Table 1
Physical Quantity

Unit

distance

metre

time

second

speed, average speed

metre per
second

mass

kilogram

weight

newton

current

ampere

voltage

volt

resistance

ohm

power

watt

input voltage

volt

output voltage

volt

voltage gain



Table 2 below indicates the physical quantities required for numerical calculations that are included in the Standard Grade Physics course together with:
• the symbol used by SQA
• the SI unit of the quantity (and alternative units included in the course)
• the abbreviation for the unit used in Credit level examinations.
In General level examinations full words are used for the units of all physical quantities.
Table 2
Physical Quantity

Symbol

Unit

Unit


Abbreviation


distance

d or s

metre

m


light year


height

h

metre

m


wavelength

λ

metre

m


amplitude

Α

metre

m


time

t

second

s


speed, final speed

v

metre per second

m/s


initial speed

u

metre per second

m/s


change of speed

∆v

metre per second

m/s


average speed

metre per second

m/s


v


frequency

f

hertz

Hz


acceleration

a

metre per second per second

m/s^{2}


acceleration due to gravity

g

metre per second per second

m/s^{2}


gravitational field strength

g

newton per
kilogram

N/kg


mass

m

kilogram

kg


weight

W

newton

N


force, thrust

F

newton

N


energy

E

joule

J


kilowatthour

kW h


kinetic energy

E_{k}

joule

J


potential energy

E_{p}

joule

J


heat energy

E_{h}

joule

J


input energy

E_{i}

joule

J


output energy

E_{o}

joule

J


work done

W or E_{W}

joule

J


power

P

watt

W

Physical Quantity

Symbol

Unit

Unit

Abbreviation


output power

P_{o}

watt

W

input power

P_{i}

watt

W

focal length of a lens

f

metre

m

power of a lens

P

dioptre

D

electric charge

Q

coulomb

C

electric current

I

ampere

A

voltage

V

volt

V

resistance

R

ohm

Ω

input voltage

V_{i}

volt

V

output voltage

V_{o}

volt

V

voltage gain

Ao or Vgain





power gain

Pgain





primary voltage

V_{p}

volt

V

secondary voltage

V_{s}

volt

V

primary current

I_{p}

ampere

A

secondary current

I_{s}

ampere

A

number of turns on primary

n_{p}





coil


number of turns on secondary

n_{s}





coil


efficiency

(η)





temperature

T

degree Celsius

°C

specific heat capacity

c

joule per
kilogram per

J/kg °C

degree Celsius


specific latent heat

l

joule per kilogram

J/kg

activity

A

becquerel

Bq

count rate



counts per
second



(counts per minute)


equivalent dose

H

sievert

Sv

halflife

t_{½}

second

s

(minute,
hour, day, year)

Table 3 below indicates the physical quantities required for numerical calculations that are included in the Intermediate 2 Physics course together with:
• the symbol used by SQA
• the SI unit of the quantity (and alternative units included in the course)
• the abbreviation for the unit used in Intermediate 2 examinations.
Table 3
Physical Quantity

Symbol

Unit

Unit


Abbreviation


distance

s or d

metre

m


displacement

s

metre

m


speed, velocity

v

metre per second

m/s


time

t

second

s


change of velocity

∆v

metre per second

m/s


average velocity

metre per second

m/s


v


initial velocity

u

metre per second

m/s


final velocity

v

metre per second

m/s


acceleration

a

metre per second per second

m/s^{2}


mass

m

kilogram

kg


weight

W

newton

N


force

F

newton

N


acceleration due to gravity

g

metre per second per second

m/s^{2}


gravitational field strength

g

newton per
kilogram

N/kg


momentum

p

kilogram metre per second

kg m/s


energy

E

joule

J


work done

W or E_{W}

joule

J


potential energy

E_{p}

joule

J


height

h

metre

m


kinetic energy

E_{k}

joule

J


power

P

watt

W


efficiency

(η)






temperature

T

degree Celsius

°C


specific heat capacity

c

joule per
kilogram per degree

J/kg ˚C


Celcius


specific latent heat

l

joule per kilogram

J/kg


heat energy

E_{h}

joule

J

Physical Quantity

Symbol

Unit

Unit

Abbreviation


electric charge

Q

coulomb

C

electric current

I

ampere

A

voltage, potential difference

V

volt

V

supply voltage

V_{s}

volt

V

resistance

R

ohm

Ω

total resistance

R_{T}

ohm

Ω

number of turns on primary

n_{p}





coil


number of turns on secondary

n_{s}





coil


primary voltage

V_{p}

volt

V

secondary voltage

V_{s}

volt

V

primary current

I_{p}

ampere

A

secondary current

I_{s}

ampere

A

input voltage

V_{i}

volt

V

output voltage

V_{o}

volt

V

voltage gain

Ao or Vgain





wavelength

λ

metre

m

frequency

f

hertz

Hz

period

T

second

s

amplitude

A

metre

m

angle

θ

degree

°

critical angle

θ_{c}

degree

°

power (of a lens)

P

dioptre

D

focal length

f

metre

m

activity

A

becquerel

Bq

count rate



counts per
second



(counts per minute)


absorbed dose

D

gray

Gy

radiation weighting factor

w_{R}





equivalent dose

H

sievert

Sv

halflife

t_{½}

second

s

(minute,
hour, day, year)

Table 4 below indicates the physical quantities required for numerical calculations that are included in the Higher Physics course together with:
• the symbol used by SQA
• the SI unit of the quantity (and alternative units included in the course)
• the abbreviation for the unit used in Higher examinations.
Table 4
Physical Quantity

Symbol

Unit

Unit


Abbreviation


distance

s or d

metre

m


displacement

s

metre

m


speed, velocity

v

metre per second

m s^{1}


time

t

second

s


change of velocity

∆v

metre per second

m s^{1}


average velocity

metre per second

m s^{1}


v


final velocity

v

metre per second

m s^{1}


initial velocity

u

metre per second

m s^{1}


acceleration

a

metre per second per second

m s^{2}


mass

m

kilogram

kg


weight

W

newton

N


acceleration due to gravity

g

metre per second per second

m s^{2}


gravitational field strength

g

newton per
kilogram

N kg^{1}


force, tension, upthrust

F

newton

N


momentum

p

kilogram metre per second

kg m s^{1}


impulse

(∆p)

newton second

N s


kilogram metre per second

kg m s^{1}


energy

E

joule

J


work done

W or E_{W}

joule

J


potential energy

E_{p}

joule

J


height, depth

h

metre

m


kinetic energy

E_{k}

joule

J


power

P

watt

W


volume

V

cubic metre

m^{3}


density

ρ

kilogram per cubic metre

kg m^{3}


area

A

square metre

m^{2}


pressure

P or p

pascal

Pa


temperature

T

kelvin

K


degree Celsius

°C


Physical Quantity

Symbol

Unit

Unit

Abbreviation
 
electric charge

Q

coulomb

C

electric current

I

ampere

A

voltage, potential difference

V

volt

V

electromotive force (e.m.f)

E or ε

volt

V

internal resistance

r

ohm

Ω

resistance

R

ohm

Ω

peak voltage

Vpeak

volt

V

root mean square voltage

Vrms

volt

V

peak current

Ipeak

ampere

A

root mean square current

Irms

ampere

A

capacitance

C

farad

F

input voltage

V_{1} or V_{2}

volt

V

output voltage

V_{o}

volt

V

feedback resistance

R_{f}

ohm

Ω

voltage gain

Ao or Vgain





period

T

second

s

frequency

f

hertz

Hz

wavelength

λ

metre

m

angle

θ

degree

°

critical angle

θ_{c}

degree

°

refractive index

n





irradiance

I

watt per square metre

W m^{2}

Planck’s constant

h

joule second

J s

number of photons per second

N





threshold frequency

f_{o}

hertz

Hz

energy level

W_{1}, W_{2}, …

joule

J

speed of light in a vacuum

c

metre per second

m s^{1}

activity

A

becquerel

Bq

count rate



counts per
second



(counts per minute)
 
number of nuclei decaying in

N





time t
 
absorbed dose

D

gray

Gy

Physical Quantity

Symbol

Unit

Unit

Abbreviation


absorbed dose rate

&

gray per
second

Gy s^{1}

D

gray per hour

Gy h^{1}


gray per year

Gy y^{1}


radiation weighting factor

w_{R}





equivalent dose

H

sievert

Sv

equivalent dose rate

&

sievert per second

Sv s^{1}

H

sievert per hour

Sv h^{1}


sievert per
year

Sv y^{1}


effective dose

H

sievert

Sv

halflife

t_{½}

second

s

(minute, hour, day, year)


halfvalue thickness

T_{½}

metre

m

Table 5 below indicates the physical quantities required for numerical calculations that are included in the Advanced Higher Physics course together with:
• the symbol used by SQA
• the SI unit of the quantity (and alternative units included in the course)
• the abbreviation for the unit used in Advanced Higher examinations.
Table 5
Physical Quantity

Symbol

Unit

Unit

Abbreviation


distance, depth, height

d or h

metre

m

displacement

s or x or y

metre

m

length

l

metre

m

radius

r

metre

m

time

t

second

s

initial velocity

u

metre per second

m s^{1}

speed, velocity, final velocity

v

metre per second

m s^{1}

acceleration

a

metre per second per second

m s^{2}

mass

m

kilogram

kg

rest mass

m_{o}

kilogram

kg

energy

E

joule

J

speed of light in a vacuum

c

metre per second

m s^{1}

angular displacement

θ

radian

rad

initial angular velocity

ω

radian per second

rad s^{1}

o


angular velocity,

ω

radian per second

rad s^{1}

final angular velocity


angular acceleration

α

radian per
second per second

rad s^{2}

tangential acceleration

a_{t}

metre per second per second

m s^{2}

radial acceleration

a_{r}

metre per second per second

m s^{2}

force

F

newton

N

torque

Τ

newton metre

N m

moment of inertia

I

kilogram
metre squared

kg m^{2}

angular momentum

L

kilogram metre squared per

kg m^{2} s^{1}

second


rotational kinetic energy

Erot

joule

J

gravitational field strength

g

newton per
kilogram

N kg^{1}

gravitational potential

U or V

joule per kilogram

J kg^{1}

gravitational potential energy

E_{p}

joule

J

amplitude

Α

metre

m

angular frequency

ω

(radian per
second)

(rad s^{1})

Physical Quantity

Symbol

Unit

Unit

Abbreviation


wavelength

λ

metre

m

momentum

p

kilogram metre per second

kg m s^{1}

electric charge

Q or q

coulomb

C

electric field strength

E

newton per
coulomb

N C^{1}

electrical potential

V

volt

V

potential difference

V

volt

V

electric current

I

ampere

A

magnetic induction

B

tesla

T

angle

θ

degree

˚

radian

rad


induced e.m.f.

E or ε

volt

V

selfinductance

L

henry

H

frequency

f

hertz

Hz

period

T

second

s

velocity of source

v_{s}

metre per second

m s^{1}

velocity of observer

v_{o}

metre per second

m s^{1}

frequency of source

f_{s}

hertz

Hz

phase angle

Φ

radian

rad

refractive index

n





fringe separation

∆x

metre

m

slit separation

d

metre

m

grating to screen distance

D

metre

m

polarising angle

i_{p}

degree

˚

(Brewster’s angle)
