Bill Irving and Benj Shuler.
Physics is the scientific study of matter, energy, space and time. Physics is all around us and affects our lives on a daily basis. It is in the electrical appliances you use in your home, the various types of transport used to get from A to B, it affects our climate and the weather we get to enjoy or suffer, depending on where you are, and it keeps the Sun providing us with light and warmth. Basically, Physics keeps us alive and allows us to experience everything life has to offer.
The scale by which Physics affects us can be anything from the subatomic (eg particles that make up the atom) to the astronomical (eg the dimensions of stars and galaxies).
Physics forms the basis of the foundation of all the physical sciences (eg material science, geology, etc) and is important for many other fields of human endeavour (eg medicine, computing, etc).
There exist many fields of Physics. Examples include acoustics, astronomy/astrophysics/cosmology, atomic and nuclear physics, elementary particles, biomedical physics, electromagnetism, electronics, geophysics, mechanics, meteorology, semiconductors, nanotechnology, optics, thermodynamics, aerodynamics to mention but a few. The list goes on.
What pupils can expect
Physics is a fascinating and exciting subject to study and get involved with. It not only allows us to explore what we already know about the world around us and how we know, but there are still some profound questions that remain unanswered (eg What is dark matter? Are there more than three dimensions in space?). It caters for those who enjoy theoretical-based studies and those who relish the challenge of undertaking practical and experimental work. Physics allows you to develop, consolidate and possess valuable key skills which are not confined just to the subject itself (eg problem-solving, reasoning, research, analysis, presentation - both oral and written). The more we learn about Physics, the better it will help us understand our place in the universe.
If you are asked to describe a typical Physicist then your reply would normally be "a geek wearing a white coat who is quite eccentric". In fact, most Physicists look and behave just like you and me. The employment prospects for people with a Physics qualification tend to include working for research laboratories, universities, private companies and government agencies. They also can teach, perform research and develop new technologies. They're not confined indoors either. They do experiments on mountaintops, underwater, underground in mines and in orbit around the Earth. Physicists are good at solving all kinds of problems from esoteric to the mundane (eg How does a mirror reflect light? What holds an atom together? How fast does a rocket have to go to escape the Earth? How can a worldwide team share data in real time? Solving this last problem led physicists to invent the World Wide Web.).
Having a Physics qualification will impress any employer, even if you are not choosing to work in anything related to the field of Physics as it is perceived as a difficult subject to master. Physics provides a route into many careers. Such prospects are not just confined to research but extend into a wide range of industries including food, medicine, finance, marketing, business and management. The valuable skills of analysis and problem-solving that a Physics qualification fosters enables you to contribute effectively to not only your chosen vocation, but to society as a whole.
Staffing and facilities
The Physics Department consists of five dedicated laboratories and four full-time staff supported by one full-time technician (Jan Tucker) and one part-time technician (Petra Jaggard). In addition, there is a large prep room and a resources room.
Head of Physics: Tim Reade
He joined in January 2008 and has 17 years' teaching experience in the independent sector. He has worked at a number of schools both in the UK and abroad including King William's College IOM, St George's College North (Argentina) and Ardingly College. He has been a Senior Examiner with the IBO as well as an IB coursework moderator. He has a BSc in Physics from King's College London as well as a PCGE from Manchester University. Before becoming a teacher he worked as a manufacturing jeweller.
Physics teacher: Bill Irving
Bill joined Haileybury as a physics teacher in 2009 after a 22-year career in the Army where he served in a variety of countries including the USA, the Middle East, the Balkans, Germany, Norway and Italy. The high point of his Army career was to command the Officer's Training Corps of the University of London. Before leaving the Army, he gained his PGCE from Goldsmiths, University of London. He also holds a BSc in Mechanical Engineering and an MSc in Communications Systems.
Physics teacher: Mellany Hudson
She joined in September 2007. She has six years' teaching experience, five of which have been in the Scottish state sector. She has worked at two schools, Haileybury and Forres Academy. She has also had experience of being a Head of Department. She previously worked as a medical physicist for two years and a school science technician for one year. She attended the University of Aberdeen where she graduated with a BSc in Physics, an MSc in Medical Physics and a PGCE(S) in Physics with Science.
A Physics Clinic runs every Monday from 4.30pm to 5.30pm. This is aimed at any pupil who is struggling with any aspect of Physics to come along and receive help and support from members of the Physics Department.