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Physics: Motion

Why do we study motion in Physics?

That’s a fair question. It is also an easy question to answer.

Have you ever considered why it is that you don't float out of your desk or your bed? Have you given any thought to why people don’t fall through floors or how buildings stay up? What about how cars work or how running water flows? The laws of motion teach us how everything around us moves and our relationship to it all. It’s pretty important stuff.

The Cambridge IGCSE™ Physics syllabus focuses on the crucial elements of motion, and our teachers prepare students to understand, appreciate, and feel confident with the material so they are ready for their examinations in June and November.

The Laws of Motion

Sir Isaac Newton was an English mathematician, physicist, astronomer, theologian, and author. He is well recognised as one of the most influential scientists of all time. In his study of Physics, Newton developed 3 laws of motion.

They are:

  1. The law of inertia

  2. The law of force and acceleration

  3. The law of action and reaction

These laws of motion are important because they teach us how objects move or do not move when forces act upon them. Through these laws, Newton decoded secrets of the natural world and proved that the human brain was capable of understanding them.

Cambridge IGCSE™ Physics

Thanks to Newton, we can understand concepts like average velocity distance, time graphs velocity, time graphs acceleration and terminal velocity. All of which are covered in the Cambridge IGCSE™ Physics syllabus.

Following the course, students will be able to distinguish between speed and velocity, as well as define and calculate acceleration using change of velocity time taken. They will be able to calculate speed from the gradient of a distance–time graph, and calculate acceleration from the gradient of a speed–time graph. They will also learn invaluable skills like being able to recognise linear motion for which the acceleration is constant and motion for which the acceleration is not constant. The lessons will equip students with the ability to understand deceleration as a negative acceleration and the motion of bodies falling in a uniform gravitational field with and without air resistance.

Applying Physics to Our Lives

We appreciate that these concepts sound difficult before they have been explained. ME Physics teachers are experts at relaying complex concepts in simplified ways. We also like to make the coursework relevant to our students and show them how it relates to their world.

Teachers might explain the law of action and reaction by using the MTR as an example. For the train to move, there must be friction between the wheels and the track. The wheels exert a force on the track because they are spinning, and the track (ground) exerts a reaction force on the wheels. It is this force which pushes the train forward. Students will hopefully develop a new appreciation for Newton's third law every time they hop aboard the MTR.

It’s so important for our students to understand the mechanisms behind things. The ‘how’ and the ‘why’ they operate. The way we perceive ourselves in relation to things and our environments, influences the way we react to the world.

Through the study of physics, students are taught to understand how things work from first principles. Breaking our world down into basic principles reveals the scientific beauty behind it all. Studying physics strengthens quantitative reasoning and problem-solving skills that are valuable far beyond the classroom.

To learn more about our curricula and the other courses we offer, please contact us on +852 2383 0300 or


"My children attended ME Education for support with a couple of IB subjects, in particular, Maths, Chemistry, and Physics. The ME Education tutors provided them with confidence and a deeper understanding of the subjects. My daughter also had some Zoom sessions with Mr. Andy. He helped her with Chemical Equilibrium topics. I found ME Education to be a professional and reliable institution at all times. They were crucial to my children's success at IB."

Mrs Ko


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