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Introduction to Physics Part 1
Course Length: 1 Semester
Has Textbook: No
Introduction to Physics Part 1 will introduce students to algebra-based physics. In this textbook-free course, students will begin by learning the fundamentals of the subject, including topics such as units and basic problem solving. The course will cover concepts such as mass, acceleration, velocity, motion, forces, and machines. Student will then be introduced to Newton's Laws of Motion and will learn to apply them to a variety of situations. This course will then incorporate the energy perspective into the study of motion, introducing students to the important concepts of work, energy, and power. The discussion includes potential energy, the concepts of linear momentum, and impulse. Finally, students will examine the basics of rotational motion.
It is recommended that students successfully complete Algebra I or equivalent course work before enrolling in this course.

Course Objectives

Unit 1: Essential Content and Skills

  • Describe the nature of scientific inquiry, and outline the steps used in scientific method.
  • Identify the metric and SI units used in science, as well as the use of common metric prefixes.
  • Compare and contrast related terms, such as precision and accuracy, distance and displacement, average and instantaneous speed, and positive and negative acceleration.
  • Represent the correct number of significant digits in calculations while representing large and small numbers in scientific notation.
  • Determine when an object is in motion, explain relative motion, and identify frames of reference.
  • Solve various types of vector problems.

Unit 2: Essential Content and Skills

  • Understand direct and inverse proportions, and solve ratios algebraically.
  • Interpret distance-time graphs and speed-time graphs.
  • Describe examples of force, and identify appropriate SI units used to measure force.
  • Describe Newton’s three laws of motion and give examples to illustrate them.
  • Define friction and identify the factors that impact the size of the friction force.
  • Compare mass and weight.

Unit 3: Essential Content and Skills

  • Express the meaning of the following terms: component vectors, impulse, closed system, momentum, elastic collisions, inelastic collisions, work, and power.
  • Perform the calculations to determine resultant velocity.
  • Detail what happens when momentum is conserved during a collision.
  • Describe what a machine is and how it makes tasks easier to do.
  • Relate the work input to a machine to the work output of the machine.
  • Compare a machine’s actual mechanical advantage to its ideal mechanical advantage.
  • Explain why the efficiency of a machine is always less than 100 percent.

Unit 4: Essential Content and Skills

  • Name, describe, and give examples of the six types of simple machines.  
  • Define and give examples of the following: tangential acceleration, rotational inertia, torque, center of mass, center of gravity, centripetal force, and centrifugal force.
  • Explain the relationship between energy and work, and describe how kinetic energy changes with changes in mass and speed.
  • Show how potential energy is dependent to an object’s position relative to a starting point.
  • Use the law of conservation of energy to solve problems converting kinetic energy to potential energy and initial total energy to final total energy.
  • Describe how Newton’s First Law of Motion relates to rotational inertia.
  • Relate the center of mass and center of gravity to stability, and define the relationship between centrifugal and centripetal forces.

*This course is textbook free.

**NCAA approved