Grade 12, University Preparation (SPH4U)


Course Title: SPH4U, Grade 11, University Preparation (SPH4U)

Course Name: Physics

Course Code: SPH4U

Grade: 12

CourseType: University Preparation

CreditValue: 1.0

Prerequisite: Physics Grade 11 University Preparation,SPH3U

Curriculum Policy Document: Science, The Ontario Curriculum,

Grades 11 and 12, 2008 (Revised)

Course Description
Thiscourseenablesstudentstodeepentheirunderstandingofphysicsconceptsandtheories.Studentswill continuetheirexplorationofenergytransformationsandtheforcesthataffectmotion,andwillinvestigate electrical, gravitational, and magnetic fields and electromagnetic radiation. Students will also explore the wave nature of light, quantum mechanics, and special relativity. They will further develop their scientific investigation skills, learning, for example, how to analyse, qualitatively and quantitatively, data related to a variety of physics concepts and principles. Students will also consider the impact oftechnological applications of physics on society and theenvironment.
Outline of Course Content


Titles and Descriptions

Time      and Sequence

Unit 1

Forces, Motion, Work and Energy

Students will review concepts essential to their success in the course: scientific notation, significant digits, vectoroperations, and fundamental mathematical tools. Principles of kinematics andfreebodydiagramswillalsobereviewedandextended.By the end of the unit, students will demonstrate and understandingoftheforcesinvolvedinuniformcircularmotion and motion in a plane. They will have investigated forces involved in these modes of motion and have solved related problems. They will analyse technological devices that apply theprinciplesofdynamicsofmotion,withparticularrespectto the effect of g-forces on the humanbody.

22 hours

Unit 2

Energy and Momentum

Students will demonstrate an understanding of work, energy, momentum. Drawing from Grade 10 concepts of the laws of conservation of energy, they will extend these ideas to conservation of momentum in one and two dimensions. Through computer simulation and other modes of inquirythey will investigate these phenomena and solve related problems. They will conduct analyses and propose improvements to technologies and procedures that apply principles related to energy and momentum, and assess the social and environmental impact ofthese.

22 hours

Unit 3

Electric, Gravitational and Magnetic Fields

By the end of this unit, students will demonstrate an understanding of the concepts, properties, principles and laws related to gravitational, electric and magnetic fields, particularlywithrespecttotheirinteractionswithmatter.They will investigate these phenomena graphically and through use of other electronic models. They will analyse the operation of technologies that use these fields, and discuss the social and environmental impact of thesetechnologies.

20 hours


The Wave Nature of Light

22 hours


Building upon concepts developed during Grade 10, students will study light with particular respect to its wave nature. Properties of waves will be discussed in a general sense, and the principles of diffraction, refraction, interference and polarization will be investigated theoretically and through simulation. Technologies that make use of the knowledge of the wave nature of light, and their social and environmental impacts, will be discussed.



Matter – Energy Interface

In this unit, some of the most exciting and counterintuitive concepts in physics, including Einstein’s ideas about relativity, photoelectric effect, and particle physics, will be examined. Quantum mechanics and special relativity will be investigated mathematically and related problems will be solved. In light of the revolutionary ideas studied in this unit, students will discuss how the introduction of new conceptual models can influence and change scientific thought, and lead to the development of new technologies.

21 hours


Final Evaluation

The final assessment task is a three hour exam worth 30% of the student’s final mark.

3 hours



110 hours