Physics in Science Stage 6 provides students with a contemporary and coherent understanding of energy, matter, and their interrelationships. It focuses on investigating natural phenomena and then applying patterns, models (including mathematical ones), principles, theories and laws to explain the physical behaviour of the universe. It uses an understanding of simple systems (single particles and pairs of particles) to make predictions about a range of objects from sub-atomic particles to the entire universe and aims to reveal the simplicity underlying complexity.
Physics tells us:
- How substances work.
- How substances interact.
- Which forces cause substances to interact.
- How laws and principles determine the universe.
- How physical phenomena are used by people.
- How physical principles impact on technology.
Physics is about how things work and has many practical applications. Physics is the basis for students who want to become engineers and architects.
Many students at STHS achieve at a high level in the HSC. To enhance their learning, students are also given the option to attend astronaut training in Orlando, USA.
Preliminary Course Topics (Physics)
- THE WORLD COMMUNICATES
In this unit students investigate the electromagnetic spectrum and its application to communication in the 20th Century. Information is carried on an increasing range of energy waves and speed and efficiency has led to new ways of transmitting information.
- ELECTRICAL ENERGY IN THE HOME
In this unit students investigate the components of electrical circuits and derive the relationship between essential factors.
Safety devices in household applications are described and the importance of working safely within the home is evaluated.
- MOVING ABOUT
Students investigate the relationship between force, mass and acceleration. Everyday situations are analysed in terms of Newton’s Laws of Motion.
Students apply their knowledge of forces and interactions to the study of car collisions and the importance of airbags.
- THE COSMIC ENGINE
The universe was formed in the big bang and students analyse information about the changes in our galaxy since the beginning.
The importance of gravity in the formation of stellar bodies is investigated.
HSC Course Topics (Physics)
In this unit we examine the physics behind space travel, the laws controlling the movement of the planets and Einstein’s Relativity.
- MOTORS AND GENERATORS
Many industries are geared towards using electricity and electric motors are an essential part of our lives. Students investigate the generation and transmission of electricity.
- FROM IDEAS TO IMPLEMENTATIONS
This unit looks at the major revolutionary ideas of the 20th century. The use of radio waves in communication, the development of the silicon chip and the developing field of superconductors are all explored.
- OPTION: QUANTA TO QUARKS
In the strange world of quantum physics particles behave waves and waves behave as particles. This unit stretches student imagination as we delve into the subatomic world.
- OPTION: ASTROPHYSICS
The wonders of the Universe are revealed through technological advances based on tested principles of physics.