There are four options and they are all 15 hours of combined SL and HL with 10 hours of HL only.

The options with Chris' commentary

The beginnings of relativityThe introduction is based around Maxwell's equations rather than Michelson Morley and calculations might involve using the Lorentz transforms on positions and times rather than time dilation and length contraction. Spacetime diagrams are new (and difficult).
Lorentz transformations
Spacetime diagrams
Relativistic mechanics (HL)
General relativity (HL)
EngineeringAll standard stuff. I guess this will be the most popular option as it is by far the most straightforward and ties in nicely with the core. The HL material is not too difficult either.
Rotational dynamics
Fluids (HL)
Resonance (HL)
IntroductionThis is a combination of electromagnetic waves plus communications and medical. The radio telescope is about the only new bit.
Fibre optics (HL)
Medical imaging (HL)
Stellar quantitiesThe astronomy bits like stellar classification and magnitude are not in the course, but I decided to leave a brief explanation of both in my text book as it is difficult to understand stellar data without knowing what the classification means. A bit more depth in the part about CMB.
Stellar characteristics and evolution
Stellar processes (HL)
Further cosmology (HL)

Selected Pages


Unit Planner: Astrophysics 29 July 2019

Start date:Diploma assessmentPaper 1Paper 2Paper 3 xInvestigation xText book referenceHamper - online resourcesTransfer...


Cosmology 15 December 2018

I think the best way to tackle this section is to stick to the basics, try to apply what the students have learnt in the...


Solar system 15 December 2018

I like to start by finding out how much my students know about the movement of the stars, planets and moon, some seem to...

Activity teaching order (Options) 18 September 2019

The options contain some interesting physics but not all students have the same interest, most schools offer only one option...

Variable stars 2 April 2019

About half the stars we can detect in the sky are binaries (Cornell astronomy) you wouldn't know that from looking up at...

Models of the universe 3 February 2019

Unless this is your speciality its probably best to stick to the basics of how the physics they have learnt in the core...

All materials on this website are for the exclusive use of teachers and students at subscribing schools for the period of their subscription. Any unauthorised copying or posting of materials on other websites is an infringement of our copyright and could result in your account being blocked and legal action being taken against you.