Physics 12

Course Outline

Physics is the branch of knowledge that studies the processes and structures of the natural world at the most fundamental level. Objects as small as atoms and as large as galaxies are investigated to explain their underlying principles and structures. Physics is both descriptive and predictive: it can often explain how something works and predict how its related technologies can be improved.

Physics 12 extends concepts explored in Physics 11.

Force, Motion, Work, and Energy 

Learners will have opportunities to relate their study of mechanics to everyday occurrences. They will explore how the engineered world in which we live is built on the principles of classical physics. From skateboards to space shuttles, the cause and effect of motion are explored and applied. Concepts include: collisions, projectiles, circular motion, simple harmonic motion and universal gravitation. 


Students have had experience with contact forces. Forces that exert influence through space without contact are more difficult to visualize. Learners will explore magnetic, electric and gravitational fields, as well as generators and motors.  It is important to present the historical context of discovery and development in this area. This historical context provides students with opportunities to explore the interconnectedness of science and technology.

Waves and Modern Physics

The time period between 1890 and 1930 saw the development of concepts that are still referred to as “modern physics.” At the same time, research was being carried out on the nature of electromagnetic phenomena and the nature of light. It was in this period that these branches of research became linked. This historical context provides students with a means to connect developments that occurred independently and seem, at first, to be unrelated. In this unit, students will explore and explain an integrated view of the achievements that form the essence of twentieth-century physics including quantum physics.


Learners will explore the full range of types of radiation, including natural and artificial sources, and assess their risks and benefits. Radioactive decay and fission and fusion will also be explored.

Updated March 10, 2022