The Advanced Placement (AP) Physics B course, like all AP courses, is designed so that students will be taught course content at a collegiate level. This course in particular is designed to provide a foundation in physics for students interested in continuing their education in science or other fields beyond high school. You will explore and learn select physics content over the course of the school year until early May when you will take the AP exam. You may be granted college credit based largely on your score on the AP exam, the college or university you choose to attend, and the program in which you will enroll.
What is the AP Physics B Course?
The AP Physics B course covers a broad range of physics topics including Newtonian mechanics, fluid mechanics, thermal physics, electricity, magnetism, waves, optics, atomic physics, and nuclear physics. Students are exposed to the material through direct instruction, demonstration, visual animations, computer simulations, and “hands-on” laboratory exercises. On average, you will participate in one or two lab activities (approx. 60-90 minutes) per week. Lab work is very important to understanding physics concepts and therefore you will be asked to complete labs in a thorough and timely manner.
How will I do well in AP Physics, and how will I be graded?
Throughout the school year your learning will be assessed with homework assignments, lab activities, quizzes, and tests. Your grades will ultimately be determined by only five things.
AP Physics is not designed to be an easy course. There is a lot of material to be covered and very little time in which to do it. How seriously you take the course and how determined you are to do well will be the ultimate indicator of your success. The effort that you put into the course will affect the four other categories in which you will be graded. Work hard, ask lots of questions, persevere, and you will be rewarded.
2. Homework and In-class Assignments (~40%) Homework is downloaded and submitted online at the Quest website (see Course Materials below). It is crucial for your success in the course and on the AP exam. To do well in AP Physics you must practice applying your knowledge and problem solving skills by completing the homework assignments. The only way to learn physics is to do physics! Completing the assignments allows you to find your strengths and weaknesses as well as allowing me to evaluate the class’ level of understanding with the content. As practice makes the team better, doing homework makes the class better.
3. Quizzes (~30%) Throughout the year at appropriate junctures in the material you will be quizzed on your knowledge. The quizzes will be completed in class, but will not consume a lot of time (on average no more than 40 minutes). The questions will be modeled after AP Physics Exam questions, oftentimes they will be pulled directly from past exams. The questions on the quizzes will be largely multiple choice, but could be free response, or a combination of both. Many times the quizzes will consist of a component requiring you to list material (i.e. equations) that needs to be memorized. The quizzes will be given in an AP testing environment and therefore you will NOT be allowed to use your calculators and/or reference sheets.
4. Labs (~30%)
As the physics material is being covered throughout the year there will be times when it is necessary to verify the principles of physics by experimentation. Some labs will be presented to you with an objective and a clear procedure to be followed; however some labs will not be this straightforward. Oftentimes you will be presented with a problem and some equipment and you will be expected to develop your own procedure, methods for collecting data, and analysis of the data to find a logical solution. Labs will help to familiarize you with scientific equipment and they give you opportunities to learn through a hands-on/visual approach.
Some Things to Know About the AP Physics Course 1. Late homework is not accepted! 2. If three or more laboratory reports are missing within a five-week period you will fail the five weeks/quarter with a maximum of a 64%. 3. It is your responsibility to make up any missed work while absent! See Mr. Engels to find what work was missed and when it can be made up. Homework, quizzes, and laboratories need to be made up within one week of a student’s return. After one week a grade of zero will be entered. 4. Skipping class results in a zero for any work missed including quizzes, homework, or labs. These assignments cannot be made up for credit. 5. Cheating of any kind on any assignment results in a zero grade. 6. Arriving to class late three or more times in a marking period will result in a detention. 7. Mp3 players, iPods, cell phones, etc. are not permitted to be on or out of your bag while in the room.
Free Body Diagrams N3L: Action-Reaction Friction & its coefficients Tension, strings, & pulleys Work Springs & masses Hooke’s Law Potential energy, springs & gravity Force vs. Position graphs Work-Energy Theorem Conservation of Energy Power Simple Machines Simple Harmonic Motion (SHM) Amplitude, Frequency, & Period Energy of oscillating systems Springs & Masses Pendulums Momentum & Impulse Force vs. Time graphs Conservation of Momentum Collisions Systems with stored energy & momentum
Quiz: 2D Kinematics Lab: Force tables and vector addition Lab: Sticky Sneaker – Calculating Coefficient of Friction Lab: Inclined Planes Quiz: Newton’s Laws & Forces Lab: Hooke’s Law Lab: Calculating Power Output Unit Quiz: Work, Energy, & Power Lab: Pendulums Lab: Flying Silver Ball Quiz: Work, Energy, Power, & SHM
Activity: Calculating Gun Speed by shooting bullet into block (video, no real guns) Lab: Conservation of Momentum: Internal Force
Circular Motion, Rotation, & Gravity (1.5 Weeks)
Fluid Mechanics (1.5 Weeks)
Thermodynamics & Heat (2.5 Weeks)
Electro-statics & Capacitors (1.5 Weeks)
Electric Circuits (1.5 Weeks)
Magnetism & Electromagnetism (2 Weeks)
Circular motion, position, angular speed & acceleration Torque Newton’s Law of Universal Gravitation Circular Orbits, Kepler’s 3rd Law Pressure and Density Buoyant Forces and Archimedes’ Principle Fluid flow Bernoulli’s Equation Temperature and the Zeroth Law of Thermodynamics Heat Transfer and Thermal Expansion Specific Heat Ideal Gas Law Kinetic Theory of Gases Conduction, Convection, & Radiation First Law of Thermodynamics Second Law of Thermodynamics Heat Engines, Heat Pumps, & Refrigerators Charge and Coulomb’s Law Charging (by induction) Electric Fields Electric Potential and Electrical Energy/Work Conductors and electric fields/potentials E. Field and potential graphs Capacitance Current, Electromotive Force, Resistance, Power Ohm’s Law DC Circuits (parallel & series) with ammeters, voltmeters, etc. Resistors Parallel Plate Capacitors and Circuits Magnets and Magnetic Fields Forces on moving charges Forces on current-carrying wires Electromagnetic Flux Generators