly the same scale — the larger value is less than ten times the smaller value.

Source: Boundless. “Order of Magnitude Calculations.” Boundless Physics Boundless, 26 May. 2016. Retrieved 23 Jan. 2017 from

A proton is 3 orders of magnitude larger than a positron or electron.

Below are the updated 2019 versions. Currently the book is divided into the Standard Model, Forces and Particles and Nuclear Radiation in Part 1 and the waves part will be in part 2, which I have yet to finalise. If you want a colour copy, then you’re welcome to print it out at your own cost.on

P&W ANSWERS Now most of the notes are complete I can start working through the answers. I have got these in a jotter, but will plod through them as quick as I can. They are very slow to type up in equation editor.

…and finally the Particles and Waves book 2 is finished.

Particles and Waves Knowledge Organiser P1

Particles and Waves

Particles from the Particles and Waves section- 4 pages+ references (don’t print that one!)
These currently are 5 draft pages

Additional Resources- take your pick

Introduction to Particle Physics

The following two documents are a wonderful summary of the Particles and Waves topic from the Revised Higher course courtesy of George Watson’s College, which is very much the current CfE Higher Course.

Particles & Waves

Here’s a lovely little revision sheet on the Standard Model thanks to Mr Ian Cameron.

Standard Model IC word version

Standard Model IC pdf version

Below are some cracking resources from Sally Weatherly, find her here!

New for 2021 Powerpoints!

Revision and Orders of Magnitude

Orders of magnitude cut out base

The Standard Model

How to tell a MESON from a BARYON (Stewart, K (2017))

MESON- two syllables = 2 quarks (a quark and antiquark pair)

BARYON- three syllables = 3 quarks

Sorting the Fundamental Particles

Standard Model Street

Standard Model Tweet

#Higgs Boson

= fundamental particle, used by HiggsField 2 interact with other particles 2 give them m, causes particles to slow, cannot reach c due to m.

found the sign 2022 is looking good

Charged Particles on Fields

Particle Accelerators


I don’t know who was the original source of some of this material on Physics Resources but thanks! Hope you don’t mind I updated it.


Inverse Square Law

Wave particle Duality



Was this the original Spectra?

Line Spectra


I’ve had to split this as it is too big. The second part will appear after Friday

The pdf obviously doesn’t have the video clips!

Other resources

quantum model of atom

quantum model of atom answers


quantum model of atom Mrs Physics’ model of energy level, to help you remember, not necessarily to teach you Physics!

quantum model of atom answers Mrs Physics’ model of energy level answers. Don’t look at these until you’ve tried them yourself!

These are the tweets from the higher class this 2017. Describe in under 140 characters the following words. Let us know if you can do better. Some of the tweets are a little over as there are no symbols in wordpress that I can find.
TERMDEFINITION (140 characters or less)
#4 FUNDAMENTAL FORCESFundamental forces: interactions that cannot be reduced. There are 4 types. The forces keep all matter together in the universe.
#ANNIHALATEProcess in which a particle and antiparticle unite, annihilate each other, and produce 1 or more photons. Energy and momentum are conserved.
#ANTIMATTERMatter consisting of elementary particles which are the antiparticles of those making up normal matter.
#BARYONA subatomic particle which has a mass greater than or equal to that of a proton.
#BOSONA subatomic particle, such as a photon, which has zero or integral spin. All the force carrier particles are bosons.
#COLOUR Particle has 3 apparently identical quarks but have different properties categorised by colour to satisfy Pauli Exclusion Principle
#ELECTROMAGNETIC FORCE1 of 4 fundamental forces. influencing electrically charged particles. Responsible for electricity, magnetism and light and holds p+ and e- together
#ELECTROMAGNETIC FORCEAffects electrically charged particles. Responsible for electricity, magnetism, & light;holds e- and p+ in atoms; allows atoms to bond to form molecules. Causes objects to be solid
#EXCHANGE PARTICLEParticle that carries forces for strong force – gluon, weak force – W and Z bosons, electromagnetic – photon and gravitational – graviton.
#FERMIONMatter particles e.g. proton, neutron and electron that have a half-integer spin and are constrained by the Pauli Exclusion Principle.
#GLUONA supposed massless subatomic particle believed to transmit the force binding quarks together in a hadron. They mediate the strong force.
#GRAVITATIONAL FORCEA force that attracts any object with mass.
#HADRONA particle made of quarks. Two families: baryons – made of 3 quarks & mesons – made of 1 quark & 1 antiquark. Protons & neutrons are baryons
#HIGGS BOSONfundamental particle, used by Higgs Field, to interact with other particles two give them m, causes particles to slow therefore cannot reach c due to m.
#LEPTONElementary particles, the basic building blocks of matter. Six leptons are in present structure. Varieties are called flavours.
#MESON Are intermediate mass particles that are made of a quark- antiquark pair. Mesons are bosons and could be hadrons.
#MUONA particle similar to the electron, with an electric charge of −1 e and a spin of 1/2, but with a much greater mass. It is classified as a lepton.
#NEUTRINOA neutral subatomic particle. Mass close to zero. Half-integral spin.Rarely reacts with normal matter. 3 types of neutrino are electron, muon and tau.
#POSITRONPositron= antielectron =the antiparticle of the electron has an. Its electric charge is +1 e, a spin of 1/2, same mass as an electron.
#QUARKQuark: a fundamental particle. Quarks combine to form composite particles called hadrons. The most stable hadrons are protons and neutrons.
#SPINAll particles have spin. Can be up or down & has a fixed value which depends on the type of particle. Particles can be right or left handed
#STANDARD MODELTheory concerning electromagnetic, gravitational, strong and weak nuclear interactions and classifying all known subatomic particles.
#STRONG FORCEBinds quarks together to make subatomic particles e.g.protons and neutrons. Holds together the atomic nucleus. Causes interactions between particles that have quarks.
#WEAK FORCEA force that plays a role in things falling apart, or decaying.

Mrs Physics was given a tweet to do too. I think she did very well, exactly 140 characters with spaces!

Prof Aidan Robson (Glasgow University)
Hope no one gets to this stage!

It is not as Mrs B said Mrs H’s Bohring Model, but it is more like a Stewart method of remembering the Bohr model!

quantum model of atom

quantum model of atom answers

Photomultipliers- what the heck are they?


Here are three links to some cracking simulations for this topic

PhET Interactive Simulations
University of Colorado Boulder


Anderson High school Shetland Notes

With grateful thanks to Ms Nancy Hunter from Anderson High School in Shetland. Apparently these have been voted as the best Higher notes.



Online simulations

There is a great simulation from Phet Colorado Physics. It is fantastic and we must support this great site.

PhET Interactive Simulations
University of Colorado Boulder

Photoelectric Effect

Click to Run

This is a great little introduction to Chapter 7 Interference and Diffraction.


A great poster from NPL- measurements are in their care! The poster shows how time keeping has got more and more precise.

Scholar Notes



Mrs Physics

Updated January 2022