AP Physics Syllabus

Mr. Andrade
Central High School

AP Physics is a college level science course that will cover many topics and areas about the physical world around us, using lectures, demonstrations, labs, projects, humor and FUN. To fully achieve competence in this material, the students must work hard and apply themselves. You must do all of the assigned work and reading. This course is extremely fast paced and the students must keep up with the reading and work.

Work will include: Lectures, Labs and lab reports, Class and homework problems, Projects and project reports, Articles and various readings, Films and Videos, Demonstrations, Class Activities. We will also be doing practice AP Exams during the year. Students will work together on problems, projects, and lab investigations to learn team building skills. Many of the problems and labs will be open-ended, inquiry based projects. Students will be learning physics content as well as critical thinking and problem solving skills. Throughout the course, real world applications of the concepts being studied will be explored. Students will be assigned short “how does it work” assignments to research applications of physics concepts in the other sciences, consumer products, and research efforts.

Evaluation:            Homework             20% (homework is essential to your success in this class)
                                Quizzes                  20%
                                Labs /Projects       30%
                                Exams                     30%

Textbook: Giancoli, D. (2002). Physics: Principles with Applications, 5th rev. ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall. ISBN 0-13-061143-3

The following areas will be covered:
1.       Introduction to Physics – 1 week
2.       Kinematics in One Dimension – 1.5 week
3.       Kinematics in Two Dimensions – 1 week
4.       Dynamics – Newton’s Laws of Motion – 2 weeks
5.       Circular Motion – Gravitation – 1 week
6.       Work and Energy – 1 week
7.       Linear Momentum – 1 week
8.       Rotational Motion –  1 week
9.       Static Equilibrium – 1 week
10.    Fluids – 2 weeks
11.    Vibrations and Waves – 1 week
12.    Sound – 1 week
13.    Temperature and Kinetic Theory – 1 week
14.    Heat – 1 week
15.    Laws of Thermodynamics – 1 week

16.    Electric Charge and Electric Field – 1.5 weeks

17.    Electric Potential – 1 week
18.    Electric Currents – 1.5 weeks
19.    DC Circuits – 1.5 weeks
20.    Magnetism – 1 week
21.    Electromagnetic Induction and Faraday’s Law – 1 week
22.    Electromagnetic Waves – 1 week
23.    Light: Geometric Optics – 1.5 weeks
24.    The Wave Nature of Light – 1 week
25.    Optical Instruments – 0.5 weeks
26.    Special Theory of Relativity – 1 week
27.    Quantum Theory, Models of the Atom, Quantum Mechanics, Molecules and Solids – 1 week
28.    Nuclear Physics and Radioactivity, Nuclear Energy, Elementary Particles – 1 week
29.    Astrophysics and Cosmology – 1 week

1 – 2 weeks are then spent reviewing and preparing for AP Exam. Some labs and projects are done after the AP Exam takes place.

Lab Investigations: (student conducted, virtual, teacher led demonstration)
                Labs are typically open-ended and require the students to design their own lab procedure to solve a problem. Many of the labs are set up as a Physics Olympics event, with each team competing against each other to solve the problem. Students work in teams and may use any resources available to them in the room to complete their experiment. The design of the experiment and all data collecting is done during class, while the lab reports must be done at home. Students keep their lab notes in a notebook, and then submit a formal lab report. All lab reports are returned to students for them to keep for future reference.

                Students will be assigned reading from the textbook, as well as problem sets for each section.
                There will be a quiz after each unit and at least 4 exams during the year.
                Released AP Test Questions will also be assigned as either homework or in class assessments.
                There will be two research projects during the year where the students will be required to perform research on a
physics topic and either prepare a scientific report, or a presentation for the class.
                Lab investigations will be held throughout the course and students will be expected to write lab reports for each lab.
                Students will also complete short research projects throughout the year as well as virtual labs and explorations.

Handed out to every student to take home, plus a classroom set at school:
Giancoli, D. (2002). Physics: Principles with Applications, 5th rev. ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall.
ISBN 0-13-061143-3

In room for student use (1-5 copies of each):
Glencoe: Physics: Principles and Problems. 2005. Glencoe Publishing.
Holt: Physics by Serway and Faughn
Conceptual Physics by Paul Hewitt
Serway, Raymond A., and Jerry S. Faughn. 2003. College Physics. 6th ed. Pacific Grove, Calif.:
Brooks/Cole Publishing.
Cutnell, John D., and Kenneth W. Johnson. 2004. Physics. 6th ed. Hoboken, N.J.: John Wiley & Sons

Web Sites:
www.physicsmedic.org (my site) This site has links to textbook companion websites, the College Board web site, physics tutorial websites, and physics applets and demonstrations.

Equipment in room:
                7 internet connected computers for student use
                Extensive library of reference books
                Lab equipment for all units
                Virtual lab software for all units of physics

Reference Books: (copies available in classroom)
Barron’s AP Physics B Prep Book
AP Advantage, Physics B, by James Mooney
Cliffs Notes, AP Physics B

Required Materials:
Students are required to have a scientific or graphing calculator, notebook, and pencil

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