Physics - Semester 1

Prerequisites:

Physical Science, Algebra I & II (recommended)

Physics is one of the three main fields of science, along with biology and chemistry. If asked what biology and chemistry deal with, most of us can come up with a one-word answer: life and chemicals respectively. Physics though, often seems like a grab bag of topics, including motion, magnets, machines, light, sound, and electrical circuits. The common thread running through all these things is that they each illustrate some very basic mathematical laws in our physical world. In brief, physics is the scientific study of matter, energy, and their most fundamental physical interactions, including attractions, repulsions, and collisions. In Physics A, you will learn about the “basics” of physics: how to describe and analyze motion, how forces interact with matter, and how to further describe these interactions with the aid of the concepts of energy and momentum. Finally, you’ll explore one more specialized topic, thermodynamics, the physics of heat.


Course Goals

  • Accurately describe and analyze motion along a linear path in mathematical terms,including distance, velocity, and acceleration.

  • Mathematically describe and analyze motion along a curved path, using vectors as a mathematical tool in this process.

  • Explore and apply the laws of dynamics, relating forces and motion.

  • Use the concepts of energy, work, and momentum to analyze complex physical situations, including situations in which two or more bodies interact with each other.

  • Observe, analyze, and predict effects of periodic motion, including such everyday motions as a child swinging back and forth on a swing, an object bobbing up and down on a spring, or a planet traveling in an orbit around a star.

  • Explore and understand the relationship between temperature, heat, and energy, and understand the ways in which heat can be transferred from one body to another.

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