Physics

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Today will still yearn to know why we are here and where we came from. Humanity's deepest desire for knowledge is justification enough for our continuing quest. And our goal is nothing less than a complete description of the universe we live in. Stephen Hawking

The Physics Department at St Columba’s College prides itself on providing an education that allows all students to appreciate and enjoy Physics. Lessons are primarily investigation-led, with all students participating in practical and ICT-based classes. This, together with a background in thorough theoretical skills and good scientific habits, leads the students confidently into further study.

The Physics Department has a strong intake at AS with significant numbers going on to study Physics and Physics-related degrees at university, including Engineering and Architecture. As a highly sought-after A level with a reputation for academic rigour and logical thinking, Physics opens doors to many careers, from Engineering, Biomedical Sciences and Geophysics to Management Consultancy, Law and Accountancy.

The Department follows the OCR Physics A specification, which gives a good grounding in a wide variety of key Physics topics.

The topics studied at AS level include Physical Quantities and Units, Scalars and Vectors, Kinematics and Linear Motion, Electric Current, Resistance, DC Circuits, Waves, and Quantum Physics. 

The topics studied at A level include Newton’s Laws and Momentum, Circular Motion and Oscillations, and Thermal Physics, Electric and Magnetic Fields, Capacitors and Exponential Decay, Nuclear Physics, Medical Imaging and Modelling the Universe.

All students are fully supported throughout their courses with regular lunchtime clinics and revision sessions in the run-up to exams. Additionally, the Department runs extra-curricular clubs for the Lego First League, Computer Programming, Crest Awards and, for A level students specifically, the British Physics Olympiad and Experimental Project. As part of the philosophy that all students should be able to enjoy Physics, the Department runs annual trips to Science Alive! lectures in London and Thorpe Park to understand and enjoy the physics of rollercoasters!