# Physics

Course Description

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.

It is highly recommended that students taking Algebra in ninth grade enroll in Physics. Students in Geometry or higher should enroll in Physics if they feel they are not ready for the pace and mathematical requirements of Accelerated 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.
• 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

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.
• 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 forces 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.

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
• Qualitatively compare and describe the gravitational forces between two objects in terms of their masses and the distances
between them
• Qualitatively describe parallels between gravitational, electrical, and magnetic forces and fields.
• 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.

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.
• 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.

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.
• 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.

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: