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Senior External School (Year 11-12)


Paul McInerney
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The branch of science concerned with the nature and properties of matter and energy.

A knowledge of physics is useful in:

  • exercising our responsibilities as citizens;
  • confronting technologies;
  • understanding the relationships between the physical and social environment; and
  • pursuing hobbies and appreciating the challenge of a particular way of knowing the world.

Thus, two basic reasons emerge for the study of physics at secondary level: firstly, it is the study of some of our attempts to understand the universe and secondly, its applications have produced and continue to produce pressures to change our society.


Physics Syllabus

Here is the course outline:

1. Introduction and Topic1

Introduction to this subject. Topic 1 is about physical quantities and measurement.

2. Topic 2 Forces and Motion

In this unit we will study how objects move (kinematics) and why objects move (dynamics).

3. Topic 3: Energy and Momentum

In this topic we investigate the concepts of energy and momentum which culminate in the laws of conservation of these quantities. The conservation laws facilitate powerful and elegant solutions to a wide range of problems.

4. Topic 4: Wave motion and optics

Energy can be transported by wave motion, which does not involve the transfer of material. The properties and characteristics of waves may be investigated as they travel in different media.

5. Topic 5: Electricity and electronics

The ideas of electromotive force and electrical potential difference are fundamental to the notion of electric circuits and controlling electrical potential. These concepts lead to an understanding of voltage, current, resistance and electronic components.

6. Topic 6: Magnetism and electromagnetism

Magnetism is a force of nature that draws comparison to other forces and field effects such as gravitation and electric fields. This topic contains important principles that underlie most modern technology.

7. Topic 7: Atomic and Nuclear Physics

Atomic and nuclear physics marks the beginning of 'modern physics'. In this topic the student learns the sources and properties of radiation. Informed discussion and decision making about nuclear energy requires understanding of the principles of nuclear energy.

8. Revision by Topic

Resources for revision of all 7 topics.

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