IB Group 4 – Physics
WHAT IS PHYSICS?
Physics is the study of systems from the very small (sub-atomic particles) to the very large (the Universe itself!). In order to understand these systems, it is necessary to develop “models”. These may be mechanical, schematic, computations or mathematical.
WHY STUDY PHYSICS?
Studying Physics at this level puts you well on your way to understanding the Universe that we live in. Although there will always be unanswered questions, topic by topic this course delivers methods and explanations that build a fairly complete picture of our world. More than anything, Physics teaches you to solve problems. You will learn to analyse data and diagrams and extract the useful information and then apply your learning to find solutions. If you like solving puzzles; you will love Physics.
As well as opening doors to a range of degree courses, the subject is highly prized in industry. Not only are the skills learned relevant in an array of professions but the practical, problem solving nature of the subject makes it excellent preparation for most working environments.
IB PHYSICS COURSE
Physics is an experimental science so you will complete a range of practical work over the course. This will go alongside the theory and solving problems in lessons. Many problems in Physics involve the use of maths so you need to be confident in rearranging equations, using indices, using trigonometric functions, working with angles and plotting graphs.
The topics are:
Core (SL and HL) Additional higher level (HL only)
Topic 1 Measurements and uncertainties Topic 9 Wave phenomena
Topic 2 Mechanics Topic 10 Fields
Topic 3 Thermal physics Topic 11 Electromagnetic induction
Topic 4 Waves Topic 12 Quantum and nuclear physics
Topic 5 Electricity and magnetism
Topic 6 Circular motion and gravitation
Topic 7 Atomic, nuclear and particle physics
Topic 8 Energy production
Option D: Astrophysics (SL and HL)
Students are usually assessed at regular intervals during the course with past examination questions. The final assessment comprises of 3 examination papers at the end of the course which are worth 80% of your final mark.
There are a combination of multiple choice, short answer and extended response questions. The Internal Assessment (IA) is worth 20% of the final mark and should be approximately 10 hours of work. It will be a practical investigation that will explore in more detail a topic that you are interested in that is linked to the course. This is written up and submitted during the course. You will also complete the Group 4 Project where you will collaborate with other students.
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