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NABTEB PHYSICS SYLLABUS 2021
This syllabus has been designed from the NBTE Curriculum for the sole purpose of examination. It is designed to portray physics as a core science subject with emphasis on the acquisition of knowledge and skill associated with the concepts of Matter, Position, Time, Energy, Waves, Fields, Atomic and Nuclear Physics and Electronics.
The aims of the syllabus are to:
- ensure that candidates acquire proper understanding of the basic underlying
principles and applications of Physics.
- develop scientific knowledge and skills which will be the spring board for further scientific studies and activities.
- inculcate in students the general scientific processes and phenomena towards the eradication of ignorance and superstition.
- develop relevant scientific attitudes such as precision, objectivity, initiative and inventiveness for the purpose of technological development.
SCHEME OF EXAMINATION
This subject will be made of two papers: Paper 1 and Paper 2 and will attract a total of 200 marks.
PAPER 1: will be the theory paper and will consist of two sections, A and B which will last for 2 3„4 hours
Section A: will comprise 50 multiple-choice objective questions drawn from all the areas of the syllabus. It will last for 11„4 hours for 50 marks
Section B: will consist of Five questions out of which candidates will be required to answer Four questions. It will last for 11„2 hours for 80 marks.
Recommended: Nabteb syllabus for all subjects
PAPER 2: will be a practical test which will last for 2 3„4 hours and will comprise three questions out of which candidates are to answer any two
questions for a total of 70 marks.
NOTE: Test-of-practical paper will be conducted as an alternative paper to real practical for private candidates during the November/December series. It will last for 2 3„4 hours for a total of 70 marks and will comprise three questions out of which candidates are requested to answer any two questions.
|PART 1 – MECHANICS|
|1.||Concept of Matter|
1.1 Explain the structure of
matter: 3 states of matter and use the kinetic theory to explain the 3 states.
|1. Structure of matter|
2. three states of Matter Solid, Liquid and Gas .
3. The particle nature of matter using Brownian motion experiment.
4. The Kinetic theory explanation of thethree states of matter.
5. Use Kinetic theory to explainevaporation and boiling.
6. Crystaline and amorphous substances
metal and gas.
|Arrangement of atoms in crystalline structure is not required.|
|2.||Fundamental Quantities and Units|
1.1 State S.I. units of fundamental quantities and S.I. units of derived quantities.
|Fundamental quantities and their S.I. units.|
Derived quantities and their S.I. units.
Measurement instruments for: i. Length
|Examples such as Time, Length and Mass with units as s,m,kg. Also, volume m3, -2 acceleration ms example of derived quantity.|
Using vernier caliper micrometer screw-guage. The degree of accuracy of measuring instruments should be emphasized.
Instruments such as measuring cylinder and overflow-can should be used.
3.1 State the differences
between Distance and Displacement.
|Location of position of objects in plane using rectangular coordinate and representation of displacement in a rectangular coordinate system|
|should be treated.|
|4.||Speed, Velocity & Acceleration in one dimension|
4.1 Explain Uniformly
4. Uniform speed, Velocity andacceleration.
5. Equation of uniformly acceleratedmotion
6. Motion under gravity
7. Distance/displacement time graph. 8. Velocity Time graph
9. Calculations using the graphs above.
|The use of the equations: V=u+at 2 S=ut+ 1„2at|
V2 = u2 + 2as
|5.||Motion of Bodies|
1.1 Explain motion and its various
speed in circular motion.
Classification of Forces.
1.3 Classify forces into field and
1.4 Explain Frictional Laws.
Newtons Law of Motion
Newton’s Laws of motion.
|1. The concept of motion|
2. Types of motion with examples.
3. Simple ideas about circular motion andangular speed .
4. Types of Forces
5. Contact and field forces with examples. 6. Contact and field forces with examples. 7. Frictional force.
8. Frictional force and various types.
9. Factors affecting frictional force.
10. Advantages and disadvantages offrictional force.
11. a) Methods of reducing friction.b) Viscosity, frictional forces
12. Calculations on friction and viscosity.13. Newton’s first law of motion. i) Inertia.
ii) Inertia mass and weight. iii) Momentum.
v) Elastic and inelastic collision 14. i) Newton’s second law of motion.
ii) Calculations involving the second
motion (weightlessness, rocket etc) and calculations involving the laws.
|Different types of motion should be illustrated e.g. random, rectilinear, translational, rotational, circular, orbital, spin, oscillatory with practical examples.|
Banking of roads should be emphasized.
Note the differences between static and dynamic friction. Trainees should be made to roll spherical objects on a rough, smooth surfaces and report their experiences.
Î¼s = F/R OR F =Î¼R Use F = Î¼R for
horizontal plane and Î¼=tan Š– for incline plane with Š– as an angle of inclination. Use measuring
|cylinder, ball bearing, fluid such as glycerin to illustrate viscosity.|
Distinction between elastic and inelastic collisions
Derivation of F = ma is necessary.
Solve problems on momentum e.g. recoil of a gun, jet and rocket propulsion.
|6.||Scalar and Vector|
6.1. Explain the term scalar and Vector
Addition of Vectors
6.2. Explain the parallelogram
and triangle rules of addition of vectors
6.3. Resolve vectors into their
rectangular components in two dimension.
equilibrium of two or more vectors.
of two vectors.
components in two dimensions by drawing and by calculations.
|Explain using the force board.|
Calculations involving components and resultant of vectors (at right angle and obtuse)
|7.||Projectile Motion 7.1 Explain projectile|
motion and its
|1. Concept of projectile motion. 2. Definition of|
|Applications of projectile in sports, warfare, etc, should|
|applications.||ii) maximum height.|
iii) time of flight
|8.||Mass and Weight|
8.1 Distinguish between
Mass and Weight
|1. Definition of mass|
2. Definition of weight
3. Distinction between mass and weight. 4. The relationship between mass andweight.
5. Calculation using the relationW = mg.
|Measure mass and weight using a chemical balance and spring balance.|
|9.||Density and Relative Density 9.1 Explain Density|
and Relative Density
|1. Definition of density.|
2. Units of density.
3. Definition of relative density.
4. Calculations involving density andrelative density.
|i. Measurement of density.|
ii. Measurement of relative density.
|10.||Fluid At Rest|
1.1 Pressure in fluid at rest.
barometer and manometer
force pump, etc).
pressure in fluid P = hpg.
completely immersed in a fluid e.g.
|Set up a simple mercury barometer as in Torricellis Experiment.|
|principle. 1.4 Determine|
relative Density using the principle.
1.5 State the law of Floatation and
explain its applications.
|solids and liquids using Archimedes|
|Determine R.d of solids and liquids using Archimedes|
applications and give the factors affecting tension.
|12.||Elastic Properties of Solids|
|Verification of Hooke’s Law and determination of elastic constant.|
Calculations involving energy stored and young modulus.
|13.||Equilibrium of forces|
conditions of equilibrium of a
in equilibrium under the action of
|Determination of unknown masses using the principle of moment. Construction of a beam of balance using the principle of moment. Verification of the principle of|
Centre of Gravity
of a body.
centre of gravity for some regular and irregular shaped bodies.
|e.g. lamina, triangular, etc.|
Determination of centre of gravity of both regular and irregular shapes, e.g. using the plumbline method.
14.1 Define and explain simple harmonic
amplitude of simple Harmonic
14.3 Explain speed and acceleration of
of SHM, forced vibration and resonance.
|1. Simple Harmonic Motion (SHM) 2. Period, frequency and amplitude of|
simple harmonic motion.
|Illustrate SHM with spiral spring, simple pendulum, loaded test-tube and bifilar suspension. Experimental determination of ”˜g’ using|
i. Simple pendulum ii. Helical spring iii. Illustrate energy
15.1 Describe the various forms of
energy. 15.2 Identify and
classify the sources
of energy. 15.3 State the
|1. Forms of energy.|
2. Classification of energy into renewableand non-renewable.
3. Principles of conservation of energy.
|Give examples of different forms of energy mechanical, heat, chemical, electrical and light. Examples of renewable energy sources are solar, wind, tidal, hydro and ocean waves. Example of non|
|renewable energy sources are petroleum, coal, nuclear and biomass.|
Illustrate with simple pendulum, striking of match box.
|16.||Concept of Work|
and Energy Power
16.1 Define work and energy.
kinetic energy and conservation of mechanical energy.
|1. Work (Definition and formula).|
3. Types of mechanical energy: potentialand kinetic energies
4. Work done in gravitational field.
6. Calculations involving work, energyand power.
|Illustrate with the lifting and falling of bodies.|
17.1 Define simple machine and
explain the mechanical advantage (MA), velocity ratio
and efficiency e
17.2 Explain the effects
of friction on efficiency.
|1. Simple machine and types.|
2. The force ratio Mechanical Advantage(MA)
3. Velocity Ratio (VR) of different simplemachines.
4. Efficiency of machines and itsrelationship with (MA) and (VR). 5. Simple calculations on machine. 6. Effects of Friction on efficiency.
|Examples of machines: Levers, pulleys, inclined plane, wedge, screw, wheel and axle, gears.|
Determine the MA of different simple machines.
|PART II HEAT|
|18.||Concept of Temperature 18.1 Explain temperature|
and its measurement.
|1. Definition of heat|
2. Definition of temperature.
3. Thermometers and types
4. Properties of thermometric substance. 5. Construction and graduation of simpleliquid in glass thermometer.
6. Temperature scales and conversion ofthermometers.
7. Description of (i) Clinical (ii)minimum and maximum thermometers.
|Construction and use of a thermometer.|
|19.||Effects of Heat|
19.1 Describe the effects of heat.
expansion of water
iv. Change of resistance.
expansion, e.g. in building, bridges, bimetallic strips, thermostat, overhead cables (causing sagging) and in railway lines (causing bucking.
i. Linear expansivity, aÌ¨
|Demonstration of expansion using ball and ring, bimetallic strip, bar and gauge etc.|
Determination of linear expansivity of materials (rod) and volume expansivity of liquid.
Discuss Hope’s experiment.
20.1 Explain modes
different solids and liquids.
|Comparison of thermal conductivities of metals.|
Demonstration of water as a conductor of heat.
|20.3 Compare radiation|
and absorption of radiant heat by different
radiant heat by different surfaces.
and radiation of heat in everyday life.
|Leslie’s Cube experiment.|
Experimental illustration of a good and bad conductor of heat, e.g. copper and wood/plastic
B21.1 State gas laws
and explain the
|1. The Gas Laws:|
Boyle’s Law- Charles’ s Law.
– Pressure Law
– General Gas Law
|Perform the experiments to verify|
(i) Boyle’s law (ii) Charles’s law
22.1 Explain heat capacity, specific
heat capacity and
|1. Concept of heat capacity.|
2. Specific heat capacity.
3. Calculation of quantity of heat. 4. Determination of specific heatcapacities of substances.
5. Land and sea breezes in relation tospecific heat capacity.
|Use of the method of mixtures and the electrical method to determine the specific heat capacities of solids and liquids.|
23.1 Explain the concept
of latent of state of
matter (melting, vaporisation and sublimation).
effects of impurities and pressure.
|Use the method of mixtures and electrical method to determine the specific latent heat of fusion of ice and of vaporization of steam.|
Determine experimentally the melting point of a solid and the boiling point of a liquid. Demonstration of regulation, e.g. temperature, humidity, surface area, and draught over surface.
|Demonstrate the cooling effect of evaporation using volatile liquid such as methylated spirit. Demonstrate vapour pressure experimentally. Determination of humidity of atmosphere using wet and dry bulb hydrometer.|
|PART III WAVES, OPTICS AND SOUND|
|24.||Production and Propagation of|
24.1 Describe the concept of
propagation of waves.
24.2 Describe different types of waves.
Properties of Waves
24.3 Describe and identify
Solve problems involving the equation.
|1. Definition of waves|
2. Generation and propagation of waves. 3. Graphical representation of waves.
4. Definition of amplitude, wavelength,frequency and period of wave. 5. Using the relationshipV = fÎ» to solve simpleproblems.
6. Definitions and examples of:i. Transverse.
ii. Longitudinal, and iii. Stationary waves.
7. Stationary wave equation,
Y=Asin (Ï‰t + 2Ï€) Î»
8. Properties of waves reflection, refraction, diffraction, interference. 9. Superposition of progressive waves
|Demonstrate energy propagation using ripple tank.|
Note that frequency, f and period T are related by f=1/T.
Explain all the symbols in the relationship.
Y = Asin (Ï‰t + 2Ï€) Î»
25.1 Explain sources
”¢ formation of shadows and eclipses. ”¢ Pin-hole camera.
|Demonstration of rectilinear propagation of light.|
|propagation of light.|
25.2Explain the reflection of
Focus, Principal focus.
Solve problems using the above relations
Uses driving mirror, dentist mirror,
sharing mirror etc.
surfaces periscope, sextant, etc.
Î¼ = Sin 1„2 (A + Dmin) Sin O A N
angle of deviation.
minimum deviation. 16 Distinguish between
|working of pin-hole camera to be treated. Verification of law of reflection.|
Formation of images, characteristics of images and use of mirror formula:
v m= u
to solve numerical problems. (Derivation of mirror formulae is not required) Experimental determination of the focal length of concave mirror. Applications in search light, parabolic and driving mirrors, car headlamps, etc. Geometrical determination of image positions. Experimental determination of refractive index.
|Refraction of Light|
25.4 Explain the refraction of light
at plane surfaces, rectangular glass prism (block)
25.5 Explain the refraction of light
on curved surfaces:
convex, concave lenses.
|converging and diverging lenses.|
17. Definition of terms e.g. * Principal axis
* Focal length
1 + 1 = 1 and m=v uvfu
i) Simple microscope
astigmatism and presbyopia.
|Examples of Applications include: image fish-eye-view periscope, optical fibres and binoculars|
Determination of focal length of the lens (approximate method etc).
25.6 Describe optical instruments I.E. (applications of
Dispersal of Light
25.7 Explain the dispersion of
production of colours.
|Construction of simple microscope. Draw ray diagram for formation of images by a compound microscope.|
Demonstrate splitting of white light into different colours by a prism.
26.1 Explain the principles of
waves and identify
|1. Definition of electromagnetic waves. 2. Distinction between electromagnetic|
waves and mechanical waves.
|Draw electromagnetic spectrum.|
27.1 Explain the production of
sound waves and
description of their properties.
27.2 Explain the production of
echoes and applications of echo sounding.
27.3 Explain musical instruments and
its operations. 27.4 Explain forced
Factors affection velocity of sound in
Determination of sea depth using echo.
Distinction between musical note and noise.
|Demonstrate that a material medium is required to transmit sound. Examples of factors affecting velocity of sound are: temperature, pressure, wind, etc. Measurement of velocity of sound by echo method.|
Use sonometer to demonstrate the dependence of frequency (f) on
27.5 Explain vibrations
of air open pipes.
|loudness, quality, etc.|
determination of the velocity of sound
and wind instrument.
|length (L) tension (T) and linear density (m) of string i.e.|
Use the above formula involving simple problems. Mention string instruments such as guitar, piano, harp, violin, etc.
Use resonance tube and sonometer to illustrate forced vibrations.
Fo = v
4L, hence, to = V
|harmonics present in an open pipe are fo, 2fo, 3fo, 4fo… End correction is necessary and use the relationship|
V = f Î» in silving numerical problems. Mention examples organ, flute, trumpet, horn, clarinet, saxophone, etc.
|PART IV FIELDS|
|28.||Concept of Fields|
28.1 Explain gravitational,
electric and magnetic fields
|Use compass needle and iron fillings to show magnetic field lines.|
29.1 Explain the concept
potential and escape velocity.
rocket and, gravitational intensity and potential.
30.1 Explain static electricity.
ways of producing charges and the force between two
|1. Concept of charge.|
2. Definition of static electricity.
3. Conductors and insulators.
4. Production of charges friction andinduction.
5. The gold leaf electroscope and its use. 6. Distribution of charges on a conductor. 7. Electric lines of force and electric force
|Ways of producing negative and positive charges such as contact, friction and induction should be treated. Application of the|
30.2 Explain the concept of electric field.
30.3 Explain the concept
of capacitance, arrangement of capacitors and
Capacitor and capacitance 30.3 Explain the
concept of capacitance, arrangement of capacitors and their applications.
|between point charges.|
F = qE
Application of lighting conductor.
Note: Permitivity of a material medium between point charges. Calculation involving electric field, electric field intensity and electric potential is necessary.
Note Farad (F) as unit of capacitance. Use C = ÎµA
d to compute
capacitance where Îµ is permitivity of medium.
Derivation of formula for energy stored in charged capacitor, Example: 2
|formulae for capacitance is not required).|
30.4 Current electricity.
Explain the production of electric current from cells.
30.5 Explain potential difference and electric current
using an electric circuit.
Electric Energy and Power
energy and power.
|18. Simple cells|
19. Defects of primary cell and itsremedies.
20. Leclanche wet and dry cells Danieletc.
21. Secondary cell: (Lead-acid-accumulator).
22. Structure of a secondary cell.
23. Maintenance of accumulator.
24. Simple electric circuit.
25. Current, emf and potential difference. 26. Ohm’s law and resistance.
27. Ohmic and non-Ohmic conductors.
28. Series and parallel arrangement of cellsand resistors.
29. Determination of effective emf and
effective resistance for series and
cells and batteries.
of electrical energy using the relation mcÓ¨ = 1vt or = 12Rt
R or 12Rt
= electrical energy
voltmeter using multiplier.
|Give example of secondary cells as lead-aicd- accumulator, alkaline cadmium cell.|
Draw a well labeled diagram of lead- acid-accmulator. Rechargeability. Noe the unot of potential difference as volt (V), ampere (A) for current and Ohm (Î©) for resistance. Experimental verification of Ohm’s Law.
Solve problems r=E-V
Ohmic and non- Ohmic conductors and factors affecting Ohmic conductors.
Examples of applications are: Electric motor, ring boiler, electric kettle.
Explain kilowatt- hour in commercial electricity as the Board of trade unit.
|30.7 Describe the operations of|
|Calculation involving the conversion of galvanometer to ammeter and to voltmeter is necessary.|
|30.8 Define resistivity and conductivity|
nce of a material.
30.9 Explain the measurement of
resistance emf and internal
resistance of a cell.
|Note : S.I. unit of resistivity as (Î©m) and that of conductivity as ((Î©m)-1.|
Also the relationship between resistivity (Ï) and conductivity (Ïƒ) as i = Ïƒ
resistivity, length, cross-sectional area (radius), temperature. Perform experiment using potentiometer determine and compare emf, p.d of cells.
By using metre bridge, determine the unknown resistance in a circuit.
Conduction Through Liquids30.1 Explain
|1. Definition of electrolysis|
2. Electrolytes and non-electrolysis.
3. Charge carriers in electrolytes: anionsand cations.
4. Conduction of charge carriers through
|Give examples of electrolytes and non-electrolytes.|
|electrolysis and its|
applications of electrolysis.
|Mention examples of applications as electroplating, extraction of metals e.g. aluminum and purification of metals.|
|31.||Electrical Condition Through Gasses 31.1 Explain discharge|
emissions and their
|1. Discharge through gasses.|
2. Hot cathode emission.
3. Applications of discharge throughgasses and hot cathode emission.
|Example in neon signs, fluorescent tubes, etc.|
32.1 Explain the properties of magnets and
concepts of magnetization.
|1. Magnetic materials.|
2. Processes of magnetization anddemagnetization.
3. Distinction between permanent andtemporary magnets.
4. The earth’s magnetism.
5. Angles of dip and declination.
6. Description and application of themarine compass.
7. Magnetic field due to bar magnet. 8. Interaction of fields of:i. Two bar magnets.
ii. Bar magnets and earth’s
and a solenoid.
carrying conductor e.g. electric motor,
electric bell, telephone earpiece.
|List examples of magnetic materials: soft iron, nickel, cobalt, etc.|
Explain magnetic flux and density, magnetic field around a permanent magnet, a current- carrying conductor. Plot lines of force to locate neutral points using compass needle, iron fillings. Note units of magnetic flux and magnetic flux density as weber (Wb) and tesla (T) respectively. Compare the use of iron and steel as magnetic materials. Ilustrate with stroking and electrical method, also heating for de-
16. Problems involving the motion ofcharged particle in a magnetic field.
|magnetization only. Illustrate the direction of the movement of the conductor using Fleming’s left-hand rule.|
Solve problem using F = BIL sinÎ¸ Use right grip rule or corkscrew rule to illustrate the direction of magnetic field.
33.1 Explain the conceptof electro- magneticinduction. 33.2 Explainelectromagnetic induction and its applications.33.3 Explain the concept
of inductance. 33.4 Explain Eddy
current, power transmission and distribution.
|1. Concept of electromagnetic induction. 2. Electromagnetic induction: Faraday’s|
Law, Lenz’s Law.
and Lenz’s law.
a magnetic field.
TV and transformer.
applications of Eddy current.
tension transmission lines.
|Determination of direction of current using Fleming’s right rule.|
The principle underlying the operations of direct and alternating currents should be treated. Note also that in equation E = Eo sin wt. Where E = induced emf, Eo = peak emf, w = angular velocity and t = time.
Note unit of inductance as Henry (H). Use E = 1„2 LI2 to solve simple problems
|(Note derivation of formula is not necessary).|
Method of reducing Eddy current and the application of Eddy current losses in induction furnace, speedometer etc. Example of reduction of power losses process is to transmit power at low current and high volage. Fuses, electrical installations: Line (L), Neutral (N) and Earth (E) should be discussed.
|34.||Simple A.C. Circuit|
34.1 Explain the graphical
variation of e.m.f.
and current in an a.c. circuit, peak and r.m.s values
34.2 Analyse series circuit containing
resistance, inductance and capacitance abd explain
and power in an a.c.
current in the circuit’s elements;
resistors, inductor and capacitor.
|Treat the graph equation I = Io sin Ï‰t for current and E = Eo sin Ï‰t for e.m.f.|
Lo = ˆš2 1rms Note the relationship between the peak and r.m.s. values. Eo = ˆš2 Erms
To solve simple problems. (Deirvation of the formulae is not required). Differentiate between reactance and resistance.
Recommended: Nabteb syllabus for all subjects
|circuit.||Application of resonance on TV and radio should be discussed.|
|PART V ATOMIC AND NUCLEAR PHYSICS|
|1.||Structure of Atom|
35.1 Describe the models of the
atom and the limitation
35.2 Explain energy quantization.
35.3 Explain photoelectric
35.4 Explain thermionic
emission and X- rays: production, characteristics
|hv = Eo + KEmax Discuss applications in TV, camera etc|
Illustrate the production of X-ray using a well- labelled diagram of X-ray tube.
|36.||Structure of the||1. Composition of the nucleus of an atom:||Deine the term:|
36.1 Explain the composition of
the nucleus. 36.2 Explain
radioactivity. Identify the types and give
examples of radioactive
emissions, describe their properties, uses and ways of
detecting them. 36.4 Explain
radioactive decay, half life,
transformation of elements by radioactivity and the applications
|nucleon number (A), proton number Z, neutron number (N) and state the equation A= Z+N. Treat also nuclides and their notations.|
Give examples as Uranium, Thorium, etc.
Î» = 0.693
|36.5 Explain nuclear reactions|
fusion and fission.
|12. Types of nuclear reactions: ”¢ Fusion, and|
15. Radiation hazards and safety precautions.
16. Peaceful uses of nuclear reactions.
|Give examples of aplications as in agriculture, industry, medicine, archeology, etc.|
|PART VI BASIC ELECTRONICS|
|Basic Concepts in Electronics||1. Distinction between conductors, semi- conductors and insulators using|
|47.1 Distinguish between|
conductors, semi- conductors and insulators in
terms of conduction. 37.2 Explain doping of semi-conductors p- and n- type semi-
conductors, majority and minority carriers.
37.3Explain I V characteristics of
p n junction diode and
transistors and single stage amplifier.
|conductivity and modes of conduction.|
energy bands and their effects on
conductivity of material.
p n junction diode.
p-n-p and n-p-n transistors.
|Draw and label the circuit for a single stage amplifier and use it to explain its operations.|
You are only required to mention integrated circuits.
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