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IB Physics HL - Year 2 (2019-2020)


  • Informational Packet / Syllabus
  • Syllabus Addendum - Grading
  • Welcome back for another year of IB Physics! You are going to learn a ton as we uncover the rules that govern the universe!
  • Homework - prepare for a Socratic Seminar on Chapter 1 in your new booklet


  • Socratic Seminar on what physics can and cannot do, or say
  • PowerPoint introduction to electric charge, conductors and insulators, and the triboelectric series


  • balloon lab
  • discuss polarization of conductors and insulators; define an electric dipole
  • use Coulomb's Law to calculate the electric force between charges
  • Homework - complete the problems on this handout; skip #7


  • tape lab
  • review homework and practice using Coulomb's Law
  • Homework - do problem on board; read Chapter 2 in The Big Picture booklet
  • Notice: test over electrostatics next Thursday


  • define the electric field - handout 
  • explore depictions of the electric field
  • explore electric field strength with a Van de Graaff generator (IRL and in the 3D VR simulation below)
  • Homework - read pp. 169-182 in your IB Physics textbook


  • test over electrostatics
  • Homework - read pp. 183-186 in your IB Physics textbook; complete the packet of IB test questions on electric fields, and do the "breakdown of air" problem
Lab Report Format

3D VR simulation of electromagnetic phenomena

(Maroon VR  - website)

Electric Field and Potential Simulation


Unit One-Page Overviews

5.1 Electric Fields

3D Electrostatic Fields Applet


PhET Interactive Simulation - Charges and Fields



  • review homework and discuss particle motion through electric fields
  • calculate the electric field within a parallel plate capacitor
  • homework - complete the notes sheet/ handout


  • finish discussion of a cathode ray tube (CRT) - video
  • graph the energy (as a function of separation) of a two-particle system
  • homework - complete the packet on energy


  • discuss gravitational potential energy and calculate the escape speed, at the surface of the Earth, for an unpowered rocket - handout
  • examine this xkcd infographic on gravity wells
  • homework - complete the handout; read the NewScientist article, at right


  • test over electric fields and electrical and gravitational potential energy
  • homework - review this handout, then answer these questions (answer key)


  • practice solving problems regarding forces, fields and energy (answer key)
  • homework - complete the problems from above and do test corrections for points back on the test


  • discuss the concept of electric potential - notes and problems
  • explore equipotentials using the Electric Field and Potential Simulation, above
  • another teacher explains...
  • homework - complete the Potential packet, up thru p. 11


  • review homework; complete packet of IB problems on potential
  • assignment of poster project (due next Wednesday)


  • an introduction to magnetism and the magnetic field
  • powerpoint presentation
  • homework - read (and take notes on) pp. 227-235 in your textbook
In China, scientists are exposing crops to electric fields
Courtesy of Liu Binjang



Inside China's attempt to boost crop yields with electric fields

Read the article. (21 Aug 2019)

Well... it's paramagnetic.


  • magnetism practice problems
  • homework - complete the problems above, but omit #35 & 36
  • for #33 & 34, the force on a current (wire) equation is:
  • F = ILB, where L is length of wire and I is current
  • for #34, assume I = 5 amps
  • HW answer key - try them before checking the key!


  • explore the Charged Particle in a Magnetic Field simulation -->
  • homework - read the rest of Chp 5.4; solve the IB problems on
  • magnetism























  • discuss the use of magnetic fields for data storage
  • discuss the factors that affect the current in a wire (handout and a few problems)
  • Ohm's Law lab
  • PhET: Resistance in a Wire - Ohm's Law
  • a few slides on Velocity Selectors and the world's most powerful MRI machine
  • homework - practice problems on magnetism; and the handout on current; you should also look at the slides posted above


  • Series and Parallel Circuits lab
  • answer key to worksheet with 4 current problems


  • test over fields and forces (electric and magnetic), potential energy, potential, and magnetism in general


  • complete the Series and Parallel Circuits lab
  • homework: read in the yellow booklet, skim pp. 8-9 (because it's interesting), read p. 14 and 17-23; finish the lab; test corrections are due 10/17


  • discuss the application of Ohm's Law to series and parallel circuits
  • introduce Kirchhoff's laws
  • calculate electrical power
  • assign Electric Art project - due 10/25
  • homework - read/complete pp. 23-31 in the yellow booklet; buy foam board and batteries for the Electric Art project; do test corrections


  • quick review of combination circuits
  • project work day


  • project work day


  • discuss potential dividers, diodes and thermistors
  • discuss internal resistance of a cell
  • solve IB circuit problems
  • homework - read Unit 5.3 Electric cells















  • Electric Art project due (both artwork and portfolio)
  • test over circuits - or maybe on 10/29
Last Year's Webpage
Some birds can 'see' magnetic fields.
B Field around 2 current-carrying wires
Lucy Reading-Ikkanda/Quanta Magazine
prototype MRI machine
A collection of excellent videos explaining electricity, its creation, distribution, manipulation and usage.

Power Generation and Distribution

(Perrone 2016)