IB Physics SL Core

General Links


Topic 1: Measurements & Uncertainty

Aside from certain concepts, this unit is important to know as it manifests in all other parts of the physics curriculum– i.e. concepts such as significant figures, SI units, etc. will be incorporated throughout the exam. It is critical that students have a strong understanding of uncertainty and errors in particular, as they should be easy points.

Student Tutors:
Krish Patel – patelkr20@student.ktufsd.org
Aaron Mendez – mendezaa20@student.ktufsd.org
Reagan Smith – smithre20@student.ktufsd.org


Topic 2: Mechanics

An extremely fundamental core area in physics as a whole. From SUVAT equations to Newton’s Laws of Motion, physics students will never be totally without mechanics, and after familiarizing yourself with the concepts, practice and application of techniques in increasingly diverse questions & scenarios is essential towards mastery.

Student Tutors:
Krish Patel – patelkr20@student.ktufsd.org
Aaron Mendez – mendezaa20@student.ktufsd.org
Reagan Smith – smithre20@student.ktufsd.org


Topic 3: Thermal Physics

The manifestation of energy in terms of heat, states of matter, etc. aspect of physics is often a very strong area for students if they can understand the concepts within the subject. Mastery of the theory is key; not only are there many conceptualization questions but the mathematics questions usually rely on understanding thermal systems. Students who have experience in Chemistry often find this unit relatively easier.

Student Tutors:
Krish Patel – patelkr20@student.ktufsd.org
Aaron Mendez – mendezaa20@student.ktufsd.org
Reagan Smith – smithre20@student.ktufsd.org


Topic 4: Waves

The Waves unit deals with primarily the properties of light, sound, and simple harmonic motions. Due to its heavy conceptual content, it is necessary that students are able to visualize frequently and apply basic math to those images. This is a more difficult unit for students as reading problems carefully is crucial. Once the basic wave properties and relationships are understood, then applying them in real world situations becomes easier and instinctual.

Student Tutors:
Krish Patel – patelkr20@student.ktufsd.org
Aaron Mendez – mendezaa20@student.ktufsd.org
Mark Bogacki – bogackima20@student.ktufsd.org
Reagan Smith – smithre20@student.ktufsd.org


Topic 5: Electricity & Magnetism

This is an interesting unit, due to the almost even split between heavy conceptualization required for the magnetism aspect of this unit, alongside the thorough use of mathematics & equations within the Electricity portion. Hence, practice and application for electricity questions combined with a strong theoretical background in magnetism is the key to success. Also, some useful practical applications of the unit– such as what to do if a electric wire lands on your care– and though it may seem unlikely, we are living in a world where COVID-19 has closed our schools, so who are we to say…

Student Tutors:
Krish Patel – patelkr20@student.ktufsd.org
Aaron Mendez – mendezaa20@student.ktufsd.org
Reagan Smith – smithre20@student.ktufsd.org


Topic 6: Circular Motion & Gravitation

Often times, a strong understanding of Unit 2: Mechanics will directly translate to a concise view of this unit. The unit is largely an expansion of mechanics, but by specifically focusing on rotational motion and the force of gravity alongside the notion of a gravitational field. Topic 2 and Topic 6 are an excellent pairing to study, and require less conceptual knowledge, while yielding many points with a strong understanding.

Student Tutors:
Krish Patel – patelkr20@student.ktufsd.org
Aaron Mendez – mendezaa20@student.ktufsd.org
Reagan Smith – smithre20@student.ktufsd.org


Topic 7: Atomic, Nuclear & Particle Physics

Heavy focus on concepts and simply understanding the overlying theory regarding subatomic particles. Students who have taken Chemistry can once again rejoice as they have likely already been introduced to the basic principles of this unit earlier, but this unit is rather simplistic to learn if a student puts in the time to learn it properly. One of the more modern branches of physics, in respect to the discovery of elementary particles in particular, this unit requires making sure you understand the material concisely and being able to perform the few uses of equations needed, but once you understand it– it is very easy to retain and can be essentially free points on exams.

Student Tutors:
Krish Patel – patelkr20@student.ktufsd.org
Aaron Mendez – mendezaa20@student.ktufsd.org
Reagan Smith – smithre20@student.ktufsd.org


Topic 8: Energy Production

Similar but likely harder as Topic 7 for most students. High amounts of learning concepts and frankly, memorization, within this topic, alongside learning to use some essential equations for certain processes and energy production. Students often lack the experience they have in Nuclear Physics through Chemistry, thus find it harder, but similarly, if you invest the time, it can be free points. Topic 7 and Topic 8, unlike other topics, are kind of ‘capped’ at a certain difficulty and often do not require the deep understanding to solve creative questions which Topics 2 – 6 may.

Student Tutors:
Krish Patel – patelkr20@student.ktufsd.org
Aaron Mendez – mendezaa20@student.ktufsd.org
Reagan Smith – smithre20@student.ktufsd.org


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