AP Physics C 453, 6 credits                                        



Mr. Keller, Room 222,


COURSE DESCRIPTION:  This course is designed for students wishing to take a calculus-based physics course that is comparable to first year college physics courses given to engineering majors and students majoring in physical sciences. The first half of the year is devoted to mechanics. The use of calculus in problem solving and in derivations increases as the first semester progresses. The primary emphasis of the second semester is on classical electricity and magnetism. Calculus is used freely in formulating principles and in solving problems during this semester. Laboratory work will include detailed data analysis and will often build on experiments covered in the first year physics course. Students are expected to take the Advanced Placement Physics-C exams in both Mechanics and Electromagnetism.


COURSE WEBSITE:  Course information beyond what is within this syllabus, along with Core Values and Expectations is posted on this site.



Physics for Scientists and Engineers, 6th Edition, Serway and Jewett

Although the textbook is available, I do not rely upon one in the class, so I will not distribute them.  If you would still like to sign one out, let me know and you will be free to do so.



1) A scientific calculator

2) Pens or pencils and paper



There will be one exam per week based upon problems posted on the course website.  There will be approximately one experiment per week.  Other class time will be devoted to lecture and the demonstration of physics problem solutions.



The grades are based upon an unweighted point system, but each quarter grade will follow these approximate percentages:

Tests – 60%

Experiments – 20%

In-class questions / equation quizzes - 20%


Most of your time for the class will be devoted to preparing for the tests, which will occur nearly every Monday of the week.  On the class webpage, under the “Exam schedule” link, there are links to problems upon which the test will be based as well as the answers to those problems.  The test questions will be similar to these practice problems, but will rarely be exactly the same.  As this schedule indicates, the first test will be September 11th.


Nearly every evening, there will be homework, usually consisting of a short Webassign problem set.  Sign-up for a Webassign account here, using the class code “ 6020 6948”.  Videos and the related questions are posted on the class website.  Occasionally, reading a set of notes on a physics topic will replace a Webassign assignment.  In general, I will try to keep the homework around thirty minutes nightly, as I know students have other classes and often many other commitments.  The Webassign sets should be relatively straight-forward and are simply intended to review past material, the nightly videos should give you a sense of some of the interesting aspects of the subject and its applications, and the occasional set of notes will save us from wasting class time with me writing something on the board and then you writing that same something in your notebooks.  Beyond all of that, expect to spend one to three hours preparing for each exam, which will be based upon problems demonstrated and conceptual questions practiced in class.  If you miss an exam, you are expected to take it the next time the class meets.


Turn assignments in the stacked trays on the side of the room.  Graded papers can be collected from the outgoing stack of trays.  Due dates for assignments will be provided in class.  Partial credit may be given for assignment submitted late.  If you need an extension for an assignment, you must make the request before the day it is due.  Lastly, even though labs will be conducted in groups, students must complete the related assignments individually.



A student who misses more than 7 classes of a subject during one marking period may fail the course that quarter.  At the teacher's discretion, the student may receive the lesser of a grade of 59 or the actual grade earned.  If absent, send me an email asking for what was missed.  If school is cancelled for any reason, check the class website for any assignments.


Test corrections are due one week after the test has been returned.  They can be done on video or typed on paper, though video is much easier.  Follow the directions provided on the class webpage.   If done well, fifty-percent of the points deducted are returned.



Keep phones and MP3 players off and stored.  Ask if you need to use them for some reason. 

Don’t eat in class.  I will throw out whatever you are attempting.

Return equipment and supplies to their original positions before leaving.

Ask to use the hall pass before leaving class. 

Don’t leave for the day until the bell rings.

Don’t treat the classroom like a lounge where you sit on whatever you want.  There are chairs; use them.

Be civil.



If you have questions or concerns, the best idea is to schedule a time to meet after school.  Also, feel free to send an email to the above address.