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SECOND DRAFT
Contents
Preamble
Chapter 1
Introduction
Rationale
Curriculum Aims
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
1
2
Curriculum Framework
Curriculum Structure
Learning Targets
Compulsory Part
Elective Part
3
6
8
43
Investigative Study
79
Curriculum Planning
Interfacing Junior Secondary Science Curriculum
Progression of Studies
Suggested Learning and Teaching Sequences
Chapter 4
Learning and Teaching
Designing Learning Activities
Teaching with a Contextual Approach
Using Information Technology (IT) for Interactive
Learning
Providing Life-wide Learning Opportunities
Chapter 5
83
85
88
92
95
95
95
Assessment
Aims of Assessment
Internal Assessment
Public Assessment
96
96
96
Chapter 6
Effective Use of Learning and Teaching Resources
100
Chapter 7
Supporting Measures
101
References
102
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Preamble
The Curriculum Development Council (CDC)-Hong Kong Examinations and
Assessment Authority (HKEAA) Committees (Senior Secondary) of various subjects have
been set up jointly by the CDC and the HKEAA Council to develop the Curriculum and
Assessment Guides (C&A Guides) for the new 3-year senior secondary academic structure in
Hong Kong. During the first stage of consultation on the new academic structure between
October 2004 and January 2005, the document Reforming the Academic Structure for
Senior Secondary Education and Higher Education - Actions for Investing in the Future
(Education and Manpower Bureau, 2004) was published to seek stakeholders’ views on the
design blueprint of the structure, the timetable for implementation and financial arrangements.
An accompanying document, Proposed Core and Elective Subject Frameworks for the New
Senior Secondary Curriculum, was also produced to solicit views and feedback from
schools on the initial curriculum and assessment design of individual subjects to inform the
development of the C&A Guides.
The report New Academic Structure for Senior Secondary Education and Higher
Education – Action Plan for Investing in the Future of Hong Kong (Education and
Manpower Bureau, 2005), an outcome of the first stage of consultation, has just been
published to chart the way forward for implementing the new academic structure and to set
further directions for the second stage of consultation on curriculum and assessment as part of
the interactive and multiple-stage process of developing the C&A Guides. In addition,
taking into consideration the feedback collected through various means including the returned
questionnaires from key learning area coordinators/panel heads during the first stage of
consultation, the curriculum and assessment frameworks of subjects have been revised and
elaborated. We would like to solicit further views on the frameworks from stakeholders, in
particular the school sector.
To understand the position of each subject in the new academic structure, readers
are encouraged to refer to the report. Comments and suggestions on the Proposed New
Senior Secondary Physics Curriculum and Assessment Framework are welcome and could
be sent to:
Chief Curriculum Development Officer (Science Education)
401, 4/F., Tin Kwong Road, Kowloon
Fax: 2194 0670
E-mail: [email protected]
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Chapter 1
Introduction
1.1
Physics is one of the elective subjects in the Key Learning Area (KLA) of Science
Education 1 . The Physics Curriculum serves as a continuation of the Science (S1-3)
Curriculum and builds on the strength of the current Physics Curricula. It will provide a
range of balanced learning experiences through which students can develop the necessary
scientific knowledge and understanding, skills and processes, and values and attitudes
embedded in the strand “Energy and Change” of science education and in other related
strands for personal development, and for contributing towards a scientific and technological
world. The curriculum will prepare students for entering tertiary courses, vocation-related
courses or joining the workforce in various fields of physical science.
Rationale
1.2
The emergence of a highly competitive and integrated economy, rapid scientific
and technological innovations, and a growing knowledge base will continue to have a
profound impact on our lives. In order to meet the challenges posed by these changes,
Physics, like other science electives, will provide a platform for developing scientific literacy
and for building up essential scientific knowledge and skills for life-long learning in science
and technology.
1.3
Physics is one of the most fundamental natural sciences. It involves the study of
universal laws, and the behaviours and relationships among a wide range of physical
phenomena. Through the learning of physics, students will acquire conceptual and
procedural knowledge relevant to their daily lives. In addition to the relevance and intrinsic
beauty of physics, the study of physics also helps students to develop an understanding of the
practical applications of physics to a wide variety of other fields. With a solid foundation in
physics, students should be able to appreciate the intrinsic beauty and quantitative nature of
physical phenomena, and the role of physics in many important developments in engineering,
medicine, economics and other fields of science and technology. Furthermore, learning
about the contribution, issues and problems related to innovations in physics will help
1
There will be four elective subjects offered in the Key Learning Area of Science Education, namely Biology,
Chemistry, Physics and Science. The design of the subject Science will include two modes – integrated and
combined. This curriculum will contribute towards the Physics part of the combined mode – Science
(Biology, Physics) and Science (Physics, Chemistry).
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students to develop a holistic view of the relation of science, technology, society and the
environment.
1.4
The curriculum attempts to make the study of physics exciting and relevant. It is
suggested to introduce the learning of physics in real life contexts. The adoption of diverse
learning contexts, learning and teaching strategies, and assessment practices is intended to
appeal to students of all abilities and aspirations, and to stimulate interest and motivation for
learning among them. Together with other learning experiences, students are expected to be
able to apply the knowledge of physics they gain, to appreciate the relationship between
physics and other disciplines, to be aware of the science-technology-society-environment
(STSE) connections of contemporary issues, and to become responsible citizens.
Curriculum Aims
1.5
The overarching aim of the Physics Curriculum is to provide physics-related
learning experiences for students to develop scientific literacy, so that they can participate
actively in our rapidly changing knowledge-based society, prepare for further studies or
careers in fields related to physics, and become life-long learners in science and technology.
The broad aims of the curriculum are to enable students to:
develop interest and maintain a sense of wonder and curiosity about the physical
world;
construct and apply knowledge of physics, and appreciate the relationship between
physical science and other disciplines;
appreciate and understand the nature of science in physics-related contexts;
develop skills for making scientific inquiries;
develop the ability to think scientifically, critically and creatively, and to solve
problems individually or collaboratively in physics-related contexts;
understand the language of science and communicate ideas and views on
physics-related issues;
make informed decisions and judgments on physics-related issues; and
be aware of the social, ethical, economic, environmental and technological
implications of physics, and develop an attitude of responsible citizenship.
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Chapter 2
Curriculum Framework
Curriculum Structure
2.1
The curriculum will consist of compulsory and elective parts. The compulsory
part will cover a range of content that enables students to develop understanding of
fundamental principles and concepts in physics, and the scientific process skills. It is
suggested to include the following topics: “Heat Transfer and Gases”, “Force and Motion”,
“Wave Motion”, “Electricity and Magnetism” and “Radioactivity and Nuclear Energy”.
2.2
To cater for the diverse interests, abilities and needs of students, an elective part
will be included in the curriculum. The elective part aims to provide an in-depth treatment
of some of the topics in the compulsory part, an extension of certain areas of study, or a
synthesis of knowledge, understanding and skills in a particular context. Topics suggested
in the elective part are: “Astronomy and Space Science”, “Atomic World”, “Energy and Use
of Energy” and “Medical Physics”.
2.3
To facilitate the integration of knowledge and skills acquired, students are required
to conduct an investigative study relevant to the curriculum. A proportion of lesson time
will be allocated for this study.
2.4
The suggested content and time allocation for the compulsory and elective parts are
listed in the following tables.
Suggested lesson
time (hrs)
Compulsory part (Total 200 hours)
*
I.
Heat Transfer and
Gases
II.
Force and Motion
a.
b.
c.
d.
a.
b.
c.
d.
e.
f.
Temperature, heat and internal energy*
Transfer processes*
Change of state*
Gases
Position and movement*
Force and motion*
Motion in two dimensions*
Work, energy and power*
Momentum*
Gravitation
25
55
Parts of these topics are proposed to be included in the physics part of Science (Biology, Physics) and that of
Science (Chemistry, Physics) respectively.
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Compulsory part (Total 200 hours)
III.
Wave Motion
IV.
Electricity and
Magnetism
V.
Radioactivity and
Nuclear Energy
a.
b.
c.
a.
b.
c.
a.
b.
c.
Suggested lesson
time (hrs)
Nature and properties of waves*
Light*
Sound*
Electrostatics*
Circuits and domestic electricity*
Electromagnetism*
Radiation and radioactivity
Atomic model
Nuclear energy
Subtotal:
Astronomy and
Space Science
VII. Atomic World
VIII. Energy and Use of
Energy
IX.
Medical Physics
Study in Physics
*
200
The universe as seen in different scales
Astronomy through history
Newton’s law of gravitation
Stars and the universe
Rutherford’s atomic model
Photoelectric effect
Bohr’s atomic model of hydrogen
Particles or waves
Probing into nano scale
Electricity at home
Energy performance in building and
transportation
c. Renewable sources of energy
27
a. Making sense of the eye and the ear
b. Sound and optical imaging
c. Medical imaging
27
27
27
54
Suggested lesson
time (hrs)
Investigative Study (16 hours)
Investigative
16
a.
b.
c.
d.
a.
b.
c.
d.
e.
a.
b.
Subtotal:
X.
56
Suggested lesson
time (hrs)
Elective part (Total 54 hours, any 2 out of 4)
VI.
48
Students should conduct an investigation
with a view to solving an authentic problem
16
Total lesson time:
270
Parts of these topics are proposed to be included in the physics part of Science (Biology, Physics) and that of
Science (Chemistry, Physics) respectively.
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2.5
The content of the curriculum is organised into 9 topics and an investigative study.
However, the concepts and principles of physics are inter-related, which cannot be confined
by any artificial boundaries of topics. The order of presentation of the topics in this chapter
should not be regarded as the recommended teaching sequence. Teachers should adopt
sequences that best suit their chosen teaching approaches as well as the benefit of students’
learning. For instance, some parts of a certain topic may be covered in advance if they fit in
naturally with a chosen context.
2.6
There are five major parts in each of the following nine topics: Overview, Learning
Outcomes, Suggested Learning and Teaching Activities, Values and Attitudes, and Science,
Technology, Society and Environment (STSE) connections.
Overview – outlines the main theme of the topic. The major concepts and important
physics principles to be acquired will be highlighted. The foci of each topic will be
briefly described. The interconnections between subtopics will also be outlined.
Learning Outcomes – lists out the learning outcomes acquired by students in the
knowledge content domain of the curriculum. It provides a broad framework upon
which learning and teaching activities can be developed.
Suggested Learning and Teaching Activities – gives suggestions to some of the
different skills that are expected to be acquired in the topic. Some important processes
associated with the topic are also briefly described. Since most of the generic skills can
be acquired through any of the topics, there is no attempt to give directive
recommendation on the activities that should be performed. Students need to acquire a
much broader variety of skills than what are mentioned in the topics. Teachers should
exercise their professional judgement to arrange practical and learning activities to
develop the skills of students as listed in the Skills and Process of the Curriculum
Framework. It should be done through appropriate integrations with the knowledge
content, taking into consideration of students’ abilities and interests as well as school
contexts.
Values and Attitudes – suggests some desirable values and attitudes related to the study
in the topic. Students are expected to develop such intrinsically worthwhile values and
positive attitudes in the course of study in physics. Through discussions and debates,
for example, students are encouraged to form their value judgement and develop good
habits for the benefit of themselves and the society.
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STSE connections – suggests some issue-based learning activities or contexts related to
the topic. Students should be encouraged to develop an appreciation and apprehension
of issues which reflect the interconnections of science, technology, society and the
environment. Through discussion, debate, information search and project work,
students can develop their skills of communication, information handling, critical
thinking and making informed judgement. Teachers are free to select other current,
relevant topics and issues of high profile in the public agenda as themes of meaningful
learning activities.
Learning Targets
2.7
The learning targets of this curriculum are categorised into three domains:
knowledge and understanding, skills and processes, and values and attitudes. Through the
learning embodied in the Physics Curriculum, students will reach the relevant learning targets
in various physics-related contexts.
Knowledge and Understanding
Students are expected to:
understand phenomena, facts and patterns, principles, concepts, laws, theories and
models in physics;
learn vocabulary, terminology and conventions in physics;
acquire knowledge of techniques and skills specific to the study of physics;
group and organise knowledge and understanding in physics, and apply them to
familiar and unfamiliar situations; and
develop an understanding of technological applications of physics and of their
social implications.
Skills and Processes
Students are expected to:
develop scientific thinking and problem-solving skills;
develop an analytical mind to critically evaluate physics-related issues;
communicate scientific ideas and values in meaningful and creative ways with
appropriate use of diagrams, symbols, formulae, equations and conventions, as
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well as verbal means;
acquire practical skills such as how to manipulate apparatus and equipment, carry
out given procedures, analyse and present data, draw conclusions and evaluate
experimental procedures;
make careful observations, ask relevant questions, identify problems and
formulate hypotheses for investigation;
plan and conduct scientific investigations individually or collaboratively with
appropriate instruments and methods, collect quantitative and qualitative data with
accuracy, analyse and present data, draw conclusions, and evaluate evidence and
procedures; and
develop study skills to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of learning; and
develop abilities and habits that are essential to life-long learning.
Values and Attitudes
Students are expected to:
develop positive values and attitudes such as curiosity, honesty, respect for
evidence, perseverance and tolerance of uncertainty through the study of physics;
develop a habit of self-reflection and the ability to think critically;
be willing to communicate and comment on issues related to physics, and
demonstrate open-mindedness towards the views of others;
be aware of the importance of safety for themselves and others, and be committed
to safe practices in their daily life;
appreciate the achievements made in physics and recognise their limitations;
be aware of the social, economic, environmental and technological implications of
achievements in physics; and
recognise the importance of life-long learning in our rapidly changing
knowledge-based society.
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Compulsory Part (200 hours)
Topic I
Heat Transfer and Gases (25 hours)
Overview
This topic examines the concept of thermal energy and transfer processes which are crucial
for the maintenance and quality of our lives. Particular attention is placed on the distinction
and relationship among temperature, internal energy and energy transfer. Students are also
encouraged to adopt microscopic interpretations of various important concepts on the topic of
thermal physics.
Calculations involving specific heat capacity will serve to complement the theoretical aspects
of heat and energy transfer. The practical importance of the high specific heat capacity of
water can be illustrated with examples close to the experiences of students. A study of
conduction, convection and radiation provides a basis for analysing the containment of
internal energy and transfer of energy related to heat. The physics involving the change of
states is examined and numerical problems involving the specific latent heat are used to
consolidate the theoretical aspects of energy conversion.
The ideal gas law relating the pressure, temperature and volume of an ideal gas was originally
derived from the experimentally measured Charles' law and Boyle's law. Many common
gases exhibit behaviour very close to that of an ideal gas at ambient temperature and pressure.
The ideal gas law is a good approximation to study the properties of gases because it does not
deviate much from the ways that real gases behave. The kinetic theory of gases is intended
to correlate temperature to the kinetic energy of gas molecules and interpret pressure in terms
of the motion of gas molecules.
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Learning Outcomes
Students should learn:
a.
Students should be able to:
Temperature, heat
and internal energy
temperature and
thermometers
realise temperature as the degree of hotness of an object
interpret temperature as a quantity associated with the
average kinetic energy due to the random motion of
molecules in a system
account for the use of temperature-dependent properties
to measure temperature
use degree Celsius as a unit of temperature
reproduce fixed points on the Celsius scale
b.
heat and
internal energy
realise heat as the energy transferred resulting from the
temperature difference between two objects
realise internal energy as the energy stored in a system
interpret internal energy as the sum of the kinetic energy
of random motion and the potential energy of molecules
in a system
heat capacity and
specific heat capacity
define heat capacity and specific heat capacity
apply formula Q = mc(T2-T1) to solve problems
consider the practical importance of the high specific heat
capacity of water
Transfer processes
conduction, convection
and radiation
classify means of energy transfer in terms of conduction,
convection and radiation
interpret energy transfer by conduction and convection in
terms of molecular motion
identify emission of infra-red radiation by hot objects
determine factors affecting the emission and absorption
of radiation
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Students should learn:
c.
Students should be able to:
Change of state
melting and freezing,
boiling and condensing
determine melting point and boiling point
latent heat
realise latent heat as the energy transferred during the
change of state at constant temperature
interpret latent heat in terms of the change of potential
energy of the molecules during change of state
define specific latent heat of fusion and specific latent
heat of vaporization
apply formula Q = ml to solve problems
evaporation
d.
examine the occurrence of evaporation below boiling point
account for the cooling effect of evaporation
determine the factors affecting rate of evaporation
interpret evaporation in terms of molecular motion
Gases
ideal gases
define pressure p = F/A
determine pressure-temperature and volume-temperature
relationships of a gas
determine absolute zero by the extrapolation of p-T or
V-T relationship
verify Boyle’s law by an experimental investigation
combine the three relationships of a gas to obtain the
general gas law pV = nRT
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Students should learn:
kinetic theory of gases
Students should be able to:
define an ideal gas
state the assumptions for the kinetic model of gases
derive pV = Nmc 2 / 3
interpret
keaverage
temperature
3RT
=
2N A
for
an
ideal
gas
using
Suggested Learning and Teaching Activities
Students should develop experimental skills in measuring temperature, volume, pressure and
energy. The precautions essential for accurate measurements in heat experiments should be
understood in terms of the concepts learnt in this topic. Students should also be encouraged
to suggest their own methods for improving the accuracy of these experiments, and
arrangement for performing these investigations should be made if they are feasible. In
some of the experiments, a prior knowledge of electrical energy may be required to facilitate
a solid understanding of the energy transfer processes involved.
There is much emphasis in the importance of graphical representations of physical
phenomena in this topic. Students should learn how to plot graphs with suitable choices of
scales, display experimental results graphically and interpret, analyse and draw conclusions
from graphical information. In particular, they should learn to extrapolate the trends of the
graphs to determine the absolute zero of the temperature. Students should be able to plan
and interpret information from different types of data sources. Most experiments and
investigations will produce a set of results which may readily be compared with those data in
textbooks and handbooks.
The possible learning contexts that students may experience are suggested below for
reference:
Studying the random motion of molecules inside a smoke cell using microscope and
video camera
Performing an experiment to show how to measure temperature using a device with
temperature-dependent property
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Calibrating a thermometer
Reproducing fixed points on the Celsius scale
Performing experiments to determine specific heat capacity and latent heat
Measuring the specific latent heat of fusion of water (e.g. using a domestic electric boiler,
heating an ice-water mixture in a composite container, or using ice calorimeter)
Performing experiments to study the cooling curve of a substance and determine its
melting point
Performing experiments to study the relationship among volume, pressure and
temperature of a gas
Determining factors affecting the rate of evaporation
Asking students to feel their sensation of coldness by touching few substances in the
kitchen and clarifying some misconceptions that may arise from their daily experiences
Fostering students’ knowledge of conduction, convection, radiation, greenhouse effect
and heat capacity by designing and constructing a solar cooker
Challenging students’ preconceived ideas on heat transfer by posing appropriate
competitions (e.g. attaining a temperature closest to 4oC by mixing soft drink with ice)
Facilitating students to use dimension analysis to check results of mathematical solutions
Investigating properties of a gas using simulations or modelling
Reading articles on heat stroke and discussing heat stroke precautions and care
Values and Attitudes
Students should develop intrinsically worthwhile values and attitudes in studying this topic.
Some particular examples are:
to be aware of the proper use of heat-related domestic appliances as it helps to reduce the
cost of electricity and contributes to the worthwhile cause of saving energy
to be aware of the large amount of energy associated with heat transfer and to develop
good habits in using air-conditioning in summer and heating in winter
to develop an interest in using alternative environmental friendly energy resources such as
solar and geothermal energy
to be aware of the importance of home safety in relation to the use of radiation heater and
to be committed to safe practices in their daily life
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STSE connections
Students are encouraged to develop an awareness of and comprehend issues associated with
the interconnections of science, technology, society and the environment. Examples of
issues and contexts related to this are:
the importance of greenhouses in agriculture and the environmental issues of
‘Greenhouse Effect’
debates on the gradual rise in global temperature due to human activities, the associated
potential global hazards due to the melting of the polar ice caps and the effects on the
world’s agricultural production
projects, such as the ‘Design of Solar Cooker’, can be used to develop the investigation
skills as well as to foster the concept of using alternative environmental friendly energy
resources
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Topic II
Force and Motion (55 hours)
Overview
Motion is common to our daily experiences. It is an important feature in physics to describe
how objects move and investigate why objects move in the way they do. In this topic, the
fundamentals of mechanics in kinematics and dynamics are introduced, and the foundation
for describing motion with physics terminology is laid. Various types of graphical
representations of motion are studied. Students learn how to analyse different forms of
motion and solve simple problems relating to uniformly accelerated motion. They also learn
about motion in one or two dimensions and rules governing the motion of objects on Earth.
The concept of inertia and its relation to Newton’s First Law of motion are covered. Simple
addition and resolution of forces are used to illustrate the vector properties of forces.
Free-body diagrams are used to work out the net force acting on a body. Newton’s Second
Law of motion, which relates the acceleration of an object to the net force, is examined.
The concepts of mass, weight and gravitational force are introduced. Newton’s Third Law
of motion is related to the nature of forces. The study of motion is extended to 2 dimensions,
including projectile motion and circular motion which lead to an investigation of gravitation.
Work is a process of energy transfer. The concepts of mechanical work done and energy
transfer are examined and used in the derivation of kinetic energy and gravitational potential
energy. Conservation of energy in a closed system is a fundamental concept in physics.
The treatment of energy conversion is used to illustrate the law of conservation of energy, and
the concept of power is also introduced. Students learn how to compute quantities such as
momentum and energy in examples involving collisions. The relationship among the
change in momentum of a body, impact time and impact force is emphasized.
Learning Outcomes
Students should learn:
a.
Students should be able to:
Position and movement
position, distance and
displacement
describe the change of position of objects in terms of
distance and displacement
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Students should learn:
Students should be able to:
present information graphically of displacement-time
graphs for moving objects
scalars and vectors
distinguish between scalar and vector quantities
use scalars and vectors in different contexts
speed and velocity
define average speed and average velocity
distinguish between instantaneous and average
speed/velocity
describe motion of objects in terms of speed and velocity
present information on velocity-time graphs for moving
objects
linear uniform motion
interpret uniform motion of objects using algebraic and
graphical methods
use displacement-time and velocity-time graphs to
determine the displacement and velocity of objects
solve problems involving displacement, time and average
velocity
acceleration
define acceleration as the rate of change of velocity
use velocity-time graphs to determine the acceleration of
objects in uniformly accelerated motion
present information on acceleration-time graphs for
moving objects
equations of uniformly
accelerated motion
derive equations of uniformly accelerated motion
v = u + at
s = 12 (u + v)t
s = ut + 12 at 2
v 2 = u 2 + 2as
solve problems for objects in uniformly accelerated
motion
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Students should learn:
vertical motion under
gravity
b.
Students should be able to:
analyse and describe the motion of free-falling objects
present graphically information of vertical motions under
gravity
solve problems for objects in vertical motion using the
equations of uniformly accelerated motion
describe the effects of air resistance on the motion of
objects falling under gravity
Force and motion
Newton’s First Law
of motion
describe the meaning of inertia and mass
realise Newton’s First Law of motion and apply it to
explain situations in which objects are at rest or in
uniform motion
realise friction as a force opposing motion
addition of forces
find the vector sum of coplanar forces graphically and
algebraically
resolution of forces
resolve a force graphically and algebraically into
components along two mutually perpendicular directions
Newton’s Second Law
of motion
realise the effect of a net force on the speed and/or
direction of motion of an object
understand Newton’s Second Law of motion and the
formula F = ma
use newton as a unit of force
use free-body diagrams to show the forces acting on
objects
identify the net force in a system consisting of one or two
objects
solve problems involving rectilinear motion
Newton’s Third Law
of motion
realise forces acting in pairs
understand Newton’s Third Law of motion and apply it to
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Students should learn:
Students should be able to:
identify action and reaction pair of forces
c.
d.
mass and weight
distinguish between mass and weight
realise the relationship between mass and weight
moment of a force
define moment of a force as the product of the force and
its perpendicular distance from the pivot
recognise the use of torques and couples
state the conditions for equilibrium of forces acting on a
point mass and a rigid body
determine the centre of gravity experimentally
Motion in two
dimensions
projectile motion
describe the shape of the path taken by a projectile
launched at an angle of projection
realise the independence of vertical and horizontal
motions
resolve a projectile’s velocity into horizontal and vertical
components
solve problems involving projectile motion
circular motion
understand angular velocity and realise its relationship
between it and linear velocity
derive centripetal acceleration a = v2/r
solve problems involving circular motion
Work, energy and
power
mechanical work
realise mechanical work done as a measure of energy
transfer
define mechanical work done W = Fs cosθ
solve problems involving mechanical work
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Students should learn:
Students should be able to:
gravitational potential
energy (P.E.)
realise gravitational potential energy of an object due to
its position under the action of gravity
derive the formula EP = mgh
solve problems involving gravitational potential energy
kinetic energy (K.E.)
realise kinetic energy of an object due to its motion
derive the formula E K = ½ mv 2
solve problems involving kinetic energy
e.
law of conservation of
energy in a closed
system
interpret the law of conservation of energy
realise inter-conversion of P.E. and K.E. and take into
account of the energy loss
apply the law of conservation of energy to solve problems
power
define power in terms of the rate of energy transfer
use watt as a unit of power
W
apply the formula P =
to solve problems
t
Momentum
linear momentum
define momentum as a quantity of motion of an object
change in momentum
and net force
realise the change in momentum resulted when a net force
acts on an object for a period of time
interpret force as the rate of change of momentum
(Newton’s Second Law of motion)
law of conservation of
momentum
interpret the law of conservation of momentum
elastic and inelastic
collisions
distinguish between elastic and inelastic collisions
apply the law of conservation of momentum to solve
problems involving collisions in one dimension
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Students should learn:
Students should be able to:
describe energy changes in collisions
f.
Gravitation
Gravitational force
between masses
state Newton’s law of universal gravitation
Field strength g
define gravitational field strength as force per unit mass
derive g = G M / r 2
solve problems involving gravitation
Suggested Learning and Teaching Activities
Students should develop experimental skills in measuring time and in the recording of
positions, velocities and accelerations of objects using various types of measuring
instruments such as stop watches, data-logging sensors etc. Skills in measuring masses,
weights and forces are also required. Data-handling skills such as converting displacement
and time data into information on velocity or acceleration are important. Students may be
encouraged to carry out project-type investigations in the motion of vehicles. There is much
emphasis in the importance of graphical representations of physical phenomena in this topic.
Students should learn how to plot graphs with suitable choices of scales, display experimental
results in graphical forms and interpret, analyse and draw conclusions from graphical
information. In particular, they should learn to interpret the physical significances of slopes,
intercepts and areas in certain graphs. Students should be able to plan and interpret
information from different types of data sources. Most experiments and investigations will
produce a set of results which may readily be compared with those data in textbooks and
handbooks.
The possible learning contexts that students may experience are suggested below for
reference:
Performing experiments on motion and forces (e.g. using ticker-tape timers, multi-flash
photography, video motion analysis, data-loggers) and a graphical analysis of the results
Using light gates or motion sensors to measure speed and acceleration of a moving
object
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Inferring the relationships among acceleration, velocity, displacement and time
from a graphical analysis of empirical data for uniformly accelerated motion
Using light gates or motion sensors to measure the acceleration due to gravity g
Using light gates or motion sensors to determine the factors affecting acceleration
Using force and motion sensors to determine the relationship among force, mass
and acceleration
Using multi-flash photography or video camera to analyse projectile motion or
circular motion
Using force sensor to determine the relationship among radius, angular speed and
the centripetal force on an object moving in a circle
Performing experiments on energy and momentum (e.g. colliding dynamic carts, gliders
on air tracks, pucks on air tables, rolling a ball-bearing down an inclined plane, dropping
a mass attached to a spring)
Using light gates or motion sensors to measure the change of momentum during a
collision
Using light gates or motion sensors and air track to investigate the principle of
conservation of linear momentum
Using force sensors to measure the impulse during collision
Performing experiments to show the independence of horizontal and vertical motions
under the influence of gravity
Performing experiments to investigate the relationships among mechanical energy, work
and power
Determining the output of an electric motor by measuring the rate of energy transfer
Estimating work required for various tasks, such as lifting a book, stretching a spring
and climbing Lantau Peak
Estimating KE of various moving objects such as a speeding car, a sprinter and an air
molecule
Investigating the application of conservation principles in designing energy transfer
devices
Evaluating the design of energy transfer devices, such as household appliances, lifts,
escalators and bicycles
Using free-body diagrams in organising and presenting the solutions of dynamic
problems
Exposing students to problems that, even if a mathematical treatment is involved, have a
direct relevance to their experiences (sport, transport, skating etc) in everyday life and
solutions of problems related to these experiences
Facilitating students to use dimension analysis to check the results of mathematical
solutions
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Challenging students’ preconceived ideas on motion and force by posing appropriate
thought-provoking questions (e.g. “zero” acceleration at the maximum height, “zero”
gravitational force in space shuttle, etc.)
Reinforcing students’ awareness of the power and elegance of the conservation laws by
contrasting such solutions with those involving the application of Newton’s second law.
Investigating motion in a plane using simulations or modelling (http://phoenix.sce.fct.
unl.pt/modellus)
Using the Hong Kong Ocean Park as a large laboratory to investigate laws of motion
and developing numerous concepts in mechanics from a variety of experiences at the
park (http://www.hk-phy.org/oceanpark/index.html)
Values and Attitudes
Students should develop intrinsically worthwhile values and attitudes in studying this topic.
Some particular examples are:
to be aware of the importance of car safety and to be committed to safe practices in their
daily life
to be aware of the potential danger of falling objects from high-rises and to adopt a
cautious attitude in matters concerning public safety
to be aware of the environmental implications of different modes of transport and to make
an effort in reducing energy consumption in daily life
to accept uncertainty in the description and explanation of motions in the physical world
to be open-minded in evaluating potential applications of principles in mechanics to new
technology
to appreciate the efforts made by scientists to find more alternative environmental
friendly energy resources
to appreciate that the advancement of important scientific theories (such as Newton’s laws
of motion) can ultimately make huge impact on technology and society
to appreciate the contributions of Galileo and Newton that revolutionised the scientific
thinking of their time
to appreciate the roles of science and technology in the exploration of outer-space and the
efforts of mankind in the quest for the understanding of nature
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STSE connections
Students are encouraged to develop an awareness of and comprehend issues associated with
the interconnections of science, technology, society and the environment. Examples of
issues and contexts related to this are:
the issue of the effects of energy use on the environment
the reduction of pollutants and energy consumption by restricting the use of private cars
in order to protect the environment
penalizing drivers and passengers who do not wear seatbelts and raising public awareness
of car safety with scientific rationales
how the danger of speeding and its relation to the chances of serious injury or death in car
accidents can be related to the concepts of momentum and energy
the use of principles in mechanics in traffic accident investigations
modern transportation: the dilemma in choosing between speed and safety; the dilemma
in choosing between convenience and environmental protection
evaluating the technological design of modern transport (e.g. airbags in cars, tread
patterns on car tires, hybrid vehicles, magnetically levitated trains)
the use of technological devices including terrestrial and space vehicles (e.g. Shenzhou-5
Spacecraft)
enhancement of recreational activities and sports equipment
the ethical issue of dropping objects from high-rises and its potential danger as the
principles of physics suggest
careers that require an understanding and application of kinematics and dynamics
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Topic III
Wave Motion (48 hours)
Overview
This topic examines the basic nature and properties of waves. Light and sound, in particular,
are also studied in detail. Students have been familiar with examples of energy being
transmitted from one place to another, together with the transfer of matter. In this topic, the
concept of waves being a means of transmitting energy without transferring matter is
emphasized. The foundation for describing wave motion with physics terminology is laid.
Students learn the graphical representations of travelling waves. The basic properties and
characteristics displayed by waves are examined; reflection, refraction, diffraction and
interference are studied using simple wavefront diagrams.
Students acquire specific knowledge on light in two important aspects. The characteristics
of light as a part of the electromagnetic spectrum are studied. Besides that, the linear
propagation of light in the absence of significant diffraction and interference effects is used to
explain image formation in the domain of geometrical optics. The formation of real and
virtual images using mirrors and lenses is studied with construction rules for light rays.
Sound as an example of longitudinal waves is examined. Its general properties are
compared with those of light waves. Students also learn about ultrasound. The general
descriptions of musical notes are related to the terminology of waves. The effects of noise
pollution and the importance of acoustic protection are also studied.
Learning Outcomes
Students should learn:
a.
Students should be able to:
Nature and properties
of waves
nature of waves
understand oscillations in wave motion
realise waves transmitting energy without transferring
matter
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Students should learn:
Students should be able to:
wave motion and
propagation
distinguish between transverse and longitudinal waves
describe wave motion in terms of: waveform, crest,
trough, compression, rarefaction, wavefront, phase,
displacement, amplitude, period (T), frequency (f),
wavelength (λ) and wave speed (v)
present information on displacement-time and
displacement-distance graphs for travelling waves
determine factors affecting the speed of propagation of
waves along stretched strings or springs
apply f = 1/T and v = fλ to solve problems
reflection and refraction
account for the reflection of waves at a plane
barrier/reflector/surface through Huygens’ principle
determine the condition for a phase change on reflection
account for the refraction of waves across a plane
boundary
realise refraction as a result of change in wave speeds
and define refractive index in terms of speeds
illustrate reflection and refraction using wavefront
diagrams
diffraction and
interference
describe the superposition of two waves qualitatively
describe diffraction of waves through a narrow gap and
around a corner
examine relationship between the degree of diffraction
and the size of the gap compared to the wavelength
realise interference of waves as a property of waves
identify occurrences of constructive and destructive
interferences
examine interference of waves from two coherent
sources
determine conditions for constructive and destructive
interference in terms of path difference
illustrate diffraction and interference of waves using
wavefront diagrams
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Students should learn:
Students should be able to:
realise the characteristics of stationary waves (transverse
waves only)
b.
Light
wave nature of light
use light as an example of transverse waves
realise light as a part of the electromagnetic spectrum
identify the range of wavelength for visible light
determine the relative positions of visible light and other
parts of the electromagnetic spectrum
state the speed of light and electromagnetic waves in
vacuum
reflection of light
state the law of reflection
construct image formed by plane mirror graphically
refraction of light
state the law of refraction
project path of a ray being refracted at a boundary
define refractive index of a medium as n = sin i / sin r
apply Snell’s law to solve problems involving refraction
at a boundary between vacuum(or air) and another
medium
total internal reflection
determine conditions for total internal reflection
solve problems involving total internal reflection at a
boundary between vacuum (or air) and another medium
formation of images by
lenses
construct image formed by converging and diverging
lenses graphically
distinguish between real and virtual images
use the equation (1/u) + (1/v) = (1/f) to solve problems
for a single thin lens
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Students should learn:
evidence for the wave
nature of light
Students should be able to:
realise diffraction and interference as evidences for the
wave nature of light
formulate the interference effects for normal incidence in
parallel-side and wedge-shape thin films
use plane transmission grating as an interference system
and apply formula d sin θ = n λ to solve problems
c. Sound
wave nature of sound
realise sound as longitudinal waves
realise requirement of a medium for the transmission of
sound waves
compare the general properties of sound waves and those
of light waves
audible frequency range
determine the audible frequency range
ultrasound
state frequencies of ultrasound
musical notes
compare musical notes using pitch, loudness and quality
relate frequency and amplitude with the pitch and
loudness of a note respectively
noise
represent sound intensity level using the unit decibel
identify effects of noise pollution and the importance of
acoustic protection
Suggested Learning and Teaching Activities
Students should develop experimental skills in the study of vibration and waves through
various physical models. They need to develop the skills for interpreting indirect
measurements and demonstrations of wave motion through the displays on the CRO or the
computer. They should appreciate that many scientific evidences are obtained through
indirect measurement coupled with logical deduction. They should also be aware that
various theoretical models are used in the study of physics; for example, the ray model is
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used in geometrical optics for image formation and the wave model of light is used to explain
phenomena like diffraction and interference. Through the study of the physics of musical
notes, students should develop the understanding that most everyday experiences are
explicable by scientific concepts.
The possible learning contexts that students may experience are suggested below for
reference:
Investigating properties of waves generated in springs and ripple tanks
Investigating factors affecting the speed of transverse progressive waves along a slinky
spring
Determining the speed of a water wave in a ripple tank or a wave pulse travelling along a
stretched spring or string
Illustrating phase change on reflection using a slinky spring
Demonstrating the superposition of transverse waves on a slinky spring
Using CRO waveform demonstrations to show the superposition of waves
Drawing the resultant wave when two waves interfere by using the principle of
superposition
Estimating the wavelength of light by using double slit or plane diffraction grating
Estimating the wavelength of microwave by using double slit
Demonstrating interference patterns in soap film
Determining the effects of wavelength, slit separation or screen distance on an
interference pattern in an experiment by using double slit
Measuring the focal lengths of lenses
Locating real and virtual images in lenses by using ray boxes and ray tracing
Using ray diagrams to predict the nature and position of an image in an optical device
Searching information on the development of physics of light
Discussing some everyday uses and effects of electromagnetic radiation
Using computer simulations to observe and investigate the properties of waves
Investigating the relationship between the frequency and wavelength of a sound wave
Carrying out an experiment to verify Snell’s law
Determining the refractive index of glass or Perspex
Determining the conditions for total internal reflection to occur
Constructing, testing and refining a prototype of an optical instrument
Identifying the differences between sounds in terms of loudness, pitch and quality
Facilitating students to use dimension analysis to check results of mathematical solutions
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Values and Attitudes
Students should develop intrinsically worthwhile values and attitudes in studying this topic.
Some particular examples are:
to appreciate the need to make more use of some environmental friendly energy resources
such as solar and tidal-wave energy
to be aware that science has its limitations and cannot always provide clear-cut solutions;
the advancement of science also requires perseverance, openness and scepticism, as
demonstrated in the different interpretations on the nature of light in the history of physics
over the past centuries
to appreciate that the advancement of important scientific theories (such as those related
to the study of light) is the fruits of the hard work of generations of scientists who
devoted themselves to scientific investigations by applying their intelligence, knowledge
and skills
to be aware of the potential health hazards of a prolonged exposure to extremely noisy
environment and to make an effort to reduce noise-related disturbances to neighbours
to be aware of the importance of the proper use of microwave ovens and to be committed
to safe practices in their daily life
STSE connections
Students are encouraged to develop an awareness of and comprehend issues associated with
the interconnections of science, technology, society and the environment. Examples of
issues and contexts related to this are:
controversial issues about the effects of microwave radiation on the health of the general
public through the use of mobile phones
the biological effects of increased ultra-violet radiation from the sun on the human body
as a result of the depletion of the atmospheric ozone layer by artificial pollutants
the problem of noise pollution in the local context
the impact on the society as a result of the scientific discovery of electromagnetic waves
and the technological advancements in the area of telecommunication
how major breakthroughs in scientific and technological development that eventually
affect society are associated with new understanding of fundamental physics as traced out
by the study of light in the history of science
how technological advancements can provide impetus for scientific investigations as
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demonstrated in the invention and development of the microscope, telescope and X-ray
diffraction etc., with these scientific investigations in turn shedding light on our own
origin and the position of mankind in the universe
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Topic IV
Electricity and Magnetism (56 hours)
Overview
This topic examines the basic principles of electricity and magnetism. The abstract concept
of an electric field is introduced through its relationship with the electrostatic force. The
inter-relationships among voltage, current, resistance, charge, energy and power are examined
and the foundation for basic circuitry is laid. Electricity is the main energy source in homes
and electrical appliances have become an integral part of daily life. The practical use of
electricity in households is studied. Particular attention is paid to the safety aspects of
domestic electricity.
The concept of magnetic field is applied to the study of electromagnetism. The magnetic
effects of electric current and some simple magnetic field patterns are studied. Students also
learn the factors that affect the strength of an electromagnet. The magnetic force is
produced when a current-carrying conductor is placed in a magnetic field. An electric
motor requires the supply of electric current to the coil in a magnetic field to produce a
turning force causing it to rotate.
The general principles of electromagnetic induction are introduced. Electrical energy can be
generated when there is relative motion between a conductor and a magnetic field.
Generators reverse the process in motors to convert mechanical energy into electrical energy.
The operation of simple d.c. and a.c. generators are studied. Students learn how a.c.
voltages can be stepped up or down with transformers. The system by which electrical
energy is transmitted over great distances to our home is studied.
Learning Outcomes
Students should learn:
a.
Students should be able to:
Electrostatics
electric charges
examine experimental evidences for two kinds of
charges in nature
realise the attraction and repulsion between charges
define Coulomb’s law
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Students should learn:
Students should be able to:
use coulomb as a unit of charge
interpret charging in terms of electron transfer
b.
electric field
realise the existence of an electric field around a point
charge
represent electric field using lines of force
describe the electric field around a point charge and
between parallel charged plates
explain how charges interact using electric field
consider electric field strength as force per unit charge
solve problems involving electric field strength around a
point charge and between parallel charged plates
draw analogy between electric field and gravitational
field
electric potential
define potential difference between two points
solve problems involving potentials in the fields of a
point charge and parallel plates
recognise electric field strength as the negative gradient
of potential
use volt as a unit of electric potential
Circuits and domestic
electricity
electric current
realise an electric current as a flow of electric charges
realise the convention for the direction of electric current
use ampere as a unit of current
estimate electron drift velocity in a metal using the
general flow equation I = nAvQ
electrical energy and
electromotive force
describe the energy transformations in electric circuits
define electromotive force (e.m.f.) of a source
recognise potential difference (p.d.) between two points
as the energy being converted from electrical potential
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Students should learn:
Students should be able to:
energy to other forms per unit charge passing between
the points outside the source
distinguish between e.m.f. of a source and terminal
voltage across the source
resistance
recognise the variation of current with applied p.d. in
various conductors and circuit elements (metals,
electrolytes, thermistors and diodes)
define resistance R = V/I
recognise Ohm’s law as a special case of resistance
behaviour
use ohm as a unit of resistance
determine the factors affecting the resistance of a wire
and define its resistivity
realise the effects of temperature on resistance of metals
and semiconductors
apply formula V = IR and Kirchhoff’s first law to solve
problems
series and parallel
circuits
compare series and parallel circuits in terms of voltage
across the components of each circuit and the current
through them
recognise the resistance combinations in series and
parallel circuits
R = R1 + R2 + …..
for resistors connected in series
1 1
1
=
+
+ ..... for resistors connected in parallel
R R1 R2
simple circuits
determine I, V and R in simple circuits
examine the effects of resistance of ammeters,
voltmeters and internal resistance of cells in simple
circuits
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Students should learn:
c.
Students should be able to:
electrical power
determine the heating effect when a current passes
through a conductor
apply formula P = VI to solve problems
domestic electricity
determine power rating of electrical appliances
use kilowatt-hour (kWh) as a unit of electrical energy
calculate the costs of running various electrical
appliances
recognise household wiring and the safety aspects of
domestic electricity
determine the operating current for electrical appliances
and the choice of power cable and fuse
Electromagnetism
magnetic force and
magnetic field
realise the attraction and repulsion between magnetic
poles
examine the existence of magnetic field in the region
around a magnet
represent magnetic field using field lines
describe the behaviour of a compass in a magnetic field
magnetic effect of
electric current
realise the existence of magnetic field due to moving
charges and electric currents
describe the magnetic field patterns associated with
currents through a long straight wire, a circular coil and
a long solenoid
use the formulae B = µ0I/2πr and B = µ0NI/l to represent
the magnetic fields around a long straight wire, and
inside a long solenoid, carrying current
determine the factors affecting the strength of an
electromagnet
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Students should learn:
Students should be able to:
current-carrying
conductor in magnetic
field
realise the existence of a force on a current-carrying
conductor in a magnetic field and determine relative
directions of force, field and current
determine the factors affecting the force on a
current-carrying conductor in a magnetic field and
represent the force on it by the formula F = BIl sinθ
define ampere by measuring the force between currents
in long straight parallel conductors
recognise the turning effect on a current-carrying coil in
a magnetic field
describe the operating principles of a simple d.c. or a.c.
motor
Hall effect
define the force on a moving charge in a magnetic field
as F = BQv sinθ
derive Hall voltage VH = BI/nQt
measure magnetic fields using Hall probe and search coil
electromagnetic
induction
recognise induced e.m.f resulting from a moving
conductor in a steady magnetic field and a stationary
conductor in a changing field
define magnetic flux
interpret magnetic field B as magnetic flux density
apply Lenz’s law to identify the direction of induced
current in a closed circuit
apply Faraday’s Law to calculate the average induced
e.m.f.
understand the operating principles of simple d.c. and
a.c. generators
recognise the occurrence and practical uses of eddy
currents
alternating currents
(a.c.)
examine the mean heating effect in a pure resistance
when a sinusoidal alternating current is passing through
it
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Students should learn:
Students should be able to:
recognise the r.m.s. and peak values of a sinusoidal a.c.
transformer
describe the operating principle of a simple transformer
relate the voltage ratio to turns ratio by by the formula
VP N P
and apply the relationship to solve problems
=
VS N S
determine the efficiency of a transformer
examine methods for improving the efficiency of a
transformer
high voltage
transmission of
electrical energy
describe the advantage of transmission of electrical
energy with a.c. at high voltages
recognise various stages of stepping up and down of the
voltage in a grid system for power transmission
Suggested Learning and Teaching Activities
Students should develop experimental skills in connecting up circuits. They are required to
perform electrical measurements using various types of equipments, such as ammeters,
voltmeters, multi-meters, joulemeter, CRO and data-logging probes. Students should acquire
the skills in performing experiments to study, demonstrate and explore concepts of physics,
such as electric fields, magnetic fields and electromagnetic induction. Students can gain
practical experiences related to design and engineering in building physical models, such as
electric motors and generators. It should, however, be noted that all experiments involving
the mains power supply and EHT supply must be carefully planned to avoid the possibility of
an electric shock. Handling apparatus properly and safely is a very basic practical skill of
great importance.
The possible learning contexts that students may experience are suggested below for
reference:
Showing the nature of attraction and repulsion using simple electrostatic generation and
testing equipment
Investigating the nature of electric field surrounding charges and between parallel plates
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Plotting electric field lines by using simple measurement of equipotentials in the field
Measuring current, e.m.f., and potential difference around the circuit by using appropriate
meters and calculating the resistance of any unknown resistors
Verifying Ohm’s law by finding the relationship between p.d. across a resistor and current
passing through it
Determining factors affecting the resistance of a resistor
Comparing the changing resistance of ohmic devices, non-ohmic devices and
semiconductors
Designing and constructing an electric circuit to perform a simple function
Analysing real or simulated circuits to identify faults and suggesting appropriate changes
Comparing the efficiency of various electrical devices and suggesting ways of improving
efficiency
Measuring magnetic field strength by using simple current balance, search coil and Hall
probe
Performing demonstrations to show the relative directions of motion, force and field in
electromagnetic devices
Disassembling loudspeakers to determine the functions of individual components
Investigating the magnetic fields around electric currents (e.g. around a long straight wire,
at the centre of a coil, inside and around a slinky solenoid and inside a solenoid)
Constructing electric motor kits and generator kits
Measuring the transformation of voltages under step-up or step-down transformers
Estimating the e/m ratio by measuring the radius of curvature in a magnetic field of
known strength
Planning and selecting appropriate equipment or resources to demonstrate the generation
of an alternating current
Using computer simulations to observe and investigate the electric field and magnetic
field
Facilitating students to use dimension analysis to check results of mathematical solutions
Identifying hazardous situations and safety precautions in everyday uses of electrical
appliances
Investigating the need for and the functioning of circuit breakers in household circuits
Reading articles on possible hazardous effects on residents living near high voltage
transmission cables
Searching information on the uses of resistors in common appliances (e.g. volume control,
light dimmer switch)
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Values and Attitudes
Students should develop intrinsically worthwhile values and attitudes in studying this topic.
Some particular examples are:
to appreciate that the application of scientific knowledge can produce useful practical
products and transform the daily life of human beings as demonstrated in the numerous
inventions related to electricity
to be aware of the importance of technological utilities such as electricity, to the modern
society and the effects on modern life if these utilities are not available for whatever
reason
to be aware of the need to save electrical energy for reasons of economy as well as
environmental protection
to be committed to the wise use of natural resources and to develop a sense of shared
responsibility for a sustainable development of mankind
to be aware of the danger of electric shocks and the fire risk associated with improper use
of electricity, and develop good habits in using domestic electricity
STSE connections
Students are encouraged to develop an awareness of and comprehend issues associated with
the interconnections of science, technology, society and the environment. Examples of
issues and contexts related to this are:
the effects on health as a result of living near high power transmission cables
the potential hazards of the mains supply versus the conveniences of ‘plug-in’ energy and
automation it offers to society
the environmental implications and recent developments of the electric car as an
alternative to the traditional fossil-fuel car; the role of the government on such issues
the views of some environmentalists on the necessity to return to a more primitive or
natural life-style with minimum reliance on technology
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Topic V
Radioactivity and Nuclear Energy (16 hours)
Overview
In this topic, nuclear processes are examined. Ionising radiation is very useful in industrial
and medical fields but at the same time it is hazardous to us. Nuclear radiation comes from
natural and artificial sources. It is essential for students to understand the origin of
radioactivity, the nature and the properties of radiation. Students should also learn simple
methods to detect radiation and identify major sources of background radiation in our natural
environment. Simple numerical problems involving half-lives are performed in order to
understand the long-term effects of some radioactive sources. The potential hazards of
ionizing radiation are studied scientifically and in a balanced way by bringing in the concept
of dosage.
In the atomic model, the basic structure of a nuclide is represented by a symbolic notation.
Students learn the concepts of isotopes. They are also introduced to fission and fusion,
nature’s most powerful energy sources.
Learning Outcomes
Students should learn:
a.
Students should be able to:
Radiation and
Radioactivity
X-rays
realise X-rays as ionizing electromagnetic radiations of
short wavelengths with high penetrating power
realise the emission of X-rays when fast electrons hit a
heavy metal target
α, β and γ radiation
describe the origin and nature of α, β and γ radiation
compare α, β and γ radiation in terms of their
penetrating power, ranges, ionizing power, behaviour in
electric field and magnetic field, and cloud chamber
tracks
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Students should learn:
b.
Students should be able to:
radioactive decay
realise the occurrence of radioactive decay in unstable
nuclides
demonstrate the random nature of radioactive decay
determine the proportional relationship between the
activity of a sample and the number of undecayed nuclei
define half-life
realise the relationship between decay constant in the
exponential law of decay N = Noe-kt and the half-life
determine the half-life of a radioisotope from its decay
graph or from numerical data
solve problems involving half-life
detection of radiation
detect radiation with photographic film and GM counter
measure radiation in terms of count rate using a GM
counter
radiation safety
identify major sources of background radiation
use the unit sievert to represent radiation dose
describe potential hazards of ionizing radiation and the
ways to minimize the radiation dose absorbed
suggest safety precautions in handling radioactive
sources
Atomic model
atomic structure
realise the structure of a typical atom
define atomic number and mass number
use symbolic notations to represent nuclides
isotopes and radioactive
transmutation
define isotope
recognise the existence of radioactive isotopes in some
elements
represent radioactive transmutations in α, β and γ decays
using equations
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Students should learn:
c.
Students should be able to:
Nuclear energy
nuclear fission
recognise the release of energy in nuclear fission
describe the principle of the fission reactor and nuclear
chain reaction
state the roles of fuel, moderator, coolant and control
rods
nuclear fusion
realise release of energy in nuclear fusion
realise nuclear fusion as the source of solar energy
Suggested Learning and Teaching Activities
Students must be properly warned about the potential danger of radioactive sources. The
regulations regarding the use of radioactivity for school experiments must be strictly
observed. Although students are not allowed to handle sealed sources, they can acquire
experimental skills by participating in the use of the Geiger-Muller counter in an
investigation of the background radiation. Fire alarms making use of weak sources may
also be used in student experiments under teachers’ supervision. However, proper
procedures should be adopted and precautions should be taken to avoid accidental
detachment of the source from the device. Analytic skills are often required to draw
meaningful conclusions from the results of radioactive experiments that inevitably involve
background radiation.
The possible learning contexts that students may experience are suggested below for
reference:
Measuring background radiation by using a GM counter
Showing the activity of a sample to be proportional to the remaining number of unstable
nuclides by using simulation or decay analogy with dice
Demonstrating the random variation of count rate by using a GM counter and a source
Identifying sources of natural radiations and investigating why exposure to natural
radiation is increased for airline crews and passengers
Determining the factors leading to an increase in the concentration of radon in high-rises
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Reading the specification for commercial products containing radiation such as smoke
detectors
Determining risks and assessing benefits of using nuclear radiations in medical diagnosis
Suggesting ways of disposing radioactive wastes
Estimating the half-life from a graph of activity plotted against time
Searching information on the use of radioactive dating, radioactive tracers, food
irradiation and product sterilisation
Searching information on the ethics of using nuclear weapons
Comparing the relative costs and benefits from the use of nuclear reactors with other
methods of producing electrical power
Searching information on nuclear accidents and reporting a case study on nuclear
accidents
Values and Attitudes
Students should develop intrinsically worthwhile values and attitudes in studying this topic.
Some particular examples are:
to be aware of the usefulness of models and theories in physics as shown in the atomic
model and appreciate the wonders of nature
to be aware of the need to use natural resources judiciously to ensure the quality of life
for future generations
to be aware of the benefits and disadvantages of nuclear energy resources when compared
to fossil fuels
to be aware of the views of society on the use of radiation: the useful applications of
radiation in research, medicine, agriculture and industry are set against its potential
hazards
to be aware of different points of view in society on controversial issues and appreciate
the need to respect others’ points of view even in disagreement; and to adopt a scientific
attitude when facing controversial issues, such as debates on the use of nuclear energy
STSE connections
Students are encouraged to develop an awareness of and comprehend issues associated with
the interconnections of science, technology, society and the environment. Examples of
issues and contexts related to this are:
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the use of nuclear power; the complex nature of the effects caused by developments in
science and technology in our society
the moral issue of using various mass destruction weapons in wars
the political issue of nuclear deterrents
the roles and responsibilities of scientists and the related ethics in releasing the power of
nature as demonstrated in the developments of nuclear power
stocking and testing of nuclear weapons
the use of fission reactors and the related problems such as disposal of radioactive wastes
and leakage of radiation
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Elective part (Total 54 hours, any 2 out of 4)
Topic VI
Astronomy and Space Science (27 hours)
Overview
Astronomy is the earliest science emerged in history. The methods of measurement and the
ways of thinking developed by early astronomers laid the foundation of scientific methods
which influenced the development of science for centuries. The quest for a perfect model of
the universe in the Renaissance eventually led to the discovery of Newton's law of universal
gravitation and the laws of motion. This had profound influence on the subsequent rapid
development in physics. Using physical laws in mathematical form to predict natural
phenomena, and verifying these predictions with careful observation and experimentation,
like what Newton and other scientists did some 300 years ago, has become the paradigm of
modern physics research. Physics has become the cornerstone of modern astronomy, it has
revolutionised our concepts of the universe and the existence of mankind. Modern
development of space science, such as the launch of spacecraft and artificial satellites, still
relies on Newtonian physics. In this topic, students have the chance to learn principles and
scientific methods underpinning physics, as well as to appreciate the interplay between
physics and astronomy in history, through studying various phenomena in astronomy and
space science.
Students are first given a brief introduction on the phenomena of the universe as seen in
different scales of space. Students are also encouraged to perform simple astronomical
observation and measurement similar to those achieved by famous astronomers in history.
Through these processes, they can acquire experimental skills, and be more familiar with the
concept of tolerance in measurement. A brief historic review on Ptolemy’s geocentric
model and Copernicus’ heliocentric model of the universe serves to stimulate students to
think critically on how scientific hypotheses were built on the basis of observation.
Concepts of uniform circular motion, including centripetal acceleration and its relation with
simple harmonic motion, are introduced. Kepler’s third law and Newton's law of gravitation
are introduced with examples of astronomy. Kepler’s third law for circular orbits is derived
from the law of gravitation. Besides the motion of planets, moons and satellites, latest
astronomical discoveries such as binary stars, extrasolar planets and supermassive black holes
can also serve as examples to illustrate the applications of these laws.
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The concepts of mass and weight are introduced. Feeling weightlessness in a spacecraft
orbiting the earth is explained in terms of the fact that acceleration under gravity is
independent of mass.
The expression for gravitational potential energy is derived from the law of gravitation and
work-energy theorem. Motions of artificial satellites are explained by the conservation of
mechanical energy in their orbits. The meaning of the escape velocity, together with its
implication on the launching of a rocket, is introduced.
In the last part of this topic, students are exposed to modern astronomical discoveries,
including the basic properties and classification of stars, stellar evolution, exotic stars like
white dwarf, neutron star and black hole, and expansion of the universe. As only a simple,
heuristic and qualitative understanding of these topics is expected, students are encouraged to
learn actively by reading popular science articles and astronomical news. This serves to
enhance students' self-learning attitude. Oral or written presentation of what they have
learnt may serve to improve their communication skills.
Learning Outcomes
Students should learn:
a.
Students should be able to:
The universe as seen in
different scales
structure of the universe
use the “Powers of Ten” approach to describe the
essential features of the universe as seen in different
space scales
describe the universe using basic terminology in
astronomy, such as planet, star, cluster, nebula, galaxy
and cluster of galaxy
the sky as seen from the
earth
use the celestial sphere as a model to describe the
apparent motions of celestial bodies
describe the sky as seen from different latitudes on earth
describe the daily motion of the celestial sphere, the
yearly motion of the sun, and seasonal changes
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Students should learn:
b.
Astronomy through
history
historical development
of the models of the
universe
c.
Students should be able to:
describe some contributions of the ancient Greeks on
astronomy, including
i) the measurement of the radius of earth and the
distance of the moon
ii) creating a geocentric model of the universe, and the
use of epicycle and deferent to explain the retrograde
motion of planets
describe why Copernicus’ heliocentric model is better
than Ptolemy’s geocentric model in explaining the motion
of planets
describe Galileo’s astronomical discoveries and their
implications
describe planetary motion through applying Kepler’s laws
Newton’s law of
gravitation
Newton’s law of
gravitation and orbital
motions
state Newton’s law of gravitation F =
GMm
r2
apply Newton’s law of gravitation to celestial objects in
circular orbits.
analyze the motions of celestial objects by using Kepler’s
4πr 3
third law T 2 =
GM
state Kepler’s third law for elliptical orbits T 2 =
4πa 3
,
GM
and apply the law to comets and spacecraft travelling to
outer planets.
weight and
weightlessness
understand weightlessness in a spacecraft as a result of
acceleration under gravity being independent of mass
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Students should learn:
conservation of energy
and the motions of
celestial objects
d.
Students should be able to:
understand the meaning of the expression U = −
GMm
r
for gravitational potential energy
use conservation of mechanical energy to describe the
orbital motions of celestial objects and orbiting
spacecraft.
use the concept of escape velocity to determine whether
an object can leave a planet permanently
Stars and the universe
stellar luminosity and
classification
understand the meaning of stellar magnitude and
distinguish between apparent magnitude m and absolute
magnitude M
describe the shape of blackbody radiation curves, and the
relation of colour to the surface temperature of stars
describe the relation of luminosity to the surface
temperature and radius of a star
describe briefly the spectral classes: O B A F G K M and
their relation to surface temperature of a star
describe the basic properties of different kinds of stars in
the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram
stellar evolution
describe briefly the evolution of high-mass stars and low
-mass stars.
describe briefly the properties of nebulae, white dwarfs,
supernovae, neutron stars and black holes
Doppler effect
understand Doppler effect and use the formula
∆f v r
≈
f
c
to determine the radial velocity of a celestial object
use radial velocity curve to determine the orbital radius,
speed, and period of a celestial object in circular orbital
motion
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Students should learn:
expansion of the
universe
Students should be able to:
describe the receding of distant galaxies using Hubble’s
law ( v = Hd )
understand Hubble’s law as the result of expansion of the
universe
describe briefly Big Bang as the beginning of the
universe
understand cosmic background radiation as an evidence
of the Big Bang
Suggested Learning and Teaching Activities
Students should develop basic skills in astronomical observation. Observation can capture
students’ imagination and enhance their interest in understanding the mystery of the universe.
It also serves to train their practical and scientific investigation skills. Students may use
naked eye to observe the apparent motion of celestial objects in the sky, and use
telescopes/binoculars to study the surface features of the moon, planets and deep sky objects.
Simple application of imaging devices such as digital camera or CCD is useful.
Project-based investigation may also enhance students’ involvement and interest. Space
museum, universities, and many local organisations have equipment and expertise on amateur
astronomical observation. They would welcome school visits and provide training for
enthusiastic teachers.
Data handling skills such as converting radial velocity data into information of orbital motion
is important. Due to the limitation on equipment, time, weather condition, and light
pollution, however, it is quite difficult for students to obtain useful observation data for
analysis. While real observation provides a vivid learning experience for students and
should be retained for a complete topic in astronomy, animation may be used as a
complement to strengthen their understanding of the analytical contents, and train their data
acquisition and handling skills. Standard animation tools, a huge source of photos and
videos are available in the NASA website. Software such as Motion Video Analysis may
help students use these resources to perform useful analysis. Connection of the analysis
results with curriculum contents and modern astronomical discoveries should be emphasized.
This would help students appreciate the importance of the physics principles they learnt, and
realise physics is an ever growing subject that modern discoveries often emerge from the
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solid foundation laid previously.
Apart from the acquisition of practical and analytical skills, students may take learning
advanced topics (such as evolution of stars and cosmology) and new astronomical discoveries
as a valuable opportunity to broaden their perspectives in modern science. Students should
not aim at a comprehensive understanding of these topics, but rather, they should try to gain a
simple, heuristic and qualitative glimpse of the wonders of the universe, as well as to
appreciate the effort that scientists have made leading to these important discoveries. A
huge source of astronomy education resources/articles is available on the web. Students
may develop self-learning attitude through studying these materials, and polish their
communication skills in sharing what they have learnt with their classmates.
The possible learning contexts that students may experience are suggested below for
reference:
Observation of astronomical phenomena
Naked eye observation of stars, recognizing the constellations, and the apparent
motion of celestial objects in the sky
Naked eye observation of meteor showers
Observing the surface of the moon with a small telescope
Observing a lunar eclipse and/or solar eclipse with a small telescope.
Observing the features of major planets with a small telescope, like the belts and
satellites of Jupiter, the phases of Venus, the polar caps of Mars, the ring of Saturn,
etc.
Observing special astronomical events such as opposition of Mars, transit of Venus
over the sun with a small telescope
Observing bright comets with a small telescope
Observing binary stars and variable stars with a small telescope
Observing deep sky objects with a small telescope
Observing features of the sun (sunspots, granules, etc.) with a small telescope
Recording the position and/or features of the above objects with a digital camera or
an astronomical CCD
Possible learning activities
Use a transparent plastic bowl to trace the path of daily motion of the sun on the
celestial sphere. Students can examine the paths in different seasons to understand
how the altitudes of the sun and the duration of sunshine vary throughout the year.
(Reference: http://www.ied.edu.hk/apfslt/issue_2/si/article4/a4_1.htm)
Measuring the radius of the earth and the distance of the moon from the earth using
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the methods developed by ancient Greek scholars: Students may use a digital
camera to obtain photos of the full moon and moon during eclipse. They can
estimate from the photos the size of the earth shadow relative to that of the moon
and hence calculate the distance to the moon. The activity let students appreciate
the intelligence of ancient people in using simple methods to obtain important
results, and be more familiar with the concept of tolerance in scientific
measurement. (Reference: http://www.hk-phy.org/astro/tcs.zip)
Recording the position of Galilean satellites of Jupiter: Students may use the size of
Jupiter as the reference length to estimate the period and orbital radius of the
satellites. To avoid technical difficulties in observation, students may use the
Solar System Stimulator provided by NASA (http://space.jpl.nasa.gov/) and Motion
Video Analysis Software (http://www.hk-phy.org/mvas) to perform a virtual
analysis of the satellites’ motion on a computer. They can also verify Kepler’s
third law in this case. (Reference: http://www.hk-phy.org/astro/tcs.zip)
Recording the position of planets/asteroids in the sky by using a digital camera over
a few months: Students may use a star map to estimate the coordinates of the
planets/ asteroids and use standard astronomical software to analyze the orbit of the
planet.
Mapping of sunspots: Students may use a small telescope (with appropriate solar
filter) to observe the sun and map the sunspots in a period of time. From this they
can realise the rotation of the sun and evolution of sunspots. Recording the
relative sunspot number over a period of time may also reveal the change in solar
activity.
Studying the physics of Shenzhou V manned spacecraft: The historic journey of
Shenzhou V have many interesting physics phenomena that are understandable by
secondary school students, for example, the thrust and acceleration of the rocket
during its launch, the orbital motion around the earth, the weightless condition in
the spacecraft, the deceleration and return of the returning capsule, the effect of air
resistance on the return capsule, communication problem when returning to the
atmosphere, etc. Analysis of spacecraft data provides lively illustration of physics
principles. Motion video analysis may also be useful in studying the launching
motion.
Studying orbital data of artificial satellites also provides interesting illustration of
Newtonian mechanics: Students may also check the satellite pass over time to
actually observe the satellite in the evening sky.
Using a spectrograph and suitable filter to observe the spectrum of the sun: Some
prominent spectral absorption lines can be observed without much difficulty.
Studying radial velocity curves in celestial systems like stars with extrasolar planets,
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black holes in binaries, may serve expose students to the latest advances in
astronomy. Based on the information extracted from the curves, students can use
Kepler's third law to deduce the mass and orbital radius of the unknown companion
in binary systems, and recognise the important implications of these discoveries on
the existence on exotic celestial objects and extraterrestrial life.
Studying articles about the latest astronomy discoveries can promote students’
interest in modern science and strengthen their self-learning ability. Oral or
written presentation in class is encouraged.
Visiting Hong Kong Space Museum: Students may be divided into groups, each
group is responsible for gathering information for a particular astronomy topic in
the exhibition hall of the museum. Each group can give a short presentation in
class.
Local organisations, observatories and museums
Hong Kong Space Museum
(http://www.lcsd.gov.hk/CE/Museum/Space/e_index.htm)
Ho Koon NEAC (http://www.hokoon.edu.hk/)
TNL Centre, The Chinese University of Hong Kong
(http://www.cuhk.edu.hk/ccc/tnlcenter/)
Sky Observers’ Association (Hong Kong) (http://www.skyobserver.org/)
Hong Kong Astronomical Society (http://www.hkas.org.hk/links/index.php)
Space Observers Hong Kong (http://www.sohk.org.hk/)
Taipei Astronomical Museum (http://www.tam.gov.tw/)
Educational websites that provide useful resources for activities
Astronomy picture of the day (http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/astropix.html)
NASA homepage (http://www.nasa.gov/home/index.html?skipIntro=1)
The Hubble Space News Center (http://hubblesite.org/newscenter/)
Chandra X-ray Observatories News (http://chandra.nasa.gov/)
Jet Propulsion Laboratory (http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/index.cfm)
NASA Earth Observatory (http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/)
Values and Attitudes
Students should develop intrinsically worthwhile values and attitudes in studying this topic.
Some particular examples are:
to appreciate the wonders of deep space and understand the position of human beings in
the universe
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to appreciate astronomy as a science which is concerned with vast space and time, and
the ultimate quest for the beginning of the universe and life
to appreciate how careful observation, experimentation and analysis often lead to major
discoveries in science that revolutionise our concepts of nature
to appreciate physics as an ever growing subject in which new discoveries are often
made on the solid foundation that was laid previously
to appreciate the intelligence of famous scientists in history and their profound
contribution towards our understanding of the universe and the existence of mankind
to accept uncertainty in the description and explanation of physical phenomena
to accept the uncertainty in measurement and observation but still be able to draw
meaningful conclusions from available data and information
to be able to get a simple and heuristic glimpse of modern advancements in science even
though a comprehensive understanding of these advanced topics is beyond the ability of
ordinary people
to recognise the importance of life-long learning in our rapidly changing
knowledge-based society and be committed to self-learning
to appreciate the roles of science and technology in the exploration of space and to
appreciate the efforts of mankind in the quest for understanding nature
to become aware of daily phenomena and their scientific explanations
STSE connections
Students are encouraged to develop an awareness of and comprehend issues associated with
the interconnections of science, technology, society and the environment. Examples of
issues and contexts related to this are:
the studies of astronomy have stimulated the development of modern science which has
eventually changed our ways of thinking and living
the interplay between technological development, the advance of modern science and
our lives
the effects of astronomical phenomena on our lives (e.g. solar activity maximum affects
communication and power supply on earth)
disasters that may come from outer space and our reactions to them (e.g. a big meteor
impact may cause massive extinction of lives on earth)
the applications of modern technologies in space science, including artificial satellites
and spacecraft
the exploration of planets in the solar system has led us to rethink some environmental
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problems on earth (e.g. the runaway greenhouse effect of Venus may be compared with
the global warming on earth)
the implications of the advancement of space technology and its impact on the society
(e.g. Shenzhou V manned spacecraft)
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Topic VII
Atomic World (27 hours)
Overview
The nature of the smallest particles making up of all matter has been a topic of vigorous
debates among scientists, starting from ancient time through the exciting years in the first few
decades of the 20th century to the present. Classical physics deals mainly with particles and
waves, as two distinct entities. Substances are made of very tiny particles. Waves, such as
those encountered in visible light, sound and heat radiations, behave very differently from
particles. At the end of the 19th century, particles and waves were thought to be very different
and could not be associated with each other.
When scientists looked closer and closer to the nature of substances, contradictory
phenomena that confused scientists appeared. Classical concepts in Mechanics and
Electromagnetism cannot successfully explain the phenomena observed in atoms, not to
mention their failure in explaining the very existence of atoms. Following historical
developments, we study the structure of an atom and the nature of light and electrons.
Discoveries and experiments revealed that both light, the wave nature of which is well known,
also shows particle properties, and electrons, the particle nature of which is well known, also
show wave properties.
In this elective topic, students shall learn about the development of the atomic model, the
Bohr’s atomic model of hydrogen, energy levels of atom, the characteristics of line spectra,
photo-electric effect, the particle behaviour of light and the wave nature of electrons, i.e., the
wave-particle duality. Through the learning of these physical concepts and phenomena,
students will be introduced the quantum view of our microscopic world and be aware of the
difference between classical and modern views of our physical world. Students are also
expected to appreciate the evidence-based, developmental and falsifiable nature of science.
Advancements in modern physics have led to many applications and the rapid development
in material science in recent years. This elective includes a brief introduction to
nanotechnology, with a discussion on the advantage and use of transmission electron
microscopes (TEM), scanning tunnelling microscopes (STM), atomic force microscopes
(AFM), and some potential applications of nano-structures.
Nanotechnologies have been around for hundreds of years, although the underlying physics
was not known until the 20th century. For example, nano-sized particles of gold and silver
have been used as coloured pigments in stained glass since the 10th century. With better
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understanding of the basic principles, more applications have been found in recent years.
These applications include the potential use of nano-wires and nano-tubes as building
materials and as key components in electronics and display. Nano-particles are used in
suntan lotions and cosmetics, to absorb and reflect ultra-violet rays. Tiny particles of
titanium dioxide, for example, can be layered onto glass to make self-cleaning windows
As in any newly developed area, very little is known, for example, about the potential effects
of free nano-particles and nano-tubes on the environment. They could possibly cause
hazards to our health and might lead to health concerns. Students are, therefore, expected to
be aware of the potential hazards, and issues of risks and safety concerns to our life and
society in using nanotechnologies.
In studying this elective topic, students are expected to have the basic knowledge of force and
motion, and waves. Knowledge of electromagnetic forces, electromagnetic induction and
electromagnetic spectrum are also required.
Learning Outcomes
Students should learn:
a.
Rutherford’s atomic
model
the structure of atom
b.
Students should be able to:
describe Rutherford’s construction of an atomic model
consisting of a nucleus and electrons
distinguish between atomic mass number and atomic
number
understand the limitations of Rutherford’s atomic model
in accounting for the motion of electrons around the
nucleus by the view of classical mechanics
recognise the importance of scattering experiments used
in the discovery of the structure of atom and its impacts
on the searching of new particles
Photoelectric effect
evidence for light quanta
describe photoelectric experiment and the results
explain to what extent the results can be accounted for
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Students should learn:
Students should be able to:
by the wave model and by the photon model of light
describe how the intensity is related to the number of
photons
Einstein’s Interpretation
of photoelectric effect
and photoelectric
equation
state the photon energy E = hf
understand Einstein’s photoelectric equation
1
2
hf − φ = me v max
2
carry out calculations using the above relationships
c.
Bohr’s atomic model of
hydrogen
line spectra
recognise the special features of the line spectra of
hydrogen atom and other monatomic gases
explain spectral lines in terms of difference in energies
recognise that the energy of a hydrogen atom can only
take on certain values
recognise line spectra as evidence of energy levels of
atom
Bohr’s model of the
hydrogen atom
state the postulates that define Bohr’s model of
hydrogen atom
recognise the ‘quantum’ and ‘classical’ aspects in the
postulates of Bohr’s atomic model of hydrogen
state the quantization of angular momentum of an
nh
electron around the nucleus as me vr =
, where
2π
n=1,2,3… is the quantum number labelling the nth
Bohr orbit of the electron
realise the equation for the energy level of electron in a
4

hydrogen atom as Etot = − 12  me2e 2  , [where Etot is the
n  8h ε o 
electron’s total energy, n = 1,2,3… is the quantum
number labelling the nth Bohr orbit of the electron, me
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Students should learn:
Students should be able to:
is the mass of an electron, e is the charge of an electron,
h is the Planck’s constant and εo is the permittivity of
vacuum] (derivation is not required)
realise the use of electron-volt (eV) as a unit of energy
understand ionization and excitation energies of an
electron in an atom
carry out calculations using the above relationship
The interpretation of line
spectra
derive, by using Bohr’s equation of electron energy and
3 2
 2 2 
E=hf, the expression λa→b = 8h εo4c  a2 b 2  for the
mee a − b 
wavelength of photon emitted or absorbed when an
electron makes a transition from one energy level to
another [where a and b label the two energy levels
involved in the transition]
interpret line spectra by the use of Bohr’s equation of
electron energy
carry out calculations using the above relationship
d.
Particles or Waves
recognise the wave-particle duality of electrons and
light
describe evidences of electrons and light exhibiting both
wave and particle properties
relate the wave and particle properties of electrons
using qualitative treatment of de Broglie formula,
h
λ=
p
realise wave-particle duality is a common phenomenon
in the microscopic world
carry out calculations using the above relationship
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Students should learn:
e.
Students should be able to:
Probing into nano scale
physical properties of
materials in nano size
recognise nano is a unit of length which means 10-9
recognise materials often exhibits different physical
properties when it is in bulk form and in nano size
recognise nano materials can be in various forms, such
as nano wires, nano tubes and nano particles, and the
special properties commonly found in nano materials
the seeing and
manipulating at nano
scale
recognise the limit of optical microscope and the use of
electron microscope in seeing substances in nano scale
understand briefly the principle of operation of the
transmission electron microscope (TEM)
understand the advantage of electron microscopes (e.g.
transmission electron microscope), in terms of high
resolution as indicated by the wavelength λ of electrons
estimate the anode voltage of an electron microscope
needed to produce wavelengths of the order of the size
of an atom
discuss briefly on the analogy of using electric and
magnetic fields in electron microscopes as that of lenses
in optical microscopes
understand briefly the principles of operation of
scanning tunnelling microscope (STM) and atomic
force microscope (AFM) in seeing and manipulating
particles in nano scale (details of the tunnelling effect
not required)
recognise the nanoscience phenomena in Nature such as
the Lotus Effect and its use in commercial products
recognise the recent development and applications of
nanotechnology in various areas related to our daily life
be aware of the potential hazards, and issues of risks
and safety concerns to our life and society in using
nanotechnologies
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Suggested Learning and Teaching Activities
Students may follow the history of the discovery of atom, i.e. a historical approach, in
learning the elective topic. Students should develop knowledge of the structure of atom,
energy level of electron and quantized energy of light. The work of various physicists such
as Rutherford, Bohr, and Einstein, on the search of the nature of atoms and light should also
be recognised. Students should aware of the importance of co-operation among scientists on
investigations and discovery of the nature. They should understand the limitations of
Rutherford’s atomic model in accounting for the motion of electrons around the nucleus by
the view of classical mechanics. With the discovery of photoelectric effect and Einstein’s
explanation, the particle nature of light is evidenced. Students should understand the details
of photoelectric effect and electron diffraction by experiments or computing animations.
Bohr’s postulates on discrete energy level of an electron in an atom should be treated as a
first step to reveal the quantum nature of matter. The line spectra observed from the
monatomic gases are used as evidence for energy levels of electrons. They should also
recognise how the concept of wave-particle duality of electrons and light can successfully
explain the phenomena observed.
After studying this topic, students should also develop understanding on the development of
nanotechnology and its contribution to our daily life. They would appreciate and briefly
understand the use of advanced tools, such as electron microscope and scanning tunnelling
microscope to see and manipulate substances at nano-scale. Students are encouraged to
carry out project-type investigations in nanotechnology. Through exploration on social
issues, students would be aware of the ethical and potential concerns (e.g. health) on the use
of nanotechnology. Students would also learn the working principle of nanotechnology, and
appreciate the contributions of the advancement of technology, the influence on our daily life
and its limitations.
The possible learning contexts that students may experience are suggested below for
reference:
Performing experiments on Rutherford’s atomic model:
Using α scattering analogue apparatus to studying Rutherford scattering by means
of a gravitational analogue of inverse square law
Performing experiments on photoelectric effect:
Using photocell (magnesium ribbon) to find out the threshold frequency
Using photocell to measure the stopping voltage of monochromatic light
Using photocell to measure the energy of photoelectrons induced by different
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colour of light
Investigating the relationships among light intensity and the energy of
photoelectrons
Inferring the relationships among threshold frequency, stopping voltage and the
kinetic energy of electron
Performing experiments on the observations of absorption and emission spectra
Performing experiments to demonstrate different physical properties of nano materials
Using computing animations to enhance the understanding of students in:
Rutherford’s atomic model
Bohr’s model
emission spectrum http://einstein.byu.edu/~masong/HTMstuff/bohrEX.html
absorption spectrum
photoelectric effect
X-rays diffraction
Investigating the principles of nanoscience in commercial products by the use of various
properties of nano materials, e.g. impermeability to gas, water-repellence and
transparency
Challenging students’ preconceived ideas on atomic model, the nature of electrons and
light
Enriching students’ knowledge with the episodes of scientists e.g. Phillipp Lenard, Max
Planck, Albert Einstein, Ernest Rutherford, Niels Bohr and de Broglie, in particular their
contribution to the development of atomic physics
Reinforcing students’ awareness of the importance of co-operation among scientists in
investigation and discovery of the nature.
Values and Attitudes
Students should develop intrinsically worthwhile values and attitudes in studying this topic.
Some particular examples are:
to be aware of the usefulness of models and theories in physics as shown in the atomic
model and appreciate the wonders of nature
to appreciate that the advancement of important scientific theories, such as Rutherford’s
atomic model and photoelectric effect, can ultimately make huge impact on technology
and society
to appreciate the contributions of Rutherford, Bohr, Planck and Einstein that
revolutionised the scientific thinking of their time
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to be open-minded in evaluating potential applications of theory of fundamental
particles and nanotechnology
to appreciate the efforts made by scientists to discover the nature of light and the
structure of an atom
to recognise the falsifiable nature of science theory and the importance of evidence in
supporting scientific findings
to recognise the importance of life-long learning in our future rapidly changing
knowledge-based society and commit to self-learning
STSE connections
Students are encouraged to develop an awareness of and comprehend issues associated with
the interconnections of science, technology, society and the environment. Examples of
issues and contexts related to this are:
the applications of nano-sized wires and tubes in other disciplines, e.g. Electronics,
Optics, Medicine, Computing and Building Engineering
the influence of nanotechnology on our health and lives
the concerns on potential risks in using nanotechnology on the environment
the roles of nanotechnology on economic growth in the world
the ethical and social implications caused by the use of nanotechnology in areas such as
military, medicine, and personal security and safety
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Topic VIII
Energy and Use of Energy (27 hours)
Overview
The ability of human beings to use various forms of energy is the greatest development in
human history. Electrical energy turns cities on and modern transportation powered by
energy also links peoples together. Modern society is geared to using electricity as one of
the energy sources. There are many reasons why electricity is the most common energy
source used at home and in office. This elective begins by reviewing domestic appliances
for lighting, cooking and air conditioning. These appliances show how physics principles
are used to make our home a better and comfort place to live in. Students investigate the
relative amounts of energy transferred when these appliances are in operation. They also
learn how to calculate the cost from power rating of the appliance. The idea of energy
changes being associated with energy transfer is raised, and students identify the energy
changes associated with a range of appliances. This leads into the introduction of the
Energy Efficiency Labelling Scheme informing the public to choose energy efficient
household appliances for energy saving. The considerations of building and transportation
then provide situations for students to study the factors affecting the energy performance in
real context. The building materials provide the starting point for the discussion of the
thermal properties of different materials to transfer energy. This leads into consideration
into a building design to minimise the energy use to provide an appropriate internal
environment without sacrificing the quality of that environment. Through the use of electric
motors as energy converters in vehicles, students study the efficiency of motor compared to
the combustion engine, with an attempt to reduce air pollution.
There are many energy sources used as fuel that can be converted into electricity. The
current fuel mix for generating electricity in Hong Kong includes coal, oil, natural gas,
nuclear and pump storage. Students compare the efficiencies of different fuels and different
ways of using the same fuel. Through a consideration of the design features of a solar panel,
students investigate the aspect of conduction, convection and radiation as means of
transferring energy from the nature.
Different sources of energies cause various
environmental impacts on society. When fossil fuels burn, a large amount of pollutants are
discharged into the air. The pollutants cause atmospheric pollution, deteriorate the air
quality and contribute to the greenhouse effects which may warm and damage the earth.
Whereas nuclear power is very efficient but the disposal of dangerous radioactive waste
materials continues to be problem. The growing concern about environmental impacts of
energies polluting the environment has made environmentally friendly and alternative
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energies worth considering. In this connection, the emphasis is on the energy conservation
principle and applies such concept to encourage efficient energy usage. In this connection,
effective and efficient use of energy in a way that maintains and improves the environmental
quality is also introduced. Efficiency can be described simply using input-output model.
For example, a solar cell can be understood generally as a device that has the solar radiation
as input and some useful form of energy as output. Despite the fact that Hong Kong has no
indigenous energy resource, solar cells and wind power are introduced as local contextual
examples to illustrate the concept of renewable energy sources. This elective increases
students’ understanding of the applications of physics, uses of different energy sources and
the implication of energy efficiency for environmental impacts.
Learning Outcomes
Students should learn:
a.
Students should be able to:
Electricity at home
energy consuming
appliances in the home
recognise the main source for domestic energy
consuming appliances is electricity
identify the main electric appliances used at home and
describe briefly the energy changes involved
lighting
identify different types of lighting used at home
describe briefly how filament light bulbs, gas discharge
lamps (e.g. white fluorescent lamp, induction lamp) and
Light emitting diodes (LED) produce visible light when
an electric current passes through them
recognise energy is absorbed to excite electrons from
lower energy state to higher energy states while photons
are emitted when excited electrons return to lower
energy state
recognise the relationship between radiated power of a
bulb’s filament with its absolute temperature
by P = eσT 4 A
explain briefly why gas discharge lamps and light
emitting diodes are more cost-effective lighting options
than filament light bulbs
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Students should learn:
Students should be able to:
cooking without fire
realise "cooking" is the application of heat to food
explain briefly the working principles of electric
hotplates, induction cookers and microwave ovens to
generate heat for cooking and contrast with the working
principle of thermal cookers
identify the power rating of a cooker from the cooker’s
instruction book and calculate the cost of running the
cooker
interpret the meaning of energy-efficiency values quoted
by various manufacturers
discuss factors affecting the energy-efficiency values and
account for their differences
solve problems involving energy-efficiency values
moving heat around
recognise an air-conditioner as a type of heat pump
which transfers heat against its natural direction of flow
apply the First Law of Thermodynamics to solve
problems
explain why heaters are usually placed near the floor
while air-conditioners are always near the ceiling
Energy Labelling
Scheme
realise the purposes of Hong Kong Energy Efficiency
Labelling Scheme (EELS) for energy saving by
informing the public to choose energy efficient products
able to interpret typical energy labels for household
appliances and apply related data (e.g. annual energy
consumption in kW h/yr) in the label to solve problems
identify examples of energy saving devices (through
automatic control in street lights, air-conditioners,
refrigerators, water heaters and escalators)
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Students should learn:
b.
c.
Students should be able to:
Energy performance
in building and
transportation
materials used to
improve energy
performance of
buildings
state the key factors (e.g. climate, site locations, building
envelops and building systems) to improve energy
performance of buildings
recognise building envelops (e.g. walls, roofs, windows,
and skylights) are the important factors affecting energy
performance in building
define U value of a surface (rate of energy transfer per
unit surface area), and apply these values to solve
problems
describe the main features of solar film installed on
window and explain its function
electric motor car
describe main components of electric vehicles and
describe briefly each of its functions
describe how hybrid vehicles can improve the
performance of electric vehicles
compare and contrast the efficiency of a typical electric
vehicle and a typical petrol vehicle
explain why it is more efficient to use public transport
(e.g. KCR and MTR) than using private cars
Renewable sources of
energy
use of energy in Hong
Kong
recognise that the sun is a primary source of energy
distinguish the different forms of non-renewable and
renewable energies and state some examples of alternate
energy resources
state the use of energy in Hong Kong
analyse the consumption data of different energy fuel
types and the specific purposes for which these fuels are
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Students should learn:
Students should be able to:
consumed to provide a better understanding of energy
consumption patterns and usage in Hong Kong
renewable energy
sources
describe briefly the characteristics of renewable and
non-renewable energy sources, for example, solar, tidal,
water, wind, fossil fuel, and nuclear energy
describe the structure of a solar cell in terms of p-type
and n-type semiconductors, and explain how solar cells
generate electricity
define solar constant and solve related problems
solve problems and analyse information about wind
1
power using p = ρAv 3
2
describe the energy conversion in a hydroelectric power
station and solve problems using E = mgh
non-renewable energy
sources
identify major characteristics of renewable energies
describe energy conversions in a non-renewable energy
power station (e.g. coal-fired plant, nuclear reactor, etc)
and explain the importance of maximising the efficiency
of energy conversions
identify the pollution problems arising from the use of
non-renewable energy sources
environmental impact
of energy consumption
state the environmental impact of extraction, conversion,
distribution and use of energy on the environment and
society
identify the different kinds of energy sources available to
society and assess their suitability for particular
situations
state the interaction of energy with greenhouse gases:
energy absorption and re-emission by greenhouse gases
in relation to global warming
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Suggested Learning and Teaching Activities
This topic should provide learning experiences for students to understand the production,
conversion, transmission and utilisation of energy. The learning experience design should
integrate the content domain, skills and process domain, values and attitudes domain of the
physics curriculum in a meaningful pedagogy. These experiences should enrich teachers’
knowledge and stimulate their insight in using a contextual approach to empower students’
capability to acquire and construct these key concepts through context-based teaching.
Students all have experience in their daily lives from which they construct knowledge. Thus
daily life contexts and technological issue are presented to students. For examples, the
Building Integrated Photovoltaic Design for Hong Kong, the Wind Turbine Project in Lamma
Island, and the Ducted Wind Turbine Project can be used to arouse environmental and
sustainable awareness of renewable energy sources amongst students. Discussion questions
and learning activities relating to different available energy efficient technologies are used to
motivate students to explore these contexts, hence discover and learn by themselves the
underlying energy efficiency principles. Those knowledge, values and attitudes of being a
smart energy consumer should also be infused in this topic. Generic skills used for
communication, critical thinking, creativity and problem solving should be embedded in
discussion leading to issues related to energy utilisation and conservation. Information, real
data, themes, events and issues in Hong Kong that are illustrative to those key concepts
should be provided to facilitate the learning and teaching. Students are firstly engaged by an
event or a question related to the concept. Then the students participate in one or more
activities to explore the concept. This exploration provides students with a common set of
experiences from which they can initiate the development of their understanding. On need
basis, the teacher clarifies the concept and defines relevant vocabulary. Then the students
elaborate and build on their understanding of the concept by applying it to new situations.
Finally, the students complete activities that will help them and the teacher evaluates their
understanding of the concept.
The possible learning contexts that students may experience are suggested below for
reference:
Performing an investigation to model the generation of an electric current by moving a
magnet in a coil or a coil near a magnet
Using the motor-generator kit to show students how electricity can be generated using
mechanical energy
Asking students to identify and analyse different energy sources, discuss the advantages
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and disadvantages of each energy source, and come to group agreement
Analysing secondary information about the greenhouse gases effect on global warming
Gathering and analysing information to identify how transmission lines are insulated
from supporting structure, protected from lightning strikes and cleaned from dirt
Performing an investigation to model the structure of a transformer to demonstrate how
secondary voltage is produced and investigate the transformer action
Gathering, processing and analysing information to identify some of the energy transfers
and transformations involving the conversion of electrical energy into more useful forms
in the home and industry
Organising a class competition on solar cooking, wind power generator, or solar car race
Investigating variables in the use of the sun for water heating, for cooking and for
generating electricity
Building a circuit to generate electricity from the sun
Designing an investigation to determine whether heat or light generates electricity in a
solar cell
Visiting local power plants and the nuclear power plant in Daya Bay
Inviting speakers from Electrical and Mechanical Services Department, Green Power,
electric companies, Towngas, MTR, KCR or Environmental Protection Department to
introduce up-to-date information on energy generation, transmission and consumption in
society and alternative energy sources
Gathering and analysing secondary information on different forms of non-renewable and
renewable energies and state some examples of different energy resources. For
example, solar, tidal, water, wind, fossil, and nuclear energy
Studying environmental impact of extraction, conversion, distribution and use of energy
on the environment and society, and the suitability for particular situations
Being aware of a fossil fuel energy resource and a non-fossil energy resource with
regard to accessibility, energy conversions required and efficiency of energy conversions
Gathering and analysing secondary information on the interaction of energy with
greenhouse gases: energy absorption, re-emission, radiation and dissipation by
greenhouse gases
Asking students what can be done to make the generation and use of electricity in Hong
Kong more sustainable
Asking students to measure the heat produced by a flashlight bulb and calculate the
efficiency of the bulb
Suggesting ways to control the transfer of solar energy into buildings
Planning investigations to compare solar energy transfer through two different kinds of
plastic film on windows
Demonstrating an understanding of the applications of energy and its transfer and
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transformation
Discussing energy usage at home and in office to infuse students more conscious of
energy economy
Asking students do an energy audit on his/her own home or school – for example,
measure the amount of electrical energy used in a home in a month by reading the
electric bill and estimate what proportion of this energy is used for lighting, for
air-conditioning (or space heating), for heating water, for washing and cleaning, and
finally for cooking
Studying the Energy Efficiency Labelling Scheme in Hong Kong and information
contained in Energy Labels
Encouraging students to write about the proper use of domestic electrical appliances to
reduce the cost of electricity and contribute to the worthwhile cause of saving energy
Encouraging students to write about home safety in relation to the use of electrical
appliances
Discussing “ Life without electricity for a day”
Discussing how the availability of electrical appliances has changed the life in Hong
Kong over years
Discussing family preparedness for periods of electrical outages
Discussing the irreversibility of everything tends to become less organised and less
orderly over time. Thus, in all energy transfers, the overall effect is that the energy is
spread out uniformly. Examples are the transfer of energy from hotter to cooler objects
by conduction, radiation, or convection and the warming of our surroundings when we
burn fuels.
Values and Attitudes
Students should develop intrinsically worthwhile values and attitudes in studying this topic.
Some particular examples are:
to be aware of the finite energy resources available to human and the need to save
electrical energy for the reason of sustainable economy and environmental protection
to be aware of the environmental implications on the use of different energy resources
and to share the responsibility for a sustainable development of Hong Kong society
to appreciate the efforts made by scientists to find more alternative environmental
friendly energy resources
to appreciate the efforts of mankind in the quest for the protection of the environment
to be open-minded in evaluating potential applications of new technologies for improving
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energy efficiency
to appreciate energy saving behaviour in daily life and to be committed to the good
practices for energy consumption in daily life
to be aware of the impacts of electricity on Hong Kong over years
to be aware of the consumers’ responsibility to know the energy efficiency of home
appliances via the energy efficiency labelling scheme
to be aware of the importance of safety issues of electrical appliances and committed to
safe usage
to appreciate that the advancement of important scientific theories (such as
semi-conductor theory and mass-energy conversion theory) can ultimately make huge
impact on technology and society
to be aware of the importance of life-long learning in our rapidly changing
knowledge-based society and committed to self-learning
STSE connections
Students are encouraged to develop an awareness of and comprehend issues associated with
the interconnections of science, technology, society and the environment. Examples of
issues and contexts related to this are:
the trade-off between the applications of different energy resources and the
environmental impacts
the safety problems associated with the storage and transportation of fuels
pollutants and energy consumption by motor vehicles by restricting the use of private
motor cars in order to reduce air pollutants
the issue of detrimental effects of electromagnetic field emitted by high tension cable and
power pylon
the environmental implications and recent developments of the electric car as an
alternative to the traditional fuel car and the role of the government on such issues
the environmental impacts of the wind turbine on the scenic natural surroundings
selection of sites for power plants is a matter for debate because such sites may alter
coastal habitats
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Topic IX
Medical Physics (27 hours)
Overview
This elective is concerned with the basic physics principles underlying vision and hearing of
human to make sense of environment. It begins by considering the structures of eye and its
optical system to adjust for different object distance. The concepts of defects of vision and
the study of their corrections are introduced. The resolution is introduced to explain the
fineness of detail discernible by the eye. The question of how colour vision is generated
leads to the study of the rods and cones in the retina. Rods are responsible for the vision in
dim light while cones are responsible for the more acute vision experienced in ordinary
daylight conditions. A brief look at the structure of the ear serves to introduce students to
concepts of transferring energy using a transducer and how different frequencies of sound
waves are discriminated in the inner ear.
Attention then turns to the applications of sound waves and visible light for seeing inside the
body. A brief look at the working principles of ultrasound scanners and endoscopes serves
to introduce students to pulse-echo, Doppler effect, and total internal reflection of waves.
Ionising radiation, such as X-rays and gamma radiation, are introduced to students as an
alternative means to give anatomical structures and functions of a body for medial diagnosis.
In hospitals and clinics around the world literally hundreds of thousands of patients daily
receive medical imaging tests in which X-rays, radionuclides, ultrasound beams and
computed tomographic (CT) scanners are used. In virtually all of these devices physics has
developed from our understanding of the electromagnetic spectrum, radioactivity of specific
nuclides and wave properties of ultrasound beam. Such devices have enabled radiologists to
see through the body without surgery. The medical uses of radioactive substances are
introduced to students and the ways in which gamma radiation can be detected by gamma
cameras to produce image for medical diagnosis are being considered. It should be
emphasized that the development of new imaging modality is an evolutionary process. It
may start with the discovery of a new physical phenomenon or a variation of the existing one.
At all stages expertise in physics is essential. There is lots of interest in medical physics in
the field of radiation oncology, nuclear medicine and radiology, and there are always students
who want to know more.
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Learning Outcomes
Students should learn:
a.
Students should be able to:
Making sense of the
eye and the ear
the physics of vision
recognise the basic structures of the eye and outline their
respective functions
realise that retina contains rods and three types of cones
and appreciate the role of the cones in photo-detection,
sensitivity and spectral response
define resolving power and solve problems
explain how the eye forms a focus image of an object and
how the eye adjust for different object distances
defects of vision and
their correction
understand the terms near point, far point, depth of field
and accommodation
distinguish between short sight (myopia), long sight
(hypermetropia), presbyopia and astigmatism and
describe how these defects can be corrected with suitable
spectacle lenses
recognise a simple structure of ear and describe
qualitatively how the ear acts as a transducer in response
to incoming sound waves
realise human perception of relative intensity levels and
the need for a logarithmic scale to reflect this
define intensity level in decibel (dB) in terms of intensity
I and threshold intensity Io, and use the decibel scale to
solve problems
sketch and interpret graphical representations of the
variation of intensity levels (and curves of equal
loudness) with frequency in logarithmic scale
state the effects of excessive noises on hearing
the physics of hearing
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Students should learn:
b.
Students should be able to:
Sound and optical
imaging
physics of ultrasound
identify the differences between ultrasound and sound in
normal hearing range, and describe the wave properties of
ultrasound at tissue boundaries
recognise piezoelectric effect related to the generation and
detection of ultrasound pulse
define acoustic impedance Z = ρc and identify acoustic
impedance of a variety of materials
define the ratio of reflected to incident intensity as
I r [Z 2 − Z1 ]2
=
I o [Z 2 + Z1 ]2
recognise that the greater the difference in acoustic
impedance between two materials, the greater is the
reflected proportion of the intensity pulse
using ultrasound to
detect structures inside
the body
describe the principle of pulse-echo reflection of
ultrasound
describe how acoustic impedance, reflection, refraction
and attenuation are applied to ultrasound
describe factors affecting the quality of ultrasound image
describe briefly about A-scans and 2 dimensional
B-scans, and compare their differences
describe the situations when different types of ultrasound
scans would be used
applications of
ultrasound scans
describe briefly the applications of ultrasound in
obstetrics
describe Doppler effect of a sound wave and explain
briefly the use of Doppler ultrasonic to measure blood
flow in blood vessels
2 fv
define Doppler shift ∆f =
and solve problems
c
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Students should learn:
fibre-optic endoscopes
in medical diagnosis
c.
Students should be able to:
recognise properties of optical fibres
describe the physical principles of the optical system of
an endoscope in relation to the total internal reflection,
and the use of coherent and non-coherent fibre bundles
explain qualitatively how an endoscope is used for
internal imaging and the related advantages
Medical imaging
X-rays and
radiographic imaging
describe in simple terms the nature of X-rays
explain briefly the physical principles of the production of
X-rays using rotating-anode X-ray tube and methods of
controlling the beam intensity and the photon energy
explain in simple terms how the intensity I of a collimated
X-ray beam varies with thickness x of a medium using the
expression I = I o e − µx
use of X-ray opaque material as illustrated by the barium
meal technique for radiographic image detection
describe in simple terms the limitation of the radiographic
imaging
CAT scans in medical
diagnosis
describe in simple terms the use of a rotating beam in the
X-ray computed tomography (CT) scanner
describe in simple term the CT scanner and understand
quantitatively the principle of computerised axial
tomography (CAT)
recognise CAT showing X-rays attenuation through a
cross-section of the body
compare CAT scans as a diagnostic tool with
conventional X-rays and ultrasound
radioactivity and the
use of radioisotopes in
medical diagnosis
understand the nature of radioactivity and give a simple
description of decay curves
describe the principles of the use of radioisotopes to study
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Students should learn:
Students should be able to:
the functional information about parts of the body or
particular organs
identify the characteristics of radioisotopes using to study
the body’s function for medical uses
describe the use of a Gamma camera to obtain diagnostic
information from radioisotopes
state radioactive isotopes used in Single Photon Emission
Tomography (SPET)
compare radionuclide image of a bone scan with a
conventional X-ray film image
understand qualitatively the principle of SPET
understand the structure of film badges and its function
for personnel monitoring of ionising radiation
recognise the health risk and safety precautions for
ionisation radiation
Suggested Learning and Teaching Activities
The main focus in this topic is on the physics and its applications in medicine using
non-ionizing radiation as well as ionization radiation for medical diagnosis. The eye is used
to model an optical device while the ear as a mechanical transducer that enables human to
react to change in the environment through the nervous reactions. Historical perspectives of
the discoveries of X-rays and radioactivity can be introduced. For example, perhaps the
earliest medical imaging experiment was the imaging by Rontgen of his wife’s hand within
weeks after he discovered X-rays. Ultrasound as medical imaging modality is really an
application of Sound Navigation and Ranging developed during the Second World War.
Ultrasound scanners were used to enable the foetus to be viewed during pregnancy.
The
use of ionization radiation in medicine may be said to stem from two discoveries at the end of
the 19th century. In 1895 Roentgen discovered X-rays and in 1896 Becquerel discovered
radioactivity. Subsequently, both of these discoveries resulted major impact in how
medicine is practiced. X-rays have since been used to produce images of the inside body and
in the treatment of cancer, with radionuclides also being used for both purposes. The use of
X-rays to investigate the body results in the development of the field of diagnostic radiology.
The use of X-rays along with the treatment with the radiation emitted by radioactive decay
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for the treatment of malignant tumours resulted in the development of the field of radiation
oncology or radiotherapy. After the Second World War numerous artificially produced
radionulides became available. As well as being used for the treatment of cancer,
radionuclides were used to localise specific organs and diseases in the body. This resulted
in the development of the field of nuclear medicine. With the results of the development of
digital computers it was subsequently possible to reconstruct cross-sectional images of the
body, resulted in the 1970s in computerized tomography. Such technological advancement
helps students to appreciate the importance of physics, mathematics, engineering, and
computer science in the design of imaging devices.
Students should develop skills in searching information from World Wide Web. Lots of
up-to-date information and image data for educational purposes are available on the Web.
For example, one way to start with would be to ask the class to explore the difference of
image obtained from various scans, such as ultrasound, SPET and CAT, in relation to the
information content from the images. Furthermore, the concepts of representing image in
number can be introduced, and so manipulating those numbers which can modify the image.
The combination of visualisation and numerical process produce enormous impact for
extracting and representing image data. Resolution is a fundamental characteristic of all
measuring systems. The resolution of any instrument is the smallest difference which is
detectable. In this connection, students are encouraged to carry out comparison to
differentiate the appearance of specific images and examine the smallest size of things which
can be distinguished so as to introduce the concepts relating to image resolution. It is also
interesting to note that the idea of resolution also applies to the grey levels in the digital
images. A simplified version of back projection algorithm can be used to simulate image
reconstruction from projection data. To arouse the interest of students, class may be asked
to discuss open questions. For examples: Is ultrasound scan safe in pregnancy? How do you
detect cancer? Are computers making doctors less important?
Students are also encouraged to extend their reading from textbooks to articles, popular
science magazines and the Web. In particular, there is relevant collection of articles in the
e-museum at Nobel Foundation for students’ browsing. If students follow their own reading
interests, chances are good that they will find many pages there that convey the joy these
Laureates of Nobel Prize have in their work and the excitement of their ideas.
The possible learning contexts that students may experience are suggested below for
reference:
Observing images produced by ultrasound scans, endoscopes, X-ray film, CAT scans
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and SPET
Demonstrating the principles of pulse-echo using ultrasound transmitters and receivers
Solving problems and analyse information to calculate the acoustic impedance of a
range materials, including bone, muscle, soft tissue, fat, blood and air and explaining the
types of tissues that ultrasound can be examined
Using a pair of ultrasound transmitter and receiver to investigate the amplitude of echo
from reflectors of different materials
Observing an ultrasound image of body organs and gather information
Estimating the resolution of an ultrasound image of a baby if the image size is about 250
mm across and high by a square array of 256×256
Observing the flow of blood through the heart from a Doppler ultrasound video image
Identifying data sources and gathering information to describe how ultrasound is used to
measure bone density
Solving problem and analysing information using acoustic impedance and intensity ratio
of reflected and incident signals
Discussing and observing two X-ray images with and without showing fracture of bone
Discussing – “As late as in the 1950s X-rays were used to ensure well fitting shoes. Why
is it no longer used today?”
Gathering information about deaths due to tuberculosis in 1940s and suggesting a
method to diagnose the disease so as to reduce its risk
Using a dental film and a gamma source to demonstrate film exposure of X-rays and
absorption of X-rays
Observing a CAT scan image and comparing the information provided by CAT scans to
that provided by an conventional X-ray image for the same body part
Performing a first-hand investigation to demonstrate the transfer of light by optical
fibres
Gathering secondary information to observe internal organs from images produced by an
endoscope
Using dice to simulate radioactive decay and study the random nature of decay in
radioactive nuclides
Comparing an image of bone scan with an X-ray image
Comparing a scanned image of one healthy body part or organ with a scanned image of
its diseased counterpart
Comparing the advantages and disadvantages of traditional X-ray images, CAT scans
and SPET scans
Gathering, analysing information and using available evidence to assess the impact of
medical applications of physics on society
Discussing the issues related to radiation safety using non-ionization radiation and
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ionization radiation for imaging
Reading articles from e-museum (http://nobelprize.org/physics/) to trace historic
development of CT, explore what physicists do and their impact of scientific thought on
the society
Values and Attitudes
Students should develop intrinsically worthwhile values and attitudes in studying this topic.
Some particular examples are:
to be aware of the importance of safety measures in relation to ionisation and
non-ionisation radiation
to be aware of the potential danger from X-rays and radiation from radioactive sources to
pregnant woman
to adopt a cautious attitude in matters concerning public safety
to be aware of the implications on the use of different modes of imaging technology and
to make an effort in reducing radiation exposure in daily life
to appreciate some of the factors which contribute to good health, and the importance of
personal responsibility in maintaining it
to appreciate the role of the medical and associated services provided in Hong Kong and
the role of various people within them
to appreciate the relative importance of preventative and curative services
to be open-minded in evaluating potential applications of principles in physics to new
medical technology
to appreciate the efforts made by scientists to find more alternative methods of medical
diagnosis
to appreciate that the advancement of important scientific discoveries (such as
radioactivity and X-rays) can ultimately make huge impact on society
to appreciate the contributions of physics, mathematics, engineering and computer
science that revolutionised the technology advancement in medical imaging
to recognise the roles of science and technology in the exploration of medical science and
to appreciate the efforts of mankind in the quest for the understanding of human body
to recognise the importance of life-long learning and self-learning in knowledge-based
society
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STSE connections
Students are encouraged to develop an awareness of and comprehend issues associated with
the interconnections of science, technology, society and the environment. Examples of
issues and contexts related to this are:
the issue of the effects of radioactive waste from medical applications on the environment
the issue of who decides how much money is spent on medical research
How often should be screened via X-rays against possible case of tuberculosis (TB)?
How dangerous or risky is when patients are imaging using conventional X-rays, CAT,
ultrasound and SPET
How can abnormality in the foetus be detected?
the issue of using CT scanners in archaeology investigations
medical diagnosis: the dilemma in choosing between various devices for optimum
medical diagnosis
to accept uncertainty in the descriptions and explanations by medical diagnosis, and the
issue of false positive and false negative
the ethical issue of a doctor to decide whether or not to turn off a life-supporting machine
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Investigative Study (16 hours)
Topic X
Investigative Study in Physics (16 hours)
Overview
This study aims to provide opportunity for students to design and conduct an investigation
with a view to solving an authentic problem. Investigative studies are inquiry-oriented
activities to provide students with direct exposure to experiences that reinforce the inquiry
nature of science. In the task, students have to analyse a problem, plan and conduct
investigation, gather data, organise their results, and communicate their findings. In this
connection, students are involved actively in their learning, formulate questions, investigate
widely and then build new meanings and knowledge.
A portion of the curriculum time is set aside for this purpose. Students are expected to make
use of their knowledge and understanding of physics, together with generic skills (including
but not limited to creativity, critical thinking, communication and problem-solving) to engage
in group-based investigative study. Through the learning process in this study, students can
enhance their skills both with practical and non-practical nature, and develop awareness of
working safely of investigation.
Learning outcomes
The following outcomes are expected:
Students should be able to
justify the appropriateness of an investigation plan
put forward suggestions on ways to improve validity and reliability of a scientific
investigation
use accurate terminology and appropriate reporting styles to communicate findings and
conclusions of a scientific investigation
evaluate the validity of conclusions with reference to the process of investigation and the
gathered data and information
demonstrate mastery in manipulative skills, skills in observation and also good attitudes
in general
show appropriate awareness of importance of working safely in laboratory elsewhere
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Implementation
Prerequisite - Students should have some experiences with and provided with guidelines on
the following aspects before conducting an investigative study:
Selecting an appropriate question for the task
Searching for relevant information from various sources
Writing an investigation plan
Writing up a laboratory report or making a poster for presentation
Grouping - The investigation can be conducted in groups of 4 or 5 students.
Timing - The investigation can be undertaken on completion of a task requiring students to
plan an experiment for an investigative study, indicating the variables to be measured, the
measurement they will make, and how they will record and present the data collected. For
instance, an investigative study on the topic “projectile motion” can be carried out towards
the end of the senior secondary two (SS2) and completed at the start of the senior secondary 3
(SS3). In other words, students can develop their investigation plan from March to May of
SS2, the investigation can be conducted at the end of SS2, and the presentation to be done at
the start of SS3. Alternatively, it is also possible to conduct an investigation in conjunction
with the learning of the topic. With reference to the above example, it is possible to conduct
investigation in SS2 and complete in SS3.
Time is allocated for the following activities:
Searching and defining questions for investigations
Developing an investigation plan
Conducting the investigation
Organizing, documentation and analysing data for a justified conclusion
Presentation of findings and written reports / making posters
Suggestions - The topics selected should lend itself to practical work. The study should
focus on authentic problems, events or issues which involve key elements like “finding out”
and “gathering first-hand information”. In addition, to maximise the benefit of learning
from the investigation within the time allocated, teachers and students should work together
closely to discuss and decide on an appropriate and feasible topic.
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Some possible topics for investigative study are suggested below:
Build a box which has the best effect of keeping the temperature of an object or has the
best cooling effect
Measure the distance between two very far away points, e.g. the distance between the
earth and the moon
Measure the height and the size of a building
Principle and applications of a solar cell
Construction and testing of a home-made wind turbine
Measure the speed of a water rocket
Studying articles about the latest astronomy discoveries can promote students’ interest in
modern science and strengthen their self-learning ability. Oral or written presentation in
class is encouraged
Investigating the principles of nanoscience in commercial products by the use of various
properties of nano materials, e.g. impermeability to gas, water-repellence and
transparency
Reading articles from e-museum (http://nobelprize.org/physics/) to trace historic
development of CT, particularly memorable description of what physicist do and their
impact of scientific thought on the society
Assessment
To facilitate learning, teachers and students can discuss and agree on the following
assessment criteria with due consideration of factors that may facilitate or hinder the
implementation of the study in a particular school environment.
Feasibility of the investigation plan (the study is a researchable one)
Understanding of relevant physics concepts, concerns on safety
Manipulative skills and general attitudes
Proper data collection procedure and ways to handle possible sources of error
Ability to analyse and interpret data obtained from first-hand investigation
Ability to evaluate validity and reliability of the investigation process and the findings
Ability to communicate and defend the findings to the teacher and peers
Appropriateness in using references to back up the methods and findings
Attitudes towards the investigation
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A number of assessment methods like observation, questioning, oral presentation, poster
presentation session and scrutiny of written products (investigation plan, reports, posters, etc.)
can be used where appropriate.
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Chapter 3
Curriculum Planning
3.1
As a senior secondary science subject in the Key Learning Area of Science
Education, physics builds on the junior secondary science curriculum. Students’ science
learning experiences in junior secondary science lay the foundation for learning senior
secondary physics. In this connection, this chapter describes the linkages of knowledge,
concepts, process skills and generic skills between the two levels of study. Teachers may
consider the information described in this chapter as a reference for planning their
school-based senior secondary physics curriculum for their students.
3.2
It is a well known fact that students have individual differences in interests,
strength and aspirations. Students have different learning styles – visual, auditory, and
kinesthetic & tactile, as well as different alternative science concepts. It is desirable to
organise this curriculum in a way that addresses the individual needs of students. Some
teachers may prefer certain learning and teaching approaches over the others, and they
believe these approaches help elevate the effectiveness, efficiency and quality of students’
learning. Thus, teachers are encouraged to organise the curriculum in meaningful and
appropriate ways to ensure “fit for the purpose”. This chapter attempts to describe some
ideas for teachers to deliberate on when they need to design their own school-based
curriculum for senior secondary physics.
Interfacing Junior Secondary Science Curriculum
3.3
This curriculum builds on the CDC Syllabus for the Secondary Science (S1-3)
published in 1998. The Junior Science Curriculum starts with the topic “Energy” which
helps students appreciate energy as one of the fundamentals of physics, learn some basic
knowledge of physics, acquire some basic practical skills and develop positive attitudes
towards physics. Furthermore, through the study of this curriculum, students can
consolidate their knowledge and understanding in physics as well as the scientific skills
acquired in their junior science course.
3.4
Students should have developed some basic foundation and understanding in
physics through their three-year junior secondary science course. The learning experiences
acquired provide a concrete foundation and serve as a ‘stepping stone” for senior secondary
physics. The following table shows how respective physics topics in the CDC Syllabus for
Science (S1-3) are related to different topics in this curriculum.
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Science (S1-3)
Unit
Title
1.4
Conducting a simple scientific
investigation
4.1
Forms of energy
4.2
Energy changes
4.4
Generating electricity
4.5
Energy sources and we
6.1
States of matter
6.2
Illustrations for the support of the
claims of the particle theory
6.3
Particle model for the three states
of matter
6.4
Gas pressure
8
Physics (Senior Secondary)
Topic
X
VIII
Title
Investigative Study
Energy and Use of Energy
and other parts in the curriculum
I
Heat Transfer and Gases
Making Use of Electricity
IV
Electricity and Magnetism
9.1
Forces
II
Force and Motion
9.2
Friction
9.3
Force of gravity
9.4
A space journey
I
Heat Transfer and Gases
9.5
Life of an astronaut in space
II
Force and Motion
9.6
Space exploration
VI
Astronomy and Space Science
11.2
How we see
III
Wave Motion
11.3
Limitations of our eyes
IX
Medical Physics
11.4
Defects of the eye
11.5
How we hear
11.6
Limitations of our ears
11.7
Effects of noise pollution
15
Light, Colour and Beyond
III
Wave Motion
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Progression of Studies
3.5
To help students with different aptitudes and abilities explore their interests in
different senior secondary subjects, the report New Academic Structure for Senior Secondary
Education and Higher Education – Action Plan for Investing in the Future of Hong Kong
(Education and Manpower Bureau, 2005) recommends the idea “progression of studies”.
Chinese Language,
SS3
English Language,
Mathematics,
X1
X2
(X3)
X1
X2
(X3)
Liberal Studies
Chinese Language,
SS2
English Language,
Mathematics,
Liberal Studies
Chinese Language,
SS1
English Language,
Mathematics,
X1
X2
(X3) (X4)
Liberal Studies
Core Subjects
Elective Subjects
Other Learning
Experiences
( ) optional
In short, schools may choose to offer a total of 4 elective subjects at SS1 level, 3 at SS2 level
and 3 at SS3 level respectively for their students.
3.6
With the suggestion mentioned above, a number of topics have been identified from
this curriculum for students intended to explore their interests in science subjects. The
topics identified should help to lay the foundation for learning physics and facilitates students
to become life-long learners in science and technology. Possible arrangement of the topics
suggested is described in the scheme below. Schools can deliberate on this scheme whether
it can facilitate the progression of study in senior secondary physics.
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Topic
I
Remarks
Heat Transfer and Gases
a. Temperature, heat and internal energy
b. Transfer process
c. Change of state
Include
all
the
subtopics
except
subtopic (d) which can
be studied in a later
stage
d. Gases
II
Force and Motion
Include subtopic (a),
(b) and (d) only
a. Position and movement
b. Force and motion
c. Motion in two dimensions
d. Work, energy and power
e. Momentum
f. Gravitation
3.7
III
Wave Motion
a. Nature and properties of waves
b. Light
c. Sound
X
Investigative Study in Physics
include
only
subtopic
(b)
It can be studied
together with basic
scientific skills and
practical skills but not
for assessment.
Considering the rapid advancement in the world of science and technology, many
contemporary issues and scientific problems have to be tackled by applying science concepts
and skills acquired in wider contexts. Thereby, it is more beneficial for students to gain a
broad learning experience in the three disciplines. To cater for students who are more
interested in learning science and those intended taking two science subjects in science
education, schools are suggested to offer a broad and balanced science curriculum for
students in SS1, including all the three selected parts from biology, chemistry and physics.
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3.8
During SS1, students may explore their interests in science through studying the
three parts and have more understanding of the different nature and requirements of the
respective disciplines. They will be more able to identify their interests and strengths for
choosing their specialized study in higher forms. Moreover, the broad and balanced
foundation laid in the first year of study will benefit them from associating the related
concepts and skills acquired in various disciplines of science for their specialised study and
keeping abreast of their interests of science in wider contexts. The diagram below is an
example on how schools can organise a progression of study for students who wish to have
more science learning.
SS3
SS2
SS1
Physics
Science(Bio, Chem)
or
Biology
or
Chemistry
(Other Subject)
Physics
Science(Bio, Chem)
or
Biology
or
Chemistry
(Other Subject)
Physics
Biology
Chemistry
(Other Subject)
( ) optional
3.9
Under the New Senior Secondary Academic Structure, there will be flexibility to
allow students to take up the study of Physics at SS2. For these students, similar sequence
of learning still applies. Schools may consider allocating more learning time and providing
other supporting measures (e.g. bridging programmes) to these students so that they can catch
up the foundation knowledge and skills as soon as possible.
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Suggested Learning and Teaching Sequences
3.10
This chapter illustrates how teachers may approach the design of teaching and
learning activities, the development of curriculum planning which reflect the ethos of the
teachers and the kinds of learning outcomes, and the development of personnel and resources.
The essence of physics lies in the creation of concepts, models and theories which must be
matched with experience and have internal consistence. It is worthwhile to note that concepts
or principles are a special form of knowledge in enhancing students’ understanding of physics.
Teachers need to understand students’ learning difficulties and misconceptions and adopting
constructivist approaches to teaching physics. Making use of contextual examples and their
relation with key concepts enables a meaningful learning in students. Students hold a number
of intuitive ideas about the physical world based on their everyday experience. Developing
concepts within a context that is familiar to students provides an opportunity for students to
become more aware of their intuitive ideas. Alternatively, by connecting key concepts with
the historic process through which physics was developed, teachers are in a better position to
anticipate and understand students’ intuitive ideas, which often align with historical
controversies. Some of the suggested topics should permeate the whole curriculum so that
students come to appreciate inter-connections between different topics. The sequence is
organised in a way that learning starts with some topics using more concrete content and less
difficult concepts, and then progress onto some topics that are more abstract and subtle. As an
example, students need to understand the concepts of momentum before they can appreciate
the kinetic model of gases.
3.11
Topics like “Temperature, heat and internal energy”, “Transfer processes”,
“Change of state”, “Position and movement”, “Force and motion”, “Work, energy and
power”, “Nature and properties of waves” and “Light” provide a vast amount of concrete
relevant contextual examples, which facilitate students in constructing concepts at SS1 level.
These examples provide opportunities to connect concepts and theories discussed in the
classroom and in textbooks with observations of phenomena. Teachers may engage students
with conceptual organisers such as concepts map to foster the learning of physics. Students
often find Newton’s laws of motion counter-intuitive, and studying 2-dimensional projectile
motion adds further complication. To ensure meaningful learning, teachers need to check the
essential prerequisite knowledge and structured the problem in small manageable steps which
take the form of a simple sequencing task: a set of words and phrases (displacement; velocity;
acceleration; change in direction; change in velocity; curved path; unbalanced force) to
connect by drawing arrows to build up a chain of logical connections. Students can review
their previous learning and prior knowledge at different stage of learning. For example,
teachers introduce preliminary basic concepts of force and motion in SS1, and refine these
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concepts in SS2. The physics curriculum provides flexible framework within which schools
will design learning sequences suited to the needs of their students, and other factors
appropriate to the teachers. Teachers can deliberate on whether or not to adopt the sequence
as suggested. Furthermore, teachers are reminded that they could exercise their professional
judgments to design the most appropriate teaching and learning sequence to be used. It is
likely that different sequences help be adopted in different schools to benefit different ability
groups of students. Through the study of the various topics in the compulsory and elective
parts, students should develop progressing sophisticated concepts in physics. The following
teaching sequences are therefore given as suggestions only.
Topics
Level
I
Heat transfer and gases (except gases)
II
Force and motion (except 2D motion, momentum and
gravity)
III
Wave motion (light only)
X
Investigative study in Physics
II
Force and motion (2D motion, momentum and
gravity)
I
Heat transfer and gases (gases)
III
Wave motion (except light)
IV
Electricity and magnetism
X
Investigative study in Physics
V
Radioactivity and nuclear energy
VI
Astronomy and space science*
VII Atomic World*
Medical physics*
X
Investigative study in Physics
SS2
SS3
VIII Energy and use of energy*
IX
SS1
* denotes a topic in the elective part (2 out of 4)
Curriculum organisation
One aspect in teaching topics, especially at SS1 level, is finding the most appropriate
level of simplification of the subject matter. For example, when students are studying
the concept of “heat” in physics, some key ideas are essential and should be introduced
at SS1 level while some complicated topics should be deferred until later. It should
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have a balance between the breadth and the depth of the curriculum so that students can
follow.
From this perspective, teachers should judge the appropriate level of
simplification, the order in which to present ideas, and the pace at which to deliver the
key ideas in order to help students construct as scientifically valid a model of a topic as
possible. Figure below shows one possible simplification to relate heat, temperature
and internal energy. In this case, heat flows due to a temperature difference and this
can lead to a change in temperature, or a change of state. This is explained in terms of
a molecular model, where the heat flow increases the internal energy of the particles.
The internal energy of the particles can be kinetic and potential, and the temperature is a
measure of the average kinetic energy of the particles. The scheme may be considered
as a concept map, with each arrow representing a relationship between the concepts in
the boxes connected. It is worth to note that students may need prior knowledge, such
as of kinetic energy and potential energy, in the topic “Force and motion” to understand
the concepts of internal energy of the particles. Thus this part of thermal physics may
run concurrently with “Force and motion”.
temperature
difference
heat
state
temperature
internal
energy
latent
heat
kinetic
energy
potential
energy
Integration of major topics
The curriculum puts forward the ideas of compulsory and elective parts.
The
compulsory part provides fundamental concepts of physics in SS1 and SS2, followed by
a range of topics in the elective part from which students must choose any two. The
topics in the elective part can be used as vehicles for teaching the special interests of
students.
This provides excellent opportunities to introduce and follow up the
extension of the key concepts. For instance, knowledge and concepts, such as nature
and properties of waves, light and sound in “Wave Motion” are further reinforced in
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“Medical Physics”, where sound and optical imaging, and medical imaging are used as
extension tasks. The extension task is demanding and capable of stretching the abilities
of the students. The purpose of this arrangement is to avoid loading students with a
bunch of abstract concepts in a short period of time, in particular, at the early stage of
senior secondary study. Furthermore, it also aims to provide opportunity for students
to revisit their learning in previous year of study at SS2. Some teachers may prefer to
introduce the concepts related to wave motion in one go. Other teachers may organise
their own curriculum in a way that the topics “Wave Motion” and “Medical Physics” are
run concurrently. Similar integration can be extended to topics like “Electricity and
Magnetism” and “Energy and Use of Energy”, as well as “Force and Motion” and
“Astronomy and Space Science”.
Integration of the Investigative Study with major topics
It has been recognised that inquiry activities have a central and distinctive role in
physics education.
The interaction among theories, experiments and practical
applications is fundamental to the progress of physics.
Teachers can encourage
students to reconstruct their knowledge using inquiry activities within a community of
learners in their classroom and on the basis of personal experiences.
Meaningful
learning can occur if students are given sufficient time and opportunities for interaction
and reflection, the generic skills are further enhanced and extended.
Investigative
Study in Physics is a learning opportunity for student to apply their physics knowledge
in scientific investigation to solve an authentic problem.
The learning in different parts
of the curriculum together with the experience in the Investigative Study should pave the
way for students to become self-regulated and competent life-long learners. Teachers
may encounter students, who are mathematical inclined, intend to carry simulations on
data modelling. To cater the need of these students, teachers can organise the learning
of the topics in the elective part (e.g. Astronomy and Space Science) in parallel with the
Investigative Study. In simulation runs, the students explore the relationship between
assumptions and predictions about the phenomenon. This helps students apply physics
concepts to analyse and solve problems, and at the same time develops various scientific
skills and processes. Teachers can also adopt an alternative learning and teaching
strategy. For example, by solving the problems through gathering information, reading
critically, learning new knowledge on their own, discussion, investigation etc, and
students can master knowledge and understanding required in the Investigative Study for
the topic “Energy and Use of Energy”. Similar integration can also be extended to
other topics in the compulsory part and the elective part including “Atomic World” and
“Medical Physics”.
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Chapter 4
Learning and Teaching
4.1
The curriculum has an in-built flexibility to cater for the interests, abilities and
needs of students. This flexibility also provides a means to bring about a balance between
the quality and quantity of learning. Teachers should provide ample opportunities for
students to engage in a variety of learning experiences, such as investigations, discussions,
demonstrations, practical work, field studies, model-making, case-studies, questioning, oral
reports, assignments, debates, information search and role-play. Teachers should give
consideration to the range of experiences that would be most appropriate to their students.
The context for learning should be made relevant to daily life, so that students will experience
physics as interesting and important to them.
4.2
Practical work and investigations are essential components of the curriculum.
They enable students to gain personal experience of science through hands-on activities, and
to develop the skills and thinking processes associated with the practice of science.
Participation in these activities encourages students to bring scientific thinking to the
processes of problem-solving, decision-making and evaluation of evidence. Engaging in
scientific investigation enables students to gain an understanding of the nature of science and
the limitations of scientific inquiry.
Designing Learning Activities
4.3
Teachers should motivate students through a variety of ways such as letting them
know the goals and expectations of learning, building on their successful experiences,
meeting their interest and considering their emotional reactions. Learning activities should
be designed according to these considerations. Some examples of these activities are given
below.
Article reading
Students should be given opportunities to read independently science articles of
appropriate breadth and depth.
The abilities to read, interpret, analyse and
communicate new scientific concepts and ideas can then be developed. Meaningful
discussions on good science articles among students and with teachers may also be used
to strengthen general communication skills. The abilities of self-learning developed
this way will be invaluable in preparing students to become active life-long learners.
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A variety of articles, which may be used to emphasise the interconnections between
science, technology and society, will serve the purposes of broadening and enriching the
curriculum, bringing into which current developments and relevant issues. Teachers
may select suitable articles for their own students according to their interest and abilities,
and students are encouraged to search for such articles from newspapers, science
magazines and the Internet. The main purpose of this part of the curriculum is to
encourage reading. The factual knowledge acquired is of relatively minor importance;
whereas rote memorization of the contents is undesirable and should be discouraged.
Discussions and debates
Discussions and debates in the classroom promote students' understanding, and help
them develop higher order thinking skills as well as an active learning attitude. One of
the most effective ways to motivate students is to make discussions or debates relevant
to their everyday life. Presenting arguments allows students to extract useful information
from a variety of sources, to organise and present ideas in a clear and logical form, and
to make valid judgements based on scientific evidence.
Teachers can start a
discussion with issues related to science, technology and society, and invite students to
freely express their opinions in the discussion, at the end of which students can present
their ideas to the whole class and receive comments from their teacher and classmates.
Teachers must avoid discouraging discussions in the classroom by insisting too much
and too soon on an impersonal and formal scientific language. It is vital to accept
relevant discussions in students’ own language during the early stages of concept
learning, and to move towards precision and accuracy of scientific usage in a
progressive manner.
Practical work
Physics is a practical subject and thus practical work is essential for students to gain a
personal experience of science through doing and finding out. In the curriculum,
designing and performing experiments are given due emphases.
Teachers should avoid giving manuals or worksheets for experiments with ready-made
data tables and detailed procedures, for this kind of instructional materials provide fewer
opportunities for students to learn and appreciate the process of science. With an
inquiry-based approach, students are required to design all or part of the experimental
procedures, and to decide what data to record and how to analyse and interpret the data.
Students will show more curiosity and sense of responsibility for their own experiments
leading to significant gains in their basic scientific skills.
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Moreover, experiments are better designed to “find out” rather than to “verify”. Teachers
should avoid giving away the answers before the practical work, and students should try
to draw their own conclusions from the experimental results. The learning of scientific
principles will then be consolidated.
Experiments
Include
designing and
planning
prediction of
results
manipulation
of apparatus
collection of
data
consideration
of safety
Conclusions and
interpretations
Include
analysis of
experimental
results
evaluation of
predictions
explanation for
deviations from
predictions
Scientific
Principles
Include
generalisation
of patterns and
rules from
conclusions
and
interpretations
Project Learning
Learning through project work, a powerful strategy to promote self-directed,
self-regulated and self-reflecting learning, enables students to connect knowledge, skills,
and values and attitudes, and to accumulate knowledge through a variety of learning
experiences. It also serves to develop a variety of skills such as scientific problemsolving, critical thinking and communication. Project work can be carried out
individually or in small groups, and students will plan, read and make decisions over a
period of time. Project work carried out in small groups can enhance the development of
collaboration skills, while that involving experimental investigations can help develop
practical skills as well.
Searching and presenting information
Searching for information is an important skill to be developed in the information era.
Students can gather information from various sources such as books, magazines,
scientific publications, newspapers, CD-ROMs and the Internet. Searching for
information can cater for knowledge acquisition and informed judgements by students,
but the activity should not just be limited to the collecting of information. Its selecting
and categorizing and the presentation of findings should also be included.
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Teaching with a Contextual Approach
4.4
Learning is most effective if it is built upon the existing background knowledge of
students. Learning through a real-life context accessible to students will increase their
interest and enhance the learning of physics. The context-based learning highlights the
relevance of physics to students’ daily life and can be employed to enhance their awareness of
the inter-relationships between science, technology and society. When the original concepts
have been learned with effectiveness, confidence and interest, the transfer of concepts,
knowledge and skills to other contexts can then be made. Teachers are strongly encouraged
to adopt a contextual approach in an implementation of the curriculum.
Using Information Technology (IT) for Interactive Learning
4.5
IT is a valuable tool for interactive learning, which complements the strategies of
learning and teaching inside and outside the classroom. Teachers should select and use
IT-based resources as appropriate to facilitate students’ learning. However, an improper use
of IT might distract student attention, have little or no educational value and may sometimes
cause annoyance.
4.6
There are numerous and growing opportunities to use IT in a science education.
IT can help search, store, retrieve and present scientific information.
Interactive
computer-aided learning programmes can enhance the active participation of students in a
learning process. A computer-based laboratory interface allows students to collect and
analyse data, vary parameters, and find out mathematical relationships between variables.
Simulation and modelling tools can be employed to effect exploratory and interactive
learning processes.
Providing Life-wide Learning Opportunities
4.7
A diversity of learning and teaching resources should be used appropriately to
enhance the effectiveness of learning. Life-wide learning opportunities should be provided
to widen the exposure of students to the scientific world. Examples of learning programmes
serving this purpose include popular science lectures, debates and forums, field studies,
museum visits, invention activities, science competitions, science projects and science
exhibitions. Students with good abilities or a strong interest in science may need more
challenging learning opportunities. These programmes can stretch students’ science
capabilities and allow them to develop their full potential.
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Chapter 5
Assessment
Aims of assessment
5.1
Assessment is an integral part of the learning and teaching cycle. It is the practice
of collecting evidence of student learning. The aims of assessment are to improve learning
and teaching as well as to recognise the achievement of students. Therefore, the design of
assessment should be aligned with the learning targets, the curriculum design and the learning
progression. At the same time, a diversity of assessment modes should be adopted to attain
the goal of assessment for learning.
Internal Assessment
5.2
Internal assessment refers to the assessment practices that schools will employ as
part of the learning and teaching strategies during the three years of study in physics. These
practices should be aligned with curriculum planning, teaching progression, student abilities
and the local school contexts. Internal assessment includes both formative and summative
assessment practices. The information collected will help to motivate and promote student
learning. The information will also help teachers to find ways of promoting more effective
learning and teaching. A range of assessment practices, such as written tests, oral
questioning, observation, investigative studies, practical work and assignments, should be
used to promote the attainment of various learning outcomes. Moreover, values and
attitudes can be assessed in school and be reflected in the student report card of the “Student
Learning Profile”.
Public Assessment
5.3
Public assessment of the subject Physics refers to the assessment measures that lead
to a qualification in the subject to be offered by the Hong Kong Examinations and
Assessment Authority (HKEAA). It provides information about the standards and
achievement of students based on the learning outcomes listed in this Curriculum and
Assessment Guide. Public assessment of Physics will comprise two components: a Written
Examination and School-based Assessment (SBA). The assessment tasks used in the public
examination and the SBA will address the learning targets laid down in this curriculum, and
be aligned with the curriculum emphases, such that the potential of assessment can be
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harnessed to encourage teaching and learning in the directions intended in this curriculum
framework.
Public Examination
5.4
The public examination will consist of two papers; one focuses on the Compulsory
Part of the Curriculum and the other mainly on the Elective Part. Different types of items
will be used to assess students’ performance in a broad range of skills and abilities. The
types of items will include multiple choice questions, short questions and structured questions.
These types of items are currently adopted in the HKCE and HKAL examinations. When
the curriculum content and the learning outcomes are finalised, sample papers will be
provided to schools to illustrate the format of the examination and the standards at which the
questions are pitched.
School-based assessment
5.5
SBA refers to the assessment administered in schools in which a student’s
performance is assessed by the student’s own teacher. The merits of adopting SBA are as
follows:
(i)
SBA helps improve the validity of public assessment, since it can cover a more
extensive range of learning outcomes, through employing a wider range of
assessment practices that cannot be implemented in public examinations.
(ii)
SBA allows for continuous assessment of the work of students. It provides a more
comprehensive picture of student performance throughout the period of study rather
than their performance in a one-off examination. Since assessments are typically
based on multiple observations of student’s performance, SBA can improve the
reliability of the overall assessment.
5.6
are:
(i)
Embodying the two merits above, the rationales of implementing SBA in Physics
To assess students’ skills in the performance of practical work and their abilities in
carrying out scientific investigations.
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(ii)
To assess students’ generic skills (such as creativity, critical-thinking skills,
communication skills, problem-solving skills and collaboration skills) through the
use of a wide variety of tasks adopted in the learning process.
5.7
The SBA will contribute 20% of the total weighting of the public assessment of
Senior Secondary Physics.
5.8
The SBA of Physics will be divided into two main components: practical related
tasks and non-practical related tasks. The former refers to the practical work characteristic
of physics, while the latter refers to non-practical related assignments and examinations
which students are asked to carry out for the learning of the subject.
5.9
The aim of including non-practical related tasks is to broaden the scope of
assessment in the SBA, and hence in the public assessment. The abilities of students in
many different aspects can be duly recognised by awarding their achievements in a wide
variety of tasks adopted in the learning process. The integration of curriculum, teaching and
assessment will also be much enhanced. To this end, the assignments to be included in the
SBA aim to cover one or more of the curriculum content areas and one or more of the
aforementioned generic skills, which are embodied in the learning targets set out in the
curriculum.
Examples of assignments that can be used for assessment are:
Critically read, analyse and report the works of some physicists in their contribution
toward the understanding of the universe.
Design a poster / pamphlet / web page advising on ways in which people can use
energy more efficiently.
Report scientific knowledge and concepts acquired after a visit to a power station or
the Hong Kong Science Museum.
Construct animation to illustrate the process of fission/fusion.
5.10
It should be noted that SBA is not an “add-on” element in the curriculum. The
modes of SBA thus selected above are normal in-class and out-of-class activities suggested in
the curriculum. The requirement and implementation of the SBA will take into
consideration the wide range of abilities of students and will avoid unduly increasing the
workload of both teachers and students. Detailed information on the requirements and
implementation of the SBA and samples of assessment tasks will be provided to teachers in
due course.
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Standards-referenced Approach
5.11
In the public assessment, a standards-referenced approach will be adopted for
grading and reporting student performance. The purpose of this approach is to recognise the
learning outcomes that the students have attained in the subject at the end of the 3-year senior
secondary education. Each student’s performance will be matched against a set of
performance standards, rather than compared to the performance of other students.
Standards-referenced Approach makes the implicit standards explicit by providing specific
indication of individual student’s performance. Descriptors will be provided for the set of
standards at a later stage.
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Chapter 6
Effective Use of Learning and Teaching
Resources
6.1
A subject curriculum and assessment guide will be published to support learning
and teaching. The Guide will provide stakeholders with information on the rationale,
curriculum aims, curriculum framework, learning and teaching strategies and assessment.
In addition, it is anticipated that quality textbooks and related learning and teaching materials,
aligned with the rationale and the recommendations of the curriculum, will be available on
the market.
6.2
Resource materials that facilitate learning will be developed by Education and
Manpower Bureau (EMB) to support the implementation of this curriculum. Tertiary
institutions and professional organisations will be invited to contribute to the development of
resource materials. Existing resource materials, such as “Physics World”, “Contextual
Physics”, “Contextual Physics in Ocean Park”, “Using Datalogger in the Teaching of
Physics” and “Enhancing Science Learning through Electronic Library”, published by EMB
and various working partners will be updated to meet with the latest curriculum development.
Furthermore, schools are encouraged to develop their own learning and teaching materials to
meet the needs of their students, as necessary. Schools are also advised to adopt a wide
variety of suitable learning resources, such as school-based curriculum projects, useful
information from the Internet, the media, relevant learning packages and educational software
packages. Last but not the least, experiences from various collaborative research and
development projects, such as “Informed Decisions in Science Education”, “Assessment for
Learning in Science”, “Infusing Process and Thinking Skills into Science lessons” and
“Collaborative Development of Assessment Tasks and Assessment Criteria to Enhance
Learning and Teaching in Science Curricula” are good sources of information for teachers.
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Chapter 7
Supporting Measures
7.1
To facilitate the implementation of the curriculum, professional development
programmes will be organised for physics teachers. Listed below are the major domains of
the professional development programmes to be provided.
Understanding the rationale and the implementation of the Physics Curriculum;
Sharing of learning and teaching strategies and good practices;
Latest development in the field of physics (science update programmes);
Curriculum management and leadership (curriculum leadership courses); and
Internal assessment, School-based Assessment and Standards-referenced Assessment.
7.2
Besides, teacher networks and learning communities will be formed to facilitate
reflection and discussion on various aspects related to the curriculum. Detailed information
on support materials can be obtained from the CDI homepage (http://www.emb.gov.hk/cd) or
the webpage for physics teachers (http://www.hk-phy.org).
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