# Accelerated Physics

Course Description

Accelerated Physics is the study of the properties and interactions of matter and energy. Through hands-on explorations that integrate math and technology, students will develop a strong understanding of content and skills. During the first semester, the content focus is force and motion with crosscutting concepts of patterns and cause and effect relationships. During the second semester, the content focus is energy (in a wide variety of forms) with crosscutting concepts of systems and the law of conservation of energy. The course is designed to lay a strong foundation of science concepts and skills that will be built upon in subsequent science courses.

Accelerated Physics will cover more topics at a greater depth and faster pace than Physics. Students taking Accelerated Physics should have a strong understanding of basic algebra. Trigonometry and advanced mathematical techniques will be taught and used throughout the course. It is highly recommended that students taking Honors Geometry or higher enroll in Accelerated Physics. Students in Geometry should enroll in Accelerated Physics if they are comfortable with the pace and mathematical requirements. Students in Algebra should enroll in Physics.

Related Priority Standards (State &/or National):  MLS Science Standards Grades 6-12

Enduring Understandings/Big Ideas

• If the forces on an object are balanced, there will be no change in its velocity.
• The motion of an object can be described by mathematical, graphical, verbal, and/or pictorial models.
• Patterns and proportional relationships exist in the natural world that can be identified through observation and data collection.
• Graphical, visual and mathematical tools can be used to represent, analyze, and use patterns to make predictions.
• Events in the natural world have causes. By understanding cause and effect relationships we can explain and predict phenomena.
• If the forces on an object are unbalanced, its velocity (speed or direction) will change. The change is directly proportional to the net force and inversely proportional to the object/system’s mass.
• Models of motion and Newton’s laws can be combined and applied to describe and analyze complex phenomena.
• Energy can take various forms and can transfer within, into, or out of systems by various means. In a closed system, the total amount of energy stays the same.
• Systems exist in the natural world; organized groups of related objects or components. Systems are analyzed by defining their boundaries, initial conditions, and inputs/outputs.
• Energy and matter can change forms and be transferred, but are conserved in the universe.
• Energy is transferred by the movement of charge in a circuit. Devices (i.e. light bulbs, motors, appliances) in a circuit transfer energy from one form to another.
• Energy is transferred by the movement of waves through a medium.
• Energy is transferred by light. The wavelength of light affects its appearance, properties, and the energy it stores.

Course-Level Scope & Sequence (Units &/or Skills)

Unit 1: Balanced Forces & Constant Velocity

If the forces on an object are balanced, there will be no change in its velocity. The motion of an object can be described by mathematical, graphical, verbal, and/or pictorial models.  Students will be able to:

• Measure, represent, and analyze the motion of an object graphically, verbally, and mathematically, and diagrammatically when velocity is constant.
• Experimentally derive equations for motion at a constant velocity: v = Δx/Δt & x = vt + x0.
• Resolve two dimensional displacement vectors into resultants.
• Relate displacement to the area under a vel-time graph for objects that are stationary or moving at a constant velocity.
• Quantitatively use pos-time or vel-time graphs to generate unknown graphs of motion for objects that are stationary or moving at a constant velocity.
• Measure, identify, and describe the forces acting on an object using a force diagram and calculating net force.
• Recognize that inertia is a property of matter that can be described as an object’s tendency to resist a change in motion, and is dependent upon the object’s mass.
• Determine the effect the sum of the forces will have on the motion of an object.
• State and use Newton’s 1st Law of Motion to analyze situations.
• Explain the concept of inertia.
• Analyze action/reaction force pairs for a given scenario and describe their magnitudes and directions.
• Use observations of objects and motion to construct qualitative and quantitative force diagrams.
• Qualitatively and quantitatively analyze the forces acting on a object and make predictions about its motion
• Experimentally derive the equation for gravitational force: Fg=gm
• Describe weight in terms of the force of a planet’s or moon’s gravity acting on a given mass.
• Resolve a two dimensional force into horizontal and vertical components.
• Calculate unknowns in force diagrams involving forces at angles.

Unit 2: Acceleration and Unbalanced Forces

Forces on an object are unbalanced, its velocity (speed or direction) will change. The change is directly proportional to the net force and inversely proportional to the object/system’s mass. The motion of an object can be described by mathematical, graphical, verbal, and/or pictorial models.  Students will be able to:

• Measure, represent, and analyze the motion of an object graphically, verbally, mathematically, and diagrammatically when the acceleration is constant.
• Experimentally derive equations for motion with uniform acceleration: a = Δv/Δt and v = at + v0
• Discern between instantaneous and average velocity.
• Relate displacement to the area under a vel-time graph for objects that are accelerating.
• Derive the equation Δx = ½at2 using linearization methods and slopes of tangents.
• Conceptually derive the equation Δx = ½ (v + v0)t.
• Quantitatively use pos-time, vel-time, or acceleration-time graphs to generate unknown graphs of motion for objects that are accelerating.
• Measure, identify, and describe the forces acting on an object using a force diagram and calculating net force.
• Determine the effect the sum of the forces will have on the motion of an object
• Use observations of objects and motion to construct qualitative and quantitative force diagrams.
• Qualitatively and quantitatively analyze the forces acting on a object and make predictions about its motion.
• Experimentally derive the equations: ΣF=ma and Ff=μFN
• Create and interpret force diagrams for objects that are accelerating.
• Qualitatively describe the relationship between force, mass, and acceleration of an object or system of objects
• Analyze data to support and verify the concepts expressed by Newton's 2nd law of motion, as it describes the mathematical relationship between the net force on a macroscopic object, its mass, and its acceleration.
• Qualitatively and quantitatively analyze situations that involve unbalanced forces and motion in two-dimensions and/or systems of objects (i.e. inclined planes, half and full Atwoods machines, friction, tension, normal forces).

Unit 3: Applications of Newton's Laws

Models of motion and Newton’s laws can be combined and applied to describe and analyze complex phenomena. Students will be able to:

• Experimentally determine that objects in free fall near the surface of the Earth accelerate at 9.8 m/s2 regardless of mass.
• Use Newton’s Second Law to explain why free fall acceleration is not affected by mass.
• Apply graphical, verbal, mathematical, and diagrammatical models of motion to analyze objects in free fall
• Recognize that all free-falling bodies accelerate at the same rate due to gravity, regardless of their mass.
• Identify forces acting on a falling object (i.e., weight, air resistance) and how those forces affect the rate of acceleration.
• Qualitatively describe gravity as an attractive force among all objects
• Use mathematical representations of Newton’s Law of Gravitation to describe and predict the gravitational forces between objects (limited to two objects).
• Qualitatively describe parallels between gravitational, electrical, and magnetic forces and fields.
• Describe the force(s) acting on a projectile on the Earth.
• Apply Newton’s Laws and kinematic equations to explain and solve problems related to horizontally and angled launched projectiles (i.e. range, max height, velocity & position at given times).
• Qualitatively describe circular motion and the force(s) that keep an object traveling in a circular path at a constant speed.
• Experimentally derive the equation for centripetal force and apply it to answer numerical questions
• Apply their qualitative and quantitative understanding of circular motion to understand the derivation of Newton’s Law of Universal Gravitation
• Calculate the momentum of an object.
• Experimentally determine that the total momentum remains constant within a system for linear elastic collisions
• Apply the law of conservation of momentum to answer numerical questions
• Use mathematical representations to support and verify the concept that the total momentum of a system of objects is conserved when there is no net force on the system.
• Apply the law of conservation of momentum to answer numerical questions involving two-dimensional collisions (limited to two objects)

Unit 4: Energy

Energy can take various forms and can transfer within, into, or out of systems by various means.  In a closed system, the total amount of energy stays the same.  Students will be able to:

• Qualitatively identify the types of energy present in a system (kinetic, gravitational potential, elastic potential, chemical, thermal, nuclear, electrical.
• Describe sources and common uses of different forms of energy: chemical, nuclear, thermal, mechanical, electromagnetic.
• Qualitatively relate the amount of energy to the characteristics or properties of an object or system.
• Qualitatively describe the law of conservation of energy, the transfer of energy within and between systems, and the mechanism by which the transfer occurred (i.e. vibrations, light, generator).
• Develop and use models to illustrate that energy at the macroscopic scale can be accounted for as a combination of energy associated with the motions of particles (objects) and energy associated with the relative position of particles (objects).
• Use diagrams to describe the types of energy in a system, the flow of energy into and out of a system
• Qualitatively account for dissipated energy.
• Differentiate between thermal energy (the total internal energy of a substance which is dependent upon mass), heat (thermal energy that transfers from one object or system to another due to a difference in temperature), and
temperature (the measure of the average kinetic energy of molecules or atoms in a substance).
• Differentiate between the properties and examples of conductors and insulators of different forms of energy (i.e. thermal, mechanical, electromagnetic).
• Experimentally derive Hooke’s Law: Fs=kx.
• Qualitatively derive the mathematical equations for energy: Ek = ½mv2 Eg = mgh Eel = ½kx2.
• Experimentally prove the law of conservation of energy.
• Apply energy equations and the law of conservation of energy to answer numerical questions.
• Quantitatively account for dissipated energy by calculating “missing energy”.
• Describe the effect of work on an object’s kinetic and potential energy.
• Compare the efficiency of systems (recognizing that, as work is done, the amount of usable energy decreases).
• Define work, power, and efficiency.
• Solve numerical problems involving work, power, and efficiency.
• Plan and conduct an investigation to provide evidence that the transfer of thermal energy when two components of different temperature are combined within a closed system results in a more uniform energy distribution among the components in the system (second law of thermodynamics).
• Experimentally derive the equations for kinetic, gravitational, and elastic potential energy and use these equations to solve numerical problems.
• Qualitatively describe specific heat capacity.
• Experimentally determine the specific heat for a given material.
• Solve numerical problems that involve the change in temperature of an object due to heating (Q = mcΔT).

Unit 5: Electrical Energy

Energy is transferred by the movement of charge in a circuit. Devices (light bulbs, motors, appliances…) in a circuit transfer energy from one form to another. Students will be able to:

• Build and qualitatively describe the flow of charge and energy through a DC electric circuit (simple, series, and parallel).
• Qualitatively describe the energy transfer that occurs in an electric circuit that contains various devices (i.e. light bulbs, motors, heaters, appliances).
• Experimentally derive Ohm’s law.
• Experimentally derive the equation for equivalent resistance for resistors in series.
• Qualitatively understand the effect that adding more resistors in parallel has on equivalent resistance.
• Experimentally derive the quantitative relationship between power, voltage, and electric current.
• Qualitatively describe the way electric generators convert mechanical energy into electrical energy.
• Apply the relationship between Power, Current, and Voltage to real life situations.
• Calculate the equivalent resistance for series and parallel circuits (and combinations).
• Qualitatively describe the way electrical power plants work.
• Identify and summarize the costs/benefits of various fuel sources (renewable and nonrenewable).
• Construct an argument for or against a power plant fuel source based on its long/short term positive and negative impacts.

Unit 6: Waves and Sound

Energy is transferred by the movement of waves through a medium.  Students will be able to:

• Identify the characteristics of waves and wave motion.
• Experimentally (observationally) determine that only the properties of the medium affect the speed of a wave.
• Derive the equation for wave speed: v = fλ (this can be done logically, by dimensional analysis, or experimentally).
• Use mathematical representations to support a claim regarding relationships between the frequency, wavelength, and speed of
waves traveling in various media.
• Qualitatively describe superposition (constructive / destructive interference), standing waves and resonance.
• Apply qualitative and quantitative understanding of waves to sound waves.
• Qualitatively describe the Doppler effect.
• Qualitatively explain how the human ear and musical instruments work.
• Qualitatively and quantitatively analyze standing waves (on strings) and use standing waves to derive the wave speed equation.
• Experimentally determine the qualitative relationship between string tension and wave speed.
• Experimentally determine the speed of sound (using resonance tubes)
• Solve numerical problems using the Doppler effect equation
• Qualitatively analyze waves in two dimensions.

Unit 7: Light and the Electromagnetic Spectrum

Energy is transferred by light.  The wavelength of light affects its appearance, properties, and the energy it stores. Systems exist in the natural world.  Students will be able to:

• Evaluate the validity and reliability of claims in published materials about the effects that different frequencies of electromagnetic radiation have when absorbed by matter.
• Identify stars as producers of electromagnetic energy.
• Describe how electromagnetic energy is transferred through space as electromagnetic waves of varying wavelength and
frequency.
• Describe the characteristics, sources, uses, and effects of the 7 types of waves that make up the EM spectrum.
• Qualitatively describe the relationship between the temperature of an object and the peak wavelength of light it emits.
• Experimentally prove that light has wave properties (Young’s Double Slit Lab)
• Apply Young’s Double Slit equation to determine the wavelength of light.
• Experimentally derive the equation that relates peak wavelengths and temperature.
• Recognize that changing magnetic fields can produce electrical current and electric currents can produce magnetic forces.
• Plan and conduct an investigation to provide evidence that an electric current can produce a magnetic field and that a changing magnetic field can produce an electric current.

Course Resources & Materials: District and teacher-made resources

Date Last Revised/Approved:  2016