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Homework Help: IB Theoretical Extended Essay

  1. Aug 2, 2010 #1
    Firstly I'm not entirely sure as to where this belongs on this sight, but I figured that it was related to coursework.

    It's coming up to that time were I have to do an extended essay on an area of interested. For those of you who don't know an extended essay is it's an essay required by the International Baccalaureate in order to pass. It has to be 4000 words or less. I'm hoping to do one on Physics as I thoroughly enjoy it.

    My first thoughts where to do something on Ocean Gravity waves and the influences on them as I'm an avid surfer. Though this proved impractical to do experiments on as it would require me building a wave tank at least 20m long to reduce scaling effects.

    My father suggested maybe something on String theory, relativity and quantum theory. I know that there would be certain issues involved in this such as doing something specific enough as to go to an appropriately deep level in under 4000 words. At present I can't remember the Research question i thought of last night I will post it up later today.

    The main question I was wanting to ask to you guys, specifically those with experience in the IB was "Is it appropriate to do a Extended Essay based primarily on theories and a comparison of them?" This would include a detailed analysis on the implication of such theories and there problems.

    Moss Pauly,
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 5, 2010 #2
    I'd be thoroughly interested in the answer to this question...I'm taking IB Physics HL at the beginning of the next school year and I hope to write my extended essay regarding relativity or quantum mechanics, but I have no idea if I'd have to extrapolate on one or the other (I've already taken another advanced physics class), but it seems like (based on the TOK at the end of the books) an analytical comparison of two or more theories would be enough to suffice for the essay...Let me know if you get any insight though!
  4. Aug 5, 2010 #3
  5. Aug 5, 2010 #4
    I finished AP Physics B (a non-IB algebra-based intro physics course) early, as a sophomore last year, and it basically goes through a slightly (very, very slightly) less rigorous curriculum than the curriculum for IB Physics HL. The concepts in both are the same, aside from the Options at the end, and I'll be starting the next school year as a junior working on my IB Diploma. My main concern is that if the Extended Essay requires one to put forth a new concept, problem is that the class itself doesn't require students to use a high enough level of math to validate or even come close to ratifying a "new" concept in physics, so it would be completely conceptual, which is the basis for a pretty weak claim, at least scientifically (I say this with respect to theoretical physics, the branch that most grasps my interest and the only one I can foresee myself writing about on an in-depth level).

    Edit: I can also use the knowledge and insight I gather here to start formulating the hypothesis for my EE when I actually take the course, considering my prior knowledge... :D
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