Physics (SPH 4U)

Course Overview

Course Title: Physics, Grade 12
Course Code: SPH 4U
Grade: 12
Course Type: University
Credit Value: 1.0
Prerequisite: Physics, Grade 12, University (SPH 3U)
Department: Science
Tuition Fee (CAD): $639

This course enables students to deepen their understanding of physics concepts and theories. Students will continue their exploration of energy transformations and the forces that affect motion, and will investigate 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 of technological applications of physics on society and the environment.

Overall Curriculum Expectations

By the end of the course, students will gain proficiency in the following areas:

Scientific Investigation Skills and Career Exploration
  • Demonstrate scientific investigation skills (related to both inquiry and research) in the four areas of skills (initiating and planning, performing and recording, analyzing and interpreting, and communicating);
  • Identify and describe careers related to the fields of science under study, and describe the contributions of scientists, including Canadians, to those fields.

Dynamics
  • Analyse technological devices that apply the principles of the dynamics of motion, and assess the technologies’ social and environmental impact;
  • Investigate, in qualitative and quantitative terms, forces involved in uniform circular motion and motion in a plane, and solve related problems;
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the forces involved in uniform circular motion and motion in a plane.

Energy and Momentum
  • Analyse, and propose ways to improve, technologies or procedures that apply principles related to energy and momentum, and assess the social and environmental impact of these technologies or procedures;
  • Investigate, in qualitative and quantitative terms, through laboratory inquiry or computer simulation, the relationship between the laws of conservation of energy and conservation of momentum, and solve related problems;
  • Demonstrate an understanding of work, energy, momentum, and the laws of conservation of energy and conservation of momentum, in one and two dimensions.

Gravitational, Electric and Magnetic Fields
  • Analyse the operation of technologies that use gravitational, electric, or magnetic fields, and assess the technologies’ social and environmental impact;
  • Investigate, in qualitative and quantitative terms, gravitational, electric, and magnetic fields, and solve related problems;
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the concepts, properties, principles, and laws related to gravitational, electric, and magnetic fields and their interactions with matter.

The Wave Nature of Light
  • Analyse technologies that use the wave nature of light, and assess their impact on society and the environment;
  • Investigate, in qualitative and quantitative terms, the properties of waves and light, and solve related problems;
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the properties of waves and light in relation to diffraction, refraction, interference, and polarization.
Revolutions in Modern Physics: Quantum Mechanics and Special Relativity
  • analyse, with reference to quantum mechanics and relativity, how the introduction of new conceptual models and theories can influence and/or change scientific thought and lead to the development of new technologies;
  • investigate special relativity and quantum mechanics, and solve related problems;
  • demonstrate an understanding of the evidence that supports the basic concepts of quantum mechanics and Einstein’s theory of special relativity.

Unit Overview

Unit 1: Review of Concepts15 hours
Unit 2: Force and Motion: Dynamics20 hours
Unit 3: Energy and Momentum20 hours
Unit 4: Electric, Gravitational and Magnetic Fields 20 hours
Unit 5: The Wave Nature of Light
20 hours
Unit 6: Modern Physics15 hours
Total Hours110 hours
Teaching and Learning Strategies

Enthusiastic teachers and instructors bring unique teaching and assessment methods to the classroom because students learn best when they are engaged in a range of different learning techniques. The activities allow students to apply learned concepts to current world social, economic, and environmental issues which impact daily life. Opportunities to relate knowledge and skills to these wider contexts will motivate students to learn in a meaningful way and to become life-long learners. Instructors also inspire students to become successful problem solvers by investigating, providing alternative reasoning and solutions to problems as well as dedicating time and energy to the tasks at hand.

Effective instructional techniques utilize students’ existing knowledge and by capturing their interest and engaging in meaningful participation. Students will be engaged when they are able to see the correlation between the learned concepts and their ability to apply them to the world around them and in real-life situations. Students will have the chance to learn using a wide range of methods which include self-learning, cooperative learning as well as learning through teacher guidance as well has hands-on experiences. The methods and strategies teachers implement will be tailored to the learning requirements and the individual needs of the students. Teachers will achieve effective instruction in an online environment by using videos, interactive animations and virtual labs and discussion forums and video conferencing/live chat.

Individualized Accommodations for Students

Our methodology for student assessment follows the Growing Success Assessment, Evaluation and Reporting in Ontario Schools First Edition, Covering Grades 1 to 12 (2010) manual published by the Ontario Ministry of Education. Assessment is the process of gathering information that accurately reflects how well a student is achieving the curriculum expectations in a subject or course. Assessment tools are designed to improve student learning which includes descriptive feedback, coaching, observations and self-assessments. In addition, student can be independent and set individual goals, monitor progress against these goals, determine next steps and reflect on their thinking and learning.

For a student with special education needs who requires modified or alternative expectations, assessment and evaluation of his or her achievement will be based on the modified curriculum expectations or alternative expectations outlined in the student’s Individual Education Plan (IEP). Accommodations required to facilitate the student’s learning may be identified by the teacher, however recommendations from a School Board generated in the form of an Individual Education Plan (IEP) should be used, if available. 


For a student with special education needs who requires “accommodations only”, as described in his or her IEP, assessment and evaluation of achievement will be based on the appropriate subject/ grade/course curriculum expectations and the achievement levels outlined in the curriculum documents.

A student’s Individual Education Plan (IEP) describes his or her educational program and any accommodations that may be required. The IEP specifies whether the student requires:
accommodations only; or
modified learning expectations, with the possibility of accommodations;

Assessment accommodations are changes in procedures that enable the student to demonstrate his
or her learning. These may include:
visual supports to clarify verbal instructions, assistive devices, or some form of human support;
alternative methods for the student to demonstrate his or her achievement of expectations (e.g., allowing the student to take tests orally) or the allowance of extra time to complete the assessment;
alternative settings that may be more suitable for the student to demonstrate his or her learning.

If accommodations are required to assess and evaluate student learning, the strategies to be used are outlined in the student’s IEP.
For further details about the different types of accommodations, modified learning expectation and alternative programs please refer to Growing Success Assessment, Evaluation and Reporting in Ontario Schools First Edition, Covering Grades 1 to 12 (2010)

Materials Required

Standard Computer Requirements for all courses:
-Processor speed of 2 GHz or faster
-Memory of 4 GB RAM or greater
-A high speed internet connection with a connection speed of 10 MB/s or better.
-Monitor and video card with 1024×768 or greater resolution
-Keyboard and Mouse is recommended
-Speakers/Headphones