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Study Guide

I.B. PHYSICS (Brief outline of program)

  1. Measurement and Uncertainty
    limits to precision; random and systematic uncertainties (errors); precision and accuracy; graphical techniques; vectors and scalars…

  2. Mechanics
    kinematics: (displacement, speed, velocity, acceleration); motion (relative motion); force, mass and acceleration; Newton’s laws of motion; equilibrium of forces; friction; projectiles; circular motion, gravitation; work, energy and power; conservation of energy and momentum; orbital motion;…

  3. Thermal Physics
    temperature and temperature scales; heat and its effects; heat capacity; specific heat capacity; latent heat; inter-molecular forces and potential energies; the gas laws; the laws of thermodynamics; entropy; heat engines; refrigerators; the simple kinetic theory of matter…

  4. Wave motion
    travelling waves; standing (stationary) waves; reflection, refraction, interference, diffraction; Huygen’s principle; the Doppler effect; beats; the Schrödinger model of the hydrogen atom; x rays…

  5. Electricity and Magnetism
    static electricity; the gold leaf electro-scope, lightning rods etc; electric fields and potential difference; electric current (Kirchhoff's laws and Ohm's law etc); electro-magnetism; magnetic field "shapes"; electro-magnetic-induction; Faraday’s Law (Neumann’s Law); Lenz’s Law; simple a.c. electric generators; simple d.c. motor…

  6. Atomic and Nuclear Physics
    the electron and its properties; Millikan’s experiment; electro-magnetic radiation and quantum theory; the Bohr model of the atom; the de Broglie hypothesis (wave particle duality); radio-activity (half-life); Einstein's mass-energy relation; fission and fusion of nuclei; particle accelerators; the discovery of the proton; the discovery of the neutron; energy levels in the nucleus; anti-particles; mass spectrometer; BETA decay and the neutrino; the quark theory (exchange particles as force carriers…

Optional Topics

The two options you will be studying in lessons are

  • Relativity

  • Optics

  • Other topics which will also be covered in the exam are: Bio-medical physics, The History and Development of Physics, Astro-physics. Anyone wanting to attempt questions on these topics in the final exam should see me for a copy of the program.


    External Assessment

    Paper 1: 1 h 20% of total

    40 multiple choice questions.

    Paper 2: 2¼ h 36% of total

    Section A (about ¾ h)

    One data based question and several short answer questions, all compulsory.

    Section B (about 1½ h)

    Two extended response questions from a choice of four questions.

    Paper 3: 1¼ h 20% of total

    Several short answer or structured questions and one extended response question in each of the optional topics

    Internal Assessment

    24% of total

    Assessed by the teacher. More detail will be given later.

    N.B. Calculators are not allowed for Paper 1.

    Calculators are needed for Paper 2 and Paper 3.

    Programmable/Graphic calculators are allowed


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    Extended Essay Outline

    > Programme Outline and Assessment


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