AP Physics 1/ Physics

Welcome to Coach Cowland's AP Physics 1 Class

On this page, you will find information covered in the syllabus, general AP Physics information, videos presentations on topics covered and a calendar of assignments and homework that is due for the class. Use the Contents page to quickly and easily navigate the page.

Contents

Physics Field Trips
Topic 0: Scientific Enquiry
Topic 1: Motion in one and two dimensions
Topic 2: Forces and Dynamics
Topic 3: Energy, Work, Power and Conservation Laws
Topic 4: Momentum and Impulse
Topic 5: Mechanical Waves and Sound
Topic 6: Simple Harmonic Motion
Topic 7: Rotational Motion and Torque
Topic 8: DC Electric Circuits
Topic 9: Electrostatics

Physics Field Trips

Lena1

Particle Accelerator in vacuum tube at the Duke, UNC and NC State lab.

For several years, the AP Physics, Chemistry and Physical Science classes have had the opportunity to visit several particle accelerator labs that are managed by Duke, UNC and NC State Universities. The field trips give students the opportunity to see, first hand, what graduate students and senior undergraduates experience doing cutting edge physics research. The students also have the opportunity to meet and interact with senior experimental physics staff who gave the tours to the class.

Lena2

Particle Accelerator and Control Hub at the Duke, UNC and NC State research facilities.

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Topic 0: Scientific Enquiry

Topic 0 is a review of the scientific method, an examination of peer review, learning how to write lab reports, lab basics, the difference between theories and laws and some basic mathematical methods that we will be using.

The videos below provide lecture materials for the topics covered











Investigation LAB: Calculate the mass of the air in the classroom.

Students are challenged to design a lab that will allow them (through direct and indirect methods) to calculate the mass of the air in the classroom. This basic lab allows scientific mindset, exploration of ideas through experimentation, research, teamwork and the opportunity to practice writing up the lab formally. It also gives students the opportunity to familiarize themselves with the lab equipment for the first time.
Written Assignment, Particle Fever

particle_fever_teaserStudents watch Particle Fever about the search for the Higgs Boson at the Large Hadron Collider in CERN. Students then go on to do a written/research assignment following the movie.


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Topic 1: Kinematics in one and two dimensions


Components_of_casting,_projectileTopic one examines how objects move in one and then in two dimensions under the influence of a constant net force, applying a constant acceleration.

In the topic, we look at variables, speed, distance, velocity, displacement, time and acceleration and examine how they affect each other.

We then proceed to look at the kinematic equations relating these variables and different ways of graphing the motion of an object. Primarily, we examine ideal systems (where there are no frictional forces), but we do also look at how the ideal values would change if we introduced friction into the system.


















INVESTIGATION LABBall bearing in a cup.

The kinematics investigation lab will involve students rolling a ball bearing off a table and using their knowledge of two dimensional motion to predict where it will land first time. Students will be able to study the motion of the ball bearing up until the point where it leaves the table. The will be equipped with stopwatch and meter stick only and will place a paper cup where they expect the ball bearing to land. They will also list all their predictions and assumptions and write up the lab fully.

LAB: G on an incline

Students complete a vernier lab to calculate the acceleration due to gravity using motion sensors and graphing software.


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Topic 2: Dynamics and Newton's Laws of Motion


Dynamics and Newtons laws of motion examine the forces that cause motion to happen. Students look at what happens when forces are in equilibrium and how it can be ascertained that forces are in fact in equilibrium. Students then look at the Law of Inertia, Newton's Second Law and Newton's third Law. Students will find experimental evidence for all these laws.

Students will also examine static and sliding friction and apply friction to problems before moving onto Newton's Law of Universal Gravitation.











I have added these videos about Atwood's Machine as this was one of the areas covered in the 2014-2015 AP Test that caught out a number of students.






LAB: Half Atwood's machine

Students use a pulley attaching a mass on a table to a hanging mass. Students use Vernier Motion sensors to measure the acceleration of the masses as the magnitude of the masses change.


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Topic 3: Energy, Work, Power and Conservation Laws


In this topic we look at forms of energy (mainly mechanical energy), Power, Work and the relationship between them as well as losses in energy and the difference between open and closed systems. We examine what happens when we do work on a system and one of the most fun labs that we do is the popper lab.






INVESTIGATION LAB: Popper Lab.

Students measure work the work done and the initial velocity of a popper toy based on conservation laws. This investigation lab is a formal lab that students write up. Students are free to use any lab equipment that they choose to and any method that they believe (with guidance).

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Topic 4: Momentum and Impulse


Momentum and Impulse looks at conservation of momentum, momentum calculations, collisions, the relationship between changes in momentum and forces and calculating momentum in two dimensions.




INVESTIGATION LAB: Show elastic and inelastic collisions

Students use Vernier motion tracks to show that collisions are elastic or inelastic. Students look at conservation of momentum and conservation of kinetic energy and explain in a formal lab report why this demonstrates an elastic or inelastic collision.

The video below is a cool example of an inelastic collision (even though it doesn't look like it):


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Topic 5: Mechanical Waves and Sound


Here we look at waves, wave equations, interference, the doppler effect and, sound waves, the speed of sound in air and do several labs related to these topics.

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Topic 6: Simple Harmonic Motion


This is closely related to mechanical waves and examines closely simple harmonic oscillators such as pendulums and mass/spring systems. We also look at Hooke's Law.

LAB: Pendulum

Students examine a number of different properties of pendulums including the period and energy through the swing.

LAB: Vernier Hooke's Law Lab.

Mass on a spring

Mass on a spring

A spring oscillating up and down with a mass attached to its end is an example of Simple Harmonic Motion. Students use vernier probes and Logger pro software to track the motion of the mass as it oscillates up and down. This will be graphed and used to calculate values such as the period and the K value of the spring.

Midterm. The AP Midterm covers all the topics examined so far. Each topic has multiple choice questions and a long-free response question.

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Topic 7: Rotational Motion and Torque


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Topic 8: DC Electric Circuits


Electric circuits covers Ohms Laws, Kirchhoffs Laws, Power, Energy, Potential Difference, EMF, Current and Resistance. Students will be creating basic series and parallel circuits with resistors, power supplies and multimeters.

INVESTIGATION LAB: Unknown resistance lab.

Students will use known resistances and make two circuits that allow them to predict the resistance of a resistor of unknown resistance.

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Topic 9: Electrostatics


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