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Physics Syllabus

Mr. Wilson

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Course Description:  Conceptual Physics is an introductory course for the college-bound student who wishes to undertake a challenging science course.  Conceptual physics focuses more on the ideas and concepts of physics rather than the complex math that helps to explain the concepts. Demonstrations, computer simulations, and laboratory work will combine to help develop the students understanding of physics and its role in the Universe.           

Teaching Methods:  This class will be taught using a variety of teaching methods including lectures, discussions, labs, computer simulations, demonstrations, and homework.

Grading (These are approximate percentages)

50% Tests and Quizzes                   15% Lab Write-ups/Class Projects

20% Final Exam                                15%  Homework 

         Your grade will always be available on my Internet site (schoolloop)

Quizzes & Tests: These will be given in the middle and at the end of each unit covered.  We may move through some chapters in a few days and others in a few weeks.  YOU ARE EXPECTED TO BE READY TO TAKE THE TEST THE NEXT DAY YOU RETURN FROM AN ABSENCE.  It is your responsibility to schedule and take your make-ups.  Failure to make up a quiz after a week will result in a zero for that assignment.

Labs: Some will be worth more than others.  All are important to your understanding of physics.  Some labs will have a pre-lab and/or a post-lab quiz.  These points will be a part of the overall lab grade. We will do a number of labs in this course.  Some labs write ups are more complicated and time consuming than others. These write-ups will be done by you individually even though you will probably work together in a lab group on collecting the data.  For labs which do not require a formal lab write-up, you may simply receive points based on participation or you may be permitted to turn in a group lab.    You may or may not have to actually turn in something for grading for these non-formal write-up labs.

Homework:   Homework will be assigned regularly.  Points are received upon completion of homework on time. Students are responsible for completing and correcting all work as assigned. Homework to be turned in must be more that 75% complete to receive a stamp.  Most homework assignments are worth 10 points.  Failure to turn in homework will receive a zero.  It is your responsibility to make up any homework during an absence from class. 

At the end of each chapter, your homework will be turned for a grade.  The grade will be given by totaling all stamps for homework from the chapter.  Checks will be worth 10 points, a completed homework paper without a stamp will receive 5 points.  Homework papers can only be turned in up to 2 weeks after it is initially asked to be collected.  Do not take homework lightly.  Failure to do any homework in this class will result in a loss of one letter grade! . If you have missed class, you can access and download worksheets, notes, labs, and view PowerPoint lectures online by visiting my website at: http://www.sctritonscience.com/Duncan/indexwilson.htm

Participation: Every grading period you will be receiving participation grade.  If you come to class on time and work productively in class you will receive 50 points.  Every class tardy you will loose 3 points from this grade.  If you are seen improperly working in class such as: sending or receiving cell phone calls or text messages, playing calculator games, searching the Internet for things unrelated to physics, you will loose points. 

Extra Credit:  There are no extra credit assignments in this class.  This is a college prep class that expects you to achieve and perform at a high level.  Take all assignments seriously.  Extra credit can be earned at various times throughout the year by participating in periodic projects and activities.  These include, but are not limited to, the following activities.

         Pumpkin Drop                    

         Magic Mountain Day                                             

         Float a Boat

General Rules:  Treat the classroom, your fellow students and the teacher with respect.  Come to class on time and prepared to learn.  Observe all school rules listed in your school handbook.  The tardy policy stated in the school wide discipline plan will be enforced. 

Bring the following with you every day:

1.  Notebook:   A 3 ring binder notebook is required for this class.  This notebook must have 4 dividers (with plastic tabs).  The dividers should be labeled and in the order as follows:

        Lecture Notes          




2.  Calculator:  Must have scientific notation ability.   Graphing Calculators welcome and encouraged!

3.  Pen/pencil:  Either or both is fine.

4.  Ruler, paper, graph paper:  Keep these in your notebook.  GRAPH PAPER IS A MUST!

5.  Textbook:  Textbook must be covered                                                                         

Class Rules:  (sorry to be negative, but every classroom has to have these)

     BE RESPECTFUL AT ALL TIMES (the remaining rules fall under this one)

     No food, gum or drinks           (They will be thrown away)

     No magazines, newspapers...etc  (They will be thrown away)

     No portable electronics/cell phones - except calculators  (They will be confiscated   and you can have a parent pick them up at the office)

     No Changing desktops or loading games on computers  (MINIMUM- Automatic 0 on one HW and APs Office)  This is a very big NO-NO!

     No playing games on calculators    (They will be confiscated for 1 week)

     No swearing, racial slurs, etc.          (May be sent to APs office)

     No writing on desks or putting trash in drawers  (Clean desks and 1 hour detention)

     No tardies  (see Discipline Handbook for consequences)

Please Note:  Having computers in a class is a privilege.  Dont mess with their default settings!  I consider this to be a very serious offense.  Downloading illegal games, DVDs, MP3. Whatever, can result in huge damages to me and the school.  DONT DO THAT!  Use them for their intended purpose only:  Checking grades, doing labs, looking at Science Class appropriate materials.

Physics Course Outline

First Semester

Unit 1: Motion and Forces (chapters 1-16)

         Class Introduction

         Investigation and Experimentation (chapter 1)

         A Mathematical Toolkit

         Linear Motion (chapter 2)

         Projectile Motion (chapter 3)

         Newton s Laws (chapters 4-6)

         Momentum (chapter 7)

         Energy (Work, Power, Potential and Kinetic) (chapter 8)

         Circular Motion (chapter 9)

         Gravity (chapters 10-13)

         Satellite Motion (chapter 14)

Unit 2: Properties of Matter (chapters 17-20)

         The Atomic Nature of Matter (chapter 17)

         Solids, Liquids and Gasses (chapters 18-20)

Second Semester  

Unit 3: Heat (chapters 21-24)

         Temperature, Heat and Expansion (chapter 21)

         Heat Transfer (chapter 22)

         Change of Phase (chapter 23)

         Thermodynamics (chapter 24)

Unit 4: Sound and Light (chapters 25-31)

         Vibrations and Waves (chapter 25)

         Sound (chapter 26)

         Light (chapter 27)

         Color (chapter 28)

         Reflection, Refraction and Diffraction (chapters 29-31)

Unit 5: Electricity and Magnetism (32-37)

         Electrostatics (chapter 32)

         Electric Fields and Potential (chapter 33)

         Electric Current (chapter 34)

         Electric Circuits (chapter 35)

         Magnetism (chapter 36)

         Electromagnetic Induction (chapter 37)

Unit 6: Practical Physics

         Music Physics



Please note that the Constitution of the State of California requires that we provide a public education to you free of charge. Your right to a free education is for all school/educational activities, whether curricular or extracurricular, and whether you get a grade for the activity or class.  Subject to certain exceptions, your right to a free public education means that we cannot require you or your family to purchase materials, supplies, equipment or uniforms for any school activity, nor can we require you or your family to pay security deposits for access, participation, materials, or equipment. 

H E Y !   M R .  W I L S O N 

Website by Duncan Wilson

Page last updated January 07, 2012

The links on this page connect students to resources, which are recommended because of their educational content and value. I do not intend your child to visit any pages beyond those to which I have provided specific links. We recommend that you supervise/monitor your child's Internet activity at all times.