Course Details
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Course Code

SPH4U

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Course Type

University Preparation

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OSSD Credit Value

1.0

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Prerequisite

SPH3U, Physics, Grade 11, University Preparation

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Course Outline

PDF

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Tuition Fee

Canadian students $850 CAD; International students $1500 CAD

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Free trial available

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Introduction

This is a credit course for University-bound students. Many University programs require Grade 12 physics, and many post-secondary students also have to take physics in University. This course gives you a solid foundation in important concepts so that you succeed both at the grade 12 level and at the first-year University courses you take.

The foundations laid in our course will be very useful when you take first-year University classes such as Physics, Chemistry, and Astronomy.

How we are different

We believe that physics doesn’t have to be difficult. Physics should be intuitive, understandable, and fun to learn. Yet too many high school students dread the physics class.

That’s a shame because physics is one of the most fascinating subjects on earth. Physics lets you understand and explain the universe's underlying behaviour. It is a journey through the deepest depths of the universe to understand the underlying laws that govern it.

As wonderful and interesting as it is, students will only appreciate physics if the course is taught well enough that students are not struggling with the course material. This is why we offer high quality lecture content that guides students through important concepts, eases them step-by-step through ideas that may seem counter-intuitive at first, brings concepts to life with animations, and gently leads them through sample problem sets. At every step through the course, we reinforce learning by reiterating important concepts and provide students with the toolbox they need to succeed.

Physics Without Fear

Physics is a mathematical science, and so mathematics is an unavoidable part of physics. Students who have taken this course, though, do not fear math. Whether you are math phobic or already a mathematical wizard, by the end of this course you will have the confidence and the tools to succeed.

We help you by breaking down seemingly complex mathematical equations into manageable chunks, providing you with a road map and guiding you through it as we transform the complex into the simple. We walk you through parts of equations step-by-step, delving into what the parts mean and the consequences and applicability of the equation to real-life examples.

Simultaneously we deepen your understanding of mathematics while also helping you gain a newfound knowledge of the fundamental laws of nature. Physics has never been so approachable.

High quality video lectures

All lessons in this course are video-based lectures that gently guide the student through important concepts. Concepts are brought to life with animations.

In this sample video, students have already learned the difference between scalars and vectors. They have learned that displacement is the vector form of distance. This video builds on that knowledge and illustrates the differences between distance and displacement.
Watch part 1 part 2

Course Description

Here, we invite you to join us on our journey in understanding the world around us. Take this course and unlock the laws of the universe. In this course, we ditch the mental barriers, embrace the awe-inspiring laws of nature, and engage with the world around you in an entirely different way.

This course builds on grade 11 physics and 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.

The following topics and concepts are covered in this course:

  • Dynamics
    • Forces affect motion in predictable and quantifiable ways.
    • Forces acting on an object will determine the motion of that object.
    • Many technologies that utilize the principles of dynamics have societal and environmental implications.
  • Energy and Momentum
    • Energy and momentum are conserved in all interactions.
    • Interactions involving the laws of conservation of energy and conservation of momentum can be analysed mathematically.
    • Technological applications that involve energy and momentum can affect society and the environment in positive and negative ways.
  • Gravitational, Electric, and Magnetic Fields
    • Gravitational, electric, and magnetic forces act on matter from a distance.
    • Gravitational, electric, and magnetic fields share many similar properties.
    • The behaviour of matter in gravitational, electric, and magnetic fields can be described mathematically.
    • Technological systems that involve gravitational, electric, and magnetic fields can have an effect on society and the environment.
  • The Wave Nature of Light
    • Light has properties that are similar to the properties of mechanical waves.
    • The behaviour of light as a wave can be described mathematically.
    • Technologies that use the principles of the wave nature of light can have societal and environmental implications.
  • Revolutions in Modern Physics: Quantum Mechanics and Special Relativity
    • Light can show particle-like and wave-like behaviour, and particles can show wave-like behaviour.
    • The behaviour of light as a particle and the behaviour of particles as waves can be described mathematically.
    • Time is relative to a person’s frame of reference.
    • The effects of relativistic motion can be described mathematically.
    • New theories can change scientific thought and lead to the development of new technologies.

Read more of course description

Ministry of Education Curriculum

This is an OSSD credit course that has been developed based on the following Ontario Ministry of Education documents

  • The Ontario Curriculum, Grades 11 and 12 Science, Revised 2008
  • Growing Success: Assessment, Evaluation, and Reporting in Ontario Schools (2010)

Lots of help with practice questions

We take your hand and guide you through example problems step-by-step so that you have confidence to attempt practice questions on your own. Our teachers are also there for you should you need more help.

Watch the sample video below with sound. By the time students attempt this question, they have already learned how to break vectors down into components, and work with vectors in general. Watch video with sound

Course Content

Unit Titles and Descriptions Suggested Time

Dynamics

Students will review concepts essential to their success in the course: scientific notation, significant digits, vector operations, and fundamental mathematical tools. Principles of kinematics and free body diagrams will also be reviewed and extended. By the end of the unit, students will demonstrate and understanding of the forces involved in uniform circular motion 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 the principles of dynamics of motion, with particular respect to the effect of g-forces on the human body.

21 hours

Unit Test

1 hour

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 inquiry they 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 of these.

20 hours

Unit Test

1 hour

Gravitational, Electric 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, particularly with respect to their interactions with matter. 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 these technologies.

21 hours

Mid Term Point

Unit Test

1 hour

The Wave Nature of Light

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.

21 hours

Unit Test

1 hour

Revolutions in Modern Physics: Quantum Mechanics and Special Relativity

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.

20 hours
Final Assessments

Course Cumulating Task

This assignment is worth 10% of your final grade.

2 hours

Test

This is a proctored test worth 20% of your final grade.

1 hour
Total 110 hours

Read more of course content

All course content is accessed online.

Overall Curriculum Expectations

A. Scientific Investigation Skills and Career Exploration
A1 demonstrate scientific investigation skills (related to both inquiry and research) in the four areas of skills (initiating and planning, performing and recording, analysing and interpreting, and communicating);
A2 identify and describe a variety of careers related to the fields of science under study, and identify scientists, including Canadians, who have made contributions to those fields.
B. Dynamics
B1 analyse technological devices that apply the principles of the dynamics of motion, and assess the technologies' social and environmental impact;
B2 investigate, in qualitative and quantitative terms, forces involved in uniform circular motion and motion in a plane, and solve related problems;
B3 demonstrate an understanding of the forces involved in uniform circular motion and motion in a plane.
C. Energy and Momentum
C1 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;
C2 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;
C3 demonstrate an understanding of work, energy, momentum, and the laws of conservation of energy and conservation of momentum, in one and two dimensions.
D. Gravitational, Electric and Magnetic Fields
D1 analyse the operation of technologies that use gravitational, electric, or magnetic fields, and assess the technologies' social and environmental impact;
D2 investigate, in qualitative and quantitative terms, gravitational, electric, and magnetic fields, and solve related problems;
D3 demonstrate an understanding of the concepts, properties, principles, and laws related to gravitational, electric, and magnetic fields and their interactions with matter.
E. The Wave Nature of Light
E1 analyse technologies that use the wave nature of light, and assess their impact on society and the environment;
E2 investigate, in qualitative and quantitative terms, the properties of waves and light, and solve related problems;
E3 demonstrate an understanding of the properties of waves and light in relation to diffraction, refraction, interference, and polarization.
F. Revolutions in Modern Physics: Quantum Mechanics and Special Relativity
F1 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;
F2 investigate special relativity and quantum mechanics, and solve related problems;
F3 demonstrate an understanding of the evidence that supports the basic concepts of quantum mechanics and Einstein's theory of special relativity.

Read more of curriculum expectations

Resources required by the student

  • A non-programmable, non-graphing, scientific calculator
  • A scanner, smart phone camera, or similar device to upload handwritten or hand-drawn work
  • A front-facing camera on a desktop, laptop, or mobile device to allow for proctoring over the internet
  • Internet access and a modern standards-compliant web browser

Assessment & Evaluation

The assessment and evaluation strategies of our school follows the Ministry of Education's Growing Success document. Growing Success articulates the vision the Ministry has for the purpose and structure of assessment and evaluation techniques.

The Final Grade

  • The evaluation for this course is based on the student's achievement of curriculum expectations and the demonstrated skills required for effective learning. The final percentage grade represents the quality of the student's overall achievement of the expectations for the course and reflects the corresponding level of achievement as described in the achievement chart for the discipline.

Proctoring

  • The tests are typically a paper-pen evaluation written at a mutually agreed time, date, and location. The tests will be proctored, meaning a suitable adult with a dedicated identifiable and authentic email address will supervise you writing the tests. This process ensures the security and integrity of the test. Any person related or affiliated to the student in a personal way cannot serve as a test supervisor.

Course withdrawal and repeats

Since this is a Grade 11/12 course, please read the following carefully. We have the following safety features in place.

You can safely enroll and try this course. We do not notify your day school in any way when you register and enroll in our courses. Only when you explicity instruct us to share your grades will we send your registration information and your grades to your day school.

In addition, you can safely drop this course without any academic penalty at any time before the first report card. Once you have received the first report card, you will still have five (5) days to drop this course without any academic penalty. The first report card is issued right after the midterm point of this course.

The midterm point of this course is based on work completed rather than time elapsed, since this is a self-paced course. It is roughly after the first half of the assessments in the course, at which point you will have a fairly good idea of how well you are doing.

At this point, you will have to manually indicate, by pressing an acknowledgement button, that you would like to continue in the course and that you would like us to send your registration information and your marks to your day school.

As a courtesy to our students, our system requires you to manually indicate that you would like to progress beyond the midterm point and receive the first report card. This safety feature is designed to ensure that you do not accidentally pass the deadline to drop the course without academic penalty.

After receiving your first report card, we will also send you notifications via email regarding the 5 day deadline to drop the course.

Read more about ministry guidelines regarding course withdrawals and retakes.
Ministry guidelines regarding course withdrawals and retakes

According to Ministry policies, grade 9 and grade 10 courses can be withdrawn at any time without any academic penalty. The grade 9 and 10 courses can also be repeated an unlimited number of times without any academic penalty. Grade 9 or 10 courses withdrawn are simply not recorded on the OST (it is as if you have never registered for the course). When students retake grade 9 or 10 courses, the highest mark is recorded on their OST, replacing the lower mark.

However, withdrawing from grade 11 or grade 12 courses without academic penalty must be done within 5 days of receiving the first report card. In this case, the mark will not be recorded on the OST. On the other hand, withdrawal from a grade 11 or grade 12 course after 5 days of receiving the first report card results in the following permanent record on the student’s OST: a "W" being entered in the "Credit" column of the OST along with the mark at the time of the withdrawal. If there are extraordinary circumstances relating to a student's withdrawal from a course, an "S" may be entered in the "Note" column on the OST.

Retaking grade 11 and grade 12 courses leads to permanent records of all repeats on the student’s OST, along with the marks of each attempt. Only one credit is earned if a course is retaken. An “R” is entered in the “Credit” column of the OST for the repeats with the lower mark.

It is therefore advised that students taking grade 11 and grade 12 courses be mindful of withdrawal deadlines pertaining to their enrollment, and do their best in the course if they have passed the withdrawal deadline.

Tuition and Refunds

This is our premium course with outstanding video lectures. The tuition for this course is $850 CAD for Canadian students and $1500 for international students.

Free trial

You can take this course for a test-drive without worry or hassle (in addition, we do not send your registration/enrollment information to your day school, unless you instruct us to). Register now and try the course for free for an entire month!

Refunds

In addition to the free trial, we also offer full refund if students withdraw from the course prior to the mid-term point of the course.

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