Summer AP/IB Physics Foundational Course

Summer AP/IB Physics Foundational Course

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This preview course focuses on mechanics, in preparation for the AP Physics 1 and Physics IB curriculum offered in the fall.  Emphasis is on the most important topics which form a foundation for understanding the entire AP/IB Physics course, with concentration on the most troublesome aspects of mechanics for students new to college-level physics.  Particular topics include, but are not limited to, what follows.

  • Vector quantities (displacement, velocity, & acceleration) versus scalar quantities (distance, path length & speed), including their average and instantaneous value
  •  Graphs of physical quantities and their interpretations in terms of their slopes as rates of change & areas under the graphs.  Consistency of graphs of displacement, velocity, and acceleration.
  • Projectile (2-D) motion of point masses.  Independence of horizontal and vertical motions.  Effects of fluid resistance (air drag) and terminal velocity.
  • Newton's 3 laws of motion and their applications.  Forces and free body diagrams.  Inclined plane and elevator problems.  Static and dynamic equilibrium.
  • Quantification of action of forces over displacements in space (work) & time (impulse).  Kinetic & potential energy.   Momentum, collisions, and explosions.  Work-energy theorem.  Conservation laws of momentum, mechanical energy, and total energy.
  •  Circular motion and universal gravitation.  Centripetal acceleration and force.  Rotor ride, banked turn, and vertical non-uniform circular motion problems.  Torque and angular momentum.  Newton's law of universal gravitation and circular orbits.
  •  Model-driven physics.  Planetary model of the atom and its limitations.  Brief description of quantum mechanical atomic theory.

Classes will be held from 6/7/2021 through 7/28/2021 (16 Total Classes).

Classes will be on Mondays and Wednesdays 2:00PM-4:00PM PST.