AP Physics C: Mechanics is equivalent to 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 kinematics; Newton’s laws of motion; work, energy and power; systems of particles and linear momentum; circular motion and rotation; and oscillations and gravitation. Introductory differential and integral calculus is used throughout the course.
LABORATORY REQUIREMENT AP Physics C: Mechanics 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: Mechanics Course Content:
The AP Physics C: Mechanics course applies both differential and integral calculus and provides instruction in each of the following six content areas:
• Newton’s laws of motion
• Work, energy and power
• Systems of particles and linear momentum
• Circular motion and rotation
• Oscillations and gravitation
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: Mechanics 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.