Physics IB IA Topic Ideas

Welcome to your guide to IB Physics IA Topic Ideas. This complete guide will help you get started on a topic for your internal assessment, providing you with the steps necessary for developing and completing your project.

Our guide is organized into twelve sections that discuss IB Physics course background and IA content, advice on choosing and structuring your IA topic, as well as tips for writing and referencing your work. We have carefully chosen topics that are relevant and important to successful completion of an IB Physics IA.

In this introduction we will give an overview of the purpose of this guide. We will explain why knowing the IB Physics course content and IA structure is important, what the different elements of an IA are and how to go about selecting a topic. Lastly, we will dive into the actual IB Physics IA structure, including experiments and references.

Let’s begin by taking a look at the International Baccalaureate Physics course. The IB Physics course is designed to provide students with an understanding of the fundamental concepts and principles of physics and the confidence to apply them in real-world situations. Content covers topics from classical mechanics to atomic and nuclear physics.

The next part of the guide covers internal assessments. Internal assessments (IAs) require students to demonstrate their understanding of the coursework, by researching and analyzing a specific topic of their choice. IAs are an important part of the IB Physics course and are worth 20% of the final grade.

After that, we’ll discuss how to choose a topic. Choosing a topic can be tricky but is often the most rewarding step! We will provide some guidelines on choosing a topic, as well as some examples of popular topics.

We will then move on to structuring the IA. Structuring an IA involves having a clear outline of your argument, including experiments and references. We will outline the essential components of an IA and the formatting requirements.

We will also include some case studies to demonstrate how a well-structured IA should look.

Next, we will discuss the actual process of completing an IA. We will cover tips for writing clearly, logically and correctly as well as providing resources to study and reference from.

Lastly, we will conclude the guide with a summary of the different points discussed.

This guide provides a comprehensive approach to preparing for an IB Physics IA, covering everything from background knowledge to completing the assignment. In the end, this guide will help you develop a strong foundation of skills and knowledge, teaching you the steps necessary to produce a successful IA.

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Physics IB IA Topic Ideas
  1. Investigating the impact of temperature on the efficiency of solar panels.
  2. Analyzing the factors affecting the period of a simple pendulum and improving its accuracy as a time-keeping device.
  3. Exploring the relationship between the angle of incidence and the angle of refraction in various transparent media.
  4. Studying the impact of varying magnetic field strength on the trajectory of charged particles.
  5. Investigating the factors that affect the terminal velocity of an object in free fall.
  6. Examining the role of surface tension in the formation and stability of soap bubbles.
  7. Analyzing the efficiency of different materials in absorbing and emitting infrared radiation.
  8. Investigating the relationship between the mass and radius of a spinning disc and its moment of inertia.
  9. Exploring the effect of varying the length and tension of a string on the frequency of standing waves produced in it.
  10. Studying the dependence of the maximum height reached by a projectile on its launch angle and initial velocity.
  11. Investigating the relationship between the distance between slits and the interference pattern in a double-slit experiment.
  12. Analyzing the energy conversion efficiency of wind turbines at different wind speeds and blade angles.
  13. Exploring the role of friction in the motion of objects on inclined planes.
  14. Investigating the factors that affect the stability of a floating object and the conditions for neutral buoyancy.
  15. Studying the relationship between the pressure, volume, and temperature of an ideal gas using a constant volume gas thermometer.
  16. Analyzing the relationship between the capacitance and dimensions of a parallel-plate capacitor.
  17. Investigating the factors that affect the efficiency of a transformer and the role of core materials in minimizing energy losses.
  18. Examining the speed of sound in different media and the factors that influence it.
  19. Investigating the relationship between the current and voltage across a resistor in a circuit and verifying Ohm’s Law.
  20. Exploring the effect of magnetic damping on the oscillatory motion of a magnet suspended within a coil

Background on the International Baccalaureate Physics Course

The International Baccalaureate Physics course is an in-depth and comprehensive program focusing on both theoretical and practical concepts. It covers a wide range of topics, from classical mechanics and electricity to relativity and quantum physics. Students have the opportunity to explore the application of these theories in exciting and innovative ways.

The IB Physics course challenges students to use their critical thinking skills to understand complex topics and draw meaningful connections between them. As part of the course, students will cover topics such as forces, energy, and momentum; waves, light, and geometrical optics; electricity and magnetism; quantum physics; and relativity. Additionally, there is an emphasis on problem-solving skills, so that students can identify and solve problems effectively.

The relevance of the IB Physics course to students lies in its ability to prepare them for both college-level work and real-world applications. The course is highly valued by universities, as it provides students with a foundational knowledge of physics and a well-rounded education. Additionally, concepts learned in the course will be applicable in realms outside of science, such as engineering, business, design, and more.

By engaging in the IB Physics course, students will have the opportunity to develop their understanding of the principles of physics and explore various ways of applying them to different scenarios. Through the process, they will gain valuable skills that will help them succeed in the future.

What are Internal Assessments?

Internal assessments (“IAs”) are an essential part of the International Baccalaureate Physics course curriculum. They are assessments that are done internally by the student, as opposed to externally like exams or tests. IAs allow students to demonstrate their knowledge of the various topics covered in the course and the ability to apply that knowledge.

The purpose of IAs for the International Baccalaureate Physics course is to assess students’ understanding of the subject material, critical thinking skills, problem-solving abilities, research capabilities, and written communication skills. By completing IAs, students can also get a better feeling of the topics they have learned as they have to spend time researching, analyzing, and evaluating information. This helps them to gain a more comprehensive understanding of the topics they have studied.

The importance of IAs should not be underestimated when it comes to students’ success in the course. Doing well on IAs is essential for getting good grades and showing a higher level of understanding. Therefore, it is important for students to take their IAs seriously and give them sufficient time and effort.

Completing IAs also helps students to develop important skills that could be used outside of school. These skills may include: presenting evidence, collaborating with others, problem-solving, and researching. All these skills may be beneficial to students in their future academic and professional lives.

Choosing a Physics IA Topic

Selecting the perfect topic for your International Baccalaureate (IB) Physics Internal Assessment (IA) can be challenging, but with the right approach and resources, you can find a great fit.

When it comes to choosing the topic, you’ll need to consider both the criteria set by the IB organization and your interests. You should pick something that you’re genuinely curious about and academically driven to explore. This way, you’ll be more motivated to complete the task.

Some popular topics are related to optics, mathematical modeling, acoustics, signal analysis and motion. There are two main types of IAs. One that requires data collection, and the other which doesn’t.

If you opt for a data collection-based IA, you have the additional task of designing an experiment to answer the question or test the hypothesis. Make sure to select a topic which has enough variables for you to measure, or in other words, one that you can easily demonstrate with a practical experiment.

The best topics, however, are those that include all the required components. They should include the input of data along with analysis, explanation, and conclusion.

Here are some examples of popular choices with explanations of why they work:

  • Light Refraction – This topic is a great choice because it presents a visible phenomenon, allowing students to observe and measure the outcome.
  • Determining the Speed of Sound – This topic is useful because it provides an opportunity to generate data through the use of acoustic waves.
  • Investigating the Efficiency of Light Bulbs – This is a great topic for data collection since it allows students to measure the energy used by a light bulb over a period of time.

When selecting a topic, keep in mind the available resources and materials. You should always pick something that you can feasibly complete within the timeframe and budget allotted. It is also a good idea to choose a topic you have an interest in, as this will make the assignment much more enjoyable to complete.

Structuring your IA is an important part of the writing process. A well-structured IA will make sure your ideas are presented in the right order and can help support your argument better. It can be tempting to jump right into writing without first structuring how you want your IA to look, but it’s important to think through the structure before beginning.

The essential components of your IA include an introduction, a body, and a conclusion. Your introduction should include the title and aims of your project, as well as a brief overview of what will be discussed. The body of your IA should clearly present each of your points, and the conclusion should summarize the main points of your IA.

It’s also important to consider the formatting requirements for your IA. Most IAs follow the same general format, which includes a 12 point font size and the use of a serif font such as Times New Roman or Arial. You should also make sure to use 1.5 spacing and keep your margins at 2.5 cm. Finally, when citing sources, use the Harvard referencing system.

In summary, structuring your IA is an important part of the writing process. Ensure your IA has a clear introduction, body, and conclusion. Also, adhere to the formatting requirements of a 12-point font size, use of 1.5 spacing and a serif font such as Times New Roman or Arial, and 2.5 cm margins. When citing sources, use the Harvard referencing system.

Case Studies

One of the best ways to understand how an Internal Assessment should look is by gaining insight from sample IAs from past students who have successfully completed this type of work. These case studies can illustrate the excellence and clarity that is expected when preparing your IA.

In assessing a case study, it’s important to understand the structure and format of the document, including the introduction, discussed in Part 5. You should also look closely at the main body of the document, which should include the aim/hypothesis that was tested as well as a detailed description of the experiment and its results. The conclusion should contrast the initial hypothesis with the results of the experiment, providing clear insight into whether or not it was confirmed.

You may find useful elements in other IA case studies that can be applied to your own project. Keep in mind that, while you can use ideas from other IA’s, you must never copy their exact words or phrases since that is considered plagiarism. It’s important to remember to use your own writing style and words that accurately portray your understanding of the material.

Looking through specific IA case studies can also give you ideas for your own topic. If you read a case study that interests you and provides a well-rounded argument, you may want to consider researching that topic further for your IA.

Case studies are great references for students looking to produce quality IAs. Taking the time to review several case studies will help you better understand the expectations of your IA, and you can use the ideas found within to create a solid structure for your own project.

Tips for Completing Your IA

Writing an International Baccalaureate Physics Internal Assessment (IA) can be a daunting task, and it might seem impossible to know where to start. The good news is that with some careful planning and guidance, you can successfully complete your IA and even enjoy doing it.

Below are some tips to help you have an organized, stress-free journey while writing your IA:

  • First, create an outline. Decide on a topic, list the steps you will take in order to complete the IA, and identify resources you will use during the research process. An outline will also help later when it comes to structure and writing, as you will already have your main points identified.
  • Second, research. You don’t need to know everything about your topic in order to begin researching. In fact, researching early on will help you to focus on the most important aspects of your IA. Utilize online and offline resources such as journal articles, textbooks, books, and scientific papers to learn more about the subject matter.
  • Third, create a timeline. Setting yourself deadlines and objectives that you can realistically meet helps keep things organized and prevents procrastination.
  • Fourth, stay focused. Writing an IA can take a long time if you are not constantly pushing yourself to finish. Set aside a certain time each day to work on the IA and do not get distracted by other tasks or activities.
  • Fifth, proofread and edit. Once you are finished writing, ensure that all the facts and figures are accurate and that the writing is free from grammatical errors. Have others read your IA and provide feedback.

By following these tips you can ensure that your IA is well-written, organized, and successful!

Sources and Resources

When beginning your internal assessment (IA) in physics, it’s important to choose the right sources and resources for your research. Having access to reliable sources of information can make the difference between getting an A or a B. Below are some resources you can use to help write your IA.


One of the best sources for research is websites. There are many academic websites that are specifically designed to provide reliable sources of scientific information. Some excellent examples include: National Center for Biotechnology Information, The Royal Society of Chemistry, and PubMed Central. These sites provide comprehensive databases of journals, articles, and other information related to physics.


Books are a great resource for researching topics related to physics. Look for books written by experts in the field of physics, such as Stephen Hawking or Ernest Rutherford, or specialized physics textbooks such as Fundamentals of Physics by Halliday and Resnick or Physics for Scientists and Engineers by Giancoli. You can also find a variety of books in the library related to specific topics in physics.

Other Resources

In addition to websites and books, there are other useful resources available to you. Journals and magazines published by scientific societies provide specific information related to physics, such as American Journal of Physics and Physics Today. Also, don’t forget to look up relevant videos and podcasts on YouTube or iTunes. Finally, your teacher or school may have additional resources that can be helpful as well.

By taking the time to explore these different sources and resources, you can ensure success in writing your IA. Good luck!

Developing Your Argument & Experiments

Completing a Physics Internal Assessment (IA) involves doing an experiment and then analyzing the results. In order to make your IA stand out, it is important to ensure that you design the experiment around a well-structured argument. This will make it easier to interpret the data and draw definitive conclusions.

The argument should focus on the research question which you have formulated; this should define the experimental approach that you take. You must make sure that you are objective in your explanation of the topic and use evidence to back up your argument. You can determine this by conducting research into scientific literature relevant to the topic.

When it comes to designing the actual experiments, there are several key considerations. Firstly, the design should be feasible given the resources available to you. There should also be safeguards in place to reduce potential sources of error, such as using test equipment with built in precision. You should also ensure that any collected data is appropriate for the purpose of the experiment.

It is also important to think about how you will analyze the data from the experiment. This could involve using formulas and graphs to plot trends, or statistical tests to compare data points. Make sure that you adequately explain the results and draw worthy conclusions from them. It can also be helpful to discuss possible sources of error to provide further context.

Finally, before submitting your IA, make sure that you have included everything that is necessary and is relevant to the research question. This includes all of the relevant details regarding the background information, experimental method, materials and methods, data analysis, and conclusions.

Writing the International Baccalaureate (IB) Physics Internal Assessment (IA) can seem like a daunting task. However, if you understand the fundamental principles of clear and logical writing, the process will be much easier. Here are some tips to help you write your IA in an organized and readable way.

1. Use a Logical Structure

Your IA should start with an introduction that states the topic and purpose of your paper. The main body should then contain organized paragraphs that provide evidence and arguments to support your thesis statement. Each paragraph should have a clear topic sentence and use supporting evidence to explain it. Be sure to provide explanations for the evidence you include, or else the reader won’t be able to draw the logical conclusions you want them to draw. Finally, conclude your paper with a summation of your main points and your own opinion.

2. Proofread Your Work

Before submitting your IA, go back and read through it multiple times, carefully checking for spelling, grammar and syntax mistakes. If possible, try to leave some time between reading sessions so that you can look at your work with fresh eyes each time. This will help you spot errors you might have missed otherwise. Additionally, ask someone else to proofread your work for you, as another set of eyes is always helpful.

3. Use Active Voice

When writing your IA, use active voice as opposed to passive voice. Sentences written in active voice will sound more natural and vivid, whereas sentences written in passive voice are long and confusing. Additionally, active voice sentences are shorter and easier to understand, which will make your paper appear more organized. You can recognize active voice by looking for a subject before the verb and an object after the verb.

4. Use Simple Language

Your IA should be understandable to everyone, regardless of their background in physics. Avoid using complex words and concepts that could confuse the reader. Instead, focus on expressing your thoughts in simple and clear language that can be understood by people of all levels of understanding.

Following these four tips will help you write an organized and understandable IA. If you are able to structure your IA in a logical way, proofread your work and use active voice, your IA will be much more successful and enjoyable to read. Additionally, using simple language will help ensure that your paper is approachable for anyone who reads it.

Referencing & Citing

Citing and referencing is an important part of the science of physics, and mastering the art of accurately citing and referencing sources will help you in many ways. When writing a paper on a physics topic, it is important to cite sources and give credit where it is due. This means that when you use information from another source, you must acknowledge the source and provide a citation or reference for it in your writing. Citing and referencing also help to ensure that you accurately represent the work of other authors.

There are several different styles for citing and referencing sources. The style that is used largely depends on the type of publication that is being referenced. For example, scientific journals or textbooks typically follow the American Psychological Association (APA) guidelines for citations. On the other hand, books often use the MLA format. It is important to check which style is required before you begin citing your sources.

When citing a source, it is important to include relevant information such as the author’s name, the title of the work, the publisher, the date of publication, the page number, and the URL if the source exists online. Keep in mind that all this information needs to be formatted correctly according to the style guide being used. Additionally, it is important to make sure that the information provided is accurate and up to date.

Finally, it is important to be consistent with your citations and references. This means that if you use a particular style for one citation, you should use the same style for all of your other citations as well. Consistency will make it easier for readers to locate the sources you used and will demonstrate a high level of professionalism in your work.


Writing an IA for a Physics IB course can be challenging and overwhelming. To make it easier, we’ve created a guide to help you get started. In this guide, we have covered topics such as the background on the course, what internal assessments are, how to choose a topic, structuring your IA, case studies, tips for completing your IA, sources & resources, developing your argument & experiments, writing your IA, referencing & citing.

We hope that this guide has provided you with useful information and helps you as you move forward in writing your IA. Before beginning your IA, it is important to consider which topic you would like to write about, as well as any relevant formatting requirements. Once you have chosen your topic, you can begin your research, develop your argument, and write your IA. It is also important to remember to check your work for any errors and to cite any sources used.

Overall, by following the instructions in this guide, you will be able to complete your IA with success and confidence. Good luck!

Nick Radlinsky

Nick Radlinsky

Nick Radlinsky is a devoted educator, marketing specialist, and management expert with more than 15 years of experience in the education sector. After obtaining his business degree in 2016, Nick embarked on a quest to achieve his PhD, driven by his commitment to enhancing education for students worldwide. His vast experience, starting in 2008, has established him as a reputable authority in the field.

Nick's article, featured in Routledge's "Entrepreneurship in Central and Eastern Europe: Development through Internationalization," highlights his sharp insights and unwavering dedication to advancing the educational landscape. Inspired by his personal motto, "Make education better," Nick's mission is to streamline students' lives and foster efficient learning. His inventive ideas and leadership have contributed to the transformation of numerous educational experiences, distinguishing him as a true innovator in his field.

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