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AP Physics 2 (NCAA Approved)

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Open to: Grades 9 - 12

Eligibility: CTY-level or Advanced CTY-level math score required

Prerequisites: Completion of Trigonometry, and completion of AP Physics 1 or AP Physics C.

Course Format: Session Based. See calendar for session dates and application deadlines.

Course Length: 30 weeks (Academic Year)

Recommended School Credit: One academic year

Student Expectations: Students are strongly encouraged to work an average of 6-8 hours per week for the 30-week session with breaks for holidays.

Course Code: APH2

Course Description


The course provides students with an introductory experience in the concepts and methods of physical analysis beyond mechanics, including thermodynamics, fluid physics, geometric and physical optics, electricity, magnetism, and modern physics.  Building the ability to reason qualitatively and quantitatively is a primary focus, with inquiry and investigation, modeling and diagramming, symbolic algebra, unit analysis, communication and argumentation, laboratory techniques, data analysis, and integration and application of concepts as emphasized skills.

Students have the primary responsibility for building understanding, with the instructor as a resource and guide. Students will spend instructional time engaging with the textbook, online lecture videos, simulations, online discussions, hands-on labs (constituting 25% of instructional time), problem-solving screencasts, online homework problems, and tests/exams.

Major course themes include:

  • Thermodynamics
  • Fluid Mechanics
  • Optics
  • Electricity
  • Magnetism
  • Modern Physics

This course includes a laboratory component designed to meet College Board standards and has been reviewed and approved by the College Board. Hands-on labs require a materials kit that also must be purchased separately by the student.

AP Physics 2 is the equivalent to a second-semester college course in algebra-based physics. This demanding course requires a substantial time commitment during the entire session and should not be combined with other CTY courses.

A free, online placement test is available to determine if the student has the math skills needed to enroll in this course.

Proctor Requirements

Proctor Requirements

A proctor is required for this course if the student’s goal is to obtain a grade. Please review Proctor Requirements for more details.

Materials Needed

Students must purchase a required textbook and lab kit for this course:

Knight, College Physics: A Strategic Approach Technology Update, 3rd edition, with Mastering Physics. Pearson Addison-Wesley.
ISBN-13: 978-0134167831

AP Physics 2 Lab Kit

Detailed Course Information

Course Details

Unit 1: Thermodynamics

Temperature and Heat

  • Mechanical Equivalent of Heat
  • Thermal Energy Transfer
  • Thermal Expansion

Kinetic Theory

  • Ideal Gases
  • Gas Laws

Thermodynamic Processes

  • Cycles
  • Adiabatic
  • Isothermal
  • Isobaric
  • Isochoric

PV Diagrams

  • Calculating Work
  • Interpretation

First Law of Thermodynamics

  • Internal Energy
  • Energy Conservation

Second Law of Thermodynamics

  • Entropy
  • Heat Engines
  • Carnot Cycles

Unit 2: Fluid Mechanics

Fluid Statics

  • Density
  • Specific Gravity
  • Pressure
  • Pascal’s Principle
  • Buoyant Force
  • Archimedes’ Principle

Fluid Flow

  • Continuity Equation
  • Bernoulli’s Principle

Unit 3: Optics

Physical Optics

  • EM Spectrum
  • Interference
  • 2-source Interference
  • Diffraction
  • Thin Films

Geometric Optics

  • Reflection
  • Refraction
  • Total Internal Reflection
  • Mirror and Lens Images
  • Ray Diagrams
  • Mirror/Lens Equation

Unit 4: Electricity


  • Coulomb’s Law
  • Electric Fields
  • Conductors
  • Induction

Electric Potential

  • Point Charges
  • Potential Difference
  • Work Done on a Charge
  • Parallel Plates
  • Equipotential


  • Capacitance
  • Energy Storage
  • Charge Storage

Circuit Basics

  • Current
  • Ohm’s Law
  • Resistance
  • Power

DC Circuits

  • Schematics
  • Kirchhoff’s Laws
  • Resistor Combinations
  • Capacitor Combinations
  • Terminal Voltage
  • Internal Resistance
  • RC Circuits

Unit 5: Magnetism


  • Magnetic Fields
  • Forces on Moving Charges
  • Forces on Currents
  • Fields Created by Currents


  • Magnetic Flux
  • Faraday’s Law
  • Lenz’s Law
  • Induced EMF/Current

Unit 6: Modern Physics

  • Atomic History
  • Photons
  • Atomic Physics
  • Quantum Physics
  • Nuclei
  • Nuclear Physics

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Technical Requirements

This course requires a properly maintained computer with high-speed internet access and an up-to-date web browser (such as Chrome or Firefox). The student must be able to communicate with the instructor via email. Visit the Technical Requirements and Support page for more details.

This course requires that the student use a web browser with the Adobe Flash plugin. Note that many tablets and handhelds (particularly the iPad) do not support Flash and cannot view the lessons.

Zoom online virtual classroom
This course uses an online virtual classroom for discussions with the instructor. The classroom works on standard computers with the Zoom desktop client and also tablets or handhelds that support the Zoom Mobile app. Students who are unable to attend live sessions will need a computer with the Zoom desktop client installed to watch recorded meetings. The Zoom desktop client and Zoom Mobile App are both available for free download.

This course uses Respondus LockDown Browser proctoring software for designated assessments. LockDown Browser is a client application that is installed to a local computer. Visit the Respondus website for system requirements.

While Chromebook can be used to progress through the course, all exams must be completed on a PC or Mac.