Physics - annotated exemplar Level 3 AS91525

Demonstrate understanding of modern physics (3.5)

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This annotated exemplar is intended for teacher use only. The student work shown does not always represent a complete sample of what is required. Selected extracts are used, focused on the grade boundaries, in order to assist assessors to make judgements at the national standard.

Low Excellence

Commentary
Student response

Student 1 (PDF, 217KB)

For Excellence, the student needs to demonstrate comprehensive understanding of modern physics.

This involves demonstrating understanding of connections between concepts or principles that relate to a given situation.

The student connects the concepts of mass deficit and binding energy to energy release, using Einstein’s equation (1), and then goes on to explain how a higher mass deficit leads to a higher energy released (2).

For a more secure Excellence, the student could demonstrate more detailed understanding of connections between concepts or principles. For example, the importance of high temperatures for nuclear fusion to occur could be explained, or how the fusion process produces more energy than fission per gram of reactants.

High Merit

Commentary
Student response

Student 2 (PDF, 52KB)

For Merit, the student needs to demonstrate in-depth understanding of modern physics.

This involves giving explanations for phenomena, concepts or principles that relate to a given situation.

The student has explained how the phenomenon of coulombic repulsion can be overcome in a fusion reaction (1), and how a larger mass deficit (related to binding energy) can explain the release of more energy, using the equation E=mc2 (2).

To reach Excellence, the student could demonstrate comprehensive understanding by providing a clearer connection between the physics phenomena, concepts or principles. For example, the student could use actual values to explain how mass deficit, binding energy and energy released are connected.

Low Merit

Commentary
Student response

Student 3 (PDF, 241KB)

For Merit, the student needs to demonstrate in-depth understanding of modern physics.

This involves giving explanations for phenomena, concepts or principles that relate to a given situation.

The student has explained how the phenomenon of coulombic repulsion in a fusion reaction can be overcome by using high temperatures (1), and the concept of mass and energy equivalence, using the equation E=mc2 (2).

For a more secure Merit, the student could explain, in more detail, the concept of nuclear fusion. For example, the student could compare the energy produced in nuclear fusion with other fuel options, or explain how binding energy affects energy release.

High Achieved

Commentary
Student response

Student 4 (PDF, 92KB)

For Achieved, the student needs to demonstrate understanding of modern physics.

This involves showing awareness of how simple facets of phenomena, concepts or principles relate to a given situation.

The student has described simple facets of the concept of nuclear fusion and started to explain how the phenomenon of coulombic repulsion can be overcome (1). The student has also described how a small mass of fuel produces a lot of energy, using Einstein’s equation (2).

To reach Merit, the student could explain the concept of nuclear fusion reaction more clearly. For example, the student could use equations and/or diagrams, explaining the mass-energy equivalence, or use calculations to compare the energy provided by nuclear fusion with other fuel options.

Low Achieved

Commentary
Student response

Student 5 (PDF, 232KB)

For Achieved, the student needs to demonstrate understanding of modern physics.

This involves showing awareness of how simple facets of phenomena, concepts or principles relate to a given situation.

The student has described simple facets of the concept of fusion, the phenomenon of coulombic repulsion (1) and the concept of mass-energy equivalence (2).

For a more secure Achieved, the student could describe the phenomenon of coulombic repulsion in more detail, or describe how a small mass difference leads to a large energy release.

High Not Achieved

Commentary
Student response

Student 6 (PDF, 188KB)

For Achieved, the student needs to demonstrate understanding of modern physics.

This involves showing awareness of how simple facets of phenomena, concepts or principles relate to a given situation.

The student has attempted to describe simple facets of the concept of nuclear fusion (1).

To reach Achieved, the student could describe in more detail the concept of nuclear fusion, or describe the concept of mass-energy equivalence using Einstein’s equation.

 
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