Physics is the most fundamental of the experimental sciences, as it seeks to explain the universe itself from the very smallest particles—currently accepted as quarks, which may be truly fundamental—to the vast distances between galaxies. The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the rigorous methodology of physical science. This course aims to enable students to apply and use a body of knowledge, methods and techniques, which will develop their ability to analyse, evaluate and synthesise scientific information. Physics is a discipline that has always been, and still is, an international endeavour and this course will raise the awareness of students of the need for, and the value of, effective collaboration and communication during scientific activities.
Students construct hypotheses, use scientific method, analyse data and evaluate findings. Problem-solving techniques and rigorous scientific explanations will be developed. Students are required to demonstrate the personal skills of cooperation, perseverance and responsibility appropriate for effective scientific investigation and problem-solving. They also need to demonstrate the manipulative skills necessary to carry out scientific investigations with precision and safety. Students studying Physics should be confident in their mathematics as much of the material presented is quantitative in nature.
In both Standard Level (SL) and Higher Level (HL), students study the following eight core topics:
- Measurements and Uncertainties
- Thermal Physics
- Electricity and Magnetism
- Circular Motion and Gravitation
- Atomic and Nuclear with Particle Physics
- Energy Production
The HL students study the following four Additional Higher Level (AHL) topics:
- Wave Phenomena
- Electromagnetic Induction
- Quantum and Nuclear Physics
The optional topics for both SL and HL students is Astrophysics.