25 topics for IB Physics IA

25 topics for IB Physics IA

By IB ++tutors George K.


Choosing an IB IA Physics topic may seem like a simple matter but in the end it turns out to be much more complex. The main danger is that the student gets involved in the search for original and unusual subjects and eventually gets trapped in situations that will lead him to the failure of the whole project. Our proposal is to move on to a range of topics that are tried and tested and may be described as “classic” but to put the weight on thorough processing and well-documented analysis that will lead to clear and reliable results. In conclusion, considering that about 25,000 such topics are prepared each year it is probably impossible to think of something completely original.


Although there is no absolute and generally accepted method of topic selection, following these steps may prove helpful:
Step 1: Select a topic with a wide area of ​​interest. Narrow specialization involves risks that must be avoided.
Step 2: Choose physical sizes that have ΄΄flexibility΄΄ of changes. This will be very useful if something goes wrong and individual changes are required.
Step 3: For the experimental part select quantities and procedures that can be easily measured and processed without high equipment requirements and special implementation conditions
Step 4: Check if the questions you are asking are realistic and have a solid scientific background



  1. Determine the coefficient of static friction between two materials
  2. Terminal velocity of a ball falling in the air and factors that affect it
  3. Coefficient of restitution: The case study of billiard balls
  4. The role of air resistance in the range of a projectile
  5. Designing a tennis racket: Focusing on its spots (dead spot, sweet spots etc)
  6. Physics of bungee jumping
  7. Ballistic pendulum and crime investigations

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 Electricity and magnetism:

  1. Efficiency of an electric motor and the way it depends on temperature
  2. Determine the inductance of a coil
  3. Determine the internal resistance of a cell
  4. Magnetic field in a slinky
  5. Finding the resistivity of an unknown metal and studying the factors it depends on
  6. Energy output of a solar panel

 Thermal Physics:

  1. Hot air balloons
  2. Heat engines of cars

Oscillations and Waves:

  1. Speed of sound and meteorological parameters (humidity, temperature)
  2. Salinity and refractive index of sea water
  3. Fundamental frequencies of strings and their characteristics (diameter, material etc)
  4. Resonance of a glass
  5. Refractive index and temperature
  6. Standing waves and their role in designing harbors
  7. Fiber optics

 Circular motion and gravitation:

  1. Geostationary satellites and their applications
  2. Banked curves and racing cars performance
  3. Loop the loop: Roller coaster and fun parks safety rules

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