Welcome to Physics!

What is physics?

Most people hear the word ‘physics’ and are tempted to run for cover. But it’s not just for rocket scientists! You are surrounded by physics all the time and, whether you realize it or not, you use physics every day. Physics is the study of matter and energy and is a very broad field of science.

In fact, the word ‘physics’ comes from the Greek for ‘knowledge of nature’, and in general, physics aims to analyse and understand the natural phenomena we observe in the universe.  Because of this physics is often considered to be the most fundamental science. It provides a basis for all other sciences – without physics, you couldn’t have biology, chemistry, or anything else!

Why study physics?

Physicists are problem solvers. Their analytical and thinking skills make physicists versatile and adaptable so they work in interesting places and in interesting jobs.  You can find physicists working in all branches of engineering; in oil, gas and renewable energy; in industrial and government research laboratories; in the nuclear industry; in schools, colleges and universities; in astronomy, space and satellite technology; in TV shows and journalism; in medicine; in finance and law, and in computer science and robotics.

The courses we offer in the department include:

Physics in S3

In S3 students will learn to use physics to interpret aspects of their everyday lives and to gain insight into the underlying nature of our world and its place in the universe. They will study a wide range of physics applications from household electricity to the exploration of space.  Topics studied include: Practical Electricity, Transport, Space, and Electronic Systems.

Senior Phase Physics courses

National 4/5 Physics

These courses will allow learners to develop their ability in describing and interpreting physical phenomena using mathematical skills, and will practise scientific methods of investigation, from which general relationships are derived and explored. Units studied are: Electricity and Energy; Waves and Radiation; Dynamics and Space.

National 4 Practical Electronics

This is a practical course which enables learners to develop knowledge and understanding of key concepts in electronics with an emphasis on conducting hands-on electronics work. Students will be expected to plan, test and build electronic circuits.

Higher Physics

This course reinforces and extends the knowledge and understanding of the concepts of Physics and related problem solving skills, research skills and practical abilities acquired at National 5 by providing a deeper insight into the structure of the subject.  The course endeavours to provide learning experiences leading to the acquisition of worthwhile knowledge, skills and attitudes.  This course will prepare the student to study Physics at Advanced Higher.  Units studied are: Our Dynamic Universe; Electricity; Researching Physics; Particles and Waves.

Advanced Higher Physics

The course offers students the opportunity to study the subject in much greater depth as well as preparing them for the rigours of higher education.  The course aims to develop students’ ICT skills, particularly the use of Word and Excel, and mathematical skills, appropriate to the more rigorous theoretical treatment of the subject.  Through use of the “Scholar” programme, students will be expected to make use of ICT and take on a much greater responsibility for their own learning.

Practical work is an integral part of the course and, as well as experimental reports, students will be required to undertake an investigation of their own choice in which they will be expected to show initiative and self-reliance in planning and carrying out work.   In practical work, students will be expected to also use ICT for data capture and data handling, as well as for reporting.

Physics department staff:

Mr. C Bodie
Miss. H Garrioch