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IB Extended Essay topics in Physics

  1. Aug 9, 2009 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    I'm currently attending an IB school and as a part in our curriculum we have to write a college level essay in one of our subjects. I’ve chosen to do mine in physics. However I don’t have any ideas for what my physics topic would be.

    The topic must be:
    1. specific
    2. testable

    I was hoping of finding a topic, which requires me to build or construct a fairly complicated rig, so perhaps mechanics.

    If anyone has any ideas at all of what I could do it would be greatly appreciated!
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 9, 2009 #2
  4. Aug 10, 2009 #3
    Optics isn't bad either. I remember in AP Physics we did a decent (but rather easy) lab on experimentally finding focal lengths of mirrors and lenses using rulers, candles, and the mirrors and lenses themselves. Series of mirrors or lenses could be tested to use involve the complexity you're looking for too. Good luck!
  5. Aug 10, 2009 #4
    Thanks for the ideas they're greatly appreciated but i have to be able to write 3,000 word conclusion to my thesis so i'm looking for something more indepth, thanks
  6. Aug 10, 2009 #5

    Gib Z

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  7. Aug 10, 2009 #6
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2009
  8. Aug 12, 2009 #7
    Thnaks for all the ideas. I've been doing some research and i was thinking about doing an essay about the physics in the sails of a sail boat. Does anyone know what factors and or expirements i could divide the the topic into?
  9. Aug 12, 2009 #8
    As for the sail of a sailboat, I'd be interested to learn whether it's a flux problem. As an analogy, comparing it to a solar power panel, the effectiveness of that solar panel depends on on three things, an intensity term (the brightness of the sunlight), an area term (surface area of the solar panel), and a trig function of an angle (representing to what extent does the sunlight hit the panel perpendicularly). It's the same form, three terms multiplied, that we find in problems involving electric flux and magnetic flux. So how about a sailboat? Does the useful force that moves the sailboat have that same form, a multiplication of three terms, with the wind speed as the intensity term, the size of the sail as the area term, and the trig function of the angle having the same role? I'm not so sure. Sadly, I have been advised in the past that a windmill is *not* a simple flux problem -- when I asked around why they don't make the blades of a windmill very wide to catch more wind, I was told that doing that makes it work even worse, because then more of the wind would go around the windmill instead of going through it!
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