"Physics is really nothing more than a search for ultimate simplicity, but so far all we have is a kind of elegant messiness."
Bill Bryson, ‘A short history of nearly everything’

To study physics is to study the universe as a whole, from the smallest subatomic particles and their interactions to the stars, galaxies, and the fabric of space itself. Physicists combine their natural curiosity about the way things work with their analytical and problem-solving abilities to model interactions and make the seemingly insurmountable possible.

From Year 9 to Year 11, the department follows the Pearson Edexcel IGCSE Physics course. This excellent curriculum quickly lays the foundations of physics understanding through the study of forces and motion, electricity and solids, liquids and gases, allowing progress towards the more advanced topics of radioactivity and particle physics, astrophysics and electromagnetism.

At A level, the department follows the OCR A Physics curriculum. Here, core concepts from IGCSE are expanded upon and developed towards a modern and forward-looking understanding of the principal physics topics. Through study of the standard model of particle physics, astrophysics and cosmology, medical physics and thermodynamics A level physics students are prepared for further study in many areas of the physical sciences.

Physics is fundamentally a practical subject, and the department prides itself on its delivery of the practical elements of IGCSE, and the practical endorsement at A level. The department invests heavily in new and updated practical equipment to ensure that development of modern practical skills lies at the very heart of practical physics lessons.

We are lucky to have five dedicated physics labs in the department, two of which have recently been refurbished to the very highest specification. Alongside these teaching spaces there are also a number of smaller project labs, dark rooms, workshops and breakout spaces to enhance pupil investigations, independent study and the co-curricular provisions of the department which presently include the CH Science Journal and the GreenPower Car Project.

>> Christ’s Hospital Science Journal

Physics is taught by six dedicated teachers, a combination of engineers and physicists who expertly support all our pupils through their chosen physics curriculum. We also provide additional preparation to those pupils applying for Oxford or Cambridge courses that require guidance on admissions tests. Physics pupils in Year 13 are always invited to participate in the British Physics Olympiad, where they regularly achieve high awards including Top Gold.

"Aristotle said a bunch of stuff that was wrong. Galileo and Newton fixed things up. Then Einstein broke everything again. Now, we’ve basically got it all worked out, except for small stuff, big stuff, hot stuff, cold stuff, fast stuff, heavy stuff, dark stuff, turbulence, and the concept of time"
Zach Weinersmith, ‘Science: Abridged Beyond the Point of Usefulness’