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IB Physics SL+HL (Two Years) (2018-2019*) *year 1 of 2



  • An introduction to the mathematical modeling of simple motion, including the concepts of average speed and Cartesian coordinates for recording direction
  • Homework - Read (and solve all problems in) Chapter 1 of Perrone's book


  • Graph the motion of a toy car and make sense of the trendline; draw and interpret various position and velocity graphs


  • Define acceleration and derive the kinematic equations
  • Analyze accelerated motion data in a spreadsheet
  • Homework - Read pp. 27-38 in the Oxford book (pay close attention to the Worked examples)


  • Quiz
  • Graph the accelerated motion in the spreadsheet above; interpret the trendlines
  • Practice interpreting trendlines and using the extracted (velocity and acceleration) information to interpolate and extrapolate (file 1file 2)
  • Homework - complete interpolation and extrapolation practice problems


  • Review the writings of Aristotle and Galileo on the nature of falling objects (and the existence of void)
  • Practice solving motion problems
  • Homework - complete the 10 Kinematics Problems (partial key) and read pp.5-13 in Perrone's book, Chapters 3 & 4; you don't need to solve problems in the book


  • Discuss uncertainties in measurement
  • Conduct laboratory investigation in which we determine the rate of gravitational acceleration
  • Homework - read Section 1.2 in the Oxford book; install Logger Pro













  • Linearize data (spreadsheet)
  • Complete data collection and analysis for free fall lab
  • Homework - type up the Exploration portion of the lab; try to linearize the data (6th pd) and find the min and max gradients (both 5th and 6th pds); the video above helps with the mins and maxes; 6th pd - linearization is explained in this video (watch from 3:00 to 5:50), what she does to charge, you should do to time


  • Complete the free fall lab
  • Practice interpreting motion data
  • Homework - the finished lab is due Thursday the 13th at midnight; submit it using


  • turn in the lab using (by midnight)
  • Analyze the motion of a tossed ball using a motion detector and Logger Pro (instructions)
  • Analyze motion with Algodoo (instructions) -- you can download Algodoo from the school's Software Center or find it free online
  • Homework - answers to 4 practice problems on wall


  • test over material to date
  • Homework - read pp. 39-43 in the Oxford book and sections 3.2.1, 3.2.3, 3.3.4 and 4.5 (no practice problems) in my book (Chps 3-4) (read for comprehension)


  • Discuss relative motion and its relevance to projectile motion
  • Model projectile motion



  • Analyze the motion of an Angry Bird; is it on Earth?
  • Analyze projectile motion graphs
  • Study (1D) free fall in more detail here
  • Homework - complete the packet of projectile "nTIPERs"


  • quiz over free fall and projectile motion
  • Homework - read all of Section 5.1 in your new booklet
  • Pay for the field trip!


  • discussion of the Laws of Nature (PowerPoint)
  • Homework - read Section 5.2 and do Section 5.3 in my book


  • Scientific Laws and What They Say: read me
  • Review Newton's 1st and 2nd Laws
  • Discover the various types of forces that operate in our world (follow this guide and answer questions in your class notebook)
  • Homework - complete the handout in which you explain something about graphs, and read the short essay, Scientific Laws and What They Say


  • Laboratory investigation of Newton's Second Law (using Method 2)
  • Homework - read and take notes on pp. 44-51 in the Oxford book, and read pp. 21-30 in my book (do the included practice problems)


  • complete data analysis for the Second Law lab
  • practice drawing free-body diagrams
  • Homework - read pp. 58-60 in the Oxford book (in preparation for indoor skydiving); read pp. 31-45 in my book


  • Field trip to iFLY!










  • discuss what we need to do to fix our lab data; the lab will then be due Sunday at midnight through
  • discuss the gravitational force and weightlessness
  • draw and label free-body diagrams
  • Homework - complete and turn in the lab; finish the hand-drawn handout; do pp. 45-56 in my book (read as needed, solve all problems)


  • practice drawing free-body diagrams, then working out (quantitatively) the forces upon and acceleration of an object


  • model a box hanging from two wires; review for the quiz


  • quiz over free-body diagrams and working out (quantitatively) the forces upon and acceleration of an object
  • Homework - complete handout; read pp.63-64 in my book


  • review the homework; discuss Newton's 3rd Law of motion
  • Homework - read pp. 62-64 in the Oxford book







  • design a lab to measure the coefficients of friction between two materials; due Sunday Monday night through
  • define work and energy and discuss their relationship
  • Homework - complete the "design a lab" activity by Monday night; read section 4-1 and the paragraph around equation 4.3 and section 4.3 in the blue "Conservation of Energy" packet, which was written by Richard Feynman; read 4-4 if you want to


  • complete two assignments: a data analysis problem from an IB paper and the "Dynamics Problems"
  • Homework - complete the aforementioned assignments


  • test
  • Homework - finish up the two assignments from 11/6; use your Oxford book, section 1.2, as reference for the IB paper problems


  • relate work to kinetic energy
  • calculate work (and change in kinetic energy) from a force-position graph
  • Homework - review the answer key for the Dynamics Problems; complete the handout on force-position graphs and the stapled packet (minus the last piece of paper)


  • 5th pd: review the data analysis problems from the IB paper (first assigned on 11/6)
  • discuss (gravitational) potential energy
  • solve problems involving potential energy, kinetic energy, and work from friction or other sources
  • Homework - finish the (nTIPERs) packet; do the three hill problems; review for the quiz
  • Answer Keys: nTIPERs packet; handout on force-position graphs












Coming Up: A few days after returning from Thanksgiving break, I will assign "the mousetrap car project", in which you will need to design and build a small car powered by a single mousetrap. The project also includes a video recording of you explaining the physics behind the car's operation. Stay tuned! They're pretty fun to build and race! [project details] - video help

Lab Report Format

finding the minimum and maximum gradients

with Logger Pro

Practice matching motion to graphs with this interactive.

Apollo 15 (1971)

And I'm free, free fallin'

help with reading projectile motion graphs
iFLY indoor skydiving



Scientific Proof is a Myth, by Ethan Siegel, - article

click on me

You may not want to click here. You could find yourself lost for hours or days. Swimming in a sea of fascinating ideas. You could lose track of time. You might also begin to understand time.
M.C. Escher's Waterfall
No Girls Allowed


  • discuss elastic potential energy and energy conversions in a swinging pendulum
  • elastic potential energy problems
  • energy questions (due, for a grade, on Dec 3; turn in typed responses)
  • Homework - read about propagation of uncertainty (pp. 12-14) in your Oxford book and complete this handout; also complete the elastic potential energy problems


  • determine the coefficient of kinetic friction in the lab using energy analysis, with a particular focus on uncertainties and propagation of uncertainty
  • review homework
  • define and calculate power, or rate of energy transfer
  • the Mousetrap Car Project is to be completed at home and turned in Dec 17 (the car should be brought to class and the video should be submitted here)
  • Homework - complete the energy questions; also complete the power worksheet and the IB free fall problem


  • define momentum and impulse; calculate impulse from a force-time graph (practice)
  • Homework - complete the impulse-momentum worksheet (key)


  • use the principle of momentum conservation to model two-body collisions and explosions
  • Homework - complete the momentum practice problems (key) and these IB momentum problems; read pp. 73-79 in your Oxford book


  • Conservation of Momentum lab (due 12/13 on


  • quiz on impulse and momentum and uncertainty calculations
  • Homework - read pp. 80-86 in your Oxford book


  • discussion of internal (thermal) energy (PowerPoint)
  • the Conservation of Momentum lab is due through


  • test the mousetrap cars (the video is due and must be submitted here)
  • create a concept map for Unit 2 (assignment)


  • review for midterm (pp.87-90, omit 13.a, and pp.24-26 #7-9,13-15)
  • Homework - complete the review in your textbook
  • answer key for pp.87-90; #6: T1 and T2 are switched
  • I also want you to review the feedback on your momentum labs


  • midterm




  • calendar for Spring Semester (*subject to change)
  • review of thermal concepts
  • Homework - complete the worksheet; read Unit 3.2 in your book


  • review the homework; discuss pressure
  • Boyle's Law Lab
  • Homework - complete the worksheet and watch video1 and video2


  • solve thermal physics problems, including Ideal Gas Law problems
  • measure the efficiency of a microwave oven
  • answer key for book problems
  • Homework - complete the problems on pages 113-114 and read the handout on the First and Second Laws of Thermodynamics


  • quiz over thermal concepts
  • discuss entropy and the Second Law of Thermodynamics [1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5]


  • intro to circular motion; Centripetal Force lab
  • Homework - finish the lab; watch this video

2.4 Momentum

Unit One-Page Overviews

1.1 Measurements in physics

1.2 Uncertainties and errors

1.3 Vectors and scalars

2.1 Motion

2.2 Forces

2.3 Work, Energy, and Power

Putting the I in IB!



EF Tours - Japan


Stay tuned for news of a potential trip for Summer 2020.


Because where else can you find 40 different flavors of Kit Kat?

internal energy

Unit One-Page Overviews

3.1 Thermal Concepts

3.2 Modelling a gas


6.1 Circular Motion


Enroll in the trip of a lifetime! Join the IB Senior Trip to Japan in the Summer of 2020. An informational meeting for parents (and students) will be held January 30th at 6 pm in room 1403. RSVP, please.


  • analyze circular motion (horizontally and vertically); distinguish between centripetal and centrifugal force
  • Homework - read Unit 6.1 and complete the worksheet on circular motion


  • model satellite motion (handout)
  • discuss artificial gravity
  • Homework - complete handout/packet (answer key)


  • quiz on circular motion


  • introduction to simple harmonic motion; begin big Oscillations packet
  • Homework - complete Oscillations packet [answer key] and read Unit 4.1


  • study SHM of a pendulum; pendulum lab
  • Homework - pendulum worksheet; the lab is due Monday 2/11; read pp. 354-355, 358 (Simple harmonic systems) -361 in Unit 9.1

4.1 Oscillations

4.2 Travelling Waves

right: this video shows how a wave is comprised of out-of-phase particles, each exhibiting SHM


left: click on the image to open an online simulation of a ripple tank; use the simulation to study wave behavior, including reflectionrefraction and diffraction





  • derive the equations for the period of a mass-spring system and pendulum; derive the equation for the energy in an oscillating system
  • IB oscillation practice problems
  • Homework - complete practice problems, complete Pendulum Lab, and read Unit 4.2 


  • discuss the properties of waves (notes sheet with problems)
  • observe the properties of waves with a Slinky
  • the Pendulum lab is due through
  • Homework - read Unit 4.2, if you haven't already


  • quiz on simple harmonic motion and basic properties of a wave
  • Homework - watch the video on EM waves here and examine this photo
  • you need to start working on your IA research topic; think about it, do some online research - you must submit your topic to me no later than Feb 22; the IA Exploration rough draft is due Feb 28


  • EM waves || Polarization || Malus's Law 
  • 3Blue1Brown video
  • polarization (Malus's Law) practice problems (key)
  • Homework - read pp. 135-137 in your book; corrections to the graphing, data analysis and uncertainty calculations portions of your Pendulum Lab must be completed and submitted by 2/22
from a 3Blue1Brown video

Old army video on the workings of AM and FM radio.