Physics is the most fundamental of the experimental sciences, as it seeks to explain the universe itself, from the very smallest particles, quarks, to the vast distances between galaxies.
A Level Physics allows students to explore some of the most interesting and complicated concepts in the known universe some of which are at the forefront of human understanding. Students will develop the skills and creativity needed to solve the most fundamental questions on the nature of the universe.
In the first year, students will cover the topics of classical mechanics, electricity, materials, waves and the particle nature of light. During year two, students will also study thermodynamics; gravitational, electric and magnetic fields; oscillations and nuclear and particle Physics. There is an emphasis on practical work through which students develop their manual dexterity and analytical skills. Throughout their study of Physics at A Level, students will also develop their knowledge and understanding of what it means to work scientifically. They will develop their competence in working with a variety of scientific instruments using a range of techniques in order to learn how to take accurate and precise measurements.
Many of the models used to explain the phenomena studied across the two years require an ability to manipulate equations, therefore, a strong mathematical understanding is an advantage. Studying both Physics and Mathematics at A Level complement each other well, although this is not essential.
A Level Physics is essential for students if they want to pursue a career in Physics or Engineering and is highly recommended for some university courses such as Mathematics, Architecture, Geology, Material Science and Medicine.
There are a large range of co-curricular activities offered for A Level Physics students. In the Lower Sixth students have the option to visit the CERN laboratories in Geneva, which provides them with a hands on way to see how discoveries are in genuine laboratories, and see the real world applications of the Physics concepts they are learning about in the classroom. There are also a large range of activities that take part closer to home such as; the UK Space Design competition, Physics Olympiad, Physics in Action lectures, Physics Society, Engineering Club, Rocket Club and a programme of guest speakers.