IB Physics SL2

IB Physics SL Course Overview

IB Physics SL will cover 8 topics, 1 option topic and a Practical Scheme of Work (requiring 95 teaching hours):

Topic #1: Measurements and Uncertainties - 5 Hours
1.1 Measurements in physics
Fundamental and derived SI units
Scientific notation and metric multipliers
Significant figures
Orders of magnitude

1.2 Uncertainties and errors
Random and systematic errors
Absolute, fractional and percentage uncertainties
Error bars
Uncertainty of gradient and intercepts

1.3 Vectors and scalars
Vector and scalar quantities
Combination and resolution of vectors

Topic #2: Mechanics - 22 Hours
2.1 Motion
Distance and displacement
Speed and velocity
Graphs describing motion
Equations of motion for uniform acceleration
Projectile motion
Fluid resistance and terminal speed

2.2 Forces
Objects as point particles
Free-body diagrams
Translational equilibrium
Newton’s laws of motion
Solid friction 

2.3 Work, energy and power
Kinetic energy
Gravitational potential energy
Elastic potential energy
Work done as energy transfer
Power as rate of energy transfer
Principle of conservation of energy

2.4 Momentum and impulse
Newton’s second law expressed in terms of rate of change of momentum
Impulse and force–time graphs
Conservation of linear momentum
Elastic collisions, inelastic collisions and explosions 

Topic #3: Thermal Physics - 11 Hours

3.1 Thermal concepts
Molecular theory of solids, liquids and gases
Temperature and absolute temperature
Internal energy
Specific heat capacity
Phase change
Specific latent heat

3.2 Modelling a gas
Equation of state for an ideal gas
Kinetic model of an ideal gas
Mole, molar mass and the Avogadro constant
Differences between real and ideal gases
Topic #4: Waves - 15 Hours
4.1 Oscillations
Simple harmonic oscillations
Time period, frequency, amplitude, displacement and phase difference
Conditions for simple harmonic motion

4.2 Travelling waves
Travelling waves
Wavelength, frequency, period and wave speed
Transverse and longitudinal waves
The nature of electromagnetic waves
The nature of sound waves

4.3 Wave characteristics
Wavefronts and rays
Amplitude and intensity

4.4 Wave behavior
Reflection and refraction
Snell’s law, critical angle and total internal reflection
Diffraction through a single-slit and around objects
Interference patterns
Double-slit interference
Path difference

4.5 Standing waves
The nature of standing waves
Boundary conditions
Nodes and antinodes

Topic #5: Electricity and Magnetism - 15 Hours

5.1 electric fields
Electric field
Coulomb’s law
Electric current
Direct current (dc)
Potential difference

5.2 Heating effect of electric currents
Circuit diagrams
Kirchhoff’s circuit laws
Heating effect of current and its consequences
Resistance expressed as R = V/I
Ohm’s law
Power dissipation

5.3 Electric cells 
Internal resistance
Secondary cells
Terminal potential difference
Electromotive force (emf) 

 5.4 Magnetic effects of electric currents
Magnetic fields
Magnetic force
Topic #6: Circular Motion and Gravitation - 5 Hours
6.1 Circular motion
Period, frequency, angular displacement and angular velocity
Centripetal force
Centripetal acceleration

6.6 Newton’s law of gravitation
Newton’s law of gravitation
Gravitational field strength

Topic #7: Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics - 14 Hours
7.1 Discrete energy and radioactivity
Discrete energy and discrete energy levels
Transitions between energy levels
Radioactive decay
Fundamental forces and their properties
Alpha particles, beta particles and gamma rays
Absorption characteristics of decay particles
Background radiation

7.2 Nuclear reactions
The unified atomic mass unit
Mass defect and nuclear binding energy
Nuclear fission and nuclear fusion

7.3 The structure of matter 
Quarks, leptons and their antiparticles
Hadrons, baryons and mesons
The conservation laws of charge, baryon number, lepton number and strangeness
The nature and range of the strong nuclear force, weak nuclear force and electromagnetic force
Exchange particles
Feynman diagrams
The Higgs boson 

Topic #8: Energy Production - 8 Hours
8.1 Energy sources
Specific energy and energy density of fuel sources
Sankey diagrams
Primary energy sources
Electricity as a secondary and versatile form of energy
Renewable and non-renewable energy sources

8.2 Thermal energy transfer
Conduction, convection and thermal radiation
Black-body radiation
Albedo and emissivity
The solar constant
The greenhouse effect
Energy balance in the Earth surface–atmosphere system

Option D: Astrophysics - 15 Hours

D.1  Stellar quantities
Objects in the universe
The nature of stars
Astronomical distances
Stellar parallax and its limitations
Luminosity and apparent brightness

D.2  Stellar characteristics and stellar evolution
Stellar spectra
Hertzsprung–Russell (HR) diagram
Mass–luminosity relation for main sequence stars
Cepheid variables
Stellar evolution on HR diagrams
Red giants, white dwarfs, neutron stars and black holes
Chandrasekhar and Oppenheimer–Volkoff limits

D.3 Cosmology
The Big Bang model
Cosmic microwave background (CMB) radiation
Hubble’s law
The accelerating universe and redshift (z)
The cosmic scale factor (R)

Practical Scheme of Work (PSOW)
You also need to complete experiments and experimental reports as a part of any IB Science course. For SL, there is 40 hours of material. 
Here are the activities:
Practical activities - 20 hours for SL 
o Lab work in class counts towards these hours
Individual investigation (internal assessment-IA) - 10 hours for SL
o A lab project along with a report that counts as 20% of your IB exam scores (written exam counts for the other 80%)
Group 4 Project - 10 hours for SL.  Students are separated into groups and must conduct an experiment and write a report.

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