Thanks to Mr Finch who has given permission for me to upload the old Higher Past papers sorted by topic. These could come up again but well worth practicing. Beware though, g was often taken as 10 ms^{2.} in multiple choice questions.
Category: Course Materials
All the materials you will need for the SQA CfE Higher Physics Course.
If you want to find notes for each section of your course click on the individual sections from the drop down menu. Happy hunting! It is all there!
Quantity, Symbol, Unit, Unit Symbol
Comments from the Workshop
Clicking on the link above will take you to the You Must Justify Questions that we didn’t have time for! Please look over this.
Flashcards
Quantity, Symbol, Unit, Unit Symbol
I’ve put together, with Mrs Mac’s help, a document with quantity, symbol, unit and unit symbol so that you know the meaning of the terms in the Relationships Sheet. It is in EXCEL so that you can sort it by course, quantity or symbol.
Quantity, Symbol, Units the excel sheet
Quantity, Symbol, Units a pdf sheet sorted by course and then alphabetical by quantity.
This is the same information in readily available Tablepress form. If you click on the Higher tab at the top it should sort by terms that you need in alphabetical order, or search for a term. Let me know if I’ve missed any.
Quantity, Symbol, Unit, Unit Symbol Table for N5AH
N  H  A  Physical Quantity  sym  Unit  Unit Abb. 

5  absorbed dose  D  gray  Gy  
5  absorbed dose rate  H (dot)  gray per second gray per hour gray per year  Gys^{1} Gyh ^{1} Gyy^{1}  
5  6  7  acceleration  a  metre per second per second  m s^{2} 
5  6  7  acceleration due to gravity  g  metre per second per second  m s ^{2} 
5  activity  A  becquerel  Bq  
5  6  7  amplitude  A  metre  m 
5  6  7  angle  θ  degree  ° 
5  6  7  area  A  square metre  m ^{2} 
5  6  7  average speed  v (bar)  metre per second  m s^{1} 
5  6  7  average velocity  v (bar)  metre per second  m s ^{1} 
5  6  7  change of speed  ∆v  metre per second  m s ^{1} 
5  6  7  change of velocity  ∆v  metre per second  m s^{1} 
5  count rate    counts per second (counts per minute)    
5  6  7  current  I  ampere  A 
5  6  7  displacement  s  metre  m 
5  6  7  distance  d  metre, light year  m , ly 
5  6  7  distance, depth, height  d or h  metre  m 
5  effective dose  H  sievert  Sv  
5  6  7  electric charge  Q  coulomb  C 
5  6  7  electric charge  Q or q  coulomb  C 
5  6  7  electric current  I  ampere  A 
5  6  7  energy  E  joule  J 
5  equivalent dose  H  sievert  Sv  
5  equivalent dose rate  H (dot)  sievert per second sievert per hour sievert per year  Svs^{1} Svh^{1} Svy ^{1}  
5  6  7  final velocity  v  metre per second  m s^{1} 
5  6  7  force  F  newton  N 
5  6  7  force, tension, upthrust, thrust  F  newton  N 
5  6  7  frequency  f  hertz  Hz 
5  6  7  gravitational field strength  g  newton per kilogram  N kg^{1} 
5  6  7  gravitational potential energy  E_{p}  joule  J 
5  halflife  t_{1/2}  second (minute, hour, day, year)  s  
5  6  heat energy  E_{h}  joule  J  
5  6  7  height, depth  h  metre  m 
5  6  7  initial speed  u  metre per second  m/s 
5  6  7  initial velocity  u  metre per second  m s^{1} 
5  6  7  kinetic energy  E_{k}  joule  J 
5  6  7  length  l  metre  m 
5  6  7  mass  m  kilogram  kg 
5  number of nuclei decaying  N      
5  6  7  period  T  second  s 
5  6  7  potential difference  V  volt  V 
5  6  7  potential energy  E_{p}  joule  J 
5  6  7  power  P  watt  W 
5  6  7  pressure  P or p  pascal  Pa 
5  radiation weighting factor  w_{R}      
5  6  7  radius  r  metre  m 
5  6  7  resistance  R  ohm  Ω 
5  6  7  specific heat capacity  c  joule per kilogram per degree Celsius  Jkg^{1}°C ^{1} 
5  6  specific latent heat  l  joule per kilogram  Jkg^{1}  
5  6  7  speed of light in a vacuum  c  metre per second  m s^{1} 
5  6  7  speed, final speed  v  metre per second  ms ^{1} 
5  6  7  speed, velocity, final velocity  v  metre per second  m s^{1} 
5  6  7  supply voltage  V_{s}  volt  V 
5  6  7  temperature  T  degree Celsius  °C 
5  6  7  temperature  T  kelvin  K 
5  6  7  time  t  second  s 
5  6  7  total resistance  R_{}  ohm  Ω 
5  6  7  voltage  V  volt  V 
5  6  7  voltage, potential difference  V  volt  V 
5  6  7  volume  V  cubic metre  m^{3} 
5  6  7  weight  W  newton  N 
5  6  7  work done  W or E_{ W}  joule  J 
7  angle  θ  radian  rad  
7  angular acceleration  a  radian per second per second  rad s^{2}  
7  angular displacement  θ  radian  rad  
7  angular frequency  ω  radian per second  rad s^{1}  
7  angular momentum  L  kilogram metre squared per second  kg m^{2}s ^{1}  
7  angular velocity, final angular velocity  ω  radian per second  rad s^{1}  
7  apparent brightness  b  Watts per square metre  Wm^{2}  
7  back emf  e  volt  V  
6  7  capacitance  C  farad  F  
7  capacitive reactance  X_{c}  ohm  W  
6  critical angle  θ_{c}  degree  °  
density  ρ  kilogram per cubic metre  kg m^{3}  
7  displacement  s or x or y  metre  m  
efficiency  η      
6  7  electric field strength  E  newton per coulomb volts per metre  N C^{1} Vm^{1} 

7  electrical potential  V  volt  V  
6  7  electromotive force (e.m.f)  E or ε  volt  V  
6  energy level  E_{1} , E_{2} , etc  joule  J  
feedback resistance  R_{f}  ohm  Ω  
focal length of a lens  f  metre  m  
6  frequency of source  f_{s}  hertz  Hz  
6  7  fringe separation  ∆x  metre  m  
6  7  grating to screen distance  D  metre  m  
7  gravitational potential  U or V  joule per kilogram  J kg^{1}  
halfvalue thickness  T_{1/2}  metre  m  
6  7  impulse  (∆p)  newton second kilogram metre per second  Ns kgms^{1} 

7  induced e.m.f.  E or ε  volt  V  
7  inductor reactance  X_{L}  ohm  W  
7  initial angular velocity  ω _{o}  radian per second  rad s^{1}  
input energy  E _{i}  joule  J  
input power  P_{i}  watt  W  
input voltage  V_{1} or V_{2}  volt  V  
input voltage  V_{ i}  volt  V  
6  internal resistance  r  ohm  Ω  
6  7  irradiance  I  watt per square metre  W m^{1}  
7  luminoscity  L  Watt  W  
7  magnetic induction  B  tesla  T  
7  moment of inertia  I  kilogram metre squared  kg m^{2}  
6  7  momentum  p  kilogram metre per second  kg m s^{1}  
6  number of photons per second per cross sectional area  N      
number of turns on primary coil  n_{p}      
number of turns on secondary coil  n_{s}      
6  observed wavelength  λ_{observed}  metre  m  
output energy  E_{o}  joule  J  
output power  P_{o}  watt  W  
output voltage  V_{o}  volt  V  
6  peak current  I_{peak}  ampere  A  
6  peak voltage  V_{ peak}  volt  V  
7  phase angle  Φ  radian  rad  
6  7  Planck’s constant  h  joule second  Js  
7  polarising angle (Brewster’s angle)  i_{p}  degree  ̊  
power (of a lens)  P  dioptre  D  
power gain  P_{gain }      
7  Power per unit area  Watts per square metre  Wm^{2}  
primary current  I_{p}  ampere  A  
primary voltage  V_{p}  volt  V  
7  radial acceleration  a_{r}  metre per second per second  m s^{2}  
6  redshift  z      
6  7  refractive index  n      
6  relativistic length  l'  metre  m  
6  relativistic time  t'  second  s  
rest mass  m_{o}  kilogram  kg  
6  rest wavelength  λ_{rest}  metre  m  
6  root mean square current  I _{rms}  ampere  A  
6  root mean square voltage  V_{rms}  volt  V  
7  rotational kinetic energy  E_{rot}  joule  J  
7  schwarzchild radius  r_{Schwarzchild}  metre  m  
secondary current  I_{s}  ampere  A  
secondary voltage  V_{s}  volt  V  
7  selfinductance  L  henry  H  
6  7  slit separation  d  metre  m  
7  tangential acceleration  a_{t}  metre per second per second  m s^{2}  
6  threshold frequency  f_{o}  hertz  Hz  
7  time constant  t  second  s  
7  torque  Τ  newton metre  Nm  
7  uncertainty in Energy  ∆E  joule  J  
7  uncertainty in momentum  ∆p^{x}  kilogram metre per second  kgms^{1}  
7  uncertainty in position  ∆x  metre  m  
7  uncertainty in time  ∆t  second  s  
6  velocity of observer  v_{o}  metre per second  m s^{1}  
6  velocity of source  v_{s}  metre per second  m s^{1}  
voltage gain        
voltage gain  A_{o} or V _{gain }      
5  6  7  wavelength  λ  metre  m 
6  work function  W  joule  J 
2017 Assignment Results
What the 2017 results show is that they final result for the Assignment is mainly down to the way it is written up and not to do with intelligence or choice of topic.
Below is the table of topics covered and scores.
Topic  Lowest Score  Highest Score  No. of students 

Impulse and delta p  13  17  2 
acceleration due to gravity  11  16  3 
Exoplanets  7  13  2 
Fibre Optics  12  16  3 
Higher Past Papers
These papers and marking instructions are reproduced to support SQA qualifications, please check the conditions of use and ensure they are not used for commercial benefit.
National Qualification Higher Physics Papers
Digital Paper (spell)  Higher Paper  YEAR  MI  Exam Report 

NO EXAM  NO EXAM  2020  COVID19  FOR THE 1ST TIME IN ITS HISTORY 
NH 2019  2019  mi H 2019  2019 Report  
NH SpecP1 NH Spec P2  Spec  MI H P1 MI H P2  
2018 DQP  NH 2018  2018  MI H 2018  2018 Report 
2017 DQP  NH 2017  2017  MI H 2017  2017 Report 
2016 DQP  NH 2016  2016  MI H 2016  2016 Report 
2015 DQP  NH 2015  2015  MI H 2015  2015 Report 
H S1 DQP H S2 DQP  NH Spec  Spec  MI H Spec  
Physics marking  general principles  READ THIS!  MARK GUIDE 
If you’d like to work through past papers by topic then Mr Davie has done all the hard work for you and has promised to keep this list up to date. He says
Below are the Revised Higher Past Papers, the content is very very similar to the new National (CfE) Higher, although the marks would be different. These were the last past papers with half marks!
Higher Paper  YEAR  MI  Exam Feedback 

H Rev 2015  2015  MI Rev 2015  2015 Report 
H Rev 2014  2014  MI Rev 2014  2014 Report 
H Rev 2013  2013  MI Rev 2013  2013 Report 
H Rev 2012  2012  MI Rev 2012  2012 Report 
H Rev Spec  Specimen Paper  MI Rev Spec  
READ THIS  MARK GUIDE 
These are the traditional Higher Past Papers (once also known as revised!) Remember some of this material is no longer on the syllabus, and some is relevant to National 5.
Higher Paper  YEAR  Marking Instructions  Exam Feedback 

H 2015  2015  MI 2015  2015 Report 
H 2014  2014  MI 2014  2014 Report 
H 2013  2013  MI 2013  2013 Report 
H 2012  2012  MI 2012  2012 Report 
H 2011  2011  MI 2011  2011 Report 
H 2010  2010  MI 2010  2010 Report 
H 2009  2009  MI 2009  2009 Report 
H 2008  2008  MI 2008  2008 Report 
H 2007  2007  MI 2007  2007 Report 
H 2006  2006  MI 20062006mcH&Int2 stats  2006 Report 
H 2005  2005  MI 2005  2005 Report 
H 2004  2004  MI 2004  2004 Report 
H 2003  2003  MI 2003  2003 Report 
H 2002  2002  MI 2002  2002 Report 
H 2001  2001  MI 2001  2001 Report 
H 2000  2000  MI 2000  Internal report U Standards 2000 
H Rev Specimen QP  Specimen  MI H Rev Specimen 
From National Parent Forum of Scotland This great little pdf file gives some ideas of suitable questions from the traditional Higher papers that are suitable for the new National Qualifications.
Thanks to Mr John Irvine and Mr Stuart Farmer for the course reports.
PLEASE both teachers and students READ the Report after tackling the past paper. The course reports give really good background and information about how candidates performed in the exam and what messages you should learn from them.
Higher Paper  YEAR  Marking Instructions 

1999  H 1999 PI Solutions H 1999 PII Solutions 

1998  H 1998 PI Solutions H 1998 PII Solutions 

1997  H 1997 PI Solutions H 1997 PII Solutions 

1996  H 1996 P1 Solutions H 1996 PII solutions 

1995  H 1995 PI Solutions H 1995 PII Solutions 

1994  H 1994 PI Solutions H 1994 PII Solutions 

1993  H 1993 PI Solutions H 1993 PII Solutions 

1992  H 1992 PI solutions H 1992 PII Solutions 

1991 
All the best with your revision!
Uncertainties
It is really important that you get to grips with the uncertainty section. You will need this information for your Assignment and it could well form a question on the exam paper.
The key is remembering that ANY measurement is liable to uncertainty. Get that and you’re half way there!
Here is a summary of Key Knowledge for this section new for 2021
CONTENT ASSOCIATED WITH UNCERTAINTIES
Random and systematic uncertainty
Uncertainties and data analysis
 All measurements of physical quantities are liable to uncertainty, which should be expressed in absolute or percentage form. Random uncertainties occur when an experiment is repeated and slight variations occur. Scale reading uncertainty is a measure of how well an instrument scale can be read. Random uncertainties can be reduced by taking repeated measurements. Systematic uncertainties occur when readings taken are either all too small or all too large.
 They can arise due to measurement techniques or experimental design.
 The mean of a set of readings is the best estimate of a ‘true’ value of the quantity being measured. When systematic uncertainties are present, the mean value of measurements will be offset. When mean values are used, the approximate random uncertainty should be calculated. When an experiment is being undertaken and more than one physical quantity is measured, the quantity with the largest percentage uncertainty should be identified and this may often be used as a good estimate of the percentage uncertainty in the final numerical result of an experiment. The numerical result of an experiment should be expressed in the form final value ±uncertainty.
UNCERTAINTIES NOTES
Whenever you do an experiment there will be uncertainties.
There are three types of uncertainty and effects to look out for at Higher.
Systematic Effects
Here the problem lies with the design of the experiment or apparatus. It includes zero errors. Sometimes they show up when you plot a graph but they are not easy to recognise, as they are not deliberate. Systematic effects include slow running clocks, zero errors, warped metre sticks etc. The best way to ensure that these are spotted is to acknowledge their existence and go looking for them. Where accuracy is of the utmost importance, the apparatus would be calibrated against a known standard. Note that a systematic effect might also be present if the experimenter is making the same mistake each time in taking a reading.
Random Uncertainties
These uncertainties cannot be eliminated. They cannot be pinpointed. examples include fluctuating temperatures, pressure and friction. Their effect can be reduced by taking several readings and finding a mean.
Reading Uncertainties
These occur because we cannot be absolutely certain about our readings when taking measurements from scales. Use scales with mirrors where possible, good scales and repeat all measurements.
Repeat all experiments to reduce the reading and random uncertainties. Systematic effects are not improved by taking lots of results.
Which experiment has the best design?
Quantifying Uncertainties
1.Find the mean
This is the best estimate of the “true” value but not necessary the “true” value.
2. Find the approximate random uncertainty in the mean (absolute uncertainty)
This can be written as and it is sometimes referred to as average deviation or absolute uncertainty.
3. Find the percentage uncertainty.
or
Scale Reading Uncertainty
This value indicates how well an instrument scale can be read.
An estimate of reading uncertainty for an analogue scale is generally taken as:
± half the least division of the scale.
Note: for widely spaced scales, this can be a little pessimistic and a reasonable estimate should be made.
For a digital scale it is taken as
± 1 in the least significant digit displayed.
Or uncertainty in reading ÷reading × 100%
Overall final Uncertainty
When comparing uncertainties, it is important to take the percentage in each.
In an experiment, where more than one physical quantity has been measured, spot the quantity with the largest percentage uncertainty. This percentage uncertainty is often a good estimate of the percentage uncertainty in the final numerical result of the experiment.
eg if one measurement has an uncertainty of 3% and another has an uncertainty of 5%, then the overall percentage uncertainty in this experiment should be taken as 5%
Introduction Tasks
Friday 9th June
learning outcomes
 To review the work completed so far
 To practice uncerts and practical experiments
 To practice risk assessments
tasks
 Starting on approximately p14 of the introduction notes complete tutorial 1 & 2
 Make notes on uncerts and quantifying them from chapter 4
 Risk assessment Go through the powerpoint on the network (higher physics> intro> on risk assessment)
 In your classwork jotter answer the questions as you go through the power point
 Complete the practical below and write it up, including hazards, risks and controls.
Checking Your Uncertainties.
Aim: To find the average speed of a trolley moving down a slope, estimating the uncertainty in the final value.
Apparatus: 1 ramp, 1 metre stick, 1 trolley, 1 stop clock.
Instructions:
 Set up a slope and mark two points 85 cm apart.
 Note the scale reading uncertainty.
 Calculate the percentage uncertainty in the distance.
 Ensuring the trolley starts from the same point each time, measure how long it takes the trolley to pass between the two points.
 Repeat 5 times, calculate the mean time and estimate the random uncertainty.
 Note the scale reading uncertainty in the time.
 Calculate the percentage uncertainty in the time.
 Calculate the average speed and associated uncertainty.
 Express your result in the form:
(speed ± absolute uncertainty) m s^{1}
Write up your experiment and include your risk assessment
 Continue with the tutorials on Uncerts.
Outcome 1
Before you can pass any units you must have completed an Outcome 1. This is a practical activity that you must have been involved in. You should have collected data and written it up. See the instructions below.
There is also included below a front marking sheet that you ought to place on the front of your submitted write up.
CANDIDATE GUIDE
Your plan must include:
• an aim — which is a clear statement of what you are trying to do in this experiment/practical investigation
• the dependent and independent variables
• the relevant variable(s) to be kept constant
• what you will be measuring/observing
• a list of equipment/materials you will use
• a labelled diagram of the experimental arrangement, if appropriate
• a description of how you will carry out your experiment/practical investigation (including safety where appropriate)
Checkpoint: Ask your assessor to check your plan before you start the practical work.
• You should carry out your experiment/practical investigation safely, including repeated measurements and averages where appropriate.
• Record your observations/measurements in an appropriate way.
Checkpoint: Ask your assessor to check your results.
• Present your findings/results in any appropriate format. You should:
— record the information/data in a clear and systematic way, with wellorganised tables of raw data
— process/analyse the results. Present your findings in any appropriate format. These may be from: a table, line graph or summary. Graphs should be plotted on squared graph paper
— use appropriate SI units and standard abbreviations
• State your conclusion(s) — which should reference the aim.
• Evaluate your experimental procedures, with justification(s). Your evaluation should include two possible improvements and be supported by justification(s).
Outcome 1
1 Apply skills of scientific inquiry and draw on knowledge and understanding of the key areas of this Unit to carry out an experiment/practical investigation by:
1.1 Planning an experiment/practical investigation
1.2 Following procedures safely
1.3 Making and recording observations/measurements correctly
1.4 Presenting results in an appropriate format
1.5 Drawing valid conclusions
1.6 Evaluating experimental procedures
To pass this assessment you will have to show that you have met this Outcome and Assessment Standards.
Your assessor will let you know how the assessment will be carried out and any required conditions for doing it.
What you have to do
This assessment activity is an experiment/practical investigation.
Your assessor will provide you with the resources you need. You may be able to work in a group to do the practical work, but your assessor will need you to show that you have met the Assessment Standards.
To pass this assessment, you will have to prepare a scientific report to show that you can:
• plan an experiment/practical investigation
• make and record observations/measurements correctly
• present your results in an appropriate format
• draw valid conclusions
• evaluate experimental procedures
While you are carrying out your experiment/practical investigation, your assessor will be observing to make sure that you are following procedures safely, and that you are making measurements correctly.
Experimental Write Up
Your best work. Rulers, sharp pencils, colour etc.
Correct use of terminology and units at all times
NO WAFFLE!
Title Short and relevant with date.
Aim What are you trying to find out/prove?
To find out how “something” affects “something else”.
Method Instructions on how to complete the experiment; make it reliable and make it a fair test:
Set up the following apparatus (draw a good labelled diagram).
The “something” was set at a “value” and increased by an “amount” using the “piece of equipment”. The “something else” was noted at each value using the “other piece of equipment”. Other variables were kept constant by…….
Results Display the findings.
A neat table with headings and units.
An appropriate graph of “something” on the xaxis and “something else” on the yaxis.
Conclusion What did you find out?
As the “something” is increased / decreased, the “something else” increased / decreased / stayed the same. Also include “directly/inversely proportional” if appropriate.
Evaluation Are there any improvements that could be made to your experiment to reduce uncertainties?
Where to find your materials
If you want to find notes for each section of your course click on the individual sections from the drop down menu. Happy hunting! It is all there!
Special Relativity & Webbased Research
Communicating Scientific Results
Here is a chance for you to practice some of the skills required for your Investigation. This task gives you some practice to help with your Researching Physics topic. It is to help you look at ways of communicating and think who you are communicating to.Log all the work that you do for this section in your Researching Physics Log Book.
Objective
You will look at the various ways in which findings can be presented, and appreciate the possibility of using other media such as video clips, articles, papers, posters etc.
Learning outcome
You will be more informed about the different ways in which one topic can be presented. You will begin to think about how to present your own work.
Learning activity
You can work independently or in groups. There are three different resources:
 A video clip entitled ‘Two postulates’ (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WdfnRWGgbd0).
If you can’t read the file above it has been uploaded here as an MP4 file.
 A physicsworld article entitled ‘Slowed Light Breaks Record’
PHYSICS WORLD ARTICLE DECEMBER 2009
3. The paper
‘On Velocities Beyond the Speed of Light c’ (On Velocities beyond the speed of light c.pdf) On Velocities beyond the Speed of Light
You should examine and discuss the three resources. Teachers should point out that even though the physics content may not all be at the students’ level of understanding, it is still possible to take information from it with their level of knowledge. This is emphasised by you completing the work below.
‘Two Postulates’
This clip discusses how to tell if an object is moving or not by way of an animation.
‘Slowed Light Breaks Record’
This is an article published in physicsworld in December 2009. It is not particularly long, although does contain a lot of information.
‘On Velocities Beyond the Speed of Light c’
This paper was published in 1998 from CERN. It has the more traditional scientific report structure and is a good example for you.
After completing the table on the sheet, you should find that all boxes are ticked – highlighting that even though the information is presented in different ways, all the resources contain what the students will have to put into their own reports.
There are many ways to present scientific findings. You might have written a report in the past but universities may ask you to present a poster of your work.
Here we will look at three different ways of presenting findings on special relativity.
On your own or in groups/pairs, have a look at the three examples of how findings on special relativity have been presented.
Copy and complete the table, either with a few notes or a tick or cross, to show if the example meets the criteria.
‘Two Postulates’  ‘Slowed Light Breaks Record’  ‘On Velocities Beyond the Speed of Light’  
Is there mention of the objective for the investigation/experiment?  
Is there information given on the experiment/s conducted?  
Is there mention of the data (perhaps not all) and any analysis of the findings?  
Does the article discuss the conclusion for the experiment/investigation? 
Now you have looked at the three examples, ask yourself the following questions.
First impressions
 Was one resource more eyecatching than the others?
 Does one look like it will be easier to read/understand than the others?
 Which one looks most credible?
Down to the nitty gritty
 Which resource was the most interesting?
 Which one was the best presented?
 Which gave the most information?
 Did you need to understand everything mentioned to gain an understanding of the experiment?
Which format might you consider for your Communicating Physics investigation?
More information on WebBased Research
WebBased Research HApr16 A powerpoint presentation showing how to help you find viable websites
WebBased Research Student Materials Some materials to give you advice on using websites.
Physics WebBased Research Worksheets Material that you can work through to give you practice at completing webbased tasks.
Football
The Institute of Physics created a set of practicals for Football fans and players with links to Physics. Make sure you choose topics that are relevant and of a standard suitable for Higher level.