Semester Review Sheet for Fall 2003 Semester
AP Physics - Dr. Clark
I. Introduction to physics - Chapter 1
A. Dimensions and units
B. Signiﬁcant digits
1. Addition/Subtraction - round to the ﬁrst uncertain place (moving from left
2. Multiplication/Division - round to as many signiﬁcant digits as the number
with the least number of digits
C. Types of Errors
1. Random - repeated measurements ﬂuctuating around the true value (Ex:
the parallax of viewing a meter stick)
2. Systematic - repeated measurements being oﬀ by the same amount each
time (Ex: the meter stick is missing the increment between 39 cm and 40
cm because of a blunder in its manufacture)
3. Other error types (blunders, counting errors, etc.) fall into the two broad
categories of random and systematic, depending on how they aﬀect the
4. Many speciﬁc error sources have both random and systematic
characteristics (Ex: the drunk stepping oﬀ the crop circle radius)
II. One dimensional motion - Chapter 2
A. Deﬁnitions: displacement, speed, velocity, average and instantaneous values, and
B. Interpretation of graphs: x vs t, v vs t, a vs t, slopes, etc.
C. Equations of motion when acceration is constant
D. Free fall
III. Vectors and two dimensional motion - Chapter 3
A. Scalars and vectors (and vector addition)
B. Displacement, force, velocity, and acceleration as vectors
C. Two dimensional motion (the horizontal and vertical motions are completely
IV. The laws of motion - Chapter 4
A. Newton’s ﬁrst law of motion (law of inertia)
B. Newton’s second law of motion (F = ma)
C. Newton’s third law of motion (for every action there’s an equal and opposite
D. Friction and its eﬀect on motion
E. Diﬀerence between mass (a measure of the inertia of an object) and weight (the
magnitude of the force of gravity acting on an object) F. Why the acceleration
due to gravity is constant at or near the surface of the Earth
V. Work and energy - Chapter 5
1. The work done on an object is the product of the magnitude of the force
acting on the object and the distance that the object moves in the
direction of the force (while the force is being exerted)
2. Work is always accompanied by an energy transformation
1. Kinetic energy (KE)- energy of motion
2. Potential energy (PE)- energy of position
C. Energy considerations in solving problems
1. Conservation of mechanical energy
2. Work-kinetic energy theorem
3. Work done by friction
VI. Momentum and collisions - Chapter 6
B. Momentum deﬁned as the product of an object’s mass and velocity
C. Momentum is conserved within an isolated system (a system on which no
unbalanced force acts)
D. Why momentum is conserved
E. Kinetic energy is conserved in elastic collisions (this is the deﬁnition of an elastic
collision, i.e., no kinetic energy losses)
F. Kinetic energy lost in inelastic collisions
VII. Circular motion and the law of gravity - Chapter 7
A. Centripetal acceleration and force
B. Universal law of gravitation
VIII. Rotational equilibrium and dynamics - Chapter 8
B. Rotational equilibrium
IX. Solids and ﬂuids - Chapter 9
1. Variation of pressure with depth
a. Hydraulic lift
c. Soda straw (lift pump)
C. Archimedes’ principle and buoyant forces
D. Fluid ﬂow
1. Continuity equation
2. Bernoulli’s equation
X. Thermal physics - Chapter 10
B. Thermal expansion of solids
C. Ideal gas law
D. The kinetic theory of gases
XI. Heat - Chapter 11
A. The mechanical equivalent of heat
B. Speciﬁc heat and calorimetry
C. Latent heat of fusion and vaporization
D. Heat transfer (understand qualitatively but don’t need to work problems)
XII. The laws of thermodynamics - Chapter 12
A. Heat and internal energy
B. Work and heat
C. The ﬁrst law of thermodynamics (conservation of energy)
D. Heat engines
E. The second law of thermodynamics
F. The Carnot engine
XIII. Vibrations and Waves - Chapter 13
A. Hooke’s law
B. Elastic potential energy
C. Simple harmonic motion
1. Comparison with circular motion
2. Conservation of mechanical energy
3. Period of mass oscillating on a spring
D. Pendulum motion
E. Wave motion
1. Classiﬁcation of waves on basis of displacement direction
2. Periodic waves
3. Waves in a string
4. The superposition principle and interference of waves
5. Reﬂection of waves
XIV. Sound - Chapter 14
A. Producing sound waves
B. The Doppler eﬀect (understand, but don’t need to work problems)
C. Interference of sound waves
D. Standing waves in a vibrating string E. Resonance
F. Standing waves in air columns
Exam Format: The format of the exam will be the same as the tests during the
semester and the same as the actual AP exam. There will be a multiple choice
section and a “free response” section (problems). You will not be able to use your
calculator or formula sheet on the multiple choice section. Like we have done on
previous tests, you will work the multiple choice section ﬁrst. After you turn in that
portion, I will give you the formula sheet and you may get out your calculator.
1. Know how to work all the tests and understand the physics principles
involved (if you just memorize the solutions to the tests you probably won’t
do very well on the physics exam).
2. Know how to work all the homework assignments for the semester (again,
you need to understand the problems, not just memorize).
3. Study the lecture notes.
4. Read and study the textbook.
If you have time to master all 4 of the above categories, congratulations! You should
do very well on the exam. However, since the time that you will ﬁnd available to
you for preparing for the exam is ﬁnite, you will probably not have time to do all of
the above (for example, read 14 chapters in the text). I have listed these categories
in order of decreasing priority. For instance, knowing and understanding the tests is
the most important task. After you’ve mastered the old tests (including the practice
ones), homework, and notes, then you should read the textbook. Of course, this
doesn’t mean that you should focus exclusively on the tests without
looking at the other study sources until you understand every aspect of
every test. You should look at notes, homework, and the book to help
you understand any part of the tests that you don’t remember. If this
suggested strategy is not clear to you, please talk with me individually!
1. Dimensional analysis and converting from one set of units to another (such as
m/sec to mi/hr).
2. Interpreting graphs and calculating quantities from graphs, such as speed and
acceleration (both average and instantaneous).
3. Constantly accelerated motion in one dimension (such as masses moving up
or down ramps, balls thrown straight up, cars accelerating uniformly along
level roads, elevators, etc.)
4. Adding vectors mathematically.
5. Two dimensional trajectory problems (cars jumping gorges, etc.).
6. Newton’s laws of motion (frictional forces, net force acting on objects
undergoing constant acceleration).
7. Diﬀerence between mass and weight.
8. Apparent weight in diﬀerent reference frames (like an elevator).
9. Forces (such as gravity, normal force, friction, applied forces) acting on
objects sliding up or down inclined planes.
10. Work done by forces.
11. Potential (both elastic and gravitational) and translational kinetic energy of
12. Energy transformations, such as problems involving the work-kinetic energy
theorem, conservation of mechanical energy, work done by friction.
13. Power (rate of work or energy delivery).
14. Impulse and momentum.
15. Conservation of linear momentum in one and two dimensions. Objects stick
together, objects ricochet, object explodes. Calculate whether or not KE is
16. Rotational motion: angular displacement, angular speed, angular
17. Relationship between angular and linear quantities.
18. Centripetal acceleration and centripetal force.
19. Mutual force of gravitational attraction between masses.
20. Torque produced by forces.
21. Objects in equilibrium, both translational and rotational (apply the three
22. Buoyant forces acting on an object immersed in a ﬂuid (Archimedes’
23. Hydralic lift.
24. Variation of pressure with depth.
25. Lift pump and soda straw. Maximum height that a lift pump can lift a
26. Fluid ﬂow (continuity equation and Bernoulli’s equation).
27. Expansion and contraction of solids as a function of temperature.
28. Gas laws.
29. Mechanical equivalent of heat (for example, dropping a penny and calculating
how much it heats up).
30. Speciﬁc heat and calorimetry.
31. Latent heat of fusion and vaporization.
32. Work done by a gas. Extracting or calculating information from a PV
33. Eﬃciency of heat engines, both actual and theoretical maximum (Carnot
34. Hooke’s law.
35. Elastic potential energy.
36. Simple harmonic motion: position, velocity, acceleration, amplitude, etc.
37. Period of a pendulum.
38. Wave motion (frequency, amplitude, speed and wavelength).
39. Speed of waves on a string.
40. Superpositon of waves.
41. Standing waves on a string.
42. Standing waves in an air column.
Of course, combining problem types is a strong possibility.
AP Physics B - Extra Information Worth Memorizing
vi + vf
v = ∆d
∆t a = ∆v
∆t v avg = 2 ∆d = 1 (v i + v f )∆t
2 w = Fg = mg
F ab = −F ba M E = KE + ΣP E Wnet = ∆KE Wf = ∆M E W
P = ∆E = ∆t
pi = p f π
θ(rad) = 180◦ θ(deg) ∆s = r∆θ ω = ∆θ v = 2πr ρ= m
∆t T V
Av = ∆V
∆t T = TC + 273 K Q = mc∆T = nc∆T Q = mL 3
U = 3 P V = 2 nRT
Qh = W + Q c ω = 2πf x = A cos (ωt) v= FT = T L = n λ (or n λ )
µ ms /l 2 4
A fb = |f1 − f2 |
1 calorie = 4.19 J
Density of water: 1.00 g/cm3
Speciﬁc heat of water: 1.00 gcal