AP Physics B
The Physics B course includes topics in both classical and modern physics. A knowledge of algebra and basic trigonometry is required for the course; the basic ideas of calculus may be introduced in connection with physical concepts, such as acceleration and work. Understanding of the basic principles involved and the ability to apply these principles in the solution of problems should be the major goals of the course. Consequently, the course should utilize guided inquiry and student-centered learning to foster the development of critical thinking skills.
Physics B should provide instruction in each of the following five content areas: Newtonian mechanics, fluid mechanics and thermal physics, electricity and magnetism, waves and optics, and atomic and nuclear physics.
Many colleges and universities include additional topics in their survey courses. Some AP teachers may wish to add supplementary material to a Physics B course. Many teachers have found that a good time to do this is late in the year, after the AP Exams have been given.
The Physics B course should also include a hands-on laboratory component comparable to introductory college-level physics laboratories, with a minimum of 12 student-conducted laboratory investigations representing a variety of topics covered in the course. Each student should complete a lab notebook or portfolio of lab reports.
The school should ensure that each student has a copy of a college-level textbook (supplemented when necessary to meet the curricular requirements) for individual use inside and outside of the classroom. A link to a list of examples of acceptable textbooks can be found on the Physics B course home page on the AP Central Web site.