General Physics

Course Overview

In the Acellus General Physics course, Dr. Russell Clothier explores the nature of our physical environment and explains how natural phenomena occur in terms of mathematics. He leads students through an investigation of matter and its motion through time and space, along with related concepts such as energy and force. Acellus General Physics is A-G Approved through the University of California.

Course Objectives & Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of Acellus General Physics, students will be able to: solve problems using measured numbers, using significant digits, scientific notation, the metric system, math with units, and conversions; apply the concepts of position and displacement, average velocity, position graphs, velocity graphs and acceleration, positive, minus, and zero acceleration, 1-D kinematic equations; solve motion equations, motion problems, and for a quadratic for time; and make connections between vectors an 2-D motion, graphical addition of vectors, vector components, vector magnitude and direction, analytical addition of vectors; and break down and solve 2-D motion and projectile motion problems.

Students will also be able to solve problems using Newton's second law (single force), Newton's first law (multiple forces, weight), Newton's third law (normal force, kinetic and static friction); solve 2-D force problems and examples of these problems; solve inclined plane and examples of inclined plane; explain and apply principles of uniform circular motion, centripetal force and acceleration, period, centripetal versus centrifugal force, and the force and acceleration of gravity, as well as gravity and orbits; connect work, including positive and negative work, work and energy, kinetic energy, gravitational potential energy, mechanical energy, energy problems with and without work, and power;discuss momentum, impulse, conservation of momentum, collisions, inelastic collisions, and recoil; and compare fluids, pressure, pressure and depth, buoyant force, and flow rate.

Students will be able to measure heat, temperature, thermal expansion, heat and temperature change, calorimetry, phase change, measuring gases, behavior of gases, and the first law of thermodynamics; convey interaction of oscillations, Hooke's Law, simple harmonic motion, period and frequency, oscillation of pendulums, waves, wave properties, interference, standing waves, and the standing wave equation; compare and contrast sound waves, sound properties, and the speed of sound, as well as string instruments, open pipes, and closed pipes; identify and connect light waves, color, the electromagnetic spectrum, reflection, index of refraction, refraction, and internal refraction; and investigate lenses and images, ray tracing, a convex lens with a real image, magnification, and a convex lens with a virtual image.

Finally, students will be able to measure electric charges, Coulob's Law, force from multiple charges, electric field, electric potential energy, electric potential, and potential difference; calculate electric current and circuits, resistance and Ohm's Law, simple circuits, electric power, series and parallel, and series and parallel resistors; and integrate concepts involving magnetic forces, magnetic fields, magnetic field from a current and from current loops, and magnetic force on moving charges.

Scope and Sequence

Unit 1 – Introduction to Physics This unit discusses what Physics is, measured numbers, using significant digits, scientific notation, and the metric system. Also covered are math with units, and conversions. Unit 2 – 1-D Kinematics This unit discusses position and displacement, average velocity, position graphs, velocity graphs and acceleration, positive, minus, and zero acceleration, 1-D kinematic equations, using motion equations, solving motion problems, and solving a quadratic for time. Unit 3 – Vectors and 2-D Kinematics This unit discusses vectors an 2-D motion, graphical addition of vectors, vector components, vector magnitude and direction, analytical addition of vectors, breaking down and solving 2-D motion, and projectile motion. Unit 4 – Forces and Newton's Laws This unit introduces dynamics and discusses Newton's second law – single force, Newton's first law, multiple forces, weight, Newton's third law and normal force, kinetic and static friction, how to do 2-D force problems and examples of these problems, inclined plane and examples of inclined plane. Unit 5 – Circular Motion and Gravity This unit discusses uniform circular motion, centripetal force and acceleration, period, centripetal versus centrifugal force, and the force and acceleration of gravity, as well as gravity and orbits. Unit 6 – Energy This unit discusses work, including positive and negative work, work and energy, kinetic energy, gravitational potential energy, mechanical energy, energy problems with and without work, and power. Unit 7 – Momentum This unit covers momentum, impulse, conservation of momentum, collisions, inelastic collisions, and recoil. Unit 8 – Fluid Mechanics This unit discusses fluids, pressure, pressure and depth, buoyant force, and flow rate. Unit 9 – Thermodynamics This unit discusses heat, temperature, thermal expansion, heat and temperature change, calorimetry, phase change, measuring gases, behavior of gases, and the first law of thermodynamics. Unit 10 – Oscillations and Waves This unit discusses oscillations, Hooke's Law, simple harmonic motion, period and frequency, oscillation of pendulums, waves, wave properties, interference, standing waves, and the standing wave equation. Unit 11 – Sound This unit covers sound waves, sound properties, and the speed of sound, as well as string instruments, open pipes, and closed pipes. Unit 12 – Light This unit discusses light waves, color, the electromagnetic spectrum, reflection, index of refraction, refraction, and internal refraction. Unit 13 – Optics This unit discusses lenses and images, ray tracing, a convex lens with a real image, magnification, and a convex lens with a virtual image. Unit 14 – Electric Forces This unit discusses electric charges, Coulob's Law, force from multiple charges, electric field, electric potential energy, electric potential, and potential difference. Unit 15 – DC Electric Circuits This unit covers electric current and circuits, resistance and Ohm's Law, simple circuits, electric power, series and parallel, and series and parallel resistors. Unit 16 – Magnetic Forces This unit discusses magnetic forces, magnetic fields, magnetic field from a current and from current loops, and magnetic force on moving charges.