Physics 2
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Unit 1: Electric Field and Circuit Analysis

circuit elements


PREREQUISITE COURSE: Physics 1 or equivalent course

     This first unit of Physics 2 builds on the last unit of Physics 1 exploring electrostatic phenomena in more detail then using this information to analyze electric circuits in greater depth. It is very important that you have a firm grasp of the basic concepts, so some of the material is reviewed. Capacitors are introduced in circuit analysis with their ability to store energy in an electric field. After you complete this unit you will understand the fundmental principles that allow for the fascinating devices created by electronic circuitry.

Suggested timeframe: 5 weeks

VERY IMPORTANT: If you have not taken our Physics 1 course please read the following information prior to starting this course:

1. Please do not skim over the unit review at the end of each unit as it contains a list of objectives that the College Board has identified as the ONLY objectives from which exam questions are derived. Your score on the AP* exam will increase if you spend time carefully studying the unit review presentations.

If you are taking Physics 1 in the same school year, the timeframe for each unit should be adjusted to be about two-thirds as long as suggested.

As you will often hear in the presentations, in order to do well in this course you must practice using the concepts in a wide variety of ways to truly internalize them. One of the ways to do that is to practice solving problems and answering conceptual questions that one easily finds in a physics textbooks. The time needed to do this practice is built into the suggested timeframe that you will see at the start of each new unit. Moving through the material too quickly, and not spending time investigating the ideas from many persectives may be detrimental to long-term retention. That said, every individual student can determine for themselves when mastery of a concept occurs, and is aided in this effort by the assessments (quizzes and tests) that are a part of the workflow in each unit. To see information about obtaining a companion book online, click here

Big Ideas:
•Physical systems (that may have internal structure) and objects (that do not have internal structure) can be characterized by certain properties. Mass and charge are two such properties.
•Interactions (between objects in systems or between systems themselves) can be explained using an idea called a field.

•The concept of force can be used to describe the interactions between objects in systems or between systems themselves.
•Systems can change due to interactions with other systems.
•Laws of conservation of certain properties of systems restrict the manner in which systems can change due to interactions.

*The "AP" designation is a registered trademark of the College Board, which was not involved in the production of, and does not endorse, products sold on this website.

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