Age 14 to 18
Challenge Level

stemNRICH : Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics enriched

Welcome to physNRICH: the physics section of stemNRICH. This contains mathematical activities for students aged 14 - 19 designed to complement and enhance the study of physics.

Area of maths Style Question Description
General Big and Small Numbers in Physics Work out estimates of the numerical values for these physical quantities.
Dynamics See also the Dynamics problems on the engNRICH pages
Speedo Track the motion of this dangerous driver.
Dangerous Driver Analyse the dynamics to determine if this speeding ticket was issued in error.
The Not-so-simple Pendulum 1 See how the motion of the simple pendulum is not-so-simple after all.
The Not-so-simple Pendulum 2 Friction is now added to the approximate simple pendulum, leading to a more realistic solution.
Motorbike Momentum Look at the dynamics of the sphere of death and see the results in action on the video.
Whoosh A ball whooshes down a slide and hits another ball which flies off the slide horizontally as a projectile. How far does it go?
Gravitation Cannon Balls How high will a ball taking a million seconds to fall travel?
Gravity Paths Where will the spaceman go when he falls through these strange planetary systems?
Escape from Planet Earth How fast would you have to throw a ball upwards so that it would never land?
Earth Orbit Follow in the steps of Newton and find the path that the earth follows around the sun.
Units in physics Universal Time, Length, Mass Can you work out the natural time scale for the universe?
New Units for Old Give yourself an in-depth units workout by matching up these physical phenomena with their dimensions and standard units.
Levels of Bohr Look at the units in the expression for the energy levels of the electrons in a hydrogen atom according to the Bohr model.
Power, work and energy in physics See also the Power, Work and Energy problems on the engNRICH pages
Lunar Leaper How high could you pole-vault on the moon?
Go, Spaceship, Go! Show that even this powerful spaceship will eventually run out of overtaking power.
Sweeping Satellite Look at kinetic and potential energies of a planet to find out about the moment of momentum.
Atoms and particles Explore the energy of this incredibly energetic particle.
Striking Gold Investigate some of the issues raised by Geiger and Marsden's famous scattering experiment in which they fired alpha particles at a sheet of gold.
Cobalt Decay Investigate the effects of the half-lives of the isotopes of cobalt on the mass of a mystery lump of the element.
Pack Man Work out the best packing structure to maximise the density of a metal.
Lennard Jones Potential Investigate why the Lennard-Jones potential gives a good approximate explanation for the behaviour of atoms at close ranges.
Electricity See also the Electrical Engineering problems on the engNRICH pages
Resistance How would the resistance build up in an infinite network of resistors?
Pumping the Power Look at how the power in a lightbulb varies over time.
Can you arrange a set of charged particles so that none of them starts to move when released from rest?
Explore the Lorentz force law for charges moving in different ways.
Fluids Keep Your Momentum Going Find out about the steady flow momentum equation of fluid dynamics.
Moving Stonehenge Explore the transportation by river of the blocks used to make Stonehenge
Poiseuille's Equation Look at the flow of fluids down circular pipes.
Gas laws See also the Gases problems on the chemNRICH pages
Various problems which make you think about the kinetic ideas underlying the ideal gas laws.
Explore how changing the axes for a plot of the gas law equations can lead to different shaped graphs emerging.
Waves and oscillations      
Mach Attack Look at the wavefronts produced by aricraft as they approach and go beyond Mach 1.
Advanced mathematics in physics The Real Hydrogen Atom Dip your toe into the world of quantum mechanics by looking at the Schrodinger equation for hydrogen atoms.
Articles Modelling Assumptions in Mechanics This advanced article demonstrates mathematically how various physical modelling assumptions affect the solution to the seemingly simple problem of the projectile.
The Power of Dimensional Analysis Read about this very useful concept and view physical equations in a different light.
Electromagnetism Find out how Ohm's law develops and find a fundamental link to complex numbers along the way.
Which Twin is Older? A simplified account of special relativity and the twin paradox.