This course represents the first year in a comprehensive two year sequence of Algebra/Trigonometry based physics. This first course is comprised of Mechanics, which is studied for the first 40% of the year; Electricity and Magnetism, which is studied for the next 40%; and, finally, Simple Harmonic Motion, Waves, Light and the Bohr model of the Hydrogen atom for the last 20%.
The order of the topics has been geared to use and reinforce the mathematics that the students are studying. For this reason, this first year course is geared towards reinforcing skills in algebra and requires no trigonometry. This is accomplished by restricting the first year course to problems that can be simplified to one-dimensional form. While vectors are introduced, they are only added and subtracted in one dimension at a time. This allows students to do about 90% of the Physics AP B topics. Connections are also developed between the analysis of motion and graphical analysis, collision problems and the solving of systems of equations, etc.
1 Credit: Full Year Course with a Lab. Prerequisites: Preferably taking Algebra I concurrently
PSI Physics - Honors
The honors course will follow the same curriculum as the general physics course, however, the pace may be accelerated to allow for enrichment and more in-depth discovery of topics. Students who have successfully completed this course may elect to move onto Physics AP B.
1 Credit: Full Year Course with a Lab. Prerequisites: Algebra I(concurrent), teacher recommendation*
AP Physics B is the second of a two year sequence that is designed to prepare students to take the AP Physics B examination. It begins by integrating the use of trigonometric functions into the Physics Honors topics of mechanics and electricity & magnetism. This allows students to solve problems with vectors that are oriented at arbitrary angles; rather than just parallel or perpendicular to one another. The course then addresses the topics of waves; sound; thermodynamics; geometrical optics; wave optics; as well as introductory atomic & nuclear physics.
This course emphasizes problem solving in the context of the principles of physical laws and principles; as well as the ability to apply that knowledge and skill to phenomenon in either an experimental or theoretical setting. Great attention is given to strengthening and reinforcing the natural connections between the sciences and with mathematics.
Proper preparation to take this course includes the completion of Physics Honors and Algebra I. While it is best if Geometry is completed prior to the start of this course; it is possible to take it in parallel if the student is able to commit additional time and effort.
1 Credit: Full Year Course with a Lab. Prerequisites: Physics Honors, Algebra I, teacher recommendation*
*Teacher recommendations are strongly encouraged for honors and AP courses since a teacher has evaluated required skills/maturity and will have assessed likelihood of success.