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Physics Topics - Form Four

TOPIC 1: Waves


  1. Introduction to Waves

    • Explain the concept of a wave

    • Explain the terms wave length, frequency and velocity of a wave

    • Identify types of waves

  2. Behaviour of Waves

    • Explain Reflection, refraction, diffraction and interference of waves

    • Mention the application of reflection, refraction, diffraction and interference of waves in daily life

    • Demonstrate the behaviour of waves

  3. Propagation of Waves

    • Describe the propagation of mechanical waves

    • Explain the propagation of electromagnetic waves

    • Determine the relationship between frequency, speed and wavelength of a wave

    • Determine the refractive index of a medium

  4. Sound Waves

    • Identify source of sound waves

    • Explain the concept of audibility range

    • Describe the perception of hearing

    • Explain the concept of echo and reverberation

    • Determine the speed of sound in air

  5. Musical Sound

    • Explain the concept of a musical sound

    • Identify factors affecting loudness, pitch and quality of a musical sound

    • Identify the different musical instruments

    • Explain the terms stationary wave, nodes and antinodes

    • Determine the frequency of a musical note

    • Distinguish between the fundamental note and overtones

    • Explain the concept of resonance as applied to sound

    • Construct a simple musical instrument

  6. ElectroMagnetic Spectrum

    • Explain the concept of the electroMagnetic spectrum

    • Identify the main bands of the electroMagnetic spectrum

    • Detect infra-red, visible and ultra-violet rays

  7. Application of ElectroMagnetic Wave in daily life

    • Identify the application of microWaves, radio-Waves, Infra-red, gamma rays and x-rays

    • Explain the importance of electroMagnetic waves in agriculture and climate


TOPIC 2: Electromagnetism


  1. Magnetic Fields due to a Current-carrying Conductor

    • Explain how electric current produces a magnetic field

    • Identify the pattern of the magnetic field lines around a straight conductor

    • Determine the direction of magnetic field around a current-carrying conductor

    • Determine the presence and direction of a force on a current carrying Conductor in a magnetic field

    • Determine the direction of force due to two current '82air-carrying conductors when the current flowing in the same or opposite direction

  2. ElectroMagnetic Induction

    • Explain the concept of electroMagnetic induction

    • State the laws of electroMagnetic induction

    • Explain the concepts of self and mutual induction

    • Describe the mode of action of induction coil

    • Describe the mode of action of a.c and d.c generator

    • Construct a simple step-up and step-down transformer


TOPIC 3: Radioactivity


  1. The Nucleus of an Atom

    • Describe the structure of the nucleus of an atom

    • Explain the atomic number, mass number and isotopes of an element and their symbols

    • Mention forces holding the nucleus

  2. Natural Radioactivity

    • Explain the concept of radioactivity

    • Describe properties of the radiations emitted by radio-active substances

    • Explain the nuclear changes due to the emission of Alpha α, Betaβ and Gammaγ radiations

    • Explain the detection of α,β andγ radiations

    • Describe half-life as applied to a radioactive substance

    • Determine the half-life of a radioactive element

    • Identify the applications of a natural radioactive Substances

  3. Artificial Radioactivity

    • Distinguish between natural and artificial radioactivity

    • Describe methods of producing artificial radioactive isotopes

    • Mention the applications of artificial radioactivity

  4. Radiation Hazards and Safety

    • Explain the effects of nuclear radiation on human body

    • Protect himself/herself from nuclear radiation hazards

  5. Nuclear Fission and Fusion

    • Explain the nuclear fission and fusion

    • Mention the applications of nuclear fission and fusion


TOPIC 4: Thermionic Emission


  1. Cathode Rays

    • Explain the production of cathode rays

    • State the properties of cathode rays

    • State the application of cathode ray tube

  2. X-Rays

    • Describe the structure and mode of action of the x-ray tube

    • Distinguish between soft and hard x-rays and their production

    • State the properties of x-rays

    • Identify the applications of x-rays in daily life


TOPIC 5: Electronic


  1. SemiConductors

    • Explain the concept of energy bands in solids

    • Distinguish between conductors, semiconductors and insulators

    • Describe the effect of temperature on the conductivity of conductors, semiconductors and insulators

    • Identify types of Semiconductors

    • Describe the mechanism of doping intrinsic semiconductors

  2. Diodes

    • Describe the construction of P-N junction

    • Explain the mode of action of a P-N junction

    • Identify the types of diodes

    • Construct a half-wave and full-Wave rectifier

  3. Transistor

    • Describe the construction of a PNP transistor

    • Explain the mode of action of a PNP transistor

    • Identify the types of transistors

    • Outline the applications of transistors in daily life

  4. Single Stage Amplifier

    • Explain the concept of analogue signals

    • Explain the concept of digital signal

    • Design a single-stage amplifier


TOPIC 6: Elementary Astronomy


  1. Introduction to Astronomy

    • Explain the concept of astronomy

    • Explain the importance of astronomy in everyday life

  2. Solar System

    • Distinguish between a star and a planet

    • Explain the force of gravitation which maintains celestial bodies in their Orbits

  3. Constellations

    • Explain the concept of constellation

    • Identify constellation

    • Uses of constellation in everyday life

  4. The Earth and the Moon

    • Describe the surface features and temperature of the moon

    • Explain the causes of ocean tides


TOPIC 7: Geophysics


  1. Structure and Composition of the Earth

    • Describe the structure of the earth

    • Describe the composition of the layers of the earth

    • Explain the importance of the layers of the earth

  2. Earthquake and Volcanoes

    • Explain the origin of volcanoes

    • Describe effects of volcanoes

    • Explain the origin of earthquake

    • Describe the principle of measurement of earthquake

    • Identify precaution against earthquake hazards

  3. Structure and Composition of the Atmosphere

    • Describe the vertical structure of the atmosphere

    • Describe the composition of the atmosphere

    • Explain the importance of various layers of the atmosphere

  4. The Greenhouse Effect and Global Warming

    • Explain the greenhouse effect

    • Identify sources of greenhouse

    • Explain the occurrence of global warming

    • State the consequences of global warming

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