AP Physics C (Mechanics)

  • Course Description

    This course is designed to be equivalent to a one semester calculus-based mechanics course in college. The class proceeds at a relatively quick pace and the course content builds on prior knowledge. Thus, students should be prepared for a significant time commitment and should be fluent and confident in mathematical manipulations. The course requires calculus as a corequisite, and the use of calculus increases as the course progresses. This course covers kinematics, Newton's laws of motion, conservation of energy and momentum, circular motion and rotation, and gravitation. Strong emphasis is placed on solving a variety of challenging problems, some requiring calculus, and laboratory activities reinforce the theoretical content. Students are expected to take the AP Physics C exam in May.


    First Semester

    Graphical analysis and 1D motion
    Vectors and 2D motion
    Forces and Newton’s Laws
    Forces II
    Work and Energy

    Second Semester

    Circular Motion, Gravity, Satellite Motion
    Simple Harmonic Motion
    Rotational Motion

    Prerequisites: Chemistry (with a grade of B or higher)
    Corequisite: Calculus AB (Calculus BC highly recommended)