Background Knowledge

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This article is a topic within the subject Higher Physics 1A.



For (Higher) Physics 1A you will need a working knowledge of several concepts from the HSC maths and physics courses. This page lists these concepts briefly, but should not be considered a comprehensive guide to any HSC course.


(Higher) Physics 1A does not assume any prior physics knowledge, but will move quickly through some concepts that were covered in high school[1]. Some useful revision can be found on the HSC Online Physics site provided by Charles Sturt University. The HSC topics relevant to this course are listed below, with the key concepts sub-listed.

The following concepts from Year 11 Physics will also provide helpful background knowledge for (Higher) Physics 1A:

  • Vectors
  • Waves and superpositioning
  • Distance-time graphs and velocity-time graphs


(Higher) Physics 1A assumes knowledge of various High School Mathematics concepts[2] (from earlier years as well as the HSC syllabus):

The following HSC Mathematics topics are not assumed knowledge, but provide a helpful background to the topics covered in (Higher) Physics 1A:

  • Simple harmonic motion (Mathematics Extension 1)


This is the end of this topic. Click here to go back to the main subject page for Higher Physics 1A.


Textbook refers to Serway & Jewett, Physics for Scientists and Engineers (Brooks/Cole , 8th ed, 2010)
(Slides) refers to those distributed by Wolfe, J (2012) on his First Year Physics site

  1. Introductory slides from first lecture, p. 2 (slides)
  2. Introductory slides from first lecture, p. 2 (slides)
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