A level Physics gives you the opportunity to explore the phenomena of the universe and to look at theories that explain what is observed. It is a mixture of highly conceptual thinking and very practical applications. You need to be able to think about abstract ideas such as fields, but be able to apply those ideas to how, for instance, electric motors work. You will learn about everything from kinematics to cosmology and many recent developments in fascinating topics, such as particle physics. Getting accurate results from experiments requires practice and competence in the use of lab equipment. Calculations are an important part of A level Physics and you need to be comfortable with algebra.
In Year 12, you will study some of the keystone topics of Physics, including mechanics, energy, materials, electricity, waves and quantum physics. This helps hone your fundamental understanding of the laws governing the universe and prepares you for Year 13 where you go on to study more complex systems such as harmonic oscillations, gravitational and electromagnetic fields, cosmology and particle physics.
The department hosts weekly engineering and physics symposiums where students discuss and make presentations on a fascinating range of topics. We also organise several trips a year, including a visit to CERN in Switzerland to discover the Hadron Collider.
If you are interested in the limits of space, the beginning of time and everything in between this is the subject for you. Physics is more than a subject – it trains your brain to think beyond boundaries. Physics is also extremely useful – as proved daily by engineers, research scientists and medical physicists around the world.