International Baccalaureate Additional Higher Level Syllabus 

The Advanced Higher Syllabus has topics in each of the four options. You take one of the options. If you are lucky enough to be in a centre with four physics groups, you may have the opportunity to choose the option you do. In most schools and colleges, the tutor will choose it for you. 

Note: The syllabus statements about the following have been omitted for space reasons:
You can find these statements in the syllabus. Guidance shown like this is extra guidance from me, not the syllabus. 

In the exam, you are expected to understand: 

Topic 9  Wave Phenomena 

9.1 Simple Harmonic Motion 

Understanding 
Applications 
Guidance 
Equations  Link 
The defining equation of SHM;
Energy changes. 
Solving problems involving
acceleration, velocity and displacement during
Describing the interchange of kinetic
and potential energy during simple
Solving problems involving energy transfer during simple harmonic motion, both graphically and algebraically. 
Contexts for this subtopic include the
simple pendulum and a massspring
You are advised to review Oscillations and Resonance as well.
We can link SHM with Circular Motion. This is discussed in Further Mechanics 7.
Fourier analysis is discussed in Physics 6 Tutorial 6. 

(Oscillations and Resonance)
(SHM)
(Spring and Pendulum)
(Energy in SHM) 
9.2 Single Slit Diffraction 

The nature of singleslit diffraction. 
Describing the effect of slit width on the diffraction pattern;
Qualitatively describing singleslit diffraction patterns produced from white light and from a range of monochromatic light frequencies. 
Only rectangular slits need to be considered;
Diffraction around an object (rather
than through a slit) does not need to be
Students will be expected to be aware
of the approximate ratios of successive
Calculations will be limited to a
determination of the position of the first 

(Diffraction)

9.3 Interference 

Young’s doubleslit experiment;
Modulation of twoslit interference pattern by oneslit diffraction effect;
Multiple slit and diffraction grating interference patterns;
Thin film interference. 
Qualitatively describing twoslit interference patterns, including modulation by oneslit diffraction effect;
Sketching and interpreting intensity
graphs of doubleslit interference
Solving problems involving the diffraction grating equation;
Describing conditions necessary for constructive and destructive interference from thin films, including phase change at interface and effect of refractive index;
Solving problems involving interference from thin films. 
Students should be introduced to
interference patterns from a variety of
Normal incidence means that the ray is perpendicular to the slits. 

Waves 7 (Young's Slits)
Waves 8 (Diffraction)
Physics 6 Tutorial 7 (Interference and Fringes) 
9.4 Resolution 

The size of a diffracting aperture;
The resolution of simple monochromatic twosource systems. 
Solving problems involving the Rayleigh criterion for light emitted by two sources diffracted at a single slit;
Resolvance of diffraction gratings. 
Proof of the diffraction grating resolvance equation is not required 

(Resolution and Resolvance) 
9.5 Doppler Effect 

The Doppler effect for sound waves and light waves. 
Sketching and interpreting the Doppler
effect when there is relative motion between source and observer; Describing situations where the Doppler effect can be utilized;

For electromagnetic waves, the approximate equation should be used for all calculations;


(Doppler Effect)
(Blood Flow) 
Topic 10 Fields 

10.1 Describing Fields 

Understanding 
Applications 
Guidance 
Equations  Link 
Gravitational fields;
Electrostatic fields;
Electric potential and gravitational potential;
Field lines;
Equipotential surfaces. 
Representing sources of mass and charge, lines of electric and gravitational force, and field patterns using an appropriate symbolism;

Electrostatic fields are restricted to
the radial fields around point or spherical
Gravitational fields are restricted to
the radial fields around point or spherical


(Force and Gravity Fields)
(Energy and Gravity Fields)
(Force and Electric Fields)
(Energy and Electric Fields) 
10.2 Fields at Work 

Potential and potential energy;
Potential gradient;
Potential difference;
Escape speed;
Orbital motion, orbital speed and orbital energy;
Forces and inversesquare law behaviour 
Determining the potential energy of a point mass and the potential energy of a point charge;
Solving problems involving potential energy;
Determining the potential inside a charged sphere;
Solving problems involving the speed required for an object to go into orbit around a planet and for an object to escape the gravitational field of a planet;
Solving problems involving orbital energy of charged particles in circular orbital motion and masses in circular orbital motion;
Solving problems involving forces on
charges and masses in radial and 
Orbital motion of a satellite around a
planet is restricted to a consideration of
Both uniform and radial fields need to be considered;
Students should recognize that lines of
force can be twodimensional
Students should assume that the
electric field everywhere between parallel 

(Force and Gravity Fields)
(Energy and Gravity Fields)
(Orbits)
(Force and Electric Fields)
(Energy and Electric Fields)

Topic 11 Electromagnetic Induction 

11.1 Electromagnetic Induction 

Understanding 
Applications 
Guidance 
Equations  Link 
Electromotive force (emf);
Magnetic flux and magnetic flux linkage;
Faraday’s law of induction;
Lenz’s law. 
Describing the production of an induced emf by a changing magnetic flux and within a uniform magnetic field;
Solving problems involving magnetic
flux, magnetic flux linkage and
Explaining Lenz’s law through the conservation of energy. 
Quantitative treatments will be
expected for straight conductors moving at
Qualitative treatments only will be
expected for fixed coils in a changing 
In the notes, the width is given the physics code w , rather than l here. 
(Magnetic Fields)
(Coils in Magnetic Fields)
(Flux)
(Electromagnetic Induction)

11.2 Power Generation and Transmission 

Alternating current (ac) generators;
Average power and root mean square (rms) values of current and voltage;
Transformers;
Diode bridges;
Halfwave and fullwave rectification. 
Explaining the operation of a basic ac
generator, including the effect of
Solving problems involving the average power in an ac circuit;
Solving problems involving stepup and stepdown transformers;
Describing the use of transformers in ac electrical power distribution;
Investigating a diode bridge rectification circuit experimentally;
Qualitatively describing the effect of
adding a capacitor to a diode bridge 
Calculations will be restricted to ideal transformers but students should be aware of some of the reasons why real transformers are not ideal (for example: flux leakage, joule heating, eddy current heating, magnetic hysteresis);
For diode bridges and rectification, the links are to my sister website, www.jirvine.co.uk Voltage regulators not expected. 

(AC)
(CRO)
(Simple AC Generators)
(Transformers)
(Electricity Transmission)
(Rectification)
(Smoothing)

11.3 Capacitance 

Capacitance;
Dielectric materials;
Capacitors in series and parallel;
Resistorcapacitor (RC) series circuits;
Time constant. 
Describing the effect of different dielectric materials on capacitance;
Solving problems involving parallelplate capacitors;
Investigating combinations of capacitors in series or parallel circuits;
Determining the energy stored in a charged capacitor;
Describing the nature of the exponential discharge of a capacitor;

Only single parallelplate capacitors providing a uniform electric field, in series with a load, need to be considered (edge effect will be neglected);
Problems involving the discharge of capacitors through fixed resistors need to be treated both graphically and algebraically;


(Capacitance)
(Charge and Discharge)
(Physics of Capacitors)
(Capacitor Circuits)
(Derivation) 
Topic 12 Quantum and Nuclear Physics 

12.1 Interaction of Matter with Radiation 

Understanding 
Applications 
Guidance 
Equations  Link 
Photons;
The photoelectric effect;
Matter waves;
Pair production and pair annihilation;
Quantization of angular momentum in the Bohr model for hydrogen;

Discussing the photoelectric effect experiment and explaining which features of the experiment cannot be explained by the classical wave theory of light;

The order of magnitude estimates from
the uncertainty principle may include


(Annihilation and Pair Production)
(Photons)
(Photoelectric Equation)
(Bohr Model)
(Heisenberg Uncertainty)
(Bohr Model again)
(Wave Function) 
12.2 Nuclear Physics 

Rutherford scattering and nuclear radius;

Describing a scattering experiment including location of minimum intensity for the diffracted particles based on their de Broglie wavelength;

Students should be aware that nuclear
densities are approximately the same


(Leptons)
(de Broglie)
(Rutherford Scattering)
(Instability and Excited Nuclei)
(Inverse Square Law)
(Exponential Decay)
(Nuclear radius) 
Now go on to the Options 