IB Physics Extended Essay Topics

Physics Extended Essay Topics

As an IB tutor with a keen understanding of the fundamental principles and complexities of physics, I am pleased to offer a selection of engaging topics for your Physics Extended Essay. This compilation is intentionally designed to span the vast universe of physics, providing students with opportunities to investigate topics from the quantum to the cosmic scale.

Through my guidance, I’ve understood that a well-selected essay topic is not merely a pathway to academic inquiry; it’s a platform for students to engage rigorously with the laws and phenomena that govern our physical world.

List of IB Physics EE Topics

This is an opportunity for students to construct a detailed and analytical narrative, demonstrating their ability to dissect intricate physical concepts and present their discoveries with precision and depth.

1. Mechanics and Motion

  1. The Physics of Sports: How does the angle of a soccer kick affect the distance the ball travels?
  2. Projectile Motion Analysis: How does launch angle affect the range of a projectile?
  3. The Efficiency of Different Shapes of Wind Turbine Blades: How does blade shape affect the efficiency of a wind turbine?
  4. Harmonic Motion in Springs: How does spring stiffness affect the period of harmonic motion?
  5. The Physics of Traffic Flow: How do different traffic densities affect vehicle flow rates?
  6. Coefficient of Friction on Various Surfaces: How does the type of surface affect the coefficient of friction for a sliding object?
  7. The Impact of Tire Pressure on Bicycle Speed: How does changing tire pressure affect the speed of a bicycle?
  8. Centripetal Force in Circular Motion: How does the radius of a circle affect the centripetal force required for circular motion?
  9. The Physics of Bungee Jumping: How does the length of the cord affect the maximum acceleration in bungee jumping?
  10. Fluid Dynamics in Swimming: How do different swim strokes affect the drag force experienced by a swimmer?

2. Thermodynamics and Heat

  1. Efficiency of Different Types of Insulation: How do different insulating materials affect heat loss in a home?
  2. The Physics of Cooling Coffee: How do different container materials affect the rate at which coffee cools?
  3. Heat Transfer in Cooking: How does the method of heat transfer (conduction, convection, radiation) affect cooking efficiency?
  4. The Carnot Cycle and Efficiency: How does the efficiency of a Carnot engine change with operating temperatures?
  5. Specific Heat Capacity of Metals: How does the specific heat capacity of different metals affect their heat absorption?
  6. Thermal Expansion in Building Materials: How does thermal expansion affect the structural integrity of different building materials?
  7. Entropy Changes in Chemical Reactions: How does entropy change in endothermic vs. exothermic reactions?
  8. The Physics of Refrigeration: How does the efficiency of a refrigerator vary with external temperature?
  9. Phase Changes and Energy Transfer: How does the rate of phase change in water vary with different heating methods?
  10. Solar Panel Efficiency and Temperature: How does temperature affect the efficiency of solar photovoltaic panels?

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3. Electricity and Magnetism

  1. The Efficiency of Different Solar Cell Designs: How do different designs of solar cells affect their efficiency?
  2. Faraday’s Law in Induction Coils: How does the number of coils affect the induced voltage in a solenoid?
  3. Resistance in Electrical Circuits: How does the length and thickness of a wire affect its electrical resistance?
  4. Capacitance in Different Capacitor Configurations: How does the arrangement of capacitors affect the overall capacitance of a circuit?
  5. The Effect of Magnetic Fields on Plant Growth: Can magnetic fields have a measurable effect on the growth rate of plants?
  6. The Physics of Electric Cars: How does battery capacity affect the range of an electric car?
  7. Electromagnetic Waves in Communication: How does frequency affect the transmission distance of radio waves?
  8. The Hall Effect in Different Materials: How does the Hall voltage vary in different types of conductors?
  9. Lightning Rod Efficiency: How does the design of a lightning rod affect its efficiency in attracting lightning?
  10. Magnetic Levitation and Transportation: How can magnetic levitation be optimized for transportation purposes?

4. Waves and Optics

  1. The Acoustics of Musical Instruments: How does the shape of a musical instrument affect its sound quality?
  2. The Doppler Effect in Moving Vehicles: How does the speed of a vehicle affect the observed Doppler effect?
  3. Polarization of Light: How does the angle of polarization affect the intensity of transmitted light?
  4. The Efficiency of Different Types of Lenses: How do different lens materials affect the efficiency of focusing light?
  5. Interference Patterns in Thin Films: How does film thickness affect the interference pattern in soap bubbles?
  6. The Physics of Fiber Optics: How does the angle of incidence affect light transmission in fiber optic cables?
  7. Sound Insulation in Different Materials: How do different materials affect sound insulation in buildings?
  8. The Refractive Index of Various Liquids: How does temperature affect the refractive index of different liquids?
  9. The Physics of Color: How does light wavelength affect color perception?
  10. Ultrasound Imaging: How does the frequency of ultrasound affect the resolution of an ultrasound image?

5. Modern Physics and Nuclear Physics

  1. Radioactive Decay and Half-Life: How does the half-life of a radioactive isotope affect its use in medical imaging?
  2. The Photoelectric Effect in Different Metals: How does the work function vary across different metals in the photoelectric effect?
  3. Semiconductor Devices and Temperature: How does temperature affect the conductivity of semiconductor materials?
  4. Quantum Mechanics in Everyday Life: How can quantum mechanics principles be observed in everyday phenomena?
  5. The Physics of Nuclear Reactors: How does reactor design affect the efficiency of nuclear power plants?
  6. Particle Accelerators in Medical Treatments: How do particle accelerators contribute to cancer treatment?
  7. The Physics of MRI Scans: How does magnetic field strength affect the quality of MRI images?
  8. Nuclear Fusion as an Energy Source: What are the challenges in harnessing nuclear fusion for energy production?
  9. The Casimir Effect and Quantum Field Theory: How can the Casimir effect be demonstrated and what does it suggest about quantum field theory?
  10. The Use of Isotopes in Archaeology: How does radiocarbon dating contribute to archaeological discoveries?


Bringing our exploration of Physics Extended Essay topics to fruition, I trust these suggestions have sparked a flame of scientific inquisitiveness and a zeal for discovery within you. The craft of composing a Physics Extended Essay is a harmonious blend of rigorous empirical investigation, conceptual depth, and the articulate presentation of sophisticated ideas.

As you refine your topic and deepen your research, embrace this as your moment to imprint a unique mark upon the tapestry of physics scholarship. Your essay is a conduit for demonstrating your scholarly rigor, your flair for intricate problem-solving, and your adeptness at rendering the complex tapestry of physical phenomena into a coherent and compelling narrative.

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