AP Physics C Mechanics
Syllabus
and Course Guidelines
Text:
Fundamentals of Physics
,
9
th
Edition, by
Halliday, Resnick, and
Walker
Necessary Items:
A graphing calculator is highly recommended, but any scientific calculator may be used.
Pencil,
protractor and graphing paper, textbook, notebook, and folder will also be
required.
Course Description:
AP Physics C
Mechanics
is a weighted course intended for the student planning on
entering the fields of physical sciences or engineering. The subject
matter is taught from
a calculus based mathematical approach.
S
tudents must have
successfully completed
Physics 1 or Physics 1
Honors and be concurrently enrolled in Calculus. Due to the
advanced nature of the material, it is recommended that only seriou
s students of
science enroll.
Students will spend an average of at least one day a week on hands on laboratory
activities.
The remaining class time will be split between interactive lectures over key
topics and student centered problem solving where stud
ents will work individually or in
groups on homework problems or problems relating to real world situations. Students
will often be asked to share their solutions with the class to foster discussion about
all
the concepts in
volved in a complicated problem
and about
alternate
approaches to
finding a solution
.
Evaluation:
Students’ final grades for each
quarter
will be determined based on the following:
Tests:
5
0%
Homework:
25
%
Lab:
25
%
Grades for the semester will be based on the usual Q1
40%

Q2 40%

Exam 20% if
students take the final exam, and on Q1 50%

Q2 50% if they do not.
Course Outline:
This syllabus closely follows the Content Outline for AP C Mechanics provided by The
College Board. Refer to
http://www.collegeboard.com/student/testing/ap/sub_physc.html
The schedule on the fol
lowing page is only approximate. Refer to my website for
current schedules:
http://staffweb.brownsburg.k12.in.us/~mariaward/
Semester 1:
Topics
Chapters
in Text
Approx.
Number
of days
Unit 1
Mathematical Background
Vectors
The Calculus
Measurement
1, 3
1
0
Unit 2
Kinematics
Motion in One Dimension
Motion in Two
Dimensions
o
Projectiles, Circular and Relative Motion
2,4
2
5
Unit 3
Newton’s Laws of Motion
Newton’s 3 Laws
Equilibrium
Free Body Diagrams
Types and applications of forces
5,6
30
Unit 4
Work, Energy and Power
Work by constant and varying forces
Types of
energy
Work

Energy Theorem
Conservation of Energy
Power
7,8
20
Semester 2:
Topics
Chapters
in Text
Number
of days
Unit 5
Impulse and Momentum
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䥭pu汳l

Momentum⁔ eo牥m
䍯C獥牶a瑩tn映L楮ear⁍ men瑵m ‱ and′
䑩men獩sns
9
1
5
Unit 6
Rotational Mechanics
䍥C瑲tpeta氠fo牣敳rand a捣c汥牡瑩tns
副Ra瑩tna氠l楮ema瑩捳
副Ra瑩tna氠䑹nam楣i
Angu污爠䵯浥ntumnd瑳 捯n獥牶a瑩tn
Equ楬楢物um
10ⰱ1ⰱ2
㌰
Unit 7
Oscillations
S業p汥⁈ 牭on楣⁍o瑩on
Sp物ng⁍ 獳⁓y獴sm
S業p汥nd⁐hy獩捡氠sendu汵l
ㄵ
Unit 8
Gravitation
佲O楴i氠lo瑩tn
and
Kepler’s Laws
ㄳ
Newton’s Law of Universal Gravitation
Additional time in Semester 2 will be spent reviewing for the AP test itself or discussing
topics beyond the scope of the AP C Mechanics course
,
including the completion of an
end of course project
.
Please note that there may be more than one test given for some of the longer units.
Laboratory:
Students will spend at least 20% of class time
performing hands

on
laboratory
experiments. Most of th
ese labs will be open ended where a problem will be posed to
the students and they will
have to design an experiment to explore the problem. They
will then have to form conclusions based on the data they collected in their experiments.
Students will work
in small groups on the labs, but will be expected to write up their own
lab reports. Students will also keep a portfolio of all their lab investigations and reports.
Specific lab topics may include, but are not necessarily limited to, the following:
1.
Unc
ertainty of measurements
–
based on measurements of the size of a
classroom
2.
Motion with Uniform Acceleration
–
including Motion graphs
3.
Measuring the Acceleration Due to Gravity
4.
Projectile Motion 1
–
Determine the in
i
tial velocity of a projectile
5.
Projectile
Motion 2
–
Determine how to hit a specific target
6.
Atwood’s Machine
–
exploring Newton’s Laws
7.
Hooke’s Law Lab
–
Exploring spring forces, may include rubber bands for non

linear forces
8.
Meas
uring the Coefficient of
Friction
9.
Uniform Circular Motion
–
determining the relationship between force and radius
10.
Conservation of Energy in a Mass

Spring System
–
Using motion sensors and
force probes
11.
Energy Lab
–
Transfer of potential energy to kinetic energy as ball rolls down a
track and off a table. Predict wh
ere it will land and determine how much energy
is transferred to the track.
12.
Collisions
–
Projectile is fired at a target, both fall from a table. Predict where the
projectile would land if the target was removed from its path.
13.
Conservation of Momentum in
2 Dimensions
14.
Ballistic Pendulum Lab
–
using conservation of linear momentum
15.
Center of Mass
–
determine location of center of mass of flat objects of various
shapes
16.
Rotational Motion
–
use pulleys and weights to investigate moment of inertia and
angular mom
entum
17.
Rotational Equilibrium
–
using a meter stick supported by spring scales, students
predict then test what the spring scale reading would be when different masses
are placed at different locations
18.
Physical Pendulum
–
explore the relationship between
period and length
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