Course title

731 Physics


Algebra 1-2

Course description


We will study the classical areas of physics: mechanics; including kinematics; Newton’s laws of motion; work; energy; power; momentum; simple harmonic motion; heat; kinetic theory and the laws of thermodynamics; electricity and magnetism; waves and sound; and waves and optics. We will greatly reinforce your algebra skills; your vector skills; your trigonometric usage; and your ability to interpret graphs. Mostly; we will try to understand; a little better; this wonderful; amazing world of ours.

Assignments (computer-graded and teacher-graded)

Quizzes/Tests (computer-graded and teacher-graded): One attempt is given with a 60 minute time limit.

Final Exam
When you complete all of the coursework and your instructor has reviewed it; you will be given permission to take the final exam.

Role of Homework
Physics is very much a participatory sport. Reading and problems will be assigned at the beginning of each chapter; and discussed in class. There will be laboratories based on the chapters in the book and lab write-ups will be submitted for grading. I strongly urge you to keep your problems in an orderly fashion in a notebook. This notebook facilitates study for tests and final exams.

The online textbook we use is called Holt Physics by Serway & Faughn.

Tests will be given at the end of each chapter; or at the end of two chapters. Tests will count for 70 percent of your grade; laboratory and homework 30 percent.

Physics I Fall Semester –

Chapter 1 – The Science of Physics
a. Significant figures – use in measurements and calculations
b. Interpret data in tables and graphs.
c. Use dimensional analysis

Chapter 2 - Motion in one-dimension
a. Graphing motion – position-time graphs; velocity-time graphs and acceleration-time graphs
b. Mathematical relationships between displacement; velocity and acceleration
c. Freefall motion
Lab – PhET Simulations......
2. Maze Game - Acceleration

Chapter 3 - Motion in two-dimensions
a. Vector addition
b. Projectile motion
c. Relative velocity
Lab – PhET Simulations ….. Projectiles Simulation

Chapter 4 – Newton’s Laws
a. Forces and force diagrams
b. Newton’s Laws (First; 2nd and Third)
c. Friction
d. Inclined planes and pulleys
Lab - PhET Simulations—Forces in 1D

Chapter 5 – Work and Energy
a. Work-Energy Theorem
b. Conservative and nonconservative forces
c. Conservation of Energy
d. Kinetic Energy; Gravitational Potential Energy and Spring Potential Energy
e. Hooke’s Law
f. Power
Lab - PhET Simulations Build-a-Park….

Chapter 6 – Momentum
a. Impulse
b. Conservation of momentum
c. Collisions in 2-dimensions
Lab - PhET Simulations Momentum and Simple 1D Collisions

Physics 2 Spring Semester –

Chapter 11 Vibration & Waves
a. Simple Harmonic Motion – springs and pendulums
b. Waves – frequency; amplitude and wavelength
c. Speed of waves on a wire
Labs - PhET Simulations …..
1. Pendulum Simulation
2. Wave on a String Simulation

Chapter 12 Sound
a. Interference of waves
b. Sound – Intensity
c. Doppler effect
d. Standing waves and Beats
Lab - PhET Simulations …Sound Waves

Chapter 13 Light & Reflection
a. Speed of light
b. Law of reflection
c. Curved and flat mirrors – object distance; image distance and magnification

Chapter 14 Refraction
a. Snell’s Law
b. Total Internal Reflection
c. Lenses – Converging and Diverging
Labs - PhET Simulations …..
1. Bending Light
2. Geometric Optics

Chapter 16 Electrostatics
a. Charging by conduction and induction
b. Electric Force
c. Electric Field
Labs –
1. Electrostatics Simulation
2. Charging and Electroscope Simulation
3. Electric Field Simulation

Chapters 17 & 18 Current & Circuits
a. Current
b. Ohm’s Law
c. Electric Power
d. Series Circuits
e. Parallel Circuits
f. Combination series/parallel circuits
Lab –PhET Simulations ….. Circuit Construction Kit (AC + DC)

Chapter 19 Magnetism
a. Magnetic field due to a point charge
b. Magnetic field due to a current carrying wire
c. Motion of a charged particle in a magnetic field
d. Magnetic field of a long wire; current loops and solenoids
Lab – PhET Simulations ….. Magnetism

Example Lab -
Unit VI: Online Simulation (40 points)

PhET Simulations Build-a-Park….

Open Firefox and navigate to this web site:

Learning objectives:
- Apply the properties of kinetic and potential energy
- Identify and describe the transfer of potential energy to kinetic energy
- Describe the effects of gravity

Initially; run the default simulation. Check the show grid box.
Using the height for the skater’s position from the grid; complete the table by using the equations for potential and kinetic energy. (25 pts)

Mass of skater ______________
**Students complete a table for the following at different positions on the ramp**


Energy (J)

Energy (J)

Kinetic Energy (J)


Include calculations for the skater when his position is in between the top and bottom of ramp.

You just hired to design a skate park for your community. Your park needs to be fun and exciting; yet safe. There should be at least 3 different features in your park (located on the menu bar >tracks). The challenge is to ensure your features are safe; and that your skaters will not fly off the ramps. (15 pts)
Have fun designing!!!

Sketch your new park:
1. On your sketch in number 1; label all the points of maximum kinetic energy in red; and all points of minimum kinetic energy in blue.

2. On your sketch in number 1; label all the points of maximum potential energy in green and minimum potential energy in orange.

3. How does the potential energy relate to the kinetic energy at these points you labeled?

4. Also on your sketch; label all points where kinetic energy is exactly equal to potential energy in pink.

Now let’s make some adjustments to your park:

5. Would this park be more or less safe on the moon? Why?

6. Would this park be more or less safe in space? Why?

School country

United States

School state


School city


School / district Address

15002 N 32nd Street Phoenix, AZ

School zip code


Date submitted



Approved competency code

  • LPHY
  • Physics

Approved date

Online / Virtual