Year 11 Physics Tutoring

Please read the overview page for a description of the structure of Fathoming Physics classes.

Overview of year 11

To allow me to run the class at a pace suitable for students also interested in preparing for the Physics Olympiad, please note that enrolments are restricted to students who are concurrently studying Extension 1 mathematics at school (or intend to study Extension 1 maths). 

I do accept enrolments of students in earlier years of high school, subject to students having a suitable background (and ability) in mathematics. If a student is interested in preparing for the Physics Olympiad exam it is a good idea to complete the year 11 physics course in year 10 (or year 9 if the student is ready). Please contact me to discuss your situation.

2024 year 11 classes:

  • – Fridays 5-7pm beginning term 4 2023 with Module 1
  • – Saturday evenings 5-7pm, beginning in term 4 2023 with Module 1

Fathoming Physics year 11 course details

Following the January intensive covering Module 1, the remaining three modules of the course are taught over 3 terms. Each lesson includes revision of previous work.

Term 4 OR January intensive

Module 1 (Kinematics) 

Bowling ball pendulum, demonstrating conversion of potential energy into kinetic energy.

Kinematics is the study of motion. We will examine uniform (unaccelerated) motion, relative motion and motion under constant acceleration in 1D and 2D using vectors, graphs and equations. We will use motion sensors, motion encoders and data loggers to measure displacement, velocity and acceleration for objects sliding and rolling down slopes and falling under gravity.


Term 1 2024

Module 2 (Dynamics)

In dynamics, we study how forces cause changes in motion as we apply Newton’s laws to many physical situations. We will introduce a range of forces, including gravity, the normal force, friction, tension and spring forces. We will measure these forces using force plates, force probes and spring scales and use our data to make sense of Newton’s laws in real-life situations.

Breaking a karate board with bricks to measure the work done.

In the second half of our topic on dynamics we will introduce momentum, impulse and elastic and inelastic collisions. Learning activities include measuring the impulse, momentum and kinetic energy of a fist via high speed video to determine if it has enough kinetic energy to break a karate board.

Easter holiday intensive 2024

Waves, sound & light (Module 3)

We will use what we have learned in dynamics to understand how wave motion occurs in solids, where atoms behave as if they were connected by springs. We will use practical activities to demonstrate reflection, refraction, diffraction and superposition in water waves, sound waves in air, on springs, in pipes and other objects such as Chladni plates. We will learn about beats and the Doppler effect in sound (as well as making our own sonic boom in the lab, and breaking a glass with sound).

We use the ray model of light to understand the behaviour of light as it interacts with lenses, mirrors, your eye and the world around you.

An (upside-down) view of Epping train station created with our lab-sized camera obscura.

Sound waves produced by a tuning fork are converted to a voltage by a microphone and displayed on a data logger.

Term 2 2024

Thermodynamics (Module 3) and Electricity and magnetism (Module 4)

In the section on thermodynamics we will learn about the difference between temperature and heat and how heat is transferred by conduction convection and radiation. We will also cover heat capacity and latent heat, with practical work on these concepts integrated into each lesson.

In module 4 we will cover electrostatics, electrical circuits and magnetism, and in particular, how all these fit together into one coherent story through a qualitative discussion of Maxwell’s equations that we continue through into our year 12 topic on electromagnetism.

Integrated practical activities with electrostatics or circuits occur in most lessons during this module.




Term 3 2024

Year 11 Revision and Module 5 (Advanced mechanics)

This term we will spend time each week consolidating and polishing students’ understanding of year 11 material in preparation for their yearly exams, as well as covering the first HSC module, on projectile motion, uniform circular motion, gravitation and orbital motion.

Fathoming Physics

HSC physics and Physics Olympiad tutoring with Dr. Tammy Humphrey, a PhD qualified physics teacher with a decade of experience teaching gifted students. Classes include all practical work as well as all theoretical work required by the new HSC physics syllabus.

94B Baker St, Carlingford NSW 2118