Honors Physics Syllabus

Text: Physics. Serway & Faughn. 7th edition. Thomson publishing.


First Semester:


I.           Linear Motion [Chapter 2 in Text]

1.      Displacement/Distance Traveled

2.      Velocity/Speed

3.      Acceleration

4.      Linear Equations Developed

a. Time Independent Equation (Derived)

5.      Interpreting Graphs


II.        Vectors and Projectile Motion [Chapter 3 in Text]

1.      Vectors/Scalars

2.      Vectors

a.                   Notation

b.                  Diagrams

c.                   Solving Graphically

d.                  Properties Of

3.      Combining Vectors

a.                   Parallel and Antiparallel

b.                  Pythagorean Theorem

c.                   Resolving Components

d.                  Combining Components that are not Perpendicular

4.      Projectile Motion Equations

a.                   Range Equation (Derived)


III.      Forces [Chapter 4 in Text]

1.      What is a force?

2.      Newton I

3.      Equilibrium

4.      Newton II

5.      Newton III

6.      Mass/weight/inertia

7.      Everyday forces

a.                   Weight

b.                  Normal

c.                   Friction!

1. Critical Angle for Object to Slide (Derived)


IV.      Work and Energy [Chapter 5 in Text]

1.      Work

2.      Energy

a.                   Kinetic

b.                  Gravitational Potential

c.                   Elastic Potential

d.                  Mechanical/Non-mechanical

3.      Conservation of Energy

4.      Work-Kinetic Energy Theorem

5.      Power

6.      The Six Simple Machines


V.        Momentum [Chapter 6 in Text]

1.      Momentum

2.      Impulse is Change in Momentum

a.                   Impulse-Momentum Theorem

3.      Practical Examples

4.      Conservation of Momentum

5.      Collisions

a.                   Elastic

b.                  Inelastic

c.                   Perfectly Inelastic

6.      Momentum in Two Dimensions


VI.      Circular Motion [Chapter 7 in Text]

1.      Rotational Speed

2.      Definitions and Conversions

3.      Equations of Rotational Motion

a.                   Similarity to Equations of Linear Motion

4.      Centripetal Acceleration

5.      Centripetal Force

a. Banked Turns


VII.   Universal Gravitation [Chapter 7 in Text]

1.      Newton’s Universal Law of Gravitation

a.                   Acceleration due to Gravity

b.                  Tides

2.      Kepler’s Laws

3.      Planetary Motion is “Circular”

a.                   Velocity of Orbiting Body

b.                  Newton’s Version of Kepler III

c.                   Escape Speed (Derived)

4.      General Relativity**

5.      Cosmology**

a.                   Gravity as one of Four Fundamental Forces

b.                  Grand Unified Theory

6.      Fate of Stars**

a.                   Black Dwarfs

b.                  Neutron Stars

c.                   Black Holes

7.      Astronomy**

a.                   Stellar Objects

8.      Planets**

a.                   Definition

b.                  Exoplanets


VIII. Rotational Mechanics [Chapter 8 in Text]

1.      Center of Gravity

2.      Definition of Torque

a.                   Torque vs. Work

3.      Rotational Inertia (Newton I for Rotation)

a.                   Mass and Distribution of Mass

4.      Newton II for Rotation

5.      Rotational Kinetic Energy

6.      Conservation of Angular Momentum

a. Neutron Star

b. Spinning Figure Skater


IX.      Relativity [Chapter 26 in Text]

1.      Define: Relativity

a.                   Special and General

2.      Intro: Space-Time

a.                   Time as 4th Dimension

3.      Einstein’s Postulates of Special Relativity

4.      Recall Motion is Relative

a.                   Simultaneity

5.      Intro: Lorentz Factor (γ)

6.      Time Dilation

7.      Length Contraction

8.      Consequences

a.                   Time Travel?

b.                  Two Paradoxes

c.                   The Correspondence Principle

9.      Relativistic Addition of Velocities

10.  Relativistic Momentum

11.  Relativistic Kinetic Energy

12.  Energy and Rest Energy

13.  General Relativity



2007 Semester 2 Outline


I.           Solids and Fluids [Chapter 9]

A.      States of Matter

B.      Deformation of Solids

1.      Young’s Modulus

2.      Bulk Modulus

C.     Density

D.    Buoyant Force

E.      Archimedes Principle

1.      Floating Objects

2.      Submerged Objects

F.      Pressure

1.      Solids

2.      Fluids

3.      Pascal’s Principle

G.     Fluids in Motion

1.      Bernoulli’s Equation

2.      Ideal Fluids and Flow Rate

H.    Surface Tension



II.        Heat and Temperature [Chapter 10-11]

A.      Temperature

B.      Changes in Temperature

1.      Calorimetry

C.     Changes in Phase

1.      Latent Heat

D.    Thermal Expansion

1.      Water’s Behavior

E.      Heat Transfer

1.      Conduction

2.      Convection

3.      Radiation

F.      Global Warming and An Inconvenient Truth


III.      Simple Harmonic Motion and Waves [Chapter 13]

A.      The Pendulum

B.      Wave Motion Definitions

C.     Wave Speed

D.    Wave Interactions

1.      Interference

2.      Reflection

3.      Standing Waves

E.      De Broglie Waves


IV.      Sound [Chapter 14]

A.      Production of Sound Waves

B.      Perception of Sound Waves

1.      Pitch

2.      Speed

3.      Doppler Effect

4.      Intensity

a)       dB scale

C.     Resonance

1.      Tacoma Narrows Bridge

D.    Harmonics

1.      Stringed Instruments

2.      Pipes (Air Column)

a)       Open

b)      Closed

3.      Timbre


V.        Light and Reflection [Chapter 21,23,27]

A.      Electromagnetic Spectrum

1.      Regions of Light

2.      Visible Light

3.      Speed of Light

a)       Michelson

4.      Brightness

5.      Doppler Effect

a)       Big Bang

6.      Resonance


B.      Light as a Particle

1.      Photoelectric Effect

2.      Compton Scattering

3.      UV Catastrophe


C.     Reflection

1.      Mirrors

a)       Flat

b)      Converging

c)       Diverging

2.      Ray Diagrams

3.      Mirror Equation


D.    Color

1.      Combining Color

a)       Light

b)      Paint

2.      Three Basic Questions

a)       Why is the sky blue?

b)      Why are sunsets yellow, orange and red?

c)       Why is the ocean cyan?


VI.      Light and Refraction [Chapter 22-23]

A.      Law of Refraction

B.      Snell’s Law

1.      Total Internal Reflection

a)       Critical Angle

C.     Dispersion

1.      Rainbows

D.    Atmospheric Refraction

1.      Mirages

E.      Lenses

1.      Characteristics

2.      Thin Lens Equation

3.      Contacts, Eyeglasses, Microscopes, Telescopes, etc.


VII.   Electricity

A.      Electrostatics

1.      Charge

2.      Conductors and Insulators

3.      Lightning

4.      Van de Graaff Generator

B.      Household Electricity

C.     War of Currents

D.    Circuits

1.      What is a circuit?

a) Schematic Diagrams

2.      What is charge?

3.      What makes charge move?

4.      Types of circuits

a)       Series

b)      Parallel


VIII. A Briefer History of Time (Hawking)

A.      Politics

B.      Scientific Theory

C.     Religion/Creator

D.    Hawking’s Paradox (video)