Nuffield Advanced Science: Physical Science
The Nuffield Physical Science course explored the regions of common interest to physicists and chemists. The course focussed on the contributions that physics and chemistry make to the study of the structure and properties of materials. The physics topics explored the interlocking roles of matter, energy and radiation and while the chemistry examined the interpretation of material properties on atomic, microscopic and macroscopic scales. The course culminated in one of three 'Materials options': Metals, Polymers or Ceramics and glasses.
The course was strongly concept-led. Applications of science and technological considerations only featured in the Materials options. There was extensive practical work in the course which was mainly designed to help with the development of concepts. Mastery of particular practical skills was not one of the aims. The course highlighted the importance of theoretical models such as the kinetic theory of gases, the Bohr model of the atom, and the moving charges model for an electromagnetic field.
The basic course – in 14 sections
The general options – seven options allowing a choice of two further chemistry or further physics topics
The materials options – three options giving a choice of which class of materials to study.
The written examinations featured data analysis and comprehension as well as more conventional questions. In addition teachers assessed the 40-period project which each student had to carry out individually. Students could choose their own investigation from across the whole range of physical science. For many students this was the most stimulating and rewarding part of the course.
The Book of Data
Book of Data was intended for use in all the Nuffield Advanced Science courses, but it was in the physical science course that it really came into its own. Thanks to the Physical Science course, the data included information about a wide range of materials. Students were given access to the Book of Data during all tests and examinations.
HEALTH and SAFETY
Any use of a resource that includes a practical activity must include a risk assessment. Please note that collections may contain ARCHIVE resources, which were developed at a much earlier date. Since that time there have been significant changes in the rules and guidance affecting laboratory practical work. Further information is provided in our Health and Safety guidance.
Resource by: Nuffield Foundation