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IB Physics I

Prerequisites: Chemistry, Algebra II (Must) Concurrent enrollment in Precalculus is

This is a fast-paced course that is the first of a two year IB Physics sequence preparatory to the higher or standard level IB physics examination, and the AP B test in physics (with some outside preparation) The first year (IB Physics I) will prepare students for the AP C test (in mechanics only) if taken concurrently with Calculus.

IB Physics I covers all of mechanics (Linear motion, Projectile motion, Dynamics, Energy, Momentum, Gravity and circular motion, and Statics) and waves and thermal. There is an emphasis on problem solving, numerical manipulation, and laboratory skills. Non-IB students are welcome, but they must be willing to keep pace with the IB syllabus. There is a required field trip near the end of the year to Oaks Amusement Park.

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Chapter 2 - Linear Kinematics

The first unit covers motion in a straight line. We first look at a constant velocity, and then go on to uniform acceleration. We do labs on describing motion, determining uncertainty, making graphs of motion both with timer tape and computer rangefinders.

Chapter 3 - Vectors and 2-Dimensional Motion

In this chapter we look at how to resolve, add, and multiply vectors. Then we use these skills to solve two dimensional motion problems as two independent linear problems. We will do a computer lab and a rocket competition.

Chapter 4 and 9- Dynamics and statics

This is the first chapter of real physics. We will study Newton's laws, and apply them to calculate the acceleration of an object with many different forces acting it. We will do extensive problems with inclined planes, friction and pulleys, and statics.  The laboratory is about the force of friction.

Chapter 5 - Gravity and Circular motion 

We will study centripetal acceleration and force, and relate them to friction, Newton's second law, and the Force of gravity.  The laboratory involves a simulation of orbital mechanics..

Chapter 6 - Energy

We will use energy and conservation of energy to make otherwise difficult problems solvable.  Students will design a lab to measure human power.

Chapter 7 - Momentum 

We will study and solve collision problems using conservation of momentum.  We will become rocket scientists, blow things up, and make loud exploding noises in the hall and in the classroom.

Topic 4 - Waves (Chapter 11, 12)

We will study the principles of wave mechanics, standing waves, sound, resonance, simple harmonic motion, reflections, refraction, polarization, music, bat echolocation, and untertones.  Students will measure the speed of sound.

Topic 3 - Thermodynamics (Chapter 13, 14, 15)

This covers Chapters 13, 14, and 15. Topics include the ideal gas law, linear expansion heat, specific heat, latent heat, phase changes, entropy, heat engines, and the laws of thermodynamics. We do a lab on absolute zero and one on Newton's law of cooling and exponential functions.


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Rocket Lab
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Human Power?


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60 Hz Tape Timer
Graphs of motion
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The talented Mr. Murray
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Orbit simulation
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Oaks Park
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Ballistic Pendulum
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Three Stage Human Rocket