Tomctutor- Physics resources

These are resources relevant to tuition in Physics at news

National Curriculum- PHYSICS (CfE):

The Scottish Government has requested the SQA to remove Unit
Assessments from its courses from 2017-18 exam on-words...
Unit resource packs can still be used in teaching however.

9781471891199_1_National 5 Physics 2016-17 SQA Past Paper
SQA have completed most of the full specification for these courses (SQA CfE Physics link) although I have put up the summarised course specs (to date); 
N3-PhysicsN4-Physics (spec 2013), 
N5-Physics (spec SQA 2017)
N5-Physics sample question paper with mi - pdf (59pg)

N4-5_prelimsolutions Electricity-EnergyWaves-Radiation.
N5 Unit: E&E short PPQs revision test- (pdf) - test solutions (pdf) -new*

Here's an alternative set of quality N5Physics notes, from MrMacKenzie's 'fizzics' site, that were published around 2014-15 - these have attached problems and student check-list to work through in the class - D&S (pdf- 64pg), W&R (pdf- 63pg), E&E (pdf - 63pg). Note these are many pages long so maybe not suitable for printing off by students- just download file to your keydrive!

9781471891007_1_Higher Physics 2016-17 SQA Past Papers
Higher Physics (spec. SQA 2016 
CfE Higher Physics Relationship-sheet (pdf 2pg),
Sample Question Bank, index of extensive student support material (pdf file) for the new higher (from  LTS).
My own Higher Physics course summary (6pg)
ODU (30 pg) - pdf
ELECTRICITY (30pg) - pdf
PARTICLES&WAVES (35 pg) - pdf.
Example Question Paper with mi - pdf (69pg).
Higher NQ past-papers revision cross-reference (2000-2012)- pdf
(for past papers and mi's see MrMackenzies Higher revision fizzics web-site)
Current Dark-Matter research explained in Horizon's video, see link (lhs).
Just don't understand relativity yet- try this short video (by LondonCityGirl):

M87 Supermassive Black hole
First ever image of Supermassive Black Hole (center of M87 Galaxy) released by EHT ( abstract doc 4th Apr 2019)


The most distant object known in the universe? Dwarf Galaxy MACS0647-JD
With a z=10.7 (its redshift) was created just 420My after big-bang-Wiki pdf.

9781471890802_1_Advanced Higher Physics 2016-17 SQA Past Papers
Advanced Higher Physics (spec SQA 2016), course notes and homework here at Calderglen.
 Also  relationships , data-sheet for AHP and Quantities and Symbols suitable for all CfE and older NQ Physics.

Homework sets (with numerical answers c.2012):
RMA-Unit questions only (pdf 26pg), answers (pdf)
QW-Unit questions only (pdf 23pg), answers (pdf)
EM-Unit questions only (pdf 42pg), answers (pdf)

Background notes from HyperPhysics for 
AHPhysics EM unit, no need to remember all this detail but worth looking through so you know what's what (4 pdf files): CapacitanceMotors and InductanceMaxwell's EM EquationsRelativistic-Energy.
Adv. Higher Sample Question Paper (SQA) - pdf 

 NC-Timescales: In 2015–16, the new CfE National 2, National 3, National 4, National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher were all available (replaced the older NQ awards).

(older archive material)
STANDARD GRADE PHYSICS: Pupil tuition packs (and homework) can be downloaded (per Unit) from;
NQ older Intermediate 2  and Higher PHYSICS:
Mr MacKenzie's fizzics revision site for Int2 and Higher has most past-papers (as well as current CfE papers) and short videos.
A sample Excel 2003 graph showing best-line and uncertainties (download this to Excel as google apps view is not good enough for this).
How-to guide Excel worksheet for SQA Higher/Advanced Higher physics.
PhET Colorado simulation (java) of the Photoelectric effect which is a often used to introduce students to QM.

 (click on 'don't show again' then OK in pop-up window to download and run Java applet)

LED circuit

See how an LED works (2014 Nobel Prize in Physics -doc-was for invention of Blue LED that allowed for flat LED screens to replace CRTs in televisions as well as white light LEDs to replace tungsten filament lamps)-  see video.
ADVANCED HIGHER PHYSICS (older): All original Highland Virtual Learning (HVLC) videos can be found on my Youtube channel link-here.
Course notes here at smarshallsay.weebly pdf. Scholar units summary,  homeworkexam-revision 4MB, LTS-uncertainties notes, common physical quantities data, and investigations-report notes (3MB zip download).
Updated resources (also Revised) here: TSR (doc). 

CERN collider.CERN's Large Hadron Collider - how it works -
Here is a short video (6 min), Prof. Jim Al-Khalili explaining simply how the LHC works by firing beams of protons at very large energies around the super-synchrotron ring..

CERNs Large Hadron Collider-how it works- short video.wmv

For a 2pg summary, here's a word doc about the 2015 upgrade, file.
 CERN announcement on Higgs' candidate discovery (04 July 2012) - see my home page.
              A recent update (2018) report on measurement of Higgs (Hbb) decay (- file)

This brochure, published by CERN 2017,  tells you everything you need to know about the accelerator, a must read for physics students all levels! 
(<- click on image to read brochure 64pg) 

For overview of LHC current research worth watching insider physicist Dr Harry Cliff giving a 1hr Royal Institution lecture (Jan 2018) on youtube (link): Beyond the Higgs, whats next for the LHC?

Latest from NASA:
Launched July 2020 this rover is due to land on Mars Feb 2021.
It will have flown half billion kilometers and reached speeds in excess of 100,000 kph. 
Abstract of video> -pdf, here is a narrated video presentation of what the mission is all about (NASA/JPL):

Mars2020 Perseverance Rover - Whats different this time?

                    Also updated mission status from the JPL home page

CASSINI mission - NASA
Launched in 1997, NASA's Cassini spacecraft made its final approach to Saturn and dove into the planet’s atmosphere on Friday, Sept. 15. 2017 Loss of contact with the Cassini spacecraft EOM.
The Cassini mission to Saturn is one of the most ambitious efforts in planetary space exploration ever mounted. Cassini was a sophisticated robotic spacecraft orbiting the ringed planet and studying the Saturnian system in detail. Cassini also carried a probe called Huygens, which parachuted to the surface of Saturn’s largest moon, Titan, in January 2005 and returned spectacular results.


                        Here is the Official Cassini NASA mission homepage at

JUNO mission - NASA's Independence Day (2016) present to humanity:-
Congratulations to the JUNO team at Nasa.JPL after 5 yrs to fly nearly 3 billion km and hit your 10km target within 1 sec timimg- that's amazing navigation I think. Also flying at 140 thousand mph- wow. Also note that the solar panels produce half-kw power out there at Jupiter, enough to make a cup-of-tea anyhow- so NASA missions don't need to use Plutonium batteries any more.
All-in-all absolutely gobsmacking success- Carl Sagan would be proud:
Juno-the-movie_NASA_4 Jul 16 - a short real-live movie of the moons of Jupiter- the first ever video showing Galileo's proof of planetary motion (this is not an animation)..
              JUNO was launched in 5 Aug 2011 and its mission is to study in detail the planet                         Jupiter; mission website-

Facts about Jupiter and some news from Juno (Sept 2016)

Jupiter facts

Here's a NASA update on the mission (published in the Telegraph 3rd Sept 2016)> file.

How Far Away Is It - 2017 Review:
D. Butler continues his excellent educational video presentation of Astrophysics Review made in 2018 (mainly Hubble, Spitzer and Fermi Space Telescopes and land based observatories). Type 1A supernovae, gravitational lensing, colliding neutron stars, gamma-ray bursts and Ligo gravitational waves are all explained here with original detailed pictures and, unusual for youtube, equations linked to observation for teachers (script- pdf)
(my one page abstract- doc):

How far away is it - 2017 Review (D. Butler)


Note: My original article "Hubble 25year- Silver Celebration" video by Dr. Frank Summers
can be found here: (youtube video from Jan 2015- link).

James Webb Space Telescope article download (pdf 100MB/ 100 page) NASA eBook.  (JWST will be launched Mar 2021 - NASA)
ps. the original eBooks from NASA's site  are interactive only on iPad or Apple device.
This interesting video explains the principles and operation of the JWST suitable for juniors and seniors alike!

James Webb Telescope _Space-com.flv

  JWST news update about 6.5m mirror construction - completed Feb 2016 (pdf).

The JWST is mainly infrared, but Hubble-successor telescope HDST (High Definition Space Telescope) is being planned for around 2030 deployment. This will be UV, near-infrared and visible spectrum which will primarily be designed to observe directly Earth like exoplanets and supernovae. 
It will be some 5 times larger aperture (12m) than Hubble's mirror- see the proposal (pdf).

NASA - Eyes on the Solar System - Interactive project.
NASA - Eyes on the Solar System
NASA has released a 'live' upto-date interactive project showcasing the exploration of the  Solar System from the earliest Pioneer days to the current suite of planetry probes. You need to install the applet 3D plug-in (Java based) to work. You can navigate your way around using real data and images from the various missions.
The homepage site is and here's the introductory video:

NASA-Eyes on the Solar System Intro.flv

Solar System NASA 2013

The Solar System images in Low Res - courtesy JPL Education Gateway  - downloadable article [4MB pdf ].
 (I have updated this from original 2009 one) -
Download 2013 Hi-res version here [30MB pdf ].
 Nuclear Fusion power generation - 
 Here is a snapshot of the Joint International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor which will produce energy by Fusion of hydrogen atoms at 150M deg.C, this is a lot hotter than the sun's core (15M deg.C). Expected online 2026- (abstract pdf download).
New Horizons probe passed by Pluto on 14th July 2015 with 100% mission success.
New Horizons artist impression
NASA's mission New Horizons (launched Jan 2006) spacecraft passed by Pluto, July 14th 2015
See Johns Hopkins official mission live updates (site).
It currently is travelling at  speed 15 km/s (30000 mph).
 As well as Pluto it will also study the Kuiper belt (article).
(Pluto is some 40 au distance from the Sun, discovered by Clyde Tombaugh 1930- some of his ashes are on the craft!)

Pluto covered with mountains of ice 3km high (mission 
The next target is to reach the small planetoid '2014 MU69' on Jan 1st 2019).

 NASA launched (Mar 2009) the successful Kepler mission to study in detail Exoplanets - or planetary systems around our nearby stars.
Kepler Mission update (Jun 2013) - 1hr podcast download here (this mission is still producing data).
Named after the late 16th century astronomer Johannes Kepler- famous for his laws of planetary motion (aka. celestial mechanics) from which Isaac Newton developed his theories of  gravitation.
His three laws of planetary motion can be download (pdf).

YouTube Video-Interstellar-The black-hole


The movie Interstellar (released late 2014) is a sci-fi movie based on general relativity as a plot with astronauts (Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway) trying to save humankind from extinction. Its producers and writers, the Nolans, worked alongside the Caltech professor Kip Thorne in making of the film (see the official site ) and thus is of interest to students with relativity as part of their studies.
Special interest to students are the black-hole animation (done in Mathematica) and the blackboard scenes (with Michael Caine)-download TheBlackboards (pdf 10MB).

LIGO Livingston Louisiana (US)
LIGO discovery of Gravitational Waves- article pdf (11 Feb 2016).
The experiment has been off and on for over 5 years but finally an upgrade has enabled the instrument to detect what are believed to be natural (and commonly) occurring high frequency gravitational waves. These were predicted by Albert Einstein in 1916 (just 100 years ago) and is yet another vindication of his General Theory of relativity that describes the relationship between space-time and gravity. 
See also Glasgow University LIGO experiment description 
(BBC link). F
or a more technical and detailed description of gravity-waves read this updated snapshot of the Wiki pdf.
Grav-waves chart Gravitational waves chart.
(for 2017 update announcement on Nobel Prize award and fourth major discovery see my homepage)

ISS Earth Science instruments
Ever wondered what it would be like to visit the ISS (International Space Station) then watch this real life tour by on-board astronaut Suni Williams (2016)..
 (30 min YouTube video) ..

ISS Tour
                      More information on ISS visit: NASA - International Space Station.

Alma telescope begins study of cosmic dawn  
The ALMA Telescope array (Chile)
read the BBC news article here,  (or print download pdf )
(Oct 2011)
The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), an international partenership of Europe, North America and East Asia in cooperation with the Republic of Chile, is the largest astronomical project in existence. ALMA will be a single telescope of revolutionary design, composed initially of 66 high precision antennas located on the Chajnantor plateau, 5000 meters altitude in northern Chile. (Project website:
Gaia- on its way
ESA mission Gaia
 liftoff occurred on 19 December 2013 and the critical deployment of Gaia's sunshield was confirmed approximately 90 minutes later. Gaia has arrived and successfully deployed at L2, where it will study,  for 5 years,  the characteristics of 1 billion stars to create the most precise 3D map of our home galaxy, the Milky Way.  
(The mission blog site , mission home site, ESA's mission presentation with text summary).
See the short video by Gaia scientist Prof. Mark McCaughrean describing the mission:


The  text caption for this video is here:  Gaia:- ESA's billion star surveyor (ProfMarkMcCaughrean)‎‎‎

IC 1101- The Largest Galaxy in the Universe video:
The largest galaxy ever discovered, a giant elliptical galaxy over 2000x larger than our own, is described here in this video (from youtube SeaSquad- Mar 2019). 
I have selected this particular video because the narrator shows the life of a galaxy in easy to understand graphical detail, using upto date theory and Hubble images. 
Abstract ( 1pg pdf). Wiki article on IC1101 link.

IC1101- The Largest Galaxy Ever Discovered.wmv

Brian Schmidt (Nobel Laureate) discusses the Expanding Universe in this Youtube Video from 2012 (Hubble, Einstein Constant, Dark Energy, Dark Matter, Gnab Gib): 
Here is my 1 page abstract for this (pdf). And I have created a downlaodable zip archive
of  Wiki articles about Cosmology related to this article (zip files).

Dr Joshua Frieman UoC
Dr Joshua Frieman University of Chicago
 gives a lecture on FermiLab's Dark Energy Survey (from 2016).  Here is the abstract (1pg pdf).
Watch the youtube video:
A thorough history of cosmology of Dark Energy research
recommended for Astrophysics students (new*)

Hubble's Law

 Hubble's law relates the velocities of recession of distant galaxies to their distances as determined mainly by redshift and Cephied luminosities.
Download video and notes here.
Upto date web-article on Spitzer measurements here.

How do helicopters fly! see the Open University video:

How Helicopters Fly

modern airofoil Question- how does the airofoil produce lift?
Question-  a separate video discusses the purpose of the tail rotor, which is?
Question-  what happens if the engine cuts out - all is not lost apparently? -answers.
Also I have a short tutorial on the physics of flight for Cessna light aircraft> pdf.

NASA Dawn spacecraft (launched 2007) is visiting two largest dwarf planets Vesta (2011) then Ceres (2015)  located in the asteroid belt. As amazing the science mission is it is even more remarkable that this is the first interplanetary mission to utilize so called Ion Thruster technology.
Here's the maths for nerds:-  with a thrust of only 100mN and a spacecraft weight of about 1.2 tonne ( has about 380kg Xenon propellant) means that the spacecraft has acceleration of about 1.10^-4 m/s^2, over 1yr that equates to delta-v of 3 km/s. The distance it can cover over 1yr is therefore 5.10^10m (0.3au). To get to the asteroid belt though it has used gravity assist from Mars.  
NASA Spacecraft approaching dwarf planet>news article Dec 2014.  See also Ion Thruster (wiki) article>pdfIon propulsion were first envisaged by Dr Robert Goddard 1905 and Wernher von Braun 1920 pdf>Dawn timeline.  NASA's Dawn mission educational> web link.

Ion propulsion engine explained by NASA's DAWN chief engineer video:


Redshift 8 This is Astronomcal Animation Software for professional and budding astronomers alike; basically is a real-time interactive compendium of upto-date (Wiki linked) astronomical animated resource. For observational, research or learning is a great tool. It is probably the best there is in its class, for iOS, Android and Windows> web link.
Software about> pdf. See the promo video here:

Redshift Pro - Astronomy App Trailer homepage

     Antonine Education
 A-Level physics
 For GCSE, AS/A level Physics notes (EdExcel, OCR, AQA and other curricula also).
ALevel notes 

Physics-animations website for great learning video animations.
Note: MAC Safari users get the Windows Media plugin here - Safari Plug-ins.
Also PhET Physics simulations (java based) suitable for all levels- site here.

   The Open niversity
The Open University (UK) Open Learning site contains much topical educational material for aspiring scientists- here is the physics link.

 The LTS (Learning Teaching Scotland) website is the teaching resources site for NQ and the newer CfE (3-18) curricula:
The CfE Higher (and Advanced Higher) Physics home page is here.
- you will find a lot of useful resources.

Prof. J.Binney (Oxford University)
Quantum Mechanics
(Undergraduate Course lectures given
by Prof. J.J.Binney at Oxford, 2009/2010 semesters)
Watch videos online (simply change binney01 to binneyxx where xx is the video number reqd.)
Course synopsis here 
where you will get links to problem sets.
Here is his open-published book pdf:
The Physics of Quantum Mechanics,
 Revised ed., James Binney and David Skinner, Cappella Archive 2009.
Course is based on Dirac notation (bra-ket wiki) which he introduces in the first few lectures.

A simpler introduction to QM for A-level to Yr1 UG is given by DrPhysicsA
youtube playlist doc.
He starts with a simple derivation of the Schrodinger Wave Equation.

A general overview of QM see Wiki article.

 Bozeman Science

AP Physics Essentials is a youtube collection covering the American AP Physics curriculum which is 1st year undergraduate physics (Wiki APPhys1 link).
Covering most u/g physics content in small byte size (<10 min) videos which are very graphical and easy to watch (youtube channel index).
I especially recommend the energy videos, e.g. see Renewable Energy (youtube).

Richard Feynman
The Feynman Lecture on Physics (1961-63 Caltech) is a three volume series based on R. Feynman the discoverer of quantum electrodynamics and famous Feynman diagrams used in QM> link to Caltech 2013 online published version.
You will find his early lectures on Youtube here.

Here DrPhysicsA explains Einsteins general field equation in a simple and concise manner suitable for Mathematical Physics students (2hr video):
(youtube video-link)
Here's a one-page abstract of the DrPhysicsA video with Stanford Prof Susskind link (-pdf).
See also Wiki article on General Relativity Field Equation (-pdf 13pg).