AP® Physics C Mechanics Course Syllabus Overview 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. Text 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 Labs 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.
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