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AP PHYSICS C – MECHANICS
SYLLABUS
Instructor: Tim Auch
Phone/Extension: (859) 781-2617
Email Address: [email protected]
Grade: 11-12
Credits: 1
Course Description
AP Physics C – Mechanics is designed to provide students with a learning experience equivalent
to a semester-long, calculus-based college course. This course requires and uses a basic
understanding of calculus including differentiation and integration. Therefore, all students are
to be enrolled in AP Calculus or with a teacher approval and the understanding that additional
work will be required. A thorough knowledge of geometric, algebraic and trigonometric
concepts is also important.
This course is devoted to Newtonian Physics. It covers the topics on the AP Physics C
Mechanics exam. The emphasis is on the understanding of the concepts and skills and student
learning to foster the development of critical thinking skills. Students will be required to be not
only good listeners, but also independent learners and learning partners in cooperative groups.
The ability to learn and intellectual confidence will be developed in both the classroom and the
lab. Much of the material will be learned by the students through guided reading, discussion,
problem solving and lab activities with fellow students. The teacher will oversee the studentcentered learning and promote the understanding of the concepts.
Students will spend a minimum of twenty percent of instructional time engaged in hands on
laboratory work. Each student will complete a lab portfolio of lab reports which could be used
by your college for credit or placement. Labs will be graded on the students’ participation in
the actual experiment and the written report. Each lab will include formation of a hypothesis,
design of an experiment, observations and collection of data, calculations using observed data
and conclusions.
Text: Fundamentals of Physics
By Holiday, Resnick and Walker 10th edition, 2015, John Wiley & Sons with WileyPlus
The textbook is outstanding and is used by excellent high schools, colleges and universities
across the country. The course uses the design of the textbook and covers Chapters 1-13 and
15.
Summer Work:
Students will read Chapter 1, Measurement, in the textbook and answer problems at the end of
the chapter.
Course Schedule:
Week
1
Topics + Labs
Units of Measurement Review
Introduction to Calculus
Differentiation and Integration
Analysis of an Experiment
2,3,4
Motion Along a Straight Line
Displacement
Average and Instantaneous Velocity
Time-Varying Acceleration
Constant Acceleration
Graphical Integration in Motion Analysis
Using the Motion Detector to Describe Kinematics Motion
Measuring the Acceleration due to Gravity
5,6
Vectors
Vectors and Scalars
Adding Vectors Geometrically and Physically
Multiplying Vectors
Vectors and the Laws of Physics
7,8
Motion in 2 and 3 Dimensions
Position and Displacement
Average and Instantaneous Velocity and Acceleration
Projectile Motion
Uniform Circular Motion
Relative Motion in One or Two Dimensions
Projectile Motion
9,10
Force and Motion 1
Newtonian Mechanics
Newton’s First, Second and Third Laws
Proving Newton’s Second Law
11,12
Force and Motion II
Friction
Drag Force
Terminal Speed
Uniform Circular Motion
Calculating the Coefficient of Friction
13,14
Kinetic Energy and Work
Kinetic Energy
Work
Gravitational and Spring Forces
Work Done by a General Variable Force
Power
Hooke’s Law
15,16
Potential Energy and Conservation of Energy
Work and Potential Energy
Path Independence of Conservative Forces
Determining Potential Energy Values
Reading a Potential Energy Curve
Work Done on a System by an External Force
Calculating Changes in Potential Energy
Using a Pendulum to Demonstrate Conservation of Energy
17, 18, 19
Center of Mass and Linear Momentum
Center of Mass
Collision and Impulse
Conservation of Linear Momentum
Elastic and Inelastic Collisions
Systems with a Varying Mass
Collisions and Conservation of Momentum
20, 21, 22
Rotation
Rotational Variables
Rotation with Constant Angular Acceleration
Relating Linear and Angular Variables
Kinetic Energy of Rotation
Rotational Inertia
Torque
Newton’s Second Law
Work and Kinetic Energy
Rotational Inertia
Uniform Circular Motion
23, 24, 25
Rolling, Torque, and Angular Momentum
Rolling as Translation and Rotation
Kinetic Energy of Rolling
Torque
Angular Momentum
Newton’s Second Law
Rotational Dynamics
26,27
Equilibrium and Elasticity
Equilibrium
Center of Gravity
Indeterminate Structures
Elasticity
Elastic Force in Rubber Bands
28,29
Gravitation
Newton’s Law of Gravitation
Principle of Superposition
Gravitation Near and Inside the Earth’s Surface
Potential Energy
Kepler’s Laws
Satellites
Einstein and Gravitation
Newton’s Law of Gravitation
30,31
Oscillations
Simple Harmonic Motion
The Force Law for SHM
Simple Harmonic Oscillator
Pendulums
Uniform Circular Motion
Damped SHM
Forced Oscillations and Resonance
Dynamics of Simple Harmonic Motion
32, 33
Review for AP Exam
34, 35, 36
Further Experimentation and Laboratory Studies
Volume and Density of Solids and Liquids
Atwood’s Machine
Baseball throws Analysis
Analysis of a Sprinter
Indirect Measurement of Heights
Energy Loss Due to Air Resistance
Prerequisite
Successful completion of Physics 1 Advanced and teacher recommendation and enrollment in
AP Calculus or teacher approval alternative method of learning calculus.
Method of Grade Calculation
Students will be evaluated on class assignments and activities including the following:
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Class Work
Homework
Lab Reports
Writing Assignments
Tests
Exams
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