AP  Physics 

On-Line for 2012-2013 School Year

Teacher: Jeff Lanctot

Email: jlanctot@chicagobooth.edu

Text:  Physics: Principles with Applications, 6th edition by Douglas Giancoli.  The specific ISBN# is 0130606200, but any of the versions with the picture of K2 (snow covered mountain) on the cover will work.  This book lists at about $150 but you should have no difficulty finding it for significantly less, especially if you consider used copies.

Lab Materials:  The detailed materials list and source vendor(s) will be emailed to students upon enrollment into the course (approximately $170).

Tech needs: High speed Internet access, email, scientific calculator, and (very important) scanner to submit multiple handwritten pages as a single PDF file.

Class Tuition Fee: $685.

Who Should Apply: The course is open to students in 10th through 12 grades.  This is a fast paced, intensely rigorous course in college level physics.  Math is a significant component of the course, so students must have completed Algebra 2 with a thorough understanding of and confidence with algebraic (equation) manipulation and trigonometry through radian measure and periodic functions.  Mastery of these mathematical prerequisites is essential in allowing students to focus on necessary physics concepts.  Calculus is NOT required.

Equivalent to an introductory college level Physics course, Physics B (this course) is intended for students interested in biology, (pre)medicine, geology, technology, architecture, or the earth or environmental sciences.  While the two (2) AP Physics C courses (Physics C-Mechanics and Physics C-Electricity and Magnetism) are specifically intended for students majoring in Engineering or Physics in college, Physics B will also provide a very strong foundation for the more intensive college coursework of these majors.  Perspective students in this course should review their targeted college or university websites for specific expectations.

Course Description: This course prepares students for the AP Physics B Exam.  Physics B covers all of the topics of physics including Newtonian mechanics (linear and circular motion), fluid mechanics and thermal physics, electricity and magnetism, waves and optics, and atomic and nuclear physics.  Any technology or natural phenomenon that involves these topics (i.e., almost every non-living thing we come in contact with every day) involves physics.   Some of the topics covered in this course include x-ray and MRI imaging, motors and generators, nuclear bombs, the aurora borealis, sonic booms, electronic circuits, high energy particle accelerators, light waves and photons, rainbows and bows-and-arrows, lightening bolts and household wiring, microscopes and binoculars, and on and on.  Physics opens up the world around us – it takes the mystery out of things.  Why do astronauts in space float?  Why does the sound of an emergency siren change as it passes by?  Why does boiling water have bubbles? Why does a small amount of pressure on a brake stop or slow down a heavy car?  Why does the moon have phases (full moon, half moon, crescent moon)?  Why do tightrope walkers carry a long, narrow beam?  … And how did people figure all this stuff out???  Given the breadth of the curriculum, we will move quickly, but topics will continually be reinforced while the course moves forward.  I will communicate with students on almost a daily basis to help them discern key aspects of each topic covered and to facilitate mastery and pacing.

This class has a significant laboratory requirement, underscoring the reality that experimentation is the source of all accepted scientific knowledge in Physics.  Laboratories are important to not only help students understand the topics being considered, but also to expose the student to the non-idealized situations of “real” life.  Lab experiments will allow you to compare results with idealized or expected outcomes and creatively interpret and present your results.

Students are expected to spend 10-12 hours weekly on the class, as we cover one or more chapters every week.  This will include reading, completing practice problems and laboratory investigations, simulated AP multiple choice questions, and free response problems.

For additional information and answers to Frequently Asked Questions, click here.

How to register:  Assuming you have met the Algebra II prerequisite and will be in 10th, 11th or 12th grade, simply click on the link below, download the MSWord document to fill out and submit via email.  I will review the application and get back to you within a few days.  If accepted, you may register and pay the course tuition through the PAHS Online Store.



Instructor Qualifications: I have a B.S. and an M.S. in Engineering from the University of Massachusetts and Cornell University, respectively.  Starting my engineering career at Bell Laboratories, I helped develop voice and data communication systems, including fiber optic systems, cell phone technology and satellite systems for numerous companies including Alcatel, Motorola, and Verizon, and optical components at Corning Incorporated.  I now teach high school physics and mathematics on Cape Cod.  The 2012-13 academic year will be my 3rd year teaching AP Physics B with PAHomerschoolers.  My wife, Mary, and I homeschooled our three children through high school.

Click here to read answers to frequently answered questions about this class

Click here to read class reviews from participants in this class 
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