The DP Physics HL course is both broad and pretty deep (heavy would be a better word) as well. The students would definitely agree it is challenging.  So why would anyone choose to put themselves through Physics HL?  A good question indeed.   I mean Physics is a serious business with no time to play; Right?   I cannot deny there is plenty a time when we are crunching through theory (always absolutely fascinating theory I must add), but without hands on activities the subject would be a trudge.  At every opportunity we’ll find an excuse to perform demonstrations and practical investigations.  This helps to reinforce students’ understanding and to develop their problem solving and analytical skills.

During recent lessons we have been concentrating on the magnetic effect of currents which lends itself to some great activities.  Why would you want to know about magnetism? Before the start of the latest units most of the students were blissfully unaware of how vital the Earth’s magnetic field is for life on Earth.  The fact is The Earth’s Magnetosphere: protects us from the solar wind which would strip away the atmosphere and expose us to extremely hazardous radiation.  We have also learnt that moving charged particles experience a magnetic force when moving in a magnetic field. In fact they can even move in helical paths trapped along magnetic field lines.   This is part of the explanation for one of World’s   most amazing natural phenomena The Aurora Borealis i.e. The Northern LightsThe Science & Beauty of Auroras (its OK to be smart) ;   How the Northern Lights are created:  

I could continue to give you a lesson on electromagnetism but perhaps it would be best for you to see for yourselves what we get up to in Physics lessons by watching one or all of the video links below.  Please bear in mind the students had just returned from their DP bonding trip   and had no advanced warning. This was all videoed on Tuesday.  I am grateful to Aryan Chowdhury for editing the videos and sharing it with me given his present workload. The Electromagnet  ;     Jumping Conductors   ;   Pink Floyd on a Balloon!

John Heyworth

DP Physics & Maths teacher.

DP2 Physics Tuesday