The resources in this list can help with planning the following areas of A level physics:

  • qualitative treatment of polarisation and diffraction
  • path difference, phase and coherence, interference
  • graphical treatment of superposition and stationary waves

It is unlikely that students will have studied this part of the syllabus previously, although some taking single science physics might have touched on it briefly.

It follows on from previous work on waves that they have covered previously - students should already be able to label and describe the main features of a transverse wave. It is recommended that this is revisited first, before proceeding with the topic.

Polarisation is a fairly straighforward concept. If you do not have polarising filters in school, two pairs of polarising sunglasses, alternately, two pairs of 3D glasses, held at right angles to each other and rotated can show the effect.

Students often struggle with path difference and interference, so time should be spent to ensure they have understood these concepts, particularly as there is some challenging maths involved

Finally, a graphical treatment of superposition and stationary waves continues to challenge students, and time is well spent making sure they understand these topics.

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