Advanced Placement (AP) Program » 2018 Summer work for AP Physics

2018 Summer work for AP Physics

Welcome to AP Physics 1, everybody!  I am very happy that you have decided to take this course and embark upon what I believe will be a challenging and rewarding educational journey. Below is an outline and brief introduction to the work that is required for this class over the summer. This is not intended to be “busy work.” By completing these relatively small tasks each week (i.e. NOT the week before you return to school), you will perform a lot of review of concepts you learned in earlier science classes, practice skills that we will be using throughout the year, discover resources that will help you throughout the course, and be better prepared and more confident to begin the school year. I want you to understand that I, like you, enjoy summer break, so find a good balance between work and play!

First Steps for the Summer:

  1. IMMEDIATELY: Sign up forAP Physics 1 Google Classroom (code xvhpu4). To help you balance work and play over the summer, there will be a weekly announcement on this Google Classroom telling you which chapter(s) of the book to read and any other work for that week. It is important that you stay up to date on this, so each week is just a medium amount of work.


  1. BEFORE the end of this school year: Check out the textbookConceptual Physics from my room (321). We will rarely use the textbook in class, but you will need to read it at home to clarify and reinforce concepts that you are learning about. We will also use a free electronic (.pdf) textbook called "OpenStax College Physics for AP Courses" as an additional resource. The textbook is always available on this Google Classroom - just go to the "About" section. You can download the textbook, view it on any device, or print chapters if you prefer paper and need to annotate.

  2. During the first week of summer break:To supplement the textbook, there are LOTS of AP Physics videos online on every topic. I will post links to three good series on Google Classroom for you to preview - some are weird, some are funny, some are serious - choose whichever suits your style best and go to those throughout the summer and next year to review or clarify concepts.


Course Preview:


AP Physics is a challenging field of study. Unlike some college courses, it is impossible to simply memorize the information or cram in some study the night before an exam – you must have enough mastery of each concept to be able to apply it in completely new and unexpected situations. 25% of our class time will be spent doing hands-on laboratory investigations. This is a full-year course that is the equivalent of a first-semester introductory college course in algebra-based physics. Therefore I expect college level work habits from my students.  Because the AP Physics exam will be held in the afternoon on Tuesday, May 7, 2019, class time is very precious. We will use most of April reviewing for the exam. This leaves us with about 6 months, including breaks and holidays, to prepare for the AP Exam. It is imperative that we use our time as efficiently as possible.  

The major topics we will be covering this year are:


  1. Kinematics (1-Dimensional and 2-Dimensional Motion)
  2. Dynamics: Newton’s Laws
  3. Circular Motion and Universal Law of Gravitation
  4. Simple Harmonic Motion: Simple Pendulum and Mass-Spring Systems
  5. Impulse, Linear Momentum, and Conservation of Linear Momentum: Collisions
  6. Work, Energy, and Conservation of Energy
  7. Rotational Kinematics and Energy, Rotational Dynamics, Angular Momentum
  8. Electrostatics: Electric Charge and Electric Force
  9. DC Circuits: Resistors
  10. Mechanical Waves and Sound


I look forward to our year together!