Physics (group 4)

Physics makes the world go round.  Or at least, it explains why the world goes round. And also why the world is round.  As the most fundamental of the experimental sciences, Physics seeks to explain the universe itself from the very smallest particles – currently accepted as quarks, which may be truly fundamental – to the vast distances between galaxies.  The critical question of physics is why do things happen in the way they do? The physicist or physics student asks a question, develops a theory based on the physics involved and then tests that theory through experimentation.  In doing so, they gain a better understanding of how the universe works at its most fundamental levels.

During the IB Physics course, not only do students develop the knowledge needed to begin to understand and explain the intricacies of the universe; they also develop the skills necessary to obtain and manipulate that knowledge.  These include mathematical, problem-solving and analytical skills as well as the experimental skills used to obtain raw data.  All of these skills are widely valued by Universities and employers alike, but students hoping to pursue a degree in the Sciences, Mathematics, Engineering, Computing or Architecture would be strongly advised to take Physics as one of their IB subjects.

  • Encourage an understanding of the physical universe from the most fundamental particles to the interactions of stars and galaxies.
  • Acquire and apply a body of knowledge that allows this understanding.
  • Develop key physics skills, including problem-solving, investigative, experimental and analytical skills
  • Appreciate scientific study and creativity within a global context through stimulating and challenging opportunities


Syllabus and Assessment

Paper 1 (SL/HL) – multiple choice (20%)


Paper 2 (SL/HL) – long answer questions (SL 40% / HL 36%)

SL and HL topics

  • Measurements and Uncertainties
  • Mechanics
  • Thermal Physics
  • Oscillations and Waves
  • Electric Fields and Circuits
  • Circular Motion and Gravitation
  • Particle and Nuclear Physics
  • Energy Production

            HL Topics only

  • Wave Phenomena
  • Fields
  • Electromagnetism
  • Nuclear and Quantum Physics


Paper 3 (SL/HL) – Data analysis and ‘option’ (SL 20% / HL 24%)

SL and HL

Part A – Data analysis

Part B – Long answer questions on the ‘optional’ topic – we do Astrophysics at Scarborough College


Internal Assessment (SL/HL) – (20%)

Individual scientific investigation

Topic of choice

Internally assessed and externally moderated


Return to options



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