AP Physics 1 is an algebra-based, introductory college-level physics course. Students cultivate their understanding of physics through inquiry-based investigations as they explore these topics: kinematics, dynamics, circular motion and gravitation, energy, momentum, simple harmonic motion, torque and rotational motion, electric charge and electric force, DC circuits, and mechanical waves and sound.
College Course Equivalent
AP Physics 1 is a full-year course that is the equivalent of a first-semester introductory college course in algebra-based physics.
There are no prerequisite courses. Students should have completed Geometry and be concurrently taking Algebra II or an equivalent course. Although the Physics 1 course includes basic use of trigonometric functions, this understanding can be gained either in the concurrent math course or in the AP Physics 1 course itself.
This course requires that twenty-five percent of instructional time will be spent in hands-on laboratory work, with an emphasis on inquiry-based investigations that provide students with opportunities to demonstrate the foundational physics principles and apply the science practices. Inquiry-based laboratory experiences support the AP Physics 1 course and AP Course Audit curricular requirements by providing opportunities for students to engage in the seven science practices as they design plans for experiments, make predictions, collect and analyze data, apply mathematical routines, develop explanations, and communicate about their work. Colleges may require students to present their laboratory materials from AP science courses before granting college credit for laboratory work, so students should be encouraged to retain their laboratory notebooks, reports, and other materials.