Mark Twain International School

Physics Course Description

The IB Physics course is recommended to any student who plans to become an engineer, a science researcher, or a physics teacher. Because there is a lot of problem solving in physics, the IB Physics course will also develop the critical thinking, mathematical, and problem solving skills of all the enrolled students, thus being useful even to those planning a career in business management or data science.

The chapters studied in both the SL and HL tracks are: Measurements and uncertainties, Mechanics, Thermal physics, Oscillations and waves, Electricity and magnetism, Circular motion and gravitation, Atomic, nuclear, and particle physics, and Energy production. The chapters studied only in the HL track are: Wave phenomena, Fields, Electromagnetic induction, and Quantum and nuclear physics.

On top of this, students must also study one extra chapter out of the four available options: Relativity, Engineering physics, Imaging, and Astrophysics. Not all the physics formulas have to be memorized, during exams students are given a booklet with some of the needed formulas. The IB Physics textbook used at MTIS is Physics by David Homer and Michael Bowen-Jones (Oxford 2014).

The option selected by students in the past years was Imaging, since the study of Optics, unlike Relativity and Astrophysics, benefits from many experiments that are easy to perform. The experimental skills of the IB Physics students are also greatly enhanced when they work on their Internal Assessment project, which is a physics investigation of their choice that they design, perform, and present.

During the two years of IB Physics every student receives personal attention, feedback, help, and encouragement from the Mark Twain IS instructor.