# Chapter 1: Physics Depth Study Ideas and Topics

Looking for ideas and topics for your Physics depth study assessment? Check out our comprehensive list of depth study topics and examples.

## Looking for Physics depth study ideas and topics?

The most important part of your depth study assessment is deciding on the idea and topic for your Physics depth study. This is especially challenging if you are given a depth study at the start of Year 12 since you haven’t been exposed to the concept and topics covered in the HSC Physics syllabus.

## Ideas and Topics for Physics Depth Study

For each Physics depth study type, we’ve outlined topics under each module. You might be interested in exploring these for your assessment.

Remember there are five different depth study types:

1. Practical investigation
2. Secondary-sourced investigation
3. Data analysis
4. Creating
5. Field work

To understand the different types, read the article Physics depth study | Comprehensive Guide.

## Ideas and topics for depth study type: Practical investigation

There are 3 different ideas suggested by NESA for the ‘Practical Investigation‘ Physics depth study type:

1. Design and conduct experiments
2. Test a device
3. Test a claim

Each of these ideas follows its own specific scientific method. The methods for testing a device and testing a claim differ to the method for designing and conducting experiments.

To avoid losing marks, you must adhere to the scientific method relevant to your practical investigation idea.

The scientific method for Design and conduct experiments is shown below.

### Possible topics for Practical Investigations

Examples of some practical investigations are listed below.

 Module Idea Topic/Example Advanced Mechanics Design and conduct experiments Projectile Motion: Validate the relationship between the height of release (h) of a projectile and the range in projectile motion, and determine the fixed height of a table (H).Projectile Motion: Test the claim that the effect of air resistance in projectile motion is small and can be ignored. Electromagnetism Design and conduct experimentsTest a device The Motor Effect: Validate the relationship between the force between two parallel current carrying conductors and the currents, and hence determine the permittivity or permeability of free space.Transformer: Determine the efficiency of a transformer The Nature of Light Test a claim Wave Model of Light: Determine the wavelength of the light output of a laser, and compare this with the claimed wavelength and uncertainty From the Universe to the Atom Design and conduct experiments Quantum Mechanical Nature of the Atom: Using the visible hydrogen spectrum, determine the Rydberg constant for hydrogen.

## Ideas and topics for depth study type: Secondary-sourced investigation

There are 9 different ideas suggested by NESA for the ‘Secondary-sourced Investigation‘ Physics depth study type:

### 1. Make a documentary or media report

The video shown below is a documentary about Einstein and his work.

### 2. Conduct a literature review

The article shown below is a literature review in the field of astrophysics, reviewing the science of the Big Bang and the expansion of the universe.

### 4. Write a journal article

The article shown below is a scientific paper published in a peer-reviewed journal.

### 5. Write an essay – historical or theoretical

The article shown below is an example of historical essay. It discusses the conflict between AC and DC electricity distribution systems.

### 8. Create a visual presentation

The picture shown below is a poster summarising the elementary particles and their interactions in The Standard Model of Physics, as well as unsolved mysteries.

### Possible topics for Secondary-Sourced investigations

Examples of some secondary-sourced investigations are listed below.

 Module Idea Topic/Example Advanced Mechanics Make a documentary or media report Motion in Gravitational Fields: Create a documentary or media report on current endeavours to execute missions to Mars. Electromagnetism Write an essay – historical Electromagnetic induction: Discuss the historical competition between AC and DC electrical generation and transmission systems. The Nature of Light Create a visual presentation OR Write an essay Light and Special Relativity: Create a visual presentation to describe why Newton’s Universal Law of Gravitation has been replaced by General Relativity as the preferred theory of gravity. From the Universe to the Atom Develop an evidence-based argument Origins of the Elements: Write a detailed explanation of the empirical evidence that proves the expansion of the Universe.

## Ideas and topics for depth study type: Data Analysis

There are 3 different ideas suggested by NESA for the ‘Data Analysis‘ Physics depth study type:

1. Construction and analysis of graphs/tables
2. Data analysis from a variety of sources
3. Research analysis, eg of longitudinal data, resource management data

### Possible topics for data analysis

Examples of some data analysis are listed below.

 Module Idea Topic/Example Advanced Mechanics Data analysis from a variety of sources Circular Motion: Analyse data on the torque production of electric motors used in research grade solar powered vehicles and autonomous electric racing vehicles. Electromagnetism Data analysis from a variety of sources Electromagnetic Induction: Collect and analyse data on major high voltage electrical transmission systems around Australia, and determine a representative average of power lost as heat. The Nature of Light Construction and analysis of graphs/tables Light (Wave Model): Calculate the slit separation distance of a diffraction grating using different wavelengths of laser. From the Universe to the Atom Construction and analysis of graphs/tables Origins of the Elements: Discover the luminosity-period relationship of Cepheid variables.

Related: How to perform data analysis

## Ideas and topics for depth study type: Creating

There are 3 different ideas suggested by NESA for the ‘Creating‘ Physics depth study type:

1. Design and invent
2. Create a working model
3. Create a portfolio

### Possible topics for Creating

Examples of some Creating are listed below.

 Module Idea Topic/Example Advanced Mechanics Design and invent Torque: Build a force-amplifying, torque-based pulley system capable of lifting amounts of mass within a specified range. Electromagnetism Create a working modelCreate a working modelDesign and invent Applications of the Motor Effect: Create a working model of a DC motor Electromagnetic induction: Create a working model of an AC induction motor or a transformer Electromagnetic induction Design and invent a public transit system using a linear induction motors.