Please read the overview page for a description of the structure of Fathoming Physics classes.
Overview of year 11
2023 year 11 classes:
- – Thursday evenings 5:30-7:30pm (2 places available).
- – Saturday afternoons, 5-7pm (1 place available)
- – Wednesdays after school, 3-5pm (James Ruse). From Term 1 2024 this class will shift to 12:45-2:45pm on Wednesdays (to make room for a new after school year 11 class in 2024).
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:
Places may be reserved in the following year 11 classes:
- – Fridays 5:30-7:30pm beginning term 4 2023 with Module 1
- – Saturday afternoons, 2:45-4:45pm, beginning in term 4 2023 with Module 1
- – Wednesdays, 3-5pm (James Ruse). This class will begin in term 1 2024 with Module 2. Students may join one of the other two classes to complete module 1 in term 4, or attend the January intensive just prior to term 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)
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.
Terms 1 to 3, 2023
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.
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.
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.
Thermodynamics (Module 3)
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.
Module 4: Electricity and magnetism
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.