Honors Physics

Honors Physics

Course Features

Course Details


Course Overview

In the Acellus Honors Physics course, Dr. Russell Clothier leads students through an investigation of matter and its motion through time and space, along with related concepts such as energy and force. The Acellus Honors Physics course was developed to help students build a strong foundation in basic physics prior to taking Advanced Placement Physics. We have found that students often struggle with AP Physics when they have a weak foundation in the basic concepts and mathematical skills of general physics. Acellus Honors Physics helps to fill in holes in student understanding, helping them to create a strong foundation of general physics concepts upon which they can build. Acellus Honors Physics is A-G Approved through the University of California.

Course Objectives & Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course students will have attained a fundamental understanding of physics, the study of matter and energy and how they interact in the real world. Students will know how to solve 1- and 2-D motion problems, including motion of falling objects as well as projectiles. They will be familiar working with vector quantities. They will understand Newton’s Laws of Motion and know how to use them. They will also know how to solve problems that involve circular motion and gravity, energy, momentum, and rotational motion. Students will have gained a basic understanding of fluid mechanics and thermodynamics. They will understand oscillations and waves – including sound and light waves – and know how to solve basic problems based upon these concepts. They will also be familiar with optics and learn how to solve problems pertaining to lenses. They will also have a basic understanding of electric force including DC electric circuits, as well as magnetic forces, induction, and atomic physics.  
This course was developed by the International Academy of Science. Learn More

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, free fall and gravity, solving a quadratic for time, and 2-part motion problems. 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, unit vector notation, breaking down and solving 2-D motion, projectile motion, and range versus angle. 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, friction problems, 2-D force problems and examples of these problems, inclined plane, examples of inclined plane, and inclined plane with friction. Unit 5 – Circular Motion and Gravity This unit discusses uniform circular motion, centripetal force and acceleration, period, vertical circles, centripetal versus centrifugal force, and the force and acceleration of gravity, as well as gravity and orbits, and Kepler's Law. 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, energy of a pendulum, elastic potential energy, and power. Unit 7 – Momentum This unit covers momentum, impulse, conservation of momentum, collisions, inelastic collisions, recoil, elastic collisions, and 2-D momentum. Unit 8 – Rotational Motion This unit discusses rotational kinematics, rotational motion problems, rotational and linear motion, torque, equilibrium, moment of inertia, rotational dynamics, rotational kinetic energy, and angular momentum. Unit 9 – Fluid Mechanics This unit discusses fluids, pressure, pressure and depth, Pascal's principal, buoyant force, buoyant force with air, flow rate, bernoulli equation, and bernoulli examples. Unit 10 – Thermodynamics This unit discusses heat, temperature, thermal expansion, heat and temperature change, calorimetry, phase change, calorimetry with phase changes, measuring gases, behavior of gases, kinetic theory of gases, the first law of thermodynamics, and heat engines. Unit 11 – Oscillations and Waves This unit discusses oscillations, Hooke's Law, simple harmonic motion, period and frequency, energy in simple harmonic motion, oscillation of pendulums, waves, wave properties, interference, standing waves, and the standing wave equation. Unit 12 – Sound This unit covers sound waves, sound properties, the speed of sound, and sound intensity, as well as string instruments, open pipes, closed pipes, and Doppler shift. Unit 13 – Light This unit discusses light waves, color, the electromagnetic spectrum, reflection, index of refraction, refraction, internal refraction, dispersion, interference of light, diffraction grating, single slit diffraction, resolving power, thin films, and doppler shift of light. Unit 14 – Optics This unit discusses lenses and images, thin lens equation, ray tracing, a convex lens with a real image, magnification, and a convex lens with a virtual image, concave lens, optics of the eye, mirror equation, and mirror with virtual image. Unit 15 – Electric Forces This unit discusses electric charges, Coulomb's Law, force from multiple charges, 2-D Coulomb's Law, electric field, electric field with multiple charges, electric field from charged plates, electric potential energy, electric potential, potential difference and E and V of charged plates. Unit 16 – 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. Also discussed are systems of resistors, capacitors, energy in capacitors, systems of capacitors, and DC versus AC. Unit 17 – Magnetic Forces This unit discusses magnetic forces, magnetic fields, magnetic field from a current, from multiple wires, and from current loops, solenoids and electromagnets, and magnetic force on moving charges. Also covered are the right hand rule, motion of charges in B field, magnetic force on a current, and magnetic force in parallel wires. Unit 18 – Induction This unit discusses Induction, magnetic flux, Faraday's Law, Lenz's Law, generators, transformers, and electromagnetic waves. Unit 19 – Atomic Physics This unit discusses the structure of the atom, the photoelectric effect, atomic spectra, the Bohr model, matter waves, and lasers.

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