Physics A Syllabus

Course Description

Physics delves into the interactions of matter and energy, from the subatomic level of quarks and leptons to the astronomical level of the Big Bang and black holes. This first course on physics focuses on the ordinary interactions seen on our everyday world. The model of Newton's laws of motion applies to all such interactions and serves as a basis for analyzing the forces of gravity, friction, heat, and other forms of energy. This first course deals with motion, forces, momentum, heat, and waves, along with their subtopics, such as work and energy. A short description of this physics course might be "engineering physics," since the most obvious applications of everyday physics is in engineering machines and facilities.

Course Objectives

• Understand the concepts of forces and matter as they relate to ordinary interactions to an introductory level.

Topics to be Covered

Unit 1: Motion and Forces

Unit Description

Physics began in the modern era with a study of motion, forces, and gravity. Galileo's bold assertions that observation and experimentation were of greater authority than the classical masters or the theologians may have landed him in trouble with the religious authorities, but it set the stage for a new way of scientific thinking. Isaac Newton, buoyed by the new discoveries from the telescope, looked at the world around him as part of a greater universe, subject to universal laws. His formulation of three Laws of Motion and the concept of gravity stand among the top intellectual triumphs of the modern era

Unit Objectives

• Analyze and describe motion in three dimensions

• Standardize and understand the communication of accuracy and precision in measurements

Lesson 1: Physics—What’s That?

Lesson Description

Scientific method, definition of physics, models, graphs and mathematics

Lesson Objectives

• Describe how human needs and curiosity have impacted the development of science.

Lesson 2: A Full Measure

Lesson Description

SI, dimensional analysis, accuracy and precision, significant figures

Lesson Objectives

• Communicate results clearly and logically.

Lesson 3: Speeding Along

Lesson Description

Velocity, displacement, average vs instantaneous, frame of reference

Lesson Objectives

• Determine the rate of change for a quantity.

Lesson 4: Accelerating

Lesson Description

Acceleration, calculating final velocity, acceleration graphs, problem solving

Lesson Objectives

• Analyze the relationships among position, velocity, and acceleration.

Lesson 5: Vectors from Head to Tail

Lesson Description

Vectors, scalars, vector addition, multiplication of vectors by scalars.

Lesson Objectives

• Analyze the two-dimensional motions of objects.

Unit 2: Laws of Motion

Unit Description

It is time to delve into the laws that govern motion. First, we look at projectile motion, that is, the behavior of moving objects in the pull of Earth's gravity. Everything from basketballs to bombs are launched with the intent that they come back to Earth at a precise point, and knowledge of the laws of motion and of gravitation enable men to calculate their paths precisely. In the last two lessons of this unit, Newton's well-established three laws of motion are presented. Though they were formulated over 300 years ago, Newton's laws are still being used today to calculate forces, accelerations, and inertia for moving things

Unit Objectives

• Understand and apply the principles of projectile motion.

• List and understand Newton’s Laws of Motion.

Lesson 6: Vectoring Projectiles

Lesson Description

Mathematical conversions (Pythagorean Theorem, trig functions), adding vectors mathematically, projectile motion

Lesson Objectives

• Give an example that shows the independence of vertical and horizontal components in projectile motion

• Analyze the two-dimensional motions of objects

Lesson 7: Relative Motion

Lesson Description

Relative motion, variables, addition of frame of reference values

Lesson Objectives

• Analyze the relationships among position, velocity, and acceleration.

Lesson 8: Changes in Motion

Lesson Description

Forces, contact and field forces, free-body diagrams

Lesson Objectives

• Determine the rate of change of a quantity

Lesson 9: Newton’s First Law

Lesson Description

Newton’s First Law, net external force, inertia

Lesson Objectives

• Explain how Newton’s 1st Law applies to objects at rest and in motion.

Lesson 10: More Newton

Lesson Description

Newton’s 2nd Law, Newton’s 3rd Law, action-reaction pairs

Lesson Objectives

• Use Newton’s 2nd Law of Motion, analyze the forces upon an accelerating object.

• Use Newton’s 3rd Law to explain forces as interactions between bodies.

Unit 3: Work, Energy, and Power

Unit Description

Force is a useful concept, but only if it is put into a real-world context. Force must operate over a distance, and when it does, it is considered work. That is not to say that it is drudgery, but the concept of work in physics indicates that something has moved or changed. If nothing moves, no work is done. The rate of work is power, and the ability to do work is energy. The concepts of work, energy, and power are interrelated, but they all apply to many kinds of forces.

Unit Objectives

• Understand the relationships of force, energy, work, and power and their effect on matter.

• Apply the concept of conservation of energy to the interactions of matter and energy.

Lesson 11: Everyday Forces

Lesson Description

Mass vs. weight, normal force, friction

Lesson Objectives

• Represent the force conditions required to make a change in motion.

• Describe the nature and magnitude of frictional forces.

Lesson 12: Work, Work, Work

Lesson Description

Work definition, sign conventions, and calculations

Lesson Objectives

• Describe various ways in which matter and energy interact.

Lesson 13: Energy

Lesson Description

Kinetic energy, work-energy theorem, potential energy, elastic energy and spring constant

Lesson Objectives

• Describe various ways that energy is transferred within a system.

Lesson 14: Nothing Lost, Nothing Gained

Lesson Description

Conservation of mechanical energy, friction loss, types of energy

Lesson Objectives

• Recognize that energy is conserved in a closed system.

Lesson 15: Power

Lesson Description

Definition of power, relation to force and speed

Lesson Objectives

• Calculate quantitative relationships associated with force, work, energy, and power.

Unit 4: Manipulating Forces

Unit Description

Forces are everywhere. Except in empty space (and this is debated) few things travel in straight lines, and every deviation from a straight line motion indicates that there is a force at work. In this unit, you will study how forces work, and how we use forces to do our work. Momentum, collisions, circular motion, and machines are all artifacts of forces and motion. In addition, throughout history, men have used the buoyant forces of water and other fluids to move themselves and other things. Today's machines and tranportation are simply extensions of what was learned and employed in earlier eras. A thorough understanding of physics must include such engineering applications.

Unit Objectives

• Using the conservation of momentum, distinguish between elastic and inelastic collisions.

• Convert energy and motion values in circular motion situations.

• List and categorize simple and complex machines.

• Recognize buoyancy as a force and apply it to fluid mechanics.

Lesson 16: Conserving Momentum

Lesson Description

Momentum, impulse, collisions

Lesson Objectives

• Analyze the impulse required to produce a change in momentum.

Lesson 17: A Collision Course

Lesson Description

Elastic collisions, perfectly inelastic collisions, mass considerations

Lesson Objectives

• Quantify interactions between objects to show conservation of momentum in collision and recoil.

Lesson 18: Going in Circles

Lesson Description

Centripetal acceleration, circular motion forces, law of universal gravitation

Lesson Objectives

• Analyze the general relationships among force, acceleration, and motion for an object undergoing uniform circular motion.

• Using the Law of Universal Gravitation, predict how the gravitational force will change when the distance between tow masses changes, or the mass of one of them changes.

Lesson 19: Space and Machines

Lesson Description

Torque, simple machines, mechanical advantage, efficiency

Lesson Objectives

• Determine the rate of change of a quantity.

• Using Newton’s 2nd Law of Motion, analyze the forces on an accelerating object.

Lesson 20: Buoyancy and Fluids

Lesson Description

Density, buoyant force, floating objects

Lesson Objectives

• Describe various ways in which energy is transferred from one system to another.

Unit 5: Heat and Energy

Unit Description

The most common form of energy is heat. Heat is the kinetic energy of molecules. Temperature is the average kinetic energy of molecules. The Second Law of Thermodynamics implies that the universe is heating up, since all processes tend to generate heat. How do humans manage to stand all this universal warming? By recycling heat energy.

Unit Objectives

• Relate the concept of pressure to fluid mechanics.

• Distinguish between heat, the total kinetic motions of particles, and temperature, their average motion.

• Describe the action of heat energy on gases, liquids, and solids.

Lesson 21: Pressure and Fluid Mechanics

Lesson Description

Pressure defined, Pascal’s principle, Bernoulli’s principle, ideal fluids

Lesson Objectives

• Calculate quantitative relationships associated with the conservation of energy.

Lesson 22: Temperature

Lesson Description

Internal energy, thermal equilibrium, temperature scales and conversions

Lesson Objectives

• Distinguish between heat and temperature.

Lesson 23: The Heat is On.

Lesson Description

Heat vs. temperature, convection, conduction, radiation, heat and work

Lesson Objectives

• Distinguish between heat and temperature.

Lesson 24: Heat—Inside and Out

Lesson Description

Specific heat capacity, calorimetry, latent heat, heat of vaporization, heat of fusion

Lesson Objectives

• Explain how molecular motions is related to temperature and phase changes.

Lesson 25: Heat and Work

Lesson Description

Isovolumetric, isothermal, adiabatic conditions, volume and work considerations

Lesson Objectives

• Calculate quantitative relationships associated with the conservation of energy.

Unit 6: Heat Waves

Unit Description

Energy comes in multiple forms, including heat and waves. Heat studies comprise the science of thermodynamics; wave studies, on the other hand, are dispersed through several branches of physics, including optics and acoustics. In this final unit of Physics A, thermodynamics will conclude and wave studies will be overviewed. Waves are simply energies that exhibit periodic properties, such as frequency and period. The acoustic properties of pitch and loudness, and the optical properties of color and brightness share the same properties of wavelength and amplitude.

Unit Objectives

• Understand and apply the laws of thermodynamics.

• Recognize and describe harmonic motion and its relationship to waves.

• Identify the properties of waves and their interaction with matter.

Lesson 26: The Laws of Thermodynamics

Lesson Description

First and second laws, engine efficiency, combustion engines

Lesson Objectives

• Calculate quantitative relationships associated with the conservation of energy.

• Analyze the relationship between energy transfer and disorder in the universe.

Lesson 27: Harmonic Motion

Lesson Description

Harmonic motion, Hooke’s law, pendulums, period and frequency, spring constants

Lesson Objectives

• Describe the characteristics of waves.

Lesson 28: Waves

Lesson Description

Transverse and longitudinal, pulse and periodic, wave properties

Lesson Objectives

• Describe the characteristics of waves.

Lesson 29: Interference and More

Lesson Description

Superposition, constructive and destructive interference, reflection, standing waves

Lesson Objectives

• Describe the characteristics of waves.

Lesson 30: Finally!

Lesson Description

Final Exam and case study discussion

Lesson Objectives

• Demonstrate mastery over the concepts of introductory physics.

Assessment of Concepts and Skills/Evaluation of Student Progress

Pretests

Pretests assess a student’s prior knowledge of the content in a unit. These questions are taken directly from the unit exam but do not count toward a student’s grade.

Workbook Questions

Workbook questions are presented to students after most activities containing content. They assess a student’s knowledge of the content immediately after they view/learn the content. Workbook questions typically include multiple choice, true/false, and/or fill-in-the-blank questions.

Checkpoints

Checkpoints assess a student’s knowledge of the concepts taught in a lesson. Typically, multiple choice and true/false questions are presented.

Exams (including Vocabulary Exam)

Exams assess a student’s knowledge of the concepts taught in a unit. Typically, multiple choice and true/false questions are presented.

The Vocabulary Exam assesses a student’s knowledge of several key terms taught throughout the entire course. Typically, multiple choice and true/false questions are presented.

Final Exam

The Final Exam assesses a student’ knowledge of all of the content taught throughout the entire course. Typically, multiple choice and true/false questions are presented.

Discussion Boards

Discussions assess a student’s knowledge of the content taught in each lesson of a unit through answering questions and discussing the content with fellow students.

Unit 1

“Physics and Math” discusses the close relationship of physical events to the math that describes them.

Unit 2

“Thought Experiments” discusses the trend toward using thoughts and idealized events as experiments in physics.

Unit 3

“All Things Being Equal…” discusses the use of mathematical equations and functions in describing physical events and things.

Unit 4

“Friction and Transportation” discusses our need for rapid transportation and the friction that must be overcome.

Unit 5

“Universal Warming” discusses the time arrow of thermodynamics and the warming of the Universe.

Unit 6

“Harmonics and Waves” discusses harmonic motion in atoms and their relationship to waves of light.

Unit Projects

Unit 1: 1) Measurement; 2) Acceleration calculations

Unit 2: 1 ) Projectile Motion; 2)Acceleration

Unit 3: 1) Relationship of Angle to Work Done; 2) Spring Constant

Unit 4: 1) Collisions w/ Different Masses; 2) Fulcrum and Lever

Unit 5: 1)Brownian Motion and Temperature; 2)Specific Heat Capacity of Gum

Unit 6: 1)Waves and Interference

Online course. Need physical lab information.