AP® Physics C Mechanics

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					AP® Physics C Mechanics
Course Syllabus

AP® Physics C is a national calculus-based physics course designed to prepare students
for the AP® Physics C Exam. This course is equivalent to a first year introductory
college physics course for pre-engineering students. This course requires and employs a
basic understanding of calculus.

We will use Physics for Scientists and Engineers. 5th ed. by Raymond A. Serway and
Robert J. Beichner.

Grading and Evaluation
Your quarter grade will be based on the following scale:
      Homework/Classwork                     10%
      Tests/Quizzes:                         70%
      Labs/Projects:                         20%

Your semester grade will be based on the following scale:
       First Quarter:                       40%
       Second Quarter:                      40%
       Semester Exam:                       20%

Laboratory Experiments
Laboratory experiments are an important part of any physics course. A minimum of 20%
of class time will be used for labs. Students will work in small groups to conduct hands-
on experiments, but each student will be required to keep their own lab notebook. All lab
reports must be saved and kept in a lab notebook.

Labs are an important part of inquiry-based learning. Many labs will require the students
to formulate and design their own experiment in order to test their hypothesis for the
problem in question. Students will collect data by making observations and taking
measurements. Finally, students will perform necessary calculations and form
conclusions about their experiment.

A list of the labs that will be done throughout this course is listed at the end.
Lecture and Recitation
Aside from labs, class time will be devoted to lecture and recitation where students are
actively involved in problem solving. Throughout the course, students will be asked to
work out problems on the board. This may be done individually or sometimes in pairs
where the students have to work together. Students at the board are responsible for
explaining and teaching the class the steps they took to solve the problems. Explaining
how to do problems to others is a good way to develop the skills necessary to solve
physics problems.

Outline of Topics

Week 1
Topic: Units and Measurements
   a. Units and dimensional analysis
   b. Vectors

Week 2-4
Topic: Kinematics
   a. Motion in one dimension
   b. Motion in two dimensions

Week 5-7
Topic: Newton’s Laws of Motion
   a. Static equilibrium
   b. Dynamics

Week 8-9
Topic: Work, Energy, and Power
   a. Work and work-energy theorem
   b. Kinetic and potential energy
   c. Conservation of energy
   d. Power

Week 10-11
Topic: Linear Momentum
   a. Momentum and impulse
   b. Conservation of linear momentum
   c. Collisions

Week 12
Topic: Systems of Particles
   a. Two-particle systems
   b. Many-particle systems
   c. Center of mass
   d. Conservation of momentum in systems of particles

Week 13-14
Topic: Circular Motion and Rotation
   a. Uniform circular motion
   b. Rotational kinematics
   c. Torque
   d. Rotational dynamics
   e. Angular Momentum and conservation of angular momentum

Week 15-16
Topic: Oscillation and Gravitation
   a. Simple harmonic motion
   b. Newton’s law of gravitation
   c. Planetary and satellite orbit

   1. Measurement of Length
      Students will take repeated measurements of the dimensions of a table to
      demonstrate experimental uncertainty in measurements, basic statistical concepts,
      and error propagation.

   2. Lab: Force Table and Vector Addition of Forces
      Students will use a force table to determine the magnitude and direction of several
      simultaneously applied forces to demonstrate the addition of vectors. Students
      find utilize both graphical and analytical solutions.

   3. Acceleration due to gravity
      Students will use a timer to determine the acceleration due to gravity. Students
      will measure distances and calculate velocities and accelerations. They will use
      the data to plot several graphs and find average acceleration via slope and
      numerical averaging.

   4. Projectile Motion
      Students will determine the relationship between the launch speed of a horizontal
      projectile and its range and time in air. Students will design their own procedures
      to promote inquiry. The will plot graphs of time in air vs. horizontal velocity and
      range vs. horizontal velocity.

   5. Projectile Motion 2
      Students will determine the relationship between the angle of launch  and the
      range of a projectile by using a projectile launcher.

   6. Newton’s Second Law on the Atwood Machine
   Students will use an Atwood machine to apply different forces to a fixed total
   mass. They will determine the acceleration produced by a series of different
   forces and demonstrate the relationship between force and acceleration. Time
   will be measured and acceleration will be calculated. A graph will be made of the
   applied force vs. acceleration to find the slope and compare to measured values.

7. Coefficient of Friction
   Students will determine the static and kinetic coefficients of friction by utilizing a
   block and a wooden plank oriented at an angle. Students will design their own
   procedures to promote inquiry.

8. Conservation of Mechanical Energy
   Students will demonstrate the conservation of mechanical energy by measuring
   the gravitational and spring potential energy in an oscillating mass-spring system.
   Students will also be able to calculate for the kinetic energy and velocity of the
   mass through the concept of conservation of energy.

9. Conservation of Momentum
   Students will explore the concept of conservation of momentum using two carts
   of unequal masses. Using a spark timer and two carts which will move apart from
   each other via a spring mechanism, students will design their own procedures to
   promote inquiry.

10. Conservation of Energy and Momentum
    Students will use a ballistic pendulum to demonstrate conservation of energy,
    conservation of momentum, and projectile motion. By measuring the height to
    which the pendulum rises, students are able to deduce the kinetic energy and thus
    initial velocity. This can be compared to the velocity calculated from an analysis
    of projectile motion.

11. Physical Pendulum
    Students will find the relationship between the period of a pendulum and its
    length, mass, and amplitude. To encourage inquiry, students will design their
    own procedures to find how these variables will affect the period. Graphs will be
    made for period vs. each of the variables.

12. Mass on a Spring
    Students will determine the spring constant k by measuring the period of
    oscillation for a spring-mass system in simple harmonic motion. This value will
    be compared to a k determined from the elongation of the spring for certain
    forces. The slope of a period squared vs. mass will be analyzed.