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Physics Course Outline 2014-2015

Unit One - Inquiry


1. Clarify research questions and design laboratory investigations. (1b)
2. Demonstrate the use of scientific inquiry and methods to formulate, conduct, and evaluate
laboratory investigations (e.g., hypotheses, experimental design, observations, data analyses,
interpretations, theory development). (1c)
3. Organize data to construct graphs (e.g., plotting points, labeling x-and y-axis, creating appropriate
titles and legends for circle, bar, and line graphs), draw conclusions, and make inferences. (1d
4. Evaluate procedures, data, and conclusions to critique the scientific validity of research. (1e)
5. Formulate and revise scientific explanations and models using logic and evidence (data analysis).
(1f)
Unit Two - Math Prerequisite Review
1. Review dimensional analysis, scientific notation, and significant figures (digits).
2. Review rearranging algebraic equations with multiple variables.
3. Review basic trigonometric functions, problems involving right triangles, and area under a curve.
Unit Three - Vectors and Free-Body Diagrams
1. Use inquiry to investigate and develop an understanding of the kinematics and dynamics of
physical bodies. (2a)
i. Vector and scalar quantities
ii. Vector problems (solved mathematically and graphically)
iii. Vector techniques and free-body diagrams to determine the net force on a body
when several forces are acting on it
iv. Relations among mass, inertia, and weight
Unit Four - One-Dimensional Motion
1. Analyze, describe, and solve problems by creating and utilizing graphs and formulas of onedimensional motion (e.g., position, distance, displacement, time, speed, velocity, acceleration, the
special case of freefall). (2b)
Unit Five - Two-Dimensional / Projectile Motion
1. Analyze, describe, and solve problems involving two-dimensional motion (e.g., position, distance,
displacement, time, speed, velocity, acceleration, the special case of freefall).
Unit Six - Forces
1. Analyze real-world applications to draw conclusions about Newtons three laws of motion. (2c)
2. Analyze real-world applications of Newtons laws of motion involving two-body systems and twodimensions.
3. Apply the effects of the universal gravitation law to graph and interpret the force between two
masses, acceleration due to gravity, and planetary motion. (2d)
i.Situations where g is constant (falling bodies)
ii.Concept of centripetal acceleration undergoing uniform circular motion
iii.Keplers third law
iv.Oscillatory motion and the mechanics of waves
Unit Seven - Work and Energy
1. Explain and apply the conservation of energy and momentum. (3a)
i.Concept of work and applications
ii.Concept of kinetic energy, using the elementary work-energy theorem
iii.Concept of conservation of energy with simple examples
iv.Concepts of energy, work, and power (qualitatively and quantitatively)
v.Principles of impulse in inelastic and elastic collisions
2. Analyze real-world applications to draw conclusions about mechanical potential energy (the
energy of configuration). (3b)
3. Apply the principles of impulse and compare conservation of momentum and conservation of
kinetic energy in perfectly inelastic and elastic collisions. (3c)

Unit Eight - Thermodynamics and Solids, Liquids, and Gases


1. Investigate and summarize the principles of thermodynamics. (3d)
i.How heat energy is transferred from higher temperature to lower temperature until equilibrium
is reached
ii.Temperature and thermal energy as related to molecular motion and states of matter
iii.Problems involving specific heat and heat capacity
iv.First and second laws of thermodynamics as related to heat engines, refrigerators, and
thermal efficiency
2. Develop the kinetic theory of ideal gases and explain the concept of Carnot efficiency. (3e)
Unit Nine - Waves, Sound, and Light
1. Describe and model the characteristics and properties of mechanical waves. (4a)
i.Simple harmonic motion
ii.Relationships among wave characteristics such as velocity, period, frequency, amplitude,
phase, and wavelength
iii.Energy of a wave in terms of amplitude and frequency.
iv.Standing waves and waves in specific media (e.g., stretched string, water surface, air, etc.)
2. Differentiate and explain the Doppler effect as it relates to a moving source and to a moving
observer. (4b)
3. Explain the laws of reflection and refraction and apply Snells law to describe the relationship
between the angles of incidence and refraction. (4c)
4. Use ray tracing and the thin lens equation to solve real-world problems involving object distance
from lenses. (4d)
5. Investigate and draw conclusions about the characteristics and properties of electromagnetic
waves. (4e)
Unit Ten - Electricity and Magnetism
1. Analyze and explain the relationship between electricity and magnetism. (5a)
i.Characteristics of static charge and how a static charge is generated
ii.Electric field, electric potential, current, voltage, and resistance as related to Ohms Law
iii.Magnetic poles, magnetic flux and field, Ampres law and Faradays law
iv.Coulombs Law
2. Use schematic diagrams to analyze the current flow in series and parallel electric circuits, given
the component resistances and the imposed electric potential. (5b)
3. Analyze and explain the relationship between magnetic fields and electrical current by induction,
generators, and electric motors. (5c)
Unit Eleven - Nuclear Physics
1. Analyze and explain the principles of nuclear physics. (6a)
i.The mass number and atomic number of the nucleus of an isotope of a given chemical
element
ii.The conservation of mass and the conservation of charge
iii.Nuclear decay
2. Defend the wave-particle duality model of light, using observational evidence. (5b)
i.Quantum energy and emission spectra
ii.Photoelectric and Compton effects