Physics is the science that is of immediate relevance to everyday life, allowing you to make sense of many environmental and technological issues, whilst at the same time addressing momentous questions concerning the existence and properties of the Universe; not quite the answer to everything – but almost.
Much of the appeal of Physics lies in the beauty of its logic. In addition it involves creativity since originality and imagination are vital for developing novel solutions to problems, theoretical explanations and experimental approaches.
Our Physics events have included visiting speakers on the Large Hadron Collider and on Cosmology. Other oportunities have included a Cosmology study day at the Kavli Institute in Cambridge, plus a High Energy Physics Masterclass and evening lectures at The Cavendish Laboratory at the University of Cambridge.
Each year several of our students have been involved in the Engineering Education Scheme and we have enjoyed successful participation in the British Physics Olympiad. In addition, some of our students have been awarded Nuffield Bursaries to undertake projects with teams from local industry and research laboratories.
Physics today is a truly international enterprise with constant communication and co-operation between physicists in different countries.
You will be considering this, as well as the contributions of physicists of many nationalities and cultures, as theories have developed over the centuries.
The technological applications of Physics have a huge impact across the globe and you will investigate this, discussing issues such as the importance of using science in an equitable way to make the world a fairer place.
We will be pursuing links with schools overseas, and so you may have opportunities to correspond with Physics students in other countries and hence develop a deeper international perspective on all aspects of science.
Core topics covered will be:
- Measurement and uncertainties
- Thermal physics
- Waves and wave phenomena
- Electricity, magnetism and electromagnetic induction
- Circular motion and gravitational fields
- Atomic, nuclear, quantum and particle physics
- Energy production
In addition to the core, one option topic will be covered from: relativity, engineering physics, imaging, astrophysics.
Experimental work is integral to the experience in any of the Group 4 courses.
Practical activities will enable you to interact directly with natural phenomena and secondary data sources. You will have the opportunity to design investigations, collect data, develop your manipulative skills, analyse results, collaborate with peers and evaluate and communicate your findings.
By carrying out some of the same processes that scientists undertake you will experience the nature of scientific thought and investigation and consider and examine questions and curiosities.
All scientific theories and laws begin with observations. Experimental skills will be developed by spending 10 hours on the collaborative Group 4 project and completing a programme of 40 hours of practical work in lessons.
You will be assessed on your practical skills through an investigative task spanning a further 10 hours of Biology lesson time, and some aspects of experimental work are likely to be examined in the formal written papers at the end of the course.
All IB examinations are in May of the Upper 6th.
Assessment is comprised of three written papers.
Paper 1: Multiple choice questions (20%)
Paper 2: Short answer and extended response questions on theory content (36%)
Paper 3: Short answer and data analysis questions on the compulsory experiments; short answer and extended response questions on the Option topic (24%)
Internal Assessment: one extended practical investigation (20%)
We suggest that you take Mathematics at Standard Level or Higher Level in order to follow the Higher Level Physics course.