AP Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism Course Overview

AP Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism is a one-semester, calculus-based, college-level physics course, especially appropriate for students planning to specialize or major in physical science or engineering. The course explores topics such as electrostatics; conductors, capacitors, and dielectrics; electric circuits; magnetic fields; and electromagnetism. Introductory differential and integral calculus is used throughout the course.

Laboratory Requirement

AP Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism should include a hands-on laboratory component comparable to a semester-long introductory college-level physics laboratory. Students should spend a minimum of 20 percent of instructional time engaged in hands-on laboratory work. Students ask questions, make observations and predictions, design experiments, analyze data, and construct arguments in a collaborative setting, where they direct and monitor their progress. Each student should complete a lab notebook or portfolio of lab reports.

Prerequisite Students should have taken or be concurrently taking calculus.

AP Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism Course Content

The AP Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism course applies both differential and integral calculus, and builds upon the AP Physics C: Mechanics course by providing instruction in each of the following five content areas:

• Electrostatics

• Conductors, capacitors, and dielectrics

• Electric circuits

• Magnetic fields

• Electromagnetism

Learning Objectives for Laboratory and Experimental situations

Students establish lines of evidence and use them to develop and refine testable explanations and predictions of natural phenomena. Focusing on these disciplinary practices and experimental skills enables teachers to use the principles of scientific inquiry to promote a more engaging and rigorous experience for AP Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism students. Such practices or skills require students to

• Design experiments

• Observe and measure real phenomena

• Organize, display and critically analyze data

• Analyze sources of error and determine uncertainties in measurement

• Draw inferences from observations and data

• Communicate results, including suggested ways to improve experiments and proposed questions for further study

A minimum of 20 percent of instructional time is devoted to handson and inquiry-based laboratory investigations.