This course follows the syllabus of the AP Physics C-Mechanics and the AP Physics C-Electricity & Magnetism exams, preparing students for a demanding two-semester course of calculus-based physics at the university level. Topics include but are not limited to kinematics; Newton’s laws of motion; work, energy, and power; systems of particles and linear momentum; circular motion and rotation; oscillations and gravitation; electrostatics; conductors, capacitors, dielectrics, and inductance; electric circuits and Kirchhoff’s Rules; magnetic fields; and electromagnetism. The course helps students develop a deep understanding of the laws of physics through the application of rigorous mathematical techniques and detailed analytical approach to experimental data. Throughout the year, students will learn how to solve complex physics problems using differential and integral calculus. Students must be able to recognize mathematical patterns quickly and to apply their understanding of specific experiments to more general phenomena. Substantial time is spent in the laboratory. Students must have mastered multi-variable algebra, trigonometry, vectors, logarithms, exponents, and mathematical modeling of data with and without a graphing calculator. Weekly or biweekly lab experiments are performed during class and the results are analyzed in lab reports. Students should be unafraid to use computer technology in the acquisition, analysis, and reporting of data. Students are assigned homework weekly, which might include reading a chapter from a university-level text, solving several multi-step problems, writing lab reports, and conducting independent research.
During the summer months, students are required to perform summer work, which might entail reading a book of scientific interest, studying tutorials on spreadsheet and/or calculator programming, and/or solving problems in the text. This course fulfills the physical science requirement.
Open to: Juniors and seniors