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EE: Physics Extended Essay

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Hey guys! hope all is well. so we recently just got briefed about the extended essay and my plan is to get started with it right away as soon as possible so that I don't have too much backlog during the time of the IB exams.. which is only 1 year 2 months and 25 days away. Holy moly!


Anyway, guys.. I was planning to do my extended essay either on Physics or Chemistry. I don't need any ideas from you guys, I would like to do that on my own and I'm confident I can produce quite an interesting topic by myself.. However, I do need some assistance in figuring out how exactly to pick out a topic. Like, is there any place on the internet which I could look into to give me a boost in finding a topic? What would you guys propose? And I've also heard Physics essays are really tough, is that really so? Would you guys be kind enough to give me some advice on this matter please? 


The reason I'm asking is that, I'm very interested in astrophysics and studies related with black holes and other astronomical phenomena but the topic that I choose has to be feasible in terms of experiment conduction and stuff like that.. so I don't reckon doing an essay on Astrophysics would be the best idea right? And also what are the chances of losing marks if the essay does not contain any personal experiments but merely just researched data and interpretations?


Really appreciate your helpful feedback.


Thanks a bunch guys.

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Concerning your question about topic selection, I suggest you read my post in this thread http://www.ibsurvival.com/topic/30419-physics-ee-topic/#entry221738


Physics EE usually have very high requirements. However, tough or not really depends on which type of person you are. For instance, if you are a science person more than a history person, then history would definitely be a harder subject to do the EE on. So I recommend choosing the subject that you are good at. Don’t choose it according to what other people say.


The only difference between an experiment-based EE & a theoretical one is that it is much easier for you to give your own personal inputs when doing an experiment-based essay. So if you are certain that you can put your own contribution to the field (such as a new way of analyzing the existing data, or your own way of interpreting the subject), then there is really NO disadvantage whatsoever when your EE contains only researched data & interpretations.


I suggest you to take a look at ’50 excellent extended essays’ from the IB. I think there was one essay about using the Hubble’s law to estimate the age of the universe based on published data. And it was the best EE in physics that I have read. If you are interested in astrophysics, & are sure that you can make your own contribution, then go for it!


However, I don’t recommend writing about ‘black holes’. This is because the study about black holes involve many areas of physics (such as general relativity, quantum mechanics, hawking’s theory, information paradox, etc); and even professional physicists are having troubles at describing the black holes. Furthermore, to write good EE in black holes, one needs to include many pieces of advanced mathematics, not just a superficial understanding that physicists usually give to the general public.


There’re many other stuff within astrophysics that you can do as well. For instance, you can discuss about different observational methods (e.g. radio telescope, stars spectrum, etc), or you can go into cosmology to study the ‘cosmic background radiation’, etc. These topics are not as hard compared to ‘black holes’, & will be a lot easier to give your own inputs

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