AP Physics B
/ECE
School code: 070756
Course Overview
The AP class has run since it was first offered in 1994 and has evolved to include covering AP C topics
and as of the fall of 2005 part of the University of Connecticut Early College Experience.
Classes meet
for forty two minutes, eight times a week for the entire school year. Students who elect to register for
the UCONN ECE program can receive credit from the University of Connecticut
for Physics
12
0
1
Q
and
12
0
2
Q
. The AP/UCONN ECE course is desig
ned as a second year course and virtually all the
students enrolled have already taken Honors Physics. The UCONN syllabus and the AP B syllabus are
very similar. Topics that are UCONN ECE specific are covered after the AP exam. Although this
course is offi
cially considered a non
–
calculus course many of the concepts are presented using calculus.
In Mechanics almost all of the AP C topics are covered. Each year a few students elect to take the AP
Physics C exam instead of the B exam. Students that elect to ta
ke either or both AP C exams must have
taken AP Calculus AB, and most concurrently take Calculus BC. The Calculus teacher includes the
solution of differential equations and other Physics C specific math in Calculus class. Students interested
in taking the
E&M exam are given independent assignments to fill in the few gaps in the curriculum.
Students have been very successful with this arrangement with everyone having received a 3 or better
on the AP C Mechanics and or E&M exam.
The syllabus that we use for
the course is based on the 38 page course objectives from The Teacher’s
Guide to Advanced Placement Courses in Physics by Naomi Martin which was issued by the College
Board in the 1980’s. The syllabus has been modified to reflect the most recent course de
scription
including a new unit on Fluids and changes in Special Relativity.
Homework is assigned almost every night. Homework problems are taken from the text book along
with past AP Physics B and C released exam questions. Test questions are normally pas
t AP C and B
released free response questions. Released AP multiple choice questions ( B&C ) are included as part
of review assignments prior to the AP exams.
The objective of the course is to have students develop skills and intuition to be able to under
stand
physics problems, and along with mathematical reasoning, to be able to solve college level physics
problems. The lab experiments parallel and support the core concepts of the course curriculum. The lab
component is intended to provide students with t
he analytical skills required for the analysis of physical
phenomenon.
The course is focused on developing conceptual understanding and intuition about the physical world.
As the course progresses through the year multi

conceptual problems are the norm.
All homework is reviewed the next day. Labs are done at a time to best reinforce the relationships and
concepts currently being studied. Informal assessment of understanding is done on a daily basis.
Throughout the course, emphasis is placed on the conc
epts and method of solution or analysis, and less
on the actual final product or answer.
Textbook
Primary textbook:
Serway/Faughn (2006). College Physics, 7th ed. 10 Davis Drive, Belmont, CA.: Thomson
Brooks/Cole. ISBN 0

534

99723

6
Reference
textbook:
Serway/Jewett (2004). College Physics, 6th ed. 10 Davis Drive, Belmont, CA.: Thomson
Brooks/Cole. ISBN 0

534

40842

7
Course Outline
* Indicates AP C topic which is included in the course but requires additional
independent study if the s
tudent is to take the AP C exam.
I
NTRODUCTION
(½
week
)
A. Data collection and analysis
I. NEWTONIAN MECHANICS
Kinematics
(2 weeks)
A. Motion in One Dimension
1. Position

time, velocity

time, and acceleration

time graphs
2. Equations of motion under constant acceleration
3. Free fall
B. Motion in Two Dimensions
1. Projectiles
2. Vector addition
a. Graphical methods
b. Algebraic methods
Newton’s Laws
(1.5 weeks)
A. Static Equilibrium (First La
w)
1. First Condition
–
translational equilibrium
2. Second Condition
–
rotational equilibrium (torque)
B. Dynamics of a Single Body (Second Law)
C. Systems of Two or More Bodies (Third Law)
D. Applications
1. Inclined planes
2
. Atwood’s machines and their modifications
3. Static and kinetic friction
Work, and Energy
(1.5 weeks)
A. Work and Work

Kinetic Energy Theorem
B Conservative Forces and Potential Energy
1. Gravity
2. Springs
C. Conservation o
f Mechanical Energy
D. Power
Systems of particles, Linear momentum
(1.5 weeks)
A. Impulse = change in momentum
B. Center of mass
C. Conservation of Linear Momentum and Collisions
1. Inelastic and perfectly elastic collisions
2. T
wo

dimensional collisions
D. Conservation of Angular Momentum (for a point mass)
Circular Motion and Gravity
( 1.5 weeks )
A.
Centripetal acceleration
B. Gravitation
C.
Applications
1.
Keplers Laws
2. Horizontal and vertical circles
3.
Planetary motion
Rotation
( 2 weeks )
A.
Rotational Kinematics
1. Angular and linear quantities
B. Rotational Dynamics
1. Torque and angular acceleration
2. Moment of inertia
3. Conservation of energy with rotational motion
4. Conservation of angular momentum
Waves
( 1 week )
A. Description and characteristics of waves
B. Standing waves and harmonics
1. Waves on a string
2. Waves in a tube (open and closed)
3. The Doppler Effect (in one dimension)
4. Sound intensity, power and relati
ve sound intensity
Simple Harmonic Motion
( 1.5 weeks )
A. Period of Springs and Pendulums
B. Energy and SHM
C. Acceleration and velocity as function of displacement
D. Position, velocity, and acceleration as function of time
Fluid Mechanic
s
(2 weeks)
A. Density and pressure
1. Density and specific gravity
2. Pressure as a function of depth
3. Pascal’s Law
B. Buoyancy
–
Archimedes’ Principle
C. Fluid flow continuity
D. Bernoulli's equat
ion
E. Applications in fluid mechanics
Thermal Physics
(3 weeks)
A. Temperature and Thermal Effects
1. Mechanical equivalent of heat
2. Heat transfer and thermal expansion
a. linear expansion of solids
b. volume
expansion of solids and liquids
3. Calorimetry
B. Kinetic Theory, Ideal Gases & Gas Laws
C. Thermodynamics
1. Processes and PV diagrams
a. isothermal
b. isobaric
c. isometric
d. adiabatic
e. cyclic
2
. First Law of Thermodynamics
a. Internal energy
b. Energy conservation
c. Molar heat capacity of a gas
3. Second Law of Thermodynamics
a. Directions of processes
b. Entropy
4. Heat Engines and Refrigerators
Semester II
E
LECTRICITY
&
M
AGNETISM
Electrostatics
(3 weeks)
A. Coulomb’s Law
B. Electric Fields and Gauss’ Law*
C. Electric Potential Energy and Electric Potential
E. Capacitance
1. Graphical description of capacitance
a. area
–
charge stored
2. Capacitors in series and parallel
D. Applications
1. Point charge distributions
2. Parallel plates
3. Cathode ray tubes
4. Millikan Oil Drop Experiment
Current Electricity
(2.5 weeks)
A
.
Electric Circuits
1. Emf sources, Current, Resistance and Power
2. DC circuits
a. Series and parallel circuits
b. Batteries and internal resistance
c. Ohm’s Law and Kirchhoff’s rules
d. Voltmeters and ammeters
e.
Capacitors in circuits (RC circuits)
3. Applications
Electromagnetism
( 3.5 weeks)
A. Magnetostatics
1.
Force of a magnetic field on a moving charge
2.
Force of a magnetic field on a current carrying wire
3.
Torque on a current carrying loop
4.
Mag
netic fields due to straight and coiled wires
5.
Ampere’s Law
*
B. Electromagnetic Induction
1.
Magnetic flux
2.
Faraday’s Law
3.
Lenz’s Law
4.
Inductance
*
C. Applications
1.
Mass spectrometers
2.
Motors
3.
Generators
OPTICS
( 2.5 weeks )
A. Geometric Opt
ics
1. Reflection, Refraction and Snell’s Law
a. Reflection and refraction at a plane surface
b. Total internal reflection
2. Images formed by mirrors
3. Images formed by lenses
4. Ray Diagrams and the thin lens/mirror equa
tion
B. Physical Optics
1. The electromagnetic spectrum
2. Interference and path difference
3. Interference effects
a. Single slit
b. Double slit
c. Diffraction grating
d. Thin film
Modern Physics
(2.5
weeks)
A. Atomic Physics and Quantum Effects
1. Photons and the Photoelectric effect
2. X

ray production
3. Electron energy levels
4. Compton scattering
5. Wave nature of matter
B. Nuclear Physics
1. Atomic mass, mass
number, atomic number
2. Mass defect and nuclear binding energy
3. Nuclear processes
a. modes of radioactive decay (
α
,
β
,
γ
)
b. fission
c. fusion
4. Mass

Energy Equivalence and Conservation of Mass and Energy
Labs
Because virtually all of the students in the AP course have taken Honors Physics, a point is made to not
repeat lab experiments that
students have already completed and understand. Labs are generally open

ended. Students are given an objective or task, and they work as a group to complete the task or goal.
The use of the scientific method is often incorporated in the lab design. Ultima
tely most of the lab
experimental designs lead to the collection of data
which is analyzed through graphical methods. Many
labs include the use of Pasco hardware and software or Calculator Based Lab modules with TI graphing
calculators to collect and analy
ze data. Most labs use more traditional methods of collecting and analyzing
data. Students work in groups during labs, but each student must submit their own lab report. Group
projects require only one lab report submission per group, but require a presen
tation to the class. Students
keep their lab reports in case the college of their choice requires evidence prior to awarding college credit
for physics.
Lab List
Study area
Specific Topic
Lab Title
Type
Time(min
1
Measurement
Measurement and Analy
sis
Hands on
60
2
Mechanics
Kinematics
The Great Graphing Race
Hands on
90
3
Mechanics
Dynamics
The Atwood Machine
Hands on
90
4
Mechanics
Circular motion
Centripetal Force
Hands on
60
5
Mechanics
Energy
Changes in Potential Energy
Hands on
60
6
Mecha
nics
Energy
Conservation of energy with a projectile
Hands on
60
7
Mechanics
Momentum
Impulse = change in momentum
Hands on
60
8
Mechanics
Momentum
Conservation of momentum in two dimensions
Hands on
60
9
Mechanics
Rotation
Moment of Inertia
Hands on
90
10
Fluids
Fluid static’s
Archimedes’ Principle
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45
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