Cambridge International AS Level and A Level Physics Coursebook
This book covers the entire syllabus of CIE Physics for A and AS level. It is in three parts:
• Chapters 1–17: the AS level content, covered in the first year of the course;
• Chapters 18–33: the remaining A level content, including Applications of Physics, covered in the second year of the course;
• Appendices: practical skills, and useful data and formulae.
The main task of a textbook like this is to explain the various concepts of physics which you need to understand and to provide you with questions which will help you to test your understanding and prepare for the examinations. You will find that each chapter has the same structure.
• At the start there are objectives, mapping out the content of the chapter.
• The main text explains ideas and outlines the evidence which supports them.
• Worked examples show how to tackle particular types of problems.
• ‘Test yourself’ questions allow you to check your understanding as you go along.
• At the end, there is a detailed summary which links back to the objectives at the start.
• Finally, at the end of each chapter there are questions of two sorts: general questions which relate to the material covered in the whole chapter, and exam-style questions which will give you practice at tackling the sort of structured questions which appear in exams. When tackling questions, it is a good idea to make a first attempt without referring to the textbook or to your notes. This will help to reveal any gaps in your understanding. By sorting out any problems at an early stage you will progress faster as the course continues.
In this e-book version of the Cambridge AS and A Level Physics Coursebook, the CD-ROM content is included as ‘supplementary material’. This material includes a worksheet with more questions and a marking scheme for each chapter. The later questions on each worksheet are designed to provide more of a challenge for able students. The supplementary material also includes a checklist for practicals and advice on tackling the examination, both of which are to be found in the Appendices.
In this book, the maths has been kept to the minimum required by the CIE Physics AS and A level syllabus. If you are also studying mathematics, you may find that more advanced techniques such as calculus will help you with many aspects of physics. Studying physics can be a stimulating and worthwhile experience. It is an international subject; no single country has a monopoly on the development of the ideas. Discovering how men and women from many countries have contributed to our knowledge and well-being can be a rewarding exercise. We hope that this book will help you to succeed in examinations but also that it will stimulate
your curiosity and fire your imagination. Today’s students become the next generation of physicists and engineers, and we hope that you will learn from the past to take physics to ever greater heights.
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