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Extended Essay Outline

This is just a very brief outline. Much more detail can be obtained from the appropriate I.B. publications.


Give a clear title which says exactly what the essay is about.

Be precise. For example, if the essay is about transistors, "Transistors" is not a suitable title! Be sure to state the particular aspect of their behaviour you will describe; perhaps "The effect of temperature variations on the performance of transistor amplifiers".


On a separate sheet, a few sentences stating:

  • why you chose the topic

  • what the essay includes (a little more detail than in the title).


Give a clear set of subtitles to the various parts of the essay, including page numbers.


Separated into sections with subtitles (as stated above) starting with a general introduction to the subject. Number and label all diagrams, Fig.1, Fig.2 etc.

If you do practical work, include a complete experiment description in the usual way; title, method, conclusions etc.

The last section of the essay is the conclusion. This gives a concise summary of the essay and repeats any conclusions to be drawn from the experiments performed.


Give detailed reference to all sources used in your research.

Extended Essay Topics in Physics

These are just a few of the many topics chosen in the past…

  • Wave Optics
  • The use of Lasers in Hi-Fl Electronics
  • Black holes
  • The Doppler Effect
  • Aerodynamics
  • The effect of obstacles on wind speed
  • The role of electro-magnetism in modern music
  • The Physics of the Rainbow
  • Radioactive decay
  • Resonant circuits
  • Energy sources for the future
  • Investigating the behaviour of materials under tension
  • Rates of cooling in porridge (!)
  • What happens during a collision
  • Gravitation and the motion of the Planets
  • Newton: His Life and Work
  • Deviations from Newton’s Law of Cooling
  • How does surface tension vary with temperature?
  • The physics of a chicken egg
  • Solar energy
  • Water power
  • Variation of resisting forces with velocity in fluids
  • The earth’s magnetic field
  • The speed of sound
  • Quarks and Quantum Chromodynamics
  • The junction transistor and the effects of temperature
  • The behaviour of vehicles during braking
  • The aerodynamics of wings at low speed
  • The basic structure and technology of the micro-electronic transistor.
  • Carbon dioxide lasers
  • Operational amplifiers characteristics and uses
  • The behaviour of field effect transistors in audio circuits
  • Factors to be considered in the design of a speed boat
  • Materials used for making artificial limbs
  • Design of aircraft wings
  • Is there intelligent life elsewhere in the universe?
  • Is there intelligent life in the IB?


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