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Byron Bay High School

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Physics (Years 11-12)

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What is involved in studying Physics?

The Physics Course is a 2 Unit BDC. It requires 2 full years of study during year 11 and year 12. 

Year 11 is better known as 'Preliminary' and Year 12 as 'HSC'.


Preliminary areas of study (Year 11)

Topic Name in Syllabus Major Area of Study
     The World Communicates      Light, Sound, EM Spectrum, Technology
Electrical Energy in the Home Charges, Electricity, Power, Circuits
Moving About Motions, Momentum and Energy
The Cosmic Engine Stars, Stella Evolution and Theories 

HSC areas of study (Year 12)

Topic Name in Syllabus Major Area of Study
Space Projectile Motion, Rocketry, Orbits, space travel
                    Motors and Generators                                                                    AC vs DC Motors / Generators, EMF, Transformers
          From Ideas to Implementation                      Cathode Rays, Electronic Materials, Quantum Mechanics, Superconductors
OPTIONS The class will study ONE of the following
Astrophysics Distances, Luminosity, Telescopes, Spectra, Binaries
Geophysics Measurements & Monitoring, Earth Structure, Quakes, Earth History, Resources
From Quanta to Quarks Quantum Models, Energies, Nuclear physics, Particle Physics
Medical Physics Ultrasounds, X-Rays, CT, MRI, PET
Age of Silicon Electronic Components, Analogue and Digital, Inputs . Outputs, Monitoring & Processing


The full description of the content and skills can be viewed in the Physics Syllabus

The Physics course is a very exciting and varied course. Students that enjoy solving challenging problems usually make excellent Physics students. They can use Mathematics to help them solve problems and are good with their hands and proficient with setting up equipment.

As a guide, students wishing to study Physics should be studying Mathematics. Advanced 2 Unit Mathematics or higher is recommended however not mandatory. Please consult a Science Teacher for more information.   

Due to the nature of the Physics course, students need to be dedicated learners and prepared to work very hard in order to improve. This is an academic course which requires continual effort to master. In addition, students will need to be highly organised. Some of the best students in Physics are analytical, critical and persistent.  "Out of the box' thinking is also a key part in solving problems in Physics.

Physics is mostly about understanding concepts and applying they skills and understanding to new situations.

It is expected that students complete the coursework in class time. Homework is sometimes set for students on areas that require additional student focus. 


What career opportunities does Physics produce?
Physics is a very diverse area in which to study. The content and skill learned in this course are highly transferable and are valued in leading professional communities. Physics can be an entry point to any field of Science, Medicine or Engineering. Please have a look at Physics Bullseye Poster (pdf 145 KB).    

New career opportunities are emerging all the time. Some of the more recent additions in the field of Physics include the areas of Robotics (Mechatronic Engineering) and Conducting Polymers (Material Engineering). 

You tube video:


There are international soccer tournaments held annually for robot enthusiasts which are becoming more popular each year as this field of study continues to grow and develop. Furthermore, Universities are becoming increasingly aware of the widespread applications of this field and are offering more courses, even at smaller institutions in order to produce successful graduates.


Talk to Mr Hawkins about Physics if you think you may be interested.