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AP Physics Class Syllabus and Calendar

Course Description: 
AP Physics B is a college level course that uses advanced algebra and trigonometry as the primary tools for problem solving.  The course covers topics in mechanics, energy, waves, thermodynamics, electricity, magnetism, optics, quantum theory, and nuclear physics. Students should expect to spend 6 hours per week outside of class on physics related assignments.

AP Physics is an intense course and is purposely designed to extract the students’ best reasoning skills. Consequently, it is not unusual for students to occasionally become frustrated with laboratory work, problem solving, and tests. For this reason, there are several fundamental requirements that I expect from them that will allow them to reach their personal goals in this course. Firstly, students are expected to attend all classes. Absences related to legitimate reasons are unavoidable, however, it becomes the students responsibility for obtaining the information and assignment for that day. Secondly, problems assigned in class are valuable for understanding the material. It is expected that all assignments be completed on time to the best of their ability. Thirdly, students who are not achieving or who are struggling with the material with a grade of 75 or below are required to attend tutorials (although, tutorials are suggested for all students).

The students can best reach their goals in this course through daily preparation. There is no substitute for hard work, especially in a course such as AP Physics that requires a collection of skills (i.e., writing, mathematics, reasoning, etc.) to succeed. Students should expect to work much harder in this course than what they are accustomed to in high school courses, but the rewards will be worth it all. The AP Physics course provides a foundation in physics for students in the life sciences, pre-medicine, and some applied sciences, as well as engineering and other fields not directly related to science.                             

Course Section:
Students will be expected to read the textbook and become familiar with formulas and vocabulary prior to class.  A quiz will be given for each chapter to determine if the student has completed their pre-reading assignment.  Lecture and class discussion will occur throughout the units as needed.
Conceptual questions will be assigned for each chapter as well as a number of homework problems to extend the students learning experience.  (See attached list titled Homework).

Recitations will be conducted about once every other week.  Recitations are a demonstration of obtained knowledge through teaching peers and coaching one another in strategies to complete released free response questions.
All students will read the book Alas, Babylon by Pat Frank and complete a special project to demonstrate understanding of the text. 

Course Section Grading:    (Spring)

Exam                             10%
Tests/Lab Practicals       30%
Pre-Lab                         10%

Lab                               30%
Daily/Recitation              20%


Students are tested at the end of every unit.  Tests consist of two sections: 23 multiple choice questions from the textbooks test bank (30 minutes to complete) and two free response problems from the released tests (30 minutes to complete). Note: In the spring, when there is reduced time one free response problem (15 minutes to complete) counts double.  The tests are scored in the same manner as the actual AP Physic B Exam and given a numerical value of 1 through 5.


Fourth Six Weeks

January 8-12                                          Electrostatics-Chapter 18

                                                                -Charge, Field, and Potential

                                                                -Coulomb’s Law and Field and Potential of Point Charges

                                                                -Fields and Potential of Planar Charge Distribution

January 16-19                                        Conductors and Capacitors-Chapter 19

                                                                -Electrostatics with Conductors

                                                                -Parallel Plate Capacitors

January 22-February 2                          Electric Circuits-Chapter 20

                                                                -Current, Resistance, Power

                                                                -Steady State with DC Circuits with Batteries and Resistors

                                                                -Steady State Capacitors in Circuits

February 5-9                                          Magnostatics-Chapter 21

                                                                -Forces on Moving Charges in Magnetic Field

                                                                -Forces on Current Carrying Wires in Magnetic Fields

                                                                -Fields of Long Current Carrying Wires

February 12-16                                      Electromagnetic Induction-Chapter 22

                                                                -Lenz’s Law

                                                                -Faraday’s Law

Fifth Six Weeks

February 19-March 2                         Fluid Mechanics-Chapter 11

                                                                -Hydrostatic Pressure


                                                                -Fluid Flow Continuity

                                                                -Bernoulli’s Equation

March 5-9                                              Temperature and Heat-Chapter 12 and 13

                                                                -Mechanical Equivalent of Heat

                                                                -Heat Transfer and Thermal Expansion

March 19-30                                          Kinetic Theory and Thermodynamics-Chapter 14 and 15

                                                                -Ideal Gases (Kinetic Model and Ideal Gas Law)

                                                                -Laws of Thermodynamics (First and Second Law)      

April 2-13                                               Atomic Physics and Quantum Effects-Chapter 28, 29, and 30

                                                                -Photons and the Photoelectric Effect

                                                                -Atomic Energy Levels

                                                                -Wave-Particle Duality

Sixth Six Weeks

April 16-20                                             TAKS TESTING (schedule will vary)

April 23-27                                             Nuclear Physics-Chapter 31 and 32

                                                                -Nuclear Reactions

                                                               -Mass-Energy Equivalence

April 30-May 11                                   AP Review

May 14                                                   AP Physics B Exam

May 21-25                                             Review and Final Exam


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