The IB Physics Compendium 2005

Thomas Illman (tillman@abo.fi)

Version: 13 August 2005

 

Important notice: I will, from 2008 onwards, no longer teach IB physics but switch to the Finnish national system at the same school (Vasa övningsskola). This IB compendium will remain online and free for anyone to use and develop, but I will not make a new version of it for the new IB curriculum. Those who understand Swedish may find some useful material (also free for anyone to use and translate) in the Gymnasiefysikkompendiet.  

 

For a group where SL takes the Mechanics and Atomic physics extensions, the following level separation can be used:+ = section for HL only, (+) = partially for HL only,  * = section not in the IB programme but in the Finnish national. HL takes two of the options, SL none.

  

0. Introduction  : The IB Physics Compendium - a tool for non-constructivist education.

1. Measurement

1.1. What is physics?

1.2. The SI-system

1.3. Vectors and scalars

1.4. Graphs

1.5. Errors and uncertainties

1.6. Orders of magnitude

1.7. Logarithms

2. Mechanics

2.1. Mechanics - the foundation of physics

2.2. Distance and displacement

2.3. Speed and velocity

2.4. Acceleration

2.5. Graphs of UM and UAM

2.6. The 4 equations of UAM

2.7. Force and mass: Newton's laws

2.8. Friction

2.9. Work, energy and power

2.10. Springs

2.11.* Simple harmonic motion

2.12. Momentum and impulse

2.13. Projectile motion

2.14. Torque

2.15. Circular motion

2.16. Universal gravitation

2.17. Gravitational field and potential

2.18. Orbital motion

2.19. Kepler's laws

2.20.* Rotational mechanics

2.21.* Fluid mechanics

3. Thermal physics

3.1. From mechanics to thermal physics

3.2. Temperature, internal energy and heat

3.3. Solids, liquids and gases (and plasma)

3.4.* Thermal expansion

3.5. Specific heat capacity and specific latent heat

3.6. Evaporation

3.7. Transporting thermal energy : conduction, convection, radiation

3.8. Ideal gas law

3.9.+ Thermodynamics (first law): heat and work

3.10.+ Thermodynamic processes

3.11.+ Thermodynamic cycles

3.12.+ Heat engines and pumps

3.13.+ Carnot cycles

3.14.+Second law of thermodynamics : Entropy

3.15.+ Entropy change calculations

4. Waves

4.1. Waves in one dimension (sections 4.1 - 4.6)

4.2. Superposition and interference in one dimension

4.3. +The phenomenon of "beats"

4.4. Reflection in one dimension

4.5. Standing (stationary) waves

4.6. (+)The Doppler effect for sound

4.7. Waves in two dimensions (section 4.7. - 4.10.) : Huygen's principle & diffraction

4.8. + Superposition and interference in two dimensions - Young's experiment

4.9. Reflection in  two dimensions

4.10. Refraction

5. Electricity and magnetism

5.1. Electric charge

5.2. Electric force and field

5.3. (+) Electric potential energy, potential and potential difference = "voltage"

5.4. Electric circuits: current, resistance, power

5.5. Electromotive force (emf) and internal resistance

5.6.* Capacitors

5.7. Magnets and magnetic fields

5.8. Magnetic forces

5.9. + Induction

5.10.+ Alternating currents

5.11.+ Transformers

5.12.* AC circuits

6. Atomic, nuclear and quantum physics

6.1. The atomic model

6.2. Spectra and energy levels in atoms

6.3. The Bohr model of the atom

6.4. De Broglie and  wave-particles dualism

6.5. The Schrödinger model of the atom

6.6. The photoelectric effect

6.7. X-rays

6.8. The mass spectrometer and evidence for nuclides

6.9. The nucleus

6.10. Mass defect and binding energy

6.11. Changing the nucleus I : natural radioactivity

6.12. Types of radioactive decay

6.13. Nuclear energy levels

6.14. Effects and detection of radiation

6.15. Decay calculations and half-life

6.16. Changing the nucleus II : artificial transmutation

6.17. Changing the nucleus III : fission and fusion

6.18. Fission chain reactions : bombs and power plants

6.19. Particle physics

6.20. Accelerators

7. +Astrophysics 

7.1. The "geography" of the universe

7.2. Astronomic observations

7.3. Stellar parallax

7.4. Absolute luminosity (power) and and apparent brightness (intensity)

7.5. Stefan-Boltzmann's law

7.6. Wien's displacement law

7.7. Stellar spectra and chemical composition

7.8. Spectroscopic parallax

7.9. Luminosity and Cepheid variables

7.10. Summary of distance measurement methods

7.11. Energy production in a star

7.12. The "life" of a star

7.13. Black holes

7.14. Olber's paradox: Why is it dark at night?

7.15. Galactic redshift and Hubble's law

7.16. The Big Bang model

7.17. Cosmic microwave background radiation

7.18. The future of the universe

8. +Relativity  

                      8.1. Frames of reference

                      8.2. The Michelson-Morley experiment

8.3. Special relativity - for inertial frames

8.4. Simultaneity

8.5. Time dilation and proper time

8.6. Coordinate transformations, length contraction and proper length

8.7. Relativistic addition of velocities

8.8. Momentum conservation and mass increase

8.9. Energy and momentum

8.10. Space-time diagrams

8.11. General relativity - for accelerated frames

8.12. Other consequences and support for general relativity

9. +Optics 

9.1. Light as an electromagnetic wave

9.2. Refraction of light

9.3. Technical applications of refraction

9.4. Dispersion of light

9.5. Lenses

9.6. Planar mirrors

9.7.* Curved mirrors

9.8. Lasers

9.9. Diffraction

9.10. Thin film interference

9.11* Polarisation

10. +Historical physics 

10.1 The history of mechanics

10.2 Astronomy

10.3. Models of the universe

10.4 The history of thermal physics

10.5 The history of waves

10.6 The history of electricity and magnetism

10.7 Electrons, protons and neutrons

10.8 Models of the atom

11. +Biomedical physics

11.1. Physics and medicine

11.2. Scaling

11.3. Biomechanics

11.4. Biomedical thermal physics

11.5. Biomedical waves : Sound and hearing

11.6. Ultrasound

11.7. * EEG and ECG

11.8A: X-ray imaging

11.8B: X-ray attenuation

11.8C: X-ray detection

11.8D: Computer tomography (CAT scan)

11.9. Other imaging techniques

11.10. Biomedical nuclear physics

12.*Mathemathical physics 

12.1.*  Mathemical physics

12.2.* The one-hour calculus course

12.3.* Further calculus in physics (and why E = mc2)

12.4 Constants and formulas available in IB examinations

12.5. Exercise problems

13. Investigations   

13.1. General lab report structure

13.2. Model report I

13.3. Model report II

13.4. Investigations

14. TOK and natural sciences

                      14.1. Examples of themes for group presentations and discussions

                      14.2. Comments to the 25 questions in the IB TOK syllabus pp. 18-20