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Physics - Semester 2

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 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 B, you will use your physical understanding of motion, forces and energy and apply that knowledge to some important, specialized topics in physics: the behavior of waves, applications of wave theory to light and optics, the interaction of electrical and magnetic forces, and the special “non-Newtonian” properties of energy and matter described by quantum theory.


Course Goals

  • Learn about the behavior and special properties of waves, such as the ability to bend and to reflect the direction of waves as they travel.

  • Investigate electromagnetic radiation, including x-rays, visible light, and radio waves.

  • Explore electric charges and their interactions with each other.

  • Learn about simple electric circuits and be able to determine important values related to that circuit, including current, resistances, power, and energy.

  • Find out about the relationship between electricity and magnetism, and explore some of the special mathematical relationships and applications in which magnetic forces and electrical forces and charges interact.

  • Explore the “non-Newtonian” world of quantum physics, including the quantum interpretation of light and a modern understanding of matter, especially regarding nuclear forces and interactions.


Prerequisites: Physical Science, Algebra 1 & 2 (recommended)

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