HIGH SCHOOL PHYSICS

"DISCOVERING the SCIENTIFIC laws governing our universe"

COURSE OVERVIEW  - Throughout these three courses, students will track three big, parallel ideas in physics. In the first session, Mechanics and Motion, the ideas of Galileo and Newton are the focus. While we approach the topic conceptually, the goal for high school students is to become comfortable with the mathematics of motion and energy. Thermal Physics is the topic of the second session. The analysis of pumps and engines amazingly leads to theories of atomic physics. Students follow this historical flow in Thermal Physics.  Lastly, in Electromagnetism students probe the nature of electricity, magnetism, and light and discover the unexpected commonality of these three phenomena.  

Suggested Prerequisite Understanding - Advanced Physics is designed with the following assumptions of student knowledge: 

  • Proficiency with Scientific Notation
  • Proficiency in solving for unknowns in equivalent ratios
  • Proficiency in solving for unknowns in algebraic equations
  • Proficiency in finding the equation of a line
  • Exposure to Algebra 2 topics
    • solving for unknowns in systems of equations
    • solving for unknowns in quadratic equations
  • Exposure to exponential and logarithmic functions (very minimal exposure assumed)


FALL: MECHANICS AND MOTION

Students begin this journey by establishing the basic physical principles that define motion. They will be able to see and analyze first hand exactly the fundamental principles of motion.

Topics: 1-d motion, 2-d motion, Newton's Laws of Motion, work, energy, power, momentum, circular motion and rotation, oscillations, gravity

COURSE SYLLABUS

WINTER: OPTICS AND WAVES

Waves phenomena form the foundation for the science of optics, lights, and electromagnetism. Students follow the experiments which lead to a complete theory of optics and waves.

Topics: mirrors, lens, ray diagrams, parts of a wave, mathematics of waves, applications of wave

COURSE SYLLABUS

SPRING: ELECTROMAGNETISM

In perhaps one of the most interesting courses offered at our school, students will learn the inner workings of electricity and magnetism. Discovery ranges from charged objects to their bizarre interaction with magnetic fields.

Topics: Coulomb's law, electric field, potential, conductors, capacitance, parallel plate capacitor, current, resistance, power, DC circuits, capacitors, magnetic fields, induction.