The Senior Physics Challenge
(SPC) is a national schools physics development programme and
university access initiative direct at ASlevel students. Higher physics demands fluency and ability in
physical and mathematical analysis that are not given prominence inschool physics syllabii. Some students are increasingly surprised and
disadvantaged by the discrepancy between their expectations of physics admissions and subsequent University courses, and their reality.
Students can be especially disadvantaged by theirunfamiliarity with skills and preparation universities are seeking. We
wish to demystify, and make more accessible to a wider range ofstudents, the transition to university physics in the UK. The SPC
is a residential summer school with students being accommodated overnight
as the guests of a small number of Colleges. During the day physics problem solving and Lab classes are held at the Cavendish
Laboratory,along with 3 or 4 general physics/research lectures. The intensive
tuition is designed to emphasise the development of problem-solvingand experimental skills. We thank the Colleges of the University
and the Ogden Trust
for their continued support.
Circular motion notes from 2010
Dynamics Problems Set from 2010
Prof. Mark Warner and I have written a quantum mechanics primer, which is most definitely not a textbook, but more a practical introduction.
Chapters 1–3 are used in Cambridge for the SPC. Chapters 2–5 would also serve university quantum mechanics courses, for instance, until midway through the second year in Cambridge from where we have drawn many problems. Maths and physics skills are revised in chapter 1. Then chapters 2 and 3 introduce the quantum world for real, not by analogies and taking on trust, but by solving the problems that suffuse the text. The first three chapters guide the transition from school to university, and are a practical aid for the fluency and understanding that are tested in admissions to higher physics, maths and engineering.
The primer is published by the Periphyseos Press .