Welcome to the National Curriculum of Pakistan (NCP) 2023 Feedback Portal.

Here you will find a DRAFT version of curriculum documents for Grades 9-12. Please give your feedback on all material shared.

After feedback is incorporated, the provincial/area Implementation Leads will review the updated draft for consensus and finalization.

Feedback for Grades 9-12 is due on March 30, 2023

The revised Standards for Grades 9-12 will be notified by April 2023. The various education departments may then get the NCP 2023 notified through respective cabinets.

National Curriculum 2023 - Physics Curriculum Guide




‘Perspectives’ are not compulsory content to be taught, but are intended to be suggested topics for exploratory discussion, research and project activities that enrich student learning and further promote critical thinking.

GRADE 11-12

Domain: Astrophysics
Topic: Luminosity

Standard: Students will be able to:

- describe the broad distribution of celestial bodies in the observable universe

- explain the evidence for the expansion of the universe


Benchmark I: Explain, with reference to findings from thermodynamics, quantum physics, and relativity:

(1) how the relative distances of celestial objects in the universe are mapped

(2) proof for the Big Bang theory

Student Learning Outcomes

        understand the term luminosity as the total power of radiation emitted by a star

        recall and use the inverse square law for radiant flux intensity F in terms of the luminosity L of the source F = L/(4πd^2)

       understand that an object of known luminosity is called a standard candle

       understand the use of standard candles to determine distances to galaxies

        recall and use Wien’s displacement law λmax ∝ 1/T to estimate the peak surface temperature of a star

       use the Stefan–Boltzmann law L = 4πσr^2T^4

       use Wien’s displacement law and the Stefan–Boltzmann law to estimate the radius of a star

       understand that the lines in the emission and absorption spectra from distant objects show an increase in wavelength from their known values


Students will know…

       The terms Luminosity, Flux and Standard Candles.

       What kind of objects serve as standard candles and how we can estimate distances using them.

Students will understand…

       How to relate the Luminosity of a star with its radius and surface temperature.

       Wien’s Law and the inverse relation between wavelength emitted and the temperature of a surface.

       The relation between Blackbody radiation and the radiation intensity of the light emitted by stars.


Students will be able to…

       Apply the equations of the Stephen-Boltzmann and Wein’s Displacement laws to determine properties like distances to galaxies and the physical properties of stars

       Apply the concept of redshift to critically appraise data from emission and absorption spectra of interstellar objects



       There have been many paradigm shifts in models of the universe. For example, Why was it so counter- intuitive to believe that the Earth was not the centre of the universe? Consider:

       Ptolemy to Copernicus

       Arab, Indian and Chinese historical astronomical beliefs

       Tycho Brahe, Galileo and the Church

Learning Activities


  1. Lahore’s Forgotten Luminary


The purpose of this activity is to bring to the attention of students the work of Nobel Prize winner Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar, who made major contributions to the theoretical understanding of the properties of stars. A group of students should be asked to research his life and accomplishments, and share their findings with the rest of the class as a presentation.


  1. Mapping the Luminosity of the Heavens


The purpose of this activity is to help students practically appreciate the theory they have studied about the luminosity of stars. Students should be allowed to bring their cellphones to class for this session, and should research on the internet how to do long-exposure star photography using their cellphone cameras. Then students should be given a week to try out the photography technique for imaging the sky at night. Then in class their taken pictures should be shared with peers and everyone should discuss how the theoretical luminosity of the stars compares (or contrasts) with their relative brightness in the images taken.


  1. Origins of the Stephen-Boltzmann Law and Wien's Displacement Law


After learning and becoming comfortable with using these laws, students should investigate the origins of their formulation. The Stephen-Boltzmann law was analytically formulated through combining Statistical Mechanics, Quantum Physics and Thermodynamics. It was also first empirically discovered. Similarly Wien's displacement law has an inter-field origin with formulations both theoretical and empirically confirmed. After researching this for themselves, students should have a reflective discussion on:


-          How classical reasoning (pre quantum mechanics) can often agree with later quantum mechanical derivations up to certain physical parameters

-          There is beauty in how different mathematical constants can interrelate with each other in equations to entail new discoveries

-          Often equations in physics can be derived from more one line of argument and reasoning


  1. What Would We Look Like to Them?


As a perspective and awe building exercise, students should identify their favourite stars and calculate how someone at that star would see the Earth as being millions or billions of years in the past. They could calculate the luminosity of the Sun and judge whether life on Earth would be viewable to a hypothetical observer near their favourite state. Students could also identify the constellations in the night sky, and put time stamps on how far back in time the light that we on Earth receive from them. This could lead to a discussion on whether those stars would still actually be there now, and realisation of the dramatic age difference between the constellations seen in the sky.









Domain: Modern Physics
Topic: Quantum Physics

Standard: Students will be able to:

- Describe the standard model of particle physics

- Analyse radioactive decay processes

- Explain the processes of nuclear fusion and fission

- Explain the postulates and implications of special relativity

- Use the quantum mechanical model of photons to explain phenomena


Benchmark I: Explain and apply knowledge of the basic inter-related postulates of and discoveries from:

(1) the special theory of relativity

(2) the standard model of particle physics

(3) quantum theory

Student Learning Outcomes

        understand that electromagnetic radiation has a particulate nature

        understand that a photon is a quantum of electromagnetic energy

         recall and use E = hf

        use the electronvolt (eV) as a unit of energy

        understand that a photon has momentum and that the momentum is given by p = E/c (connect with the idea that light can exert a force)

        understand that photoelectrons may be emitted from a metal surface when it is illuminated by electromagnetic radiation

        understand and use the terms threshold frequency and threshold wavelength

        explain photoelectric emission in terms of photon energy and work function energy

        recall and use hf = Φ + ½(mv^2)

        explain why the maximum kinetic energy of photoelectrons is independent of intensity, whereas the photoelectric current is proportional to intensity

        understand that the photoelectric effect provides evidence for a particulate nature of electromagnetic radiation while phenomena such as interference and diffraction provide evidence for a wave nature

        describe and interpret qualitatively the evidence provided by electron diffraction for the wave nature of particles

        understand the de Broglie wavelength as the wavelength associated with a moving particle

        recall and use λ = h/p

        understand that there are discrete electron energy levels in isolated atoms (e.g. atomic hydrogen)

        understand the appearance and formation of emission and absorption line spectra

        recall and use hf = E1 – E2

        describe the Compton effect qualitatively.

        explain the phenomena of pair production and pair annihilation

        explain how the very short wavelength of electrons, and the ability to use electrons and magnetic fields to focus them, allows the electron microscope to achieve very high resolution.

        use the uncertainty principle to explain why empirical measurements must necessarily have uncertainty in them


Students will understand…

       The particle nature of light and photons as quanta of light.

       The wave-particle duality for matter and energy.

       Distinct experiments that prove the wave and matter nature of light.

Students will know…

       The terms: Photoelectric effect, Compton’s Scattering, Pair Production, de Broglie Wavelength, and Emission and Absorption Spectra

       How electron microscopes use the wave nature of electrons to provide higher precision than light microscopes.


Students will be able to…

       Apply Plank’s law to determine the energy of photons of different frequencies.

       Interpret energy differences between lasers/lights of different colours.

       Interpret the double-slit experiments and posit and demonstrate various different scenarios of the experiment.

       Use the uncertainty principle to propose the maximum theoretical precision with which a phenomenon can be studied

       Calculate the de Broglie wavelength of macroscopic objects and compare them with microscopic objects.



       Historical notions of the nature of light, including luminous  ether, corpuscles, Newton’s wave model, Huygen’s constructs,  and De Broglie’s wave- particle duality

       Is light a wave or a particle or a ‘wavicle’? 

       Schrodinger’s Cat, the uncertainty principle and the quantum mechanical picture of the electron cloud around an atom

        How historically has cause and effect in the context of motion been conceived? Consider:

       Ancient conceptions of cause and effect such as Aristotle's

       Al Ghazali, Galileo and Newton

       The paradigm shift from classical to quantum thinking 

Learning Activities


  1. The Past and Present of Light

The purpose of this activity is to help students put the knowledge they have gained of light’s dual nature into context. In this activity, students will be divided into groups and will present on various paradigms throughout history (after researching them) about the nature of light e.g. the outdated concept of aether, and the historical swaying back and forth between being viewed as a particle or as a wave. One group of students should present on what is still not known about the nature of light.


  1. Alice in Quantumland

The purpose of this activity is to help students appreciate the implications of Quantum Physics. Alice in Quantumland is an actual book written by Robert Gilmore. Students are encouraged to read the book if they can access it, but it is not necessary for this activity. Students should in groups work to develop a comic strip story of someone who has imaginarily shrunk down to the size of a subatomic particle, and through the illustrations convey their understanding of how different things are at the quantum level compared to human size.


  1. Flipping the Classroom on Compton Scattering


The purpose of this activity is to encourage students to apply their concepts of quantum physics to new scenarios as they do their own research. After being introduced to the idea of Compton Scattering, a group of students should be challenged to present to the class on its medical usage. The group of students presenting should pay special regards to its applications to detecting cancer.


  1. Discovering With the Electron Microscope


The purpose of this activity is to help students appreciate the power of the electron microscope. Students should be tasked with each finding an inspiring or interesting image of the nanoworld that has been taken with an electron microscope. They should each, in Show and Tell style, present briefly what they found and explain how the unprecedented precision of the electron microscope makes it possible. They should also explain (they should research before) how electron microscope images are then processed by computers and coloured in.


Domain: Waves
Topic: Standing Waves

Standard: Students should be able to mathematically describe how waves propagate and the general properties of reflection, refraction and diffraction


Benchmark I: Analytically and graphically explain the nature and effects of simple harmonic motion, the doppler effect, and attenuation of sound wave intensity in media

       Student Learning Outcomes


     explain and use the principle of superposition

     show an understanding of experiments that demonstrate stationary waves using microwaves, stretched strings and air columns (it will be assumed that end corrections are negligible; knowledge of the concept of end corrections is not required)

      explain the formation of a stationary wave using a graphical method, and identify nodes and antinodes

     understand how wavelength may be determined from the positions of nodes or antinodes of a stationary wave

     explain the meaning of the term diffraction

     show an understanding of experiments that demonstrate diffraction including the qualitative effect of the gap width relative to the wavelength of the wave; for example diffraction of water waves in a ripple tank

     understand the terms interference and coherence

     explain beats as the pulsation caused by two waves of similar frequences interfering with each other

     recognise that beats are generated in musical instruments


Students will understand…

       The mathematical description of waves in terms of amplitude, wavelength, frequency and phase

       The difference between nodes and antinodes

       Standing waves are generated through the superposition of two or more component waves

       Diffraction is the spreading of a wave through an aperture and depends on the wavelength and the aperture width

       Waves can interfere and the extent of interference depends on coherence, phase difference and amplitude

       Beats are a pulsations caused by two waves of slightly different frequency interfering with each other

Students will know…

       The terms: Interference, Diffraction, Beats, and Stationary Waves.


Students will be able to…

       Construct and interpret graphs of oscillatory disturbances (for both travelling and standing waves) with respect to time and with respect to displacement from the source

       Apply general wave theory to interpret natural phenomena produced by various kinds of longitudinal and transverse waves

       Use the principle of superposition to recognise beats in wave forms

       Use the principle of superposition to construct standing waves from component waves and vice versa

       Imagine the real-world applications of waves in the industry, military, businesses etc.



       Implications of waves for wars, surveillance and technological advancement of society in the last century

       Debates about  recent advancements in the understanding of waves, including wave- particle duality and gravitational waves, and how they help answer fundamental questions about the very tiny, and the distant edges of the universe

       Should we implement promising technology if we do not know all of its potential implications for our health and the environment?

       Should we alert potential aliens to our existence on Earth?

Learning Activities

  1. Rubens Tube


The purpose of this activity is to help students visually appreciate how standing waves are generated, and how to study their properties empirically.. A group of students can be given the challenge of creating a Rubens Tube; this a pipe with equally spaced holes in it. Gas is made to pass through one end of the pipe, and the other end of the tube is kept closed. The gas escapes through the holes, and these can be set alight with a lighter or matchstick. By sending sound waves of the correct frequency through the tube, the flame columns oscillate as a standing wave is produced in the tube. By then passing music and various controlled frequencies, the behavior of standing waves can be studied.


  1. Chladni Plate


The purpose of this activity is to help students visually appreciate how standing waves are generated, and how to study their properties empirically. A Chladni Plate is simply a membrane with grains on it e.g. of rice, that sits on top of a sound speaker. As sound of the right frequency is produced, the Chladni Plate goes into resonance and this causes the grains to shape up into regular 3D  patterns. Students can create their Chladni Plates as a project, and then research the properties of sound waves through them.


  1. Resonance in Musical Instruments


The purpose of this activity is to help students visualise how resonance occurs in musical instruments. Students can choose any musical instrument of their choice, and then video record the resonance occurring (whether that is in a string or on a membrane). The video should ideally be recorded in slow motion so that the harmonic vibrations and beats  can be easily seen. Students should take videos for each of the musical notes of the instrument and then present to classroom their findings; inferring the relationship between resonance and the different musical notes.


  1. Resonance of Non-Newtonian Fluid (e.g. ketchup) on a Speaker

The purpose of this activity is to help students visualise how resonance occurs in musical instruments. Place a non-Newtonian fluid on the cone of a sound speaker, and slowly increase the frequency signal sent to the speaker. The fluid will be begin to rise in resonance, and this provides a interesting 3D visual to studying resonance.














GRADE 9-10


Domain: Forces
Topic: Energy Conversions



Students will be able to:

- Differentiate between different kinds of forces and their effects

- Use Newton's laws to analyse motion and equilibrium


Benchmark I: Describe and analyse the effects of forces and momentum on the translational and rotational motion of bodies in one dimension

Student Learning Outcomes

       Explain how an object reaches terminal velocity

       Define momentum as mass × velocity; recall and use the equation p = mv

       Define impulse as force × time for which force acts; recall and use the equation impulse = FΔt = Δ(mv)

       Apply the principle of the conservation of momentum to solve simple problems in one dimension

       Define resultant force as the change in momentum per unit time; recall and use the equation resultant force = change in momentum/time taken  F = ∆p/∆t


Students will understand…

       Terminal velocity is a kind of dynamic equilibrium in which the resistive force equals the weight

       Changes in momentum can be used to predict the forces of collisions

       Momentum in a system is conserved provided there are no external resultant forces applied

Students will know…

       The terms Momentum, Energy, Work and Torque.


Students will be able to…

       Use free body diagrams to determine the resultant forces and momentum

       Calculate the resultant force on a system of objects by making using of the momentum formulation of Newton’s 2nd Law

       Apply the law of conservation of momentum to situations involving collisions and explosions



       Can substantial knowledge of physics help practitioners such as martial artists and sports players improve their crafts?

       Why are quantities such as momentum, charge and energy conserved in the universe?

       Is the universe deterministic i.e. can its future be predicted through Newtonian mechanics?

Learning Activities

  1. Conservation of Momentum


The purpose of this activity is to apply the concepts learnt about the conservation of momentum. As a game, have students sit on chairs with wheels and have their legs raised so that they do not touch the ground. Give them instructions and let them figure how to use the law of conservation of momentum to carry them out:


  1. If you are at rest, without touching the ground get yourself to move in a line (ans. The student can throw his/her bag away from him/herself in order to create a backwards thrust)

  2. If you are moving in a line, get yourself to turn 90 degrees (ans. The student will need to throw something of appropriate mass in the direction to which he/she wants to turn)

  3. If you are spinning about the axis of your chair, make yourself spin faster (ans. By either through something in a direction that is tangential and opposite to the motion, or by withdrawing one’s arms and legs close to the body; taking advantage of angular momentum conservation)


  1. Forces and Momentum in Martial Arts


The purpose of this activity is to apply concepts of forces and momentum to understand martial arts techniques. Students should in groups research martial arts of their choice (see for example this video for how techniques are related to Physics), and study how the moves or weapons make use of concepts of forces and momentum to maximise their effectiveness. The groups should be ready to then present their findings, try to simulate the moves if safe, and explain using scientific language.


  1. Terminal Velocity


The purpose of this activity is to practise applying knowledge of air resistance and terminal velocity. Students should design parachutes out of available materials such as paper or plastic bags. The challenge is to develop a parachute that will help a typical pen fall from a height of 3 metres (say from the window of a 2nd or 3rd floor of a building). They should first  pilot their designs, and be able to justify why they chose their materials and the shape of their parachute in order to maximise air resistance.


  1. Car Crashes


The purpose of this activity is to help students apply their concepts of forces and momentum to a real world context. Students should in groups research the data for what kind of injuries and what mechanism of collision is most common in car crashes. They should explain, in terms of inertia, momentum, forces and the position of the passengers in relation to the vehicle, how the physics agrees (or disagrees) with the data from research. Next they should present on what safety features and practices are most important for the top 5 most popular vehicles in their city.











Domain: Work, Energy and Power
Topic: Energy Conversions

Standard: Students will be able to:

- differentiate between work, energy, and power

- use the law of conservation of energy to analyse the viability and efficiency of systems

- differentiate between and mathematically analyse kinetic and gravitational potential energy


Benchmark I: Describe and analyse the effects of energy transfers and energy transformations on a body, along with the advantages and disadvantages of harnessing energy from natural resources

Student Learning Outcomes

       Know the principle of the conservation of energy and apply this principle to the transfer of energy between stores during events and processes

       Apply the principle of conservation of energy to explain why ideas to create perpetual energy machines do not work.

       Describe how useful energy may be obtained, or electrical power generated, from:

       chemical energy stored in fossil fuels

       chemical energy stored in biofuels

       hydroelectric resources

       solar radiation

       nuclear fuel

       geothermal resources



       waves in the sea

       including references to a boiler, turbine and generator where they are used




Students will understand…

       Different kinds of energy and their sources.

       The conversion of energy between different forms in the context of the law of energy conservation.

       That work done transforms into energy and vice versa, in accordance with the law of conservation of energy

       The mechanisms of generation, along with the general pros and cons, of electricity from renewable and non-renewable resources

Students will know…

       The terms power, work, and frequency.


Students will be able to…

       Advocate, through use of knowledge of energy generation, in favour of green, sustainable energy.

       Apply the law of conservation of energy to solve problems, and to disprove pseudo-scientific claims

       Apply knowledge of methods of electrical power generation to assess the pros and cons of harnessing various energy sources in given geographical contexts


       Politics of energy in today’s global economies and in  the context of climate change

       Political and environmental implications of nuclear weapons and nuclear energy

       Modern ideas about mass- energy, including ‘strings’ and the Higgs Boson

       Historical attempts to defy the classical law of conservation of energy

       Philosophical views over modern non- classical notions of energy

       Philosophical views over modern notions of dark matter and energy 

Learning Activities

  1. Debunking Perpetual Energy Machines

The purpose of this activity is to help students understand how to apply the law of conservation of energy to problems. Research and find memes from the internet that seem to contradict the law of conservation of energy. For example (retrieved from here):


Post these around the classroom and ask students to in pair walk around and brainstorm how they violate the law of conservation of energy. Have a whole-class discussion in which students then provide their justifications.


  1. Pakistan’s Energy Future

The purpose of this activity is to help students apply their knowledge of renewable and non-renewable energy to an authentic situation. Ask students in groups do a research project, where they need to:

  1. Identify an energy sub-sector of Pakistan (e.g. solar energy)

  2. Identify the pros and cons of investing further in that sub-sector of energy. They should be ready to express their arguments in terms of kilowatts, kilowatt hours and currency.

  3. Suggest a plan for optimising the energy sub-sector, keeping in mind new advancements in sustainable energy technology as well as the prevailing politics around the issue

Have the groups present, but also build upon each other’s ideas and reflect on where they disagree with each other.


  1. Efficiency and Power of a Car


The purpose of the activity is to help students understand conceptually P=Fv. Challenge students to research (either in class time or outside):

-          How the gear system of a manual car works

-          Justify in which gear a car would be more powerful, and in which gear it would be more efficient going up a slope.


  1. Studying the Law of Conservation

The purpose of this activity is to help students quantitatively verify the law of conservation of energy. Students can either work in groups or individually. Thru should drop balls from fixed heights (that are not so high as to make air resistance significant). The students should record the amplitude of the bounce of the ball after each bounce. If they are allowed cell phones with integrated cameras, they can use that to record videos of the motion. Ask them to justify through their experiment how the KE of the ball is largely being conserved.





Domain: Nature of Science
Topic: Reasoning and Argumentation

Standard: Students should be able to explain, with examples, what philosophical assumptions underpin the practice of science


Benchmark I: Students should able to:

- identify common sources of argumentative fallacies

- explain the broad schools of thought about the relationship between physics and metaphysics

- give examples of ethical dilemmas that emerge from research and practice of science

- explain the broad schools of thought about how science is distinguished from other fields of inquiry

Student Learning Outcomes

       Recognize the below common cognitive biases/fallacies that can hinder sound scientific reasoning:

       the confirmation bias

       hasty generalizations

       post hoc ergo propter hoc (false cause)

       the straw man fallacy

       redefinition (moving the goal posts)

       the appeal to tradition

       false authority

       failing Occam's Razor

       argument from non-testable hypothesis

       begging the question

       fallacy of exclusion

       faulty analogy



       Explain, with examples in the context of physics, the differences between induction, deduction and abduction in logic:

       Deductive reasoning is a logical process in which a conclusion is based on the concordance of multiple premises that are generally assumed to be true

       Inductive reasoning is a logical process involving making rational guesses based on data

       Abductive reasoning is an inference that goes from an observation to a theory which accounts for the observation, ideally seeking to find the simplest and most likely explanation




Students will understand…

       The components of logical arguments (propositions, premises, conclusions)

       The reasons why common argumentative fallacies are not logically sound

       The differences between deductive, inductive and abductive reasoning


Students will know…

       The terms fallacy, deduction, abduction, induction, propositions, premises, conclusions


Students will be able to…

       Deconstruct scientific arguments into propositions, premises, and conclusions

       Identify, with justification, whether a given argument is deductive, inductive, abductive or a combination of them

       Identify argumentative fallacies in a given text about science



       In public scientific discourse, argumentative fallacies are often prevalent and can mislead society

       Sound science requires sound arguments

       All types of reasoning have pros and cons

Learning Activities

  1. False Advertising

    The purpose of this activity is to help students recognise argumentative fallacies in authentic situations. Using an online video platform like YouTube, the instructor should screen commercials on products like toothpaste and soap, which often are backed by seemingly scientific arguments. Students should be put in teams, with each competing in a Buzzer Round quiz format. The team that buzzes first and gives the correct answer regarding the kinds of fallacies, with correct justifications for their answers,  in the advertisement get the points. Here is an

    example of argumentative fallacies in advertising



  1. Is the Earth Flat?

-          The purpose of this activity is to help students understand the advantages and limitations of inductive, deductive and abductive reasoning. Have volunteers from the class opt to take part in a parliamentary style debate. One team should argue that the Earth is flat (they will provide the opening arguments), and the other team will then try to argue that the Earth is round. The teams should be allowed time to prepare their arguments in advance, and each speaker should have a fixed amount of time. After the debate, the class should identify by creating a mindmap of the arguments of both sides of the teams when deductive, abductive and inductive logic being used, and how convincing were the arguments and why.


  1. Proof of a Physics Equation

-          The purpose of this activity is to help students distinguish between inductive, deductive and abductive arguments. Ask students to work in pairs to derive the formula for gravitational potential energy (GPE = mgh), and then identify:

-          What are your initial assumptions/premises?

-          Do your initial assumptions require further arguments to justify? How would you justify them?

-          What is your claim?

-          What are your arguments?

Through these above questions students should be able to identify what elements of their argument they would categorise as inductive, deductive or abductive. These should be discussed and debated in a whole-class discussion.


  1. Climate Change Fallacies

-          The purpose of this activity is to help students recognise argumentative fallacies in authentic situations. The below arguments against climate change should be put up on chart papers around the classroom (one argument per chart paper). Students should counter the arguments after doing their research (from the internet or through their books). They should write their counterclaims on sticky notes, and identify what is the argumentative fallacy behind each of the climate denial claims. These sticky notes should then be posted on the corresponding chart papers, and then the students should examine each other’s answers.