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Physics

In A level Physics at ICLMS, we ask questions that probe the essential nature of the universe and explore the body of scientific research and experiments that have led to our current understanding.
 
  • Is light a wave or a particle?
  • Will the universe expand forever?
  • How can we measure the charge on an electron?
  • How can we make trains levitate?
  • How fast would you need to throw an object upwards to get it into space?
  • How do particle accelerators create new particles like the Higgs Boson?
  • How can we measure the temperature of a star?
In year 12, we begin by building on your understanding of electric circuits, forces, energy, and waves from GCSE. You will see how the mechanics you study in mathematics applies to wide ranging real-world contexts, allowing us to explain everyday phenomena involving motion. You will use experiments to develop investigative approaches and learn how to problem solve independently to resolve practical issues. You will develop your understanding of the importance of considering accuracy and uncertainty when drawing conclusions from data - an essential skill for all types of scientific research.
 
In year 13, you will continue to see how mathematics can be applied to solve real-world problems, through the application of exponentials  in radioactive decay and capacitor decay equations to the use of vector approaches in derivations in circular motion. We explore the standard model of particle physics and consider how electric and magnetic fields can help us to detect and create new particles. We study circular motion and gravitational fields to understand the motion of satellites. We build on your GCSE knowledge of thermal physics and derive key relationships from first principles using kinetic theory. We explore oscillations, considering, for example, how engineers ensure that buildings are protected from earthquakes. In astrophysics we explore fundamental questions about the nature of stars and the history and future of the universe. 
 
Throughout the course we explore the links between different topic areas within physics and mathematics, allowing you to develop your ability to view the subjects holistically and explain more complex phenomena.