Physics can be challenging.  Understanding a little more about the often-surprising ways of the physical world, far from detracting from your appreciation of nature, can make the world seem a more fascinating and complex place. How does the electric motor work? What evidence do we have that the Universe is expanding (the Big Bang)? Why is it that sound can go around corners but light cannot? How can we measure the power of an athlete? The answer to these questions and many more can be found in the study of Physics.

These are the main areas of study including some of the applications covered:

  • Mechanics (force and movement): satellites, collisions, acceleration of a car.
  • Optics: optical fibres, correcting faulty eyesight, mirrors
  • Heat: different temperature scales, refrigerators
  • Waves: spectra of light, loudness of sounds (decibels)
  • Electricity and magnetism: generators, Earth’s magnetism
  • Atomic and nuclear physics: television “tubes”, radioactivity, transistors.


Note: Higher level Mathematics is not a requirement for Leaving Certificate Physics topics – however it is better suited to students with mathematical inclination.