• 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.

  • Dynamics (Forces) & Gravitation

    Notes pp. 103-139

    In this chapter you will learn about different kinds of forces and how they relate.

    • Newton's Laws and Forces describe basic scientific principles of how objects affect each other.
    • Free-Body Diagrams describes a way of drawing a picture that represents forces acting on an object.
    • Forces Applied at an Angle, Ramp Problems, and Pulleys & Tension describe some common situations involving forces and how to calculate the forces involved.
    • Friction and Aerodynamic Drag describe situations in which a force is created by the action of another force.
    • Newton's Law of Universal Gravitation describes how to calculate the force of gravity caused by massive objects such as planets and stars.

    One of the first challenges will be working with variables that have subscripts.  Each type of force uses the variable F.  Subscripts will be used to keep track of the different kinds of forces.  This chapter also makes extensive use of vectors.

    Another challenge in this chapter will be to "chain” equations together to solve problems.  This involves finding the equation that has the quantity you need, and then using a second equation to find the quantity that you are missing from the first equation.

    Skills learned & applied in this chapter:

    • Solving chains of equations.
    • Using trigonometry to extract a vector in a desired direction.
    • Working with material-specific constants from a table.
    • Estimating the effect of changing one variable on another variable in the same equation.
Kinematics (Motion)Angular Motion & Torque