Courses are offered on all subjects in high school physics related to mechanics, electromagnetism, thermodynamic, wave and optics, special relativity, quantum mechanics, and nuclear and atomic physics. Courses are also offered for students in different grade levels with or without prior physics course study and for different purposes such as for general physics learning or for competition physics. Please check the specific course sections to see the courses offered.
What are included in General high school physics
Students generally begin to study physics in high school. Depending on the curriculum system of each individual school, a semester long or year long honors physics course is usually offered to give students a very basic but broad introduction of concepts involved in physics. It is then the choice of students to acquire more advanced and in-depth study of physics by taking advanced placement courses in physics such as AP Physics 1, AP Physics 2, AP Physics C:Mechanics, and AP Physics C:Electricity and Magnetism
AP Physics 1 covers kinematics, Newton's laws, work, energy, power, impulse, momentum, angular motion and harmonic oscillation. There are no formal prerequisites for AP Physics 1, but it would be beneficial to have completed geometry and be concurrently taking Algebra II or an equivalent course to grasp the calculations required for the coursework.
AP Physics 2 covers fluid statics and dynamics, thermodynamics with kinetic theory, PV diagrams and probability, electrostatics, circuits with capacitors, magnetic fields, electromagnetism, physical and geometric optics, and quantum, atomic, and nuclear physics. Before you begin AP Physics 2, you will need to have completed AP Physics 1 or a comparable introductory physics class. You should also have taken or be taking concurrently pre-calculus or the equivalent.
AP Physics C: Mechanics covers kinematics, Newton’s laws of motion, systems of particles and linear momentum, circular motion and rotation, oscillations and gravitation, and work, energy and power while using differential and integral calculus throughout the course. There are no formal prerequisites for the class, but before taking AP Physics C: Mechanics, students should be prepared for college-level calculus-based work and must at minimum have taken or be concurrently taking calculus.
AP Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism is the highest level AP Physics course available and is often offered as a second semester course for students who have completed AP Physics C: Mechanics in the first semester. It covers electrostatics, conductors, capacitors, and dielectrics, electric circuits, magnetic fields, and electromagnetism while using differential and integral calculus throughout the course. Students should be prepared for college-level calculus-based work and must at minimum have taken or be concurrently taking calculus.