Physics Grade 12 – University Preparation – Course Outline

This course enables students to deepen their understanding of the concepts and theories of physics.

Students will explore further the laws of dynamics and energy transformations, and will investigate electrical, gravitational, and magnetic fields; electromagnetic radiation; and the interface between energy and matter.
They will further develop inquiry skills, learning, for example, how the interpretation of experimental data can provide indirect evidence to support the development of a scientific model. 
Students will also consider the impact on society and the environment of technological applications of physics.

Units and Overall Expectations / Unit Description

Forces and Motion: Dynamics
• analyse the motion of objects in horizontal, vertical, and inclined planes, and predict and explain the motion with reference to the forces acting on the objects;
• investigate motion in a plane, through experiments or simulations, and  analyse and solve problems involving the forces acting on an object in linear, projectile, and circular motion, with the aid of vectors, graphs, and free-body diagrams;
• analyse ways in which an understanding of the dynamics of motion relates to the development and use of technological devices, including terrestrial and space vehicles, and the enhancement of recreational activities and sports equipment.
Energy and Momentum
• demonstrate an understanding of the concepts of work, energy, momentum, and the laws of conservation of energy and of momentum for objects moving in two dimensions, and explain them in qualitative and quantitative terms;
• investigate the laws of conservation of momentum and of energy (including elastic and inelastic collisions) through experiments or simulations, and analyse and solve problems involving these laws with the aid of vectors,  graphs, and free-body diagrams;
• analyse and describe the application of the concepts of energy and momentum to the design and development of a wide range of collision and impact-absorbing devices used in everyday life.
Electric, Gravitational, and Magnetic Fields
• demonstrate an understanding of the concepts, principles, and laws related to electric, gravitational, and magnetic forces and fields, and explain them in  qualitative and quantitative terms;
• conduct investigations and analyse and solve problems related to electric,  gravitational, and magnetic fields;
• explain the roles of evidence and theories in the development of scientific  knowledge related to electric, gravitational, and magnetic fields, and evaluate and describe the social and economic impact of technological developments related to the concept of fields.
The Wave Nature of Light
• demonstrate an understanding of the wave model of electromagnetic radiation, and describe how it explains diffraction patterns, interference, and  polarization;
• perform experiments relating the wave model of light and technical  applications of electromagnetic radiation (e.g., lasers and fibre optics) to the  phenomena of refraction, diffraction, interference, and polarization;
• analyse phenomena involving light and colour, explain them in terms of the  wave model of light, and explain how this model provides a basis for  developing technological devices.
Matter-Energy Interface
• demonstrate an understanding of the basic concepts of Einstein’s special theory of relativity and of the development of models of matter, based on classical and early quantum mechanics, that involve an interface between matter and energy;
• interpret data to support scientific models of matter, and conduct thought  experiments as a way of exploring abstract scientific ideas;
• describe how the introduction of new conceptual models and theories can influence and change scientific thought and lead to the development of new technologies.