In this unit students explore the power of experiments in developing models and theories. They investigate a variety of phenomena by making their own observations and generating questions, which in turn lead to experiments. Students make direct observations of physics phenomena and examine the ways in which phenomena that may not be directly observable can be explored through indirect observations. 

In the core component of this unit students investigate the ways in which forces are involved both in moving objects and in keeping objects stationary. Students choose one of twelve options related to astrobiology, astrophysics, bioelectricity, biomechanics, electronics, flight, medical physics, nuclear energy, nuclear physics, optics, sound and sports science. The option enables students to pursue an area of interest by investigating a selected question.

This unit is delivered in Year 11.

Unit details

Study level:
Vocational and further education (TAFE)
Unit code:


Assessment tasks will be designed to reinforce and extend knowledge in accordance with each unit's learning outcomes, including the setting of practical application tasks designed to provide evidence of competence outcomes, within periodic and scheduled timelines. Students will be expected to demonstrate the following knowledge: Outcome 1 The student should be able to investigate, analyse and mathematically model the motion of particles and bodies. Outcome 2 (assessed against one option only) 2.1 The student should be able to apply concepts of light and nuclear physics to describe and explain the genesis and life cycle of stars, and describe the methods used to gather this information. 2.2 The student should be able to apply concepts of light and atomic physics to describe and analyse the search for life beyond Earth's Solar System. 2.3 The student should be able to analyse the physical properties of organic materials including bone, tendons and muscle, and explain the uses and effects of forces and loads on the human body. 2.4 The student should be able to construct, test and analyse circuits that change AC voltage to a regulated DC power supply, and explain the use of transducers to transfer energy. 2.5 The student should be able to apply concepts of flight to investigate and explain the motion of objects through fluids. 2.6 The student should be able to apply the concepts of nuclear physics to describe and analyse nuclear energy as a power source. 2.7 The student should be able to use nuclear physics concepts to describe and analyse applications of electromagnetic radiation and particle radiation in medical diagnosis and treatment. 2.8 The student should be able to apply the principles related to the behaviour of charged particles in the presence of electric and magnetic fields to describe and analyse the use of accelerator technologies in high energy physics.2.9 The student should be able to apply a ray model of light and the concepts of reflection and refraction to explain the operation of optical instruments and the human eye, and describe how human vision can be enhanced. 2.10 The student should be able to apply a wave model to describe and analyse the production of sound in musical instruments, and explain why particular combinations of sounds are more pleasing to the human ear than others. 2.11 The student should be able to apply concepts of linear, rotational and fluid mechanics to explain movement in ball sports. 2.12 The student should be able to explain the electrical behaviour of the human body and apply electricity concepts to biological contexts. Outcome 3 The student should be able to design and undertake an investigation of a physics question related to the scientific inquiry processes of data collection and analysis, and draw conclusions based on evidence from collected data. Assessment will follow the requirements set out in the VCE Physics Study Guide: The award of satisfactory completion for a unit is based on whether the student has demonstrated the set of outcomes specified for the unit. A variety of learning activities and assessment tasks will provide a range of opportunities for students to demonstrate the key knowledge and key skills in the outcomes. Assessment will be a part of the regular teaching and learning program and will be completed mainly in class and within a limited time-frame. All assessments at Units 1 and 2 are school-based. For this unit students are required to demonstrate achievement of three outcomes. As a set these outcomes encompass all areas of study in the unit. Practical work is a central component of learning and assessment. As a guide, between 3½-5 hours of class time should be devoted to student practical work and investigations for each of Areas of Study 1 and 2. For Area of Study 3, between 7-10 hours of class time should be devoted.

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