Questions about the ‘natural world’

Natural world: atomic structure. Structure of the solar system. Phases of the moon and eclipses. Elementary treatment of circular orbits under gravity including orbital speed, radius, period, centripetal acceleration, and gravitational centripetal force. Satellites; geostationary and polar orbits.

Much of this material might actually be new for you, depending on which GCSE course you did.  It is important to get a good understanding of the simple orbital mechanics (see these notes), and this is also a good way of getting to grips with circular motion (see the mechanics section).

Answers to questions about the ‘natural world’

2010, question 12

2011, question 14

2011, question 16

2011, question 24

2013, question 14

2014, question 10

2015, question 13

2015, question 20

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4 thoughts on “Questions about the ‘natural world’

      1. Have any questions ever come up on this? (sorry haven’t done all the PATs yet)

        It just seems … bland tbh. As in it seems to be largely vocab in terms of what’s testable? I’ll have a look through it obviously but seems rather pointless.

        1. Well yes, the questions listed above have come up. I would say that you might expect one question on something to do with orbits every year.

          I agree the wikibooks link above does feel a bit like a geography textbook. But you need to know what the words mean. Don’t forget to have a look at the simple orbital mechanics and circular motion notes linked to above, as it’s well worth understanding the maths behind geostationary and polar orbits and it will feel less like a geography lesson.

          If you’re bored and want to read something less bland then do a search for Moliniya (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Molniya_orbit#/media/File:Molniya.jpg) or Tundra (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tundra_orbit#/media/File:Qzss-45-0.09.jpg) orbits (though these won’t come up in the exam because they are not circular). These were both invented by Russians out of necessity: if you live a long way north then standard geostationary orbits are not much use.

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