A brief introduction for AP Physics C Students
And anyone else who wants an overview of what we do when we “do calculus”
AP Physics C is a calculus-based course. At my school, calculus is a co-requisite. It would be good if we could use the language of calculus right from the start. But most of the students have only seen a little calculus so far (or none at all). So over the last few years, I have written these blog posts to try to get them off to a running start.
Also, while it was not my intention, I think these posts would help anyone heading into their first calculus class to get an advance overview of what lies ahead.
Note to my students: For some of you, most of this will be a review – but definitely not all of it! But for others, this will all be new. Just take your time, read slowly, and feel free to ask lots of questions — you can save them for September or email me as you think of them! Or post them in our Google Classroom (which is already open).
One other note: we will be talking a lot about rotational physics this year. It would be helpful to have a clear understanding of radian measure. If you feel at all shaky, you should review these two posts: Angle Measurement for Pizza Crust Lovers and That Radian Feeling.
I hope you have a relaxing summer and that you are looking forward to another year of interesting physics.
— Mr. K
|1||Hairy Questions||Slope and Rate of Change|
|3||Velocity NOW!||Instantaneous Rate of Change|
|4||Slope-Finding Functions||What a derivative tells us|
|5||Derivatives: The Building Blocks||Some often-used derivatives|
|6||Derivatives: Combining Functions||Sums, differences, and more|
|7||Simple Version of the Chain Rule||Composition of Functions|
|8||Making the Best of Things||Optimization|
|9||Exponential Decay – Part 1||1st Order Diff. Eqs.|
|10||Exponential Decay – Part 2||Understanding time constants|
|11||A Magical Theorem, Part I||Anti-derivatives vs. Areas|
|12||A Magical Theorem, Part II||Areas via Anti-derivatives|
|13||Part III: Areas the Hard Way||Riemann Rectangles|
|14||Part IV: Areas in Physics||“Area” under a graph|
|15||Part V: Adding Up the Pieces||Applying the Magic Theorem|