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Measurements and uncertainties14 December 2018

This topic is the first in the Subject Guide, and there are some aspects that will need to be tackled before your students can commence other physical concepts. For students who have not studied physics... more

Worked Solutions17 June 2010

The IB mark scheme gives the letters of the correct answers but not the complete solution. The examiners report gives some more details and statistics but again no worked solution. Here I have written... more

Activity teaching orderfree11 June 2019

The whole course can be delivered through the activities on this website, Chris has been doing it this way for some years. Here is his teaching order.In this practical the mass and diameter of different... more

Unit Planner: Atomic, nuclear and particle physics14 December 2018

Start date:Diploma assessmentxPaper 1xPaper 2Paper 3InvestigationText book referenceHamper SL 229 - 263Transfer GoalsList here one to three big, overarching, long-term goals for this unit. Transfer goals... more

Activity: Mini investigationfree12 November 2018

In this activity you will perform an experiment related to a small bow and arrow made from a piece of plastic from an ice cream carton and a drinking straw. The bow is used for firing arrows so most experiments... more

Activity: Measurement and uncertaintyfree16 September 2018

In this practical the mass and diameter of different balls of Plasticine will be measured in order to verify that the mass of a sphere is proportional to the cube of its diameter. This is a simple experiment... more

Unit Planner: Energy production14 December 2018

Start date:Diploma assessmentxPaper 1xPaper 2Paper 3InvestigationText book referenceHamper SL 271- 301Transfer GoalsList here one to three big, overarching, long-term goals for this unit. Transfer goals... more

Logistics30 March 2014

This depends very much on when other deadlines are in your school but it can’t be too early as not enough of the course will have been covered and students with English as an additional language would... more

Balloons22 December 2010

This is a good one to do after you have covered mechanics, waves, fields and thermal physics. There are a lot of possible research questiions although sometimes the variables are difficult to control... more

Unit Planner: Quantum and nuclear physics3 February 2019

Start date:Diploma assessmentx Paper 1x Paper 2Paper 3x InvestigationText book referenceHamperTransfer GoalsList here one to three big, overarching, long-term goals for this unit. Transfer goals are the... more

Activity: Generators and transformers16 September 2018

In this section we will be considering a rectangular coil rotating in a uniform magnetic field, this is best viewed in 3D.Consider a power station producing 100 MW of power at 30 kV, calculate: more

A bad example16 January 2016

The subject guide says that the investigation should have "appropriate complexity & depth" but what does that mean. Here is an example that doesn't. I should point out that this was not done by one of... more

Introduction to IB Physics22 December 2018

The IB has a mission statement in which we have highlighted the distinctive components of this curriculum.The International Baccalaureate aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people... more

Coils and magnets22 December 2010

The idea of this one is that students come up with research questions related to electromagnetism but they could also have ones to do with mechanics if the coils are used as springs rather than solenoids.... more

Unit Planner: Fields3 February 2019

Start date:Diploma assessmentPaper 1 xPaper 2 xPaper 3Investigation xText book referenceHamperTransfer GoalsList here one to three big, overarching, long-term goals for this unit. Transfer goals are the... more

Analysis18 March 2014

Analysis of data is basically what we used to call data collection processing and presentation plus a bit of the evaluation. As with the other criteria this is a holistic assessment based on the whole... more

Unit Planner: Astrophysics20 February 2019

Start date:Diploma assessmentPaper 1Paper 2Paper 3 xInvestigation xText book referenceHamper - online resourcesTransfer GoalsList here one to three big, overarching, long-term goals for this unit. Transfer... more

Unit Planner: Rotational dynamics3 February 2019

Start date:Diploma assessmentPaper 1Paper 2Paper 3 xInvestigation xText book referenceHamper - online resourcesTransfer GoalsList here one to three big, overarching, long-term goals for this unit. Transfer... more

Unit Planner: Electromagnetic induction3 February 2019

Start date:Diploma assessmentx Paper 1x Paper 2Paper 3x InvestigationText book referenceHamperTransfer GoalsList here one to three big, overarching, long-term goals for this unit. Transfer goals are the... more

How To guides21 December 2018

This site was first launched over 10 years ago. In that time:We always make sure that this site keeps up with the changes to the bigger picture so that you can concentrate on teaching your classes. more

Gravitational Fields15 December 2018

The myth is that Newton realised that an apple fell because of gravity but I don't think he was the first person to notice that an apple fell because it was pulled downwards. The big breakthrough was... more

Activity: Making a videofree14 December 2018

In this fun activity you are going to make a video explaining a physical concept e.g. Work.This is a group activity If you want to record real examples you will need a camera if you don't have one then... more

Problems: Resistance15 September 2018

1. At 0°C a steel cable is 1km long and 1cm diameter when it is heated it expands and its resistivity increases. Calculate the change in resistance of the cable as it is heated from 0 - 20°C more

MCQs: Vectors15 September 2018

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Rolling cylinders (Hamza)free14 July 2016

By Hamza Jalil (UWCRCN 2016)INTRODUCTION: In this experiment the velocities of two different kind of cylinders (hollow and solid) will be compared in relation to the height of the slope they roll on.... more

Not a checklistfree13 October 2014

One of the advantages of the old system of internal assessment was that it was quite easy to produce a checklist for each criteria. This was also one of the aspects that the assessment team didn't like,... more

P1 May 2009 TZ1free7 November 2010

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Optional Practical: Rolling ballfree15 September 2018

In this practical the motion of a ball rolling off the end of a ramp will be analysed using video. The video can either be taken with a camera or phone or using the webcam on the computer. To record using... more

Solutionsfree10 September 2012

1. The paddling pool in the photo is 8ft diameter and 1.5 ft deep. If it was filled with oil instead of water would its mass be more or less? Calculate the difference in mass if filled with water and... more

Discussion24 February 2010

Smaller apertures do increase the angle of the diffraction minimum however the effect of diffraction is not the only thing influencing the resolving power of the eye. A perfect lens will produce a point... more

Introduction to the sitefree21 January 2019

We hope that you will find the Getting started section useful if you are new to the IB, physics teaching or these resources. Returning subscribers are also advised to check out this area to make sure... more

Optional Practical: Flying Pigfree16 September 2018

In this practical the acceleration due to gravity will be found by measuring the time period of a pig flying in a circle. Note: this experiment can also be done with flying cows, dinosaurs and even planes.... more

PBL: Alternating current16 September 2018

If you pass an DC source of PD, V was connected to a resistor, R the power dissipated would be V2/R, but if an AC supply of peak voltage, V was connected to the same resistor the power dissipated would... more

Problems: Electric field15 September 2018

1. An electron is accelerated in the electric field shown. Calculate the velocity of the electron just before it hits the top plate (ignore gravity).Mass of electron = 9.1 x 10-31 kgCharge of electron... more

Problems: Component combinations15 September 2018

2. If each of the resistors in the circuit below has resistance R show that the total resistance between A and B is 5R/112. By using the fact that around any closed loop the sum of the EMFs = the sum... more

MCQs: Magnetic fields15 September 2018

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MCQs: Electric fields15 September 2018

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Optional Practical: Transformer simulation15 September 2018

In this exercise Paul Falstad's circuit simulator will be used to investigate the properties of transformers and how they can be used to step up voltage to minimize power loss in cables. The treatment... more

Landslide and Tsunami (Ron)free23 August 2016

Ron Yang (UWCRCN 2016)In the Kingdom of Norway where I started my high school, there is a beautiful mountain called Åknes lying next to three towns near the famous Geiranger Fjord. However, a system... more

Ruler22 December 2010

This is a real simple one using just a plastic ruler, to increase the number of possibilities you could have a selection of rulers some plastic and some metal. When I introduce these "design themes"... more

Marked Report 120 December 2010

If a balloon is rubbed on a woollen sweater it can be made to stick on a wall, this is because the balloon becomes -vely charged when rubbed, when it is brought close to the wall it repels -ve charges... more

Springs18 August 2010

This is a hypothetical case since I've never actually tried it, the problem was that even though the box of springs I ordered from Ebay were all made of the same gauge wire there were not enough of the... more

Unit Planner: Relativity20 February 2019

Start date:Diploma assessmentPaper 1Paper 2Paper 3 xInvestigationText book referenceHamper - online resourcesTransfer GoalsList here one to three big, overarching, long-term goals for this unit. Transfer... more

Optional Practical: Angle of slopefree15 September 2018

In this practical the acceleration of a cart down a slope will be measured for different slope angles. By plotting a graph of the results a value for the acceleration due to gravity will be determined. more

Results24 February 2010

The average distances for each tube length is shown in table 2 The uncertainty in the “just resolved length” was estimated from how well I could measure the position of my head with a ruler placed... more

Experiment12 June 2009

To measure the resolving power of the eye two close together objects are viewed close to the eye, the distance between the eye and the objects is then increased until they can no longer be seen as two... more

Activity: Electromagnetic induction30 October 2018

Take a magnet, move it in and out of a coil and observe the EMF induced across the coil.This can also be done with a simulationexercises on page 252Faraday's law multiple choice more

Activity: Electric potential1 October 2018

If a constant force moves a distance d in the direction of the force the work done is F x d. If we plot a graph of F vs x we can see that the work done is the area under the graph.This is also true if... more