Mr. Rogers' AP Physics C: Mechanics (With IB Physics Topics) Objectives

Syllabus 1st Quarter 2nd Quarter 3rd Quarter 4th Quarter
Newton's Laws (4)
Friction (5) Mech Energy (7) Momentum Semester Exam

Chapter 5 (Continued): The Laws of Motion

AP Physics C Newtonian Mechanics: B. Newton's laws of motion approx 2%, cumulative 30%
    1.Static equilibrium (first law) 
    2.Dynamics of a single particle (second law) 
    3.Systems of two or more bodies (third law) 


Practice Test Study Guide


Essential Question: Can you push an object with a rope?

Cable Problems

  1. State the nature of idealized massless ropes used with friction free massless pulleys.
  • can pull but not push
  • tension is = to the force acting on one end.
  • zero net force is required to accelerate the rope, hence, the net force acting on the rope is always zero.
  • the rope essentially transmits a force from one location to another
  1. Draw freebody diagrams of accelerating objects attached with ropes.
  2. Solve various cable problems.
  3. Derive the equation for finding g (the strength of the gravity field) using an Atwood machine.

  4. By studying the equation decide the best strategy for setting up the Atwood machine for the most accurate results.


Homefun Complete the Atwood machine lab




Essential Question: How can I make an "A" on the test?

Newton's Laws Review

  1. Work the practice test.
  2. Review the objectives.
  3. Correctly draw FBDs.
  4. Review the study guide

Summative Assessment: Unit Exam objectives 1- 25



Lesson 4

Key Concept: Atwood machine.

Purpose: Measure the gravity field constant g

Derivation: Atwood machine

In Class Problem Solving:  

  1. Atwood machine
  2. Pulley on an icy slope
  3. Jackie and Samo on a slope

Formal Lab: see below

Formal Lab Investigation

Title Estimating g using an Atwood machine
Category Newton's Laws
Purpose Determine if the gravity constant really is 9.8 m/s/s.
Models Atwood equation: g = a(m1 + m2)/(m1 - m2)

Kinematic equation: a = 2D/t2

Overview After attaching a pulley to a fixed point, we hook masses to the string over the pulley. We then lower one of the masses until it touches the floor. We finally release the lower mass and time the descent of the higher mass, measuring this time and, through our equations, determining the gravitational constant.
Safety Issues Be careful to regulate the descent of the higher mass so that it will occur slowly and not crash to the floor.
Equipment Limitations Possible equipment limitations include friction between the pulley and the string, which will slow the rate of descent of the mass. This friction can be minimized by using a low-friction string or by greasing the pulley. Air resistance is a source of error that cannot be prevented, although its effects should not be substantial. The size of the error can be estimated by evaluating the differences between estimated values and the predicted gravitational constant.



SAM Team--Southside High School's STEM and Computer Science extra-curricular club (Mr. Rogers Sponsor)

Mr. Rogers' Twitter Site

Mr. Rogers Teacher's Blog

Mr. Rogers T-shirts

Mr. Rogers Information for Teachers

Mr. Rogers Science Fair Information

Check out other web sites created by Mr. R:

Check out Articles by Mr. Rogers:

Insultingly Stupid Movie Physics is one of the most humorous, entertaining, and readable physics books available, yet is filled with all kinds of useful content and clear explanations for high school, 1st semester college physics students, and film buffs.

It explains all 3 of Newton's laws, the 1st and 2nd laws of thermodynamics, momentum, energy, gravity, circular motion and a host of other topics all through the lens of Hollywood movies using Star Trek and numerous other films.

If you want to learn how to think physics and have a lot of fun in the process, this is the book for you!


First the web site,

now the book!

Mr. Rogers Home | Common Sylabus | AP Comp Sci I | AP Comp Sci II | AP Physics Mech | AP Physics E&M | AP Statistics | Honors Physics|IB Design Tech | Southside

[ Intuitor Home | Physics | Movie Physics | Chess | Forchess | Hex | Intuitor Store |

Copyright 1996-2011 T. K. Rogers, all rights reserved. Forchess is a registered trademark of T. K. Rogers.
No part of this website may be reproduced in any form, electronic or otherwise, without express written approval.