AP 2

Course Syllabus ...& more

(Spring pandemic version)


Mr. Tony Wayne


975-9300 extension 60265

Web Site:


Blog Schoology
Remind www.mrwaynesclass.com/remind



College Physics by Knight, jones, and Field, 2011, 2nd Edition. Published by Pearson. Students must return the book(s) they have been issued at the end of the year. However, I do not use the textbook. Instead instruction will come from my website www.mrwaynesclass.com/ap2

Physics seeks to describe and predict natural events by seeking the relationships between motion, force, energy and time. Physics is at the root of all types of engineering; mechanical, electrical, nuclear, chemical, etcetera. This course will discuss the basics in fields of physics such as kinematics, dynamics, electricity, optics, nuclear, and etcetera. The curriculum will be that of the national AP Physics 2 guide. Topics will be covered on a college physics introductory level. The pace will be very fast.


below is a list of the topics we will cover and an optimistic view of when they will all be covered. Unfortunately these target dates do not include SAT days, snow days, my sick days, or interruptions on the, "Valentine's Day Thang." (Yes, that says, "Thang.") It is taught at very fast pace. Doing the homework and being in class is imperative.

A detailed list of objectives can be found here in my Physics Resource Book on Pages 7 -22 (Opens in a new window.) These objectives form the test questions. If you are wondering what to study, read the section of this document pertaining to the unit.

These dates are target dates. The last date is the target test date.

Developing this time table is about the hardest thing have every done. 45 minutes classes that meet everyday 4 times a week during the pandemic.

I  Introduction and Review
   (2/1 - 2/8) 7 days
A. Simple conversions
B. Significant figures
C. Linearization of data
II. Fluid Mechanics
    (2/9 - 2/23) 9 days
    Big Ideas: 1, 3, and 5 [CR2b]
    *1.E, 3.C, 5.B, and 5.F
A. Density and Pressure

1. Density and specific gravity
2. Pressure as a function of depth
3. Pascal's principle

B. Buoyancy

1. Buoyant force
2. Archimedes' principle

C. Fluid flow continuity
D. Bernoulli's Equation
III. Thermal Physics
     (2/24 - 3/11) 10 days
     Big Ideas: 1, 4, 5, and 7 [CR2a]
     *1.E, 4.D, 4.E, 5.B, 7.A, and 7.B
A. Temperature and Heat

1. Mechanical equivalent of heat
2. Heat transfer and thermal expansion

B. Kinetic Theory

1. Ideal gases
2. Gas laws

C. Thermodynamics

1. Thermodynamic processes

a. Adiabatic
b. Isothermal
c. Isobaric
d. Isochoric
e. Cyclic

2. PV diagrams

a. Determining work done
b. Interpreting graphs

3. First Law of Thermodynamics

a. Internal energy
b. Energy conservation

4. Second Law of Thermodynamics

a. Entropy
b. Heat engines
c. Carnot cycle

IV. Electrostatics -
    (3/15 - 4/12 ) 13 days
    Big Ideas: 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 [CR2c] [CR2d]
    *1.E, 2.A, 2.C, 2.D, 2.E, 3.A, 3.C, 3.G, 4.E, 5.B, and 5.C
A. Electrostatics

1. Coulomb's Law
2. Electric Field

a. Force on a test charge
b. Field diagrams
c. Motion of particle in an E field

3. Electric Potential

a. Due to a group of charges
b. Potential difference
c. Work on a charge
d. Between parallel plates

4. Electrostatics with Conductors

a. Absence of E field in conductor
b. Equipotential
c. Charging by induction

V. Current Electricity -
    (4/13 - 4/22 ) 7 days
    Big Ideas: 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 [CR2c] [CR2d]
    *1.E, 2.A, 2.C, 2.D, 2.E, 3.A, 3.C, 3.G, 4.E, 5.B, and 5.C
B. Capacitors

1. Capacitance
2. Energy and charge stored
3. Parallel plates

C. Electric Current

1. Definition of direction of current
2. Ohm's Law
3. Resistance and Resistivity
4. Power

D. DC Circuits

1. Schematic diagrams/Kirchhoff's Laws
2. Resistors

a. In series
b. In parallel

4. Terminal voltage and internal resistance
5. Steady-state RC circuits

V. Magnetism
    (4/26 - 5/3 ) 6 days
    Big Ideas: 2, 3, and 4 [CR2e]
    *1.E, 2.A, 2.B, 2.E, 3.G, 4.E, and 5.B
A. Magnetostatics

1. Magnetic field
2. Forces on moving charges
3. Forces on a current-carrying wire
4. Magnetic field of current-carrying wires

B. Electromagnetism

1. Magnetic flux
2. Faraday's Law and Lenz's Law
3. Induced emf and induced current

VI. Optics
     (5/4 - 5/26 (14 days)
     Big Idea 6 [CR2f]
     *1.D, 5.D, 6.A, 6.B, 6.C, 6.D, 6.E, 6.F, and 6.G


AP Exam is May 7, 2021


A. Physical Optics

1. The electromagnetic spectrum
2. Interference

a. Two-source interference

3. Diffraction

a. Diffraction grating

4. Thin films

B. Geometric Optics

1. Reflection and refraction

a. Snell's Law
b. Total internal reflection

2. Images formed by mirrors

a. Ray diagrams
b. Thin lens/mirror equation

3. Images formed by lenses

a. Ray diagrams
b. Thin lens/mirror equation

VII. Atomic and Nuclear Physics
     (5/27 - 6/8) 7 days
     Big Ideas: 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 [CR2g]
     * 1.A, 1.B, 1.C, 1.D, 3.G, 4.C, 5.B, 5.D, 5.G, and 7.C

A. Atomic Physics and Quantum Effects

1. Discovery of the Electron and Atomic Nucleus

a. Cathode ray tube
b. Millikan's Oil Drop Experiment
c. Rutherford scattering

2. Photons and the Photoelectric Effect

a. Energy of a photon
b. Intensity and number of photons
c. Stopping potential

3. Bohr Model

a. Energy levels
b. Emission and absorption spectra
c. Transition between energy levels

4. DeBroglie Wavelength

a. Wavelength of Particles

5. Production of X-rays
6. Compton Scattering

B. Nuclear Physics

1. Atomic number, mass number, and atomic mass
2. Nuclear processes

a. Radioactive decay (alpha, beta, and gamma)
b. Fusion
c. Fission

3. Mass-Energy equivalence

VIII. Modern Physics and Review for AP Exams
      ( 6/8 - End of school year)
Exam review from 4/4 until the AP Exam in early May.




Students are expected to have a calculator with trigonometric functions. A graphing calculator is preferred but NOT REQUIRED.  If a student is thinking about buying a graphing calculator, buy a TI-83, TI-83 plus, TI-84 plus or TI-84 Plus silver edition. A graphing calculator will be used in lab for data collection and analysis. If a student does not have a graphing calculator, then they may use an online calculator like www.wolfframalpha.com or desmos.com.



If you have a question or comment please email or call me at school. I check my phone messages every business day. You can expect a return call during the next business day -if I'm not absent the day your message is left.) I will respond to your email within 2 business days of receiving it. Even if I can't expound in my response, I will acknowledge your email. If you do not receive a response email, call me. No response usually means that your message has been quarantined by the county's spam filter. (It is very aggressive.) If your student has a question about an assignment or grade, please encourage him or her to talk with me. I'll listen.

Plastic Eraser
It is suggested that students also purchase a "drafting" eraser like the "Hi-Polymer" by Pentel, or the Mars, plastic by Staedtler. The white rectangular shape makes this type of eraser easy to recognize. Drafting erasers work by lifting the graphite off the page and resist smudging the work. Rubber erasers work by sanding off the pencil marks and the paper under them. Now, many pencils come with this type of eraser on the end. It is usually white or some fluorescent color. ($1.25)
TI 84+ Calculator
Students are expected to have a calculator with trigonometric functions. It does not have to be a graphing calculator. Not graphing calculators range from $10 - $20. But if a student is thinking about buying a graphing calculator, buy a TI-84 or TI-84 plus. ($125) This calculator will be used in lab for data collection and analysis. Classroom graphing and scientific calculators can be used by the student when they are available. Most of the classroom discussions involving calculators will use the TI-83 and TI-84. (I have an electric engraver that you can use to etch your name in the back of your calculator. Ask to use it before or after class.)
8.5" x 11" spiral notebook

Spiral bound 8.5" x 11" notebook. Choose lined or, (my favorite,) graph paper. This will be used to write all homework and class work problems. It must be spiral notebook. This is used as an organizational tool. It will also make studying for the semester exam easier. I would recommend 150 pages worth of notebook(s).

Not all graph paper notebooks are the same. Some graph paper notebooks have lines that are too dark to be used with a pencil. Look for a graph paper notebook with lighter lines.

Every student will receive a laptop running Windows. One thing I noticed when using these laptops was that the mouse pad was "touchy" for me, (I'm a mac user.) I purchased a small wireless mouse to be used with laptop. It has significantly reduced my frustrations. Many mice are one sale in August and September for about $10-20. Logictech makes an inexpensive($20/$30) mouse with a battery that lasts about 12 months. This is purely optional. It is a matter of taste.
  Students will not be allowed to take notes on the laptops. They are to be written by hand. So students may need a 3 ring notebook or folder to contain any notes and some handouts. (Most handouts will be viewed on the computer but technology can't do everything better than pencil and paper.)
Text messaging from me

    I like to use Remind.com as a quick messaging system.  In the past I have not been a frequently sender of messages. I probably sent 10 messages during the fall semester. (Like when Zoom does not work or when we get a snow day ;-)) When signing up, protect your identity. Use your the first part your school’s email as your first name and for your last name use the 1st letter of your last name. Do not use your whole last name. If you do not want to receive text messages, you can receive emails instead. To receive emails, enter your SCHOOL email address in the space where is asks for your phone number. I have the Remind.com account setup so your cannot message anybody else or me. I only use it to disseminate urgent information. For everything else I will use school email. Every message that goes out on Remind.com will also be send out in an email to the student’s school email address. Its just that most people get it faster when it is a text message. Parents and guardians are welcome to sign up too. Any morning messages will be sent at 8:00 AM -just informing you. Instructions on how to sign up are found here, https://www.mrwaynesclass.com/remind/Physics2.html



Grades will be based on performance on tests, quizzes, activities and labs. Each assessment will be worth a certain amount of points. Typically:

  • Tests are worth 100 to 150 points
  • Quizzes are worth 20 to 50 points
  • Activities/Lab are worth 10 to 80 points

This year there are no nine weeks or semester grades. Instead there is one term and 1 grade for everything. If too many grades are entered in the grade book then after a while the year's grade will hardly change, even with dramatic grade changes. Each unit will have some kind of an assessment. This means at least 7 grades for the year in the grade book. "Homework" will not be graded. Homework will be checked.


CLASS PREPARATION GRADES (Formally "homework")

My class preparation grades as from assignments that are done outside of class. Typically these are now called "asynchronous assignments." There will be assignments like these nearly every class. But none, NONE, of these will count for a grade or towards the final grade.

There will be reported in PowerSchool as collect work. But not for a grade.



The class will follow the school's grading scale.



I will contact the parents or guardians via email or phone if a student receives a failing grade on a test or major lab.



No midterm or final exams



I am following school policies.



Students are to work independently, without any outside aide, on tests, quizzes, the research component of the project and "questions of the day." Student may work with others on homework, in class assignments, labs and activities.



The class will follow the school's attendance policy.



  • A ”wireless device” is anything that is capable of accessing the Internet. Such as, but not limited to, a netbook, laptop, iPad, iPod, iTouch, etcetera.
  • Only use wireless devices in class with the teacher's specific permission.
  • When asked to close your netbooks/laptops, close them and put other wireless devices away. You do not need to shut them down -only put them to sleep.
  • When allowed, wireless devices may only be used for work directly related to this class.
  • Wireless devices are to remain closed or put away during all tests and quizzes unless otherwise permitted by the teacher.
  • If the teacher walks around and you close your netbook or laptop when he/she walks by, it will be considered a sign that you are not using it for allowed purposes.

Anyone not agreeing to follow this policy must either not use a wireless device in class or accept that the wireless device will be recognized as a distraction and dealt with according to school policy.  This may include being prohibited from using device in the classroom for the rest of the semester or year.



The class will follow the school's attendance policy with one exception. Students who are tardy without an appropriate note will stay in class at least two minutes past the bell.



When a test has been missed, arrangements must be made within 2 days of returning to school to make up the missed work. The missed assignment must be made up within 2 weeks of returning to school. Failure to make up work will result in a zero for the assignment. An "incomplete" letter grade will be given for the 9 weeks to any student with an assignment not turned in by the end of a grading period. (Some flexibility will be afforded in certain extreme/unusual cases.)



There are no exam exemptions.

2nd SEMESTER EXAM - There isn't one.
The second semester exam is replaced with a culminating programming project. Students will complete v-Python programming tutorials and create a physics project that uses v-Python. Students will have the time between the AP physics 2 exam and the end of school or graduation. More details will be given out in mid-April.

WEB SITE: [ You are on right now :-) ]

This class will have a web site, http://www.mrwaynesclass.com/AP. Working on the web is OPTIONAL. The web site will be a constant work in progress. The web site will contain:

  • Daily assignment blog
  • Documents distributed in class in either web form or as a PDF document.
  • Related topic links.
  • Animations and some lecture notes from class.
  • Tutorial links to other sites. (This web site will only contain links to legitimate, safe web sites. Once a student leaves the Albemarle County Schools server, we cannot be responsible for the paths they "surf" beyond the initial link.)
  • Some video tutorials on how to do more difficult problem types.



by Tony Wayne ...(If you are a teacher, please feel free to use these resources in your teaching.)

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