Advanced Topics in Physics

AP Central (College Board Site) - AP Physics C MechanicsAP Physics C E&M
FORMULA SHEET for use on mock exams in April
If you need more support for physics basics, go to YouTube and search the topic with one of the following: Khan Academy, vkiledj, or Dan Fullerton (or APlusPhysics).

Lesson objectives in Orange.

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Mock AP Testing Schedule

posted Mar 13, 2020, 6:15 AM by Barbara Fortunato

F 4/3 - F 5/1

For the mock exams, you'll be given the standard AP Formula Sheet to use, and you may use your cleared graphing calculator.   Each section will be 45 minutes.  

Here's the schedule:

F 4/3 - E&M Multiple Choice Mock

T 4/7 - E&M Free Response Questions Mock 

TBD - Test Corrections - Mock E&M

Th 4/23 - Mechanics Free Response Questions Mock 

M 4/27 - Mechanics Multiple Choice Mock

TBD - Test Corrections - Mock Mechanics

If you are taking the actual AP, I highly recommend doing recent tests from AP Central, as the test was changed in 2011.  Otherwise, practice any questions that you can find.

How can we help our friends study for the E&M mock?

posted Mar 13, 2020, 6:11 AM by Barbara Fortunato   [ updated Mar 14, 2020, 2:40 PM ]

Th 3/26 (e-learning)

Today, finish your E&M review videos due tomorrow.  Please try to keep your combined video for your group to 20 minutes max.

Homework:  Review videos due to Google Classroom tomorrow.  More Mechanics Unit Test on Wednesday, April 1st!

How can you solve problems involving heavy ropes?

posted Mar 13, 2020, 5:45 AM by Barbara Fortunato   [ updated Mar 13, 2020, 6:08 AM ]

T 3/24 (e-learning)

Today, we'll do some AP Problems that involve the concept of heavy ropes.  

Required:  2009M31975M3

HomeworkMake sure you've completed all of the AP Problems in this unit so far.  Watch the following video I made on LC circuits (a topic that very occasionally shows up on the AP exam), and think about how this circuit relates to the oscillation we've studied in this unit:

LC Circuits

How do you solve problems with simple harmonic motion?

posted Mar 13, 2020, 5:43 AM by Barbara Fortunato   [ updated Mar 14, 2020, 2:36 PM ]

F 3/20 (e-learning)

Finish the  Oscillation AP Problems (2009M2, 1990M3, 1999M2). 

Homework:  Watch the following two videos - they're the same problem with two different methods which are both useful: 
  • Method 1:  small mass dm, constant applied force, finite distance y
  • Method 2:  whole mass remaining, changing applied force, force constant for very small distance dx

Heavy Rope

Heavy Rope 2

How can we characterize simple harmonic motion?

posted Mar 13, 2020, 5:30 AM by Barbara Fortunato   [ updated Mar 14, 2020, 10:39 AM ]

W 3/18 (e-learning)

Today, we'll start by doing a daily quiz on oscillations.  In the quiz, we'll be reviewing many different aspects of oscillations including kinematic variables, forces, and energy in an oscillating system.

Then, watch the following video explaining the calculus of solving simple harmonic motion.  This video is really similar to the lecture I would have given in class.  This is one of the videos I would really pay attention to!  There's a lot of important information packed in here!  Watch it slowed down, pause to think about the analyses (especially in the graph section at the end), and watch it multiple times!

AP Physics C: Simple Harmonic Motion Review (Flipping Physics)


Homework:  Watch the following two videos on simple harmonic oscillators with springs and pendulums.  Alternatively, learn about simple harmonic oscillators using the available media of your choice - textbook, internet, etc.

SHM: Springs (Dan Fullerton)

SHM: Pendulums (Dan Fullerton)


Small angle approximation:  For small angles θ (in radians) ≈ sin θ ≈ tan θ :


What did Kepler say about orbits?

posted Mar 7, 2020, 4:22 AM by Barbara Fortunato   [ updated Mar 14, 2020, 1:39 PM ]

M 3/16 (e-learning)

Today, you'll work on the following AP problems to check your understanding of Kepler's Laws.
    Required:  1994M3, 2007M2

If you're wondering why 1994M3 part d has two correct answers that seem totally different, check out this article:
"Equivalence of Conservation of Angular Momentum and Conservation of Energy Methods for Satellite Velocity Calculations."

Homework:  Watch the following video on simple harmonic motion (SHM):

Simple Harmonic Motion (Dan Fullerton)

Check out the following video (starting at 5:05) for a better understanding of "angular frequency" ω  (aka frequency of oscillation) and how it relates to the angular speed ω   we already studied in rotation:

What is angular frequency in SHM? (The Science Cube)


How can you help your friends with E&M?

posted Mar 7, 2020, 4:09 AM by Barbara Fortunato   [ updated Mar 14, 2020, 8:48 AM ]

F 3/13  1: M 3/16 lab, 3: F 3/13 lab  

We've finished all of the E&M on the AP Physics C Exam.  The only thing left is to take the mock exam at the end of April.  Today, we'll divide up the topics, and you'll collaboratively be creating review videos of each topic for your friends to watch and review.  In your video, you should briefly review the important concepts and formulas, and then work through an AP (or textbook) problem that best illustrates the concepts.  Each person in the group should take a turn talking in the video.  There is no real time requirement for the video, but I would say something around 15-20 minutes would be adequate.  Videos should be uploaded to YouTube with privacy setting "unlisted."  Then copy the URL to the Google Classroom assignment.  Video is due on Friday, March 27th.

Here's a list of the topics:
  1. Coulomb's Law, Electric Fields, & superposition of point charges [Ranga]
  2. Electric Fields (including integral ∫dE for extended bodies, excluding Gauss's Law) [Meghana]
  3. Electric Potential & Potential Energy concept [Max]
  4. Electric Potential & Potential Energy implementation (including integral ∫dV, excludes path integral) []
  5. Conductors, Capacitors & Dielectrics (including energy stored in capacitor, excluding RC Circuits) [Ansh]
  6. RC circuits [Vraj]
  7. Gauss's Law [Amy]
  8. Electric Potential Path Integral (-∫E·dl with Gauss’s Law, and gradient) [Ronit A]
  9. Magnetism (including permanent magnet basics and magnetic field lines, 4 RHRs) [Krishnan]
  10. Ampere's Law [Will]
  11. Law of Biot-Savart [Raghav]
  12. Induction & Lenz's Law & Transformers [Aaron]
  13. Faraday's Law (including general form, excluding motional emf) [Kam]
  14. Motional emf [Pirouz]
  15. RL circuits (including energy in inductor) [Ron]
Homework:  Finish your video by Friday, March 27th. 

What does it mean to be in a gravitational field?

posted Mar 7, 2020, 3:59 AM by Barbara Fortunato   [ updated Mar 10, 2020, 7:38 AM ]

1: Th 3/12, 3: Th 3/12

Today, we'll take a look at some problems involving gravitational field:
    Required:  2001M21999M21995M2 (only peripherally related, but good to know about potential energy)

Homework:  Watch the following video on Kepler's Laws:

Orbits (Dan Fullerton)

How do you solve problems with velocity-dependent forces?

posted Mar 7, 2020, 3:55 AM by Barbara Fortunato   [ updated Mar 20, 2020, 11:26 AM ]

1: W 3/11, 3: T 3/10

Today, you'll use what you've learned to try a few problems with velocity-dependent forces:
    Required:  1982M2, 1990M1, 2000M2

Homework:  Coffee Filter LAB QUIZ on Wednesday, March 18th!  Watch the following video on universal gravitation.  If you remember how to use the formula for the force of gravity, skip the first 3:27, and focus on the calculation of gravitational field.  As you're watching this video, relate it to what you know about electric fields and Gauss's Law.  

Gravity (Dan Fullerton)

How can we characterize air resistance?

posted Mar 7, 2020, 3:45 AM by Barbara Fortunato

1: T 3/10 lab, 3: M 3/9 lab

Today, we will study "velocity dependent forces."  We'll get back into the swing of mechanics by doing a lab where we investigate the concepts of air resistance (drag) and terminal velocity.  You'll take advantage of available technology by using motion sensors or by analyzing videos you take and graphing position vs. time and velocity vs. time in LoggerPro.  In the end, you'll see how drag force relates to velocity.  

Homework:  Lab in journal due Wednesday, March 18th.  Open lab notebook LAB QUIZ also on Wednesday, March 18th!  Make sure to answer the following questions in your lab write-up in addition to the usual stuff:
  • Describe air resistance.
  • What equation relates air resistance to force of gravity on the falling object? (think ΣF)
  • What are some real life situations in which air resistance is a problem?
  • What are some real life situations in which air resistance is beneficial?
  • What are some variables that affect air resistance other than velocity?
  • Why does this procedure work as a controlled experiment? (What else are you holding constant)?  
Watch the following video on velocity dependent forces. At time 6:00, pause the video and practice solving the differential equation on your own. (It will probably be faster than watching the whole video.) After you make your best attempt, fast forward to see if you were right. Then, at 17:00, listen to the notes at the end. Be prepared for a daily quiz next class.

Retarding & Drag Forces (Dan Fullerton)


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