• Physics 1

    Physics 1 is designed for high school students in grades 11 & 12. Topics studied include kinematics (motion), dynamics (forces), energy, linear momentum, electricity & magnetism, waves, and thermal physics (heat). The course requires that students be comfortable describing and solving real-world problems using algebra and basic trigonometry. The course also requires vector math, but this topic is taught at the beginning of the course. The course is supported by an interactive, inquiry-based laboratory environment where students gain hands-on experience with the concepts being studied. The content of the course course exceeds the requirements of the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks for high school physics.

  • Mathematics

    Notes pp. 43-78

    The purpose of this chapter is to familiarize you with mathematical concepts and skills that will be needed in physics.

    • Standard Assumptions in Physics discusses what you can and cannot assume to be true in order to be able to solve the problems you will encounter in this class.
    • Assigning & Substituting Variables discusses how to determine which quantity and which variable apply to a number given in a problem based on the units, and how to choose which formula applies to a problem.
    • The Metric System and Scientific Notation briefly review skills that you are expected to remember from your middle school math and science classes.
    • Trigonometry, Vectors, Vectors vs. Scalars in Physics, and Vector Multiplication discuss important mathematical concepts that are widely used in physics, but may be unfamiliar to you.

    Depending on your math background, some of the topics, such as trigonometry and vectors, may be unfamiliar.  These topics will be taught, but in a cursory manner.

    Skills learned & applied in this chapter:

    • Estimating uncertainty in measurements
    • Propagating uncertainty through calculations
    • Identifying quantities in word problems and assigning them to variables
    • Choosing a formula based on the quantities represented in a problem
    • Using trigonometry to calculate the lengths of sides and angles of triangles
    • Representing quantities as vectors
    • Adding and subtracting vectors
    • Multiplying vectors using the dot product and cross product
LaboratoryKinematics (Motion)