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

Syllabus 1st Quarter 2nd Quarter 3rd Quarter 4th Quarter
Gravity   Circular Motion Statics Rotation  

Chapter: Statics

AP Physics C Newtonian Mechanics:
E. Circular motion and rotation (continued) 1% (estimated), cumulative 89%
2. Torque and rotational statics 


Practice Test Study Guide


Essential Question: What do civil engineers do? Why did the Twin Towers collapse? (Remember this one?)

Statics (the second half of the story)

Section 12.1, 12.3

  1. Define torque 2 ways:

  • t F x r
  • A twisting action


  1. Explain the difference between a vector dot product and cross product.

Note: the torque (t = F x r) and work (w = Fr) equations look like they'd yield the the result same but one is a cross product and a vector. The other is a dot product and a scalar


  1. State all of the requirement for a static condition to exist.

SFx = 0, SFy = 0, SFz = 0

Stxy =  0, Styz =  0,  Stzx =  0

Note: We will typically work in only 2 dimensions (x, y) for forces and in only one plane (xy) for torque



Homefun: Problems 13, 15, 23, 57, 55. Serway

Metacognition Problem Solving Principle 6.1: When solving statics problems using torque equations the pivot point can be placed anywhere. Often the problem can be greatly simplified by placing it in a convenient location.



Lesson 1

Key Concept: Static equilibrium

Purpose: Define and understand the conditions required for static equilibrium.

Interactive Discussion: Objectives

In Class Problem Solving:  

  1. Toto atop the storm cellar door
  2. Luke Skywalker walks the plank.
  3. Ed the restaurateur hangs his sign.
  4. Bob's big bicept
  5. Calculate mechanical advantage (what they didn't tell you in physical science class)


Mini-Lab Physics Investigation (Requires only Purpose, data, and conclusion)
Title Finding Center of Mass
Purpose Find the center of mass of an odd shaped flat object
  1. Hang an odd shaped flat object from a point on its edge so that it is free to pivot. hang a plumb line from the same point and draw the line on the flat object.
  2. Repeat the above process from at least 3 different points.

If done correctly, each of the plumb lines will pass through the center of mass. Where they intersect represents the center of mass.

Data, Calculations
  1. Calculate the position (x, y coordinates) of the center of mass of the odd shaped object
  2. Calculate a % difference between the measured and theoretical center of mass coordinates.
Questions, Conclusions
  1. Estimate your experimental error in measuring the center of mass.
Resources/Materials: Flat odd shaped objects, meter sticks, plumblines

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