Thursday, February 21st, 2019


AP Physics B

This course provides a systematic introduction to the main principles of physics and emphasizes the development of conceptual understanding and problem-solving ability using algebra and trigonometry, but rarely calculus. In most colleges, this is a one-year terminal course including a laboratory component and is not the usual preparation for more advanced physics and engineering courses. However, the B course provides a foundation in physics for students in the life sciences, premedicine, and some applied sciences, as well as other fields not directly related to science.

The Physics B course includes topics in both classical and modern physics. A knowledge of algebra and basic trigonometry is required for the course; the basic ideas of calculus may be introduced in connection with physical concepts, such as acceleration and work. Understanding of the basic principles involved and the ability to apply these principles in the solution of problems should be the major goals of the course. Consequently, the course should utilize guided inquiry and student-centered learning to foster the development of critical thinking skills.

Physics B should provide instruction in each of the following five content areas: Newtonian mechanics, fluid mechanics and thermal physics, electricity and magnetism, waves and optics, and atomic and nuclear physics. 

The Physics B course should also include a hands-on laboratory component comparable to introductory college-level physics laboratories, with a minimum of 12 student-conducted laboratory investigations representing a variety of topics covered in the course. Each student should complete a lab notebook or portfolio of lab reports.