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Physics

Essential Understandings for Physics

Kinematics
Essential Understanding#1:
Linear Motion: The motion of an object can be described by time rates of change. Motion can be described through graphical analysis.

Essential Understanding #2:
Vectors: Quantities can be either vectors or scalars. Perpendicular vectors are independent of each other.

Essential Understanding #3:
Motion in Two-dimensions (Projectile Motion): The independent and different nature of vertical and horizontal components of motion contribute to the parabolic path of a projectile.

Dynamics
Essential Understanding #4:
Newton’s Laws: A non-zero net force is required to have a change in the state of motion of an object. Objects change motion only when a net force is applied. Laws of motion are used to explain the effects of forces on the motion of objects

Essential Understanding #5:
Motion in Two-dimensions (Circular Motion): Circular motion is the result of a center-seeking force

Gravitation
Essential Understanding #6:
Gravitation: Gravitation is the result of the attraction between all mass/matter.

Energy
Essential Understanding #7:
Mechanical Energy and Work & Thermal Energy: Energy cannot be created or destroyed. The total mass and energy of the universe is constant. Energy can be transferred from one form to another by doing work.

Dynamics
Essential Understanding #8:
Impulse and Momentum: Impulse can result in a change in momentum. In a close isolated system, interactions between objects result in no net change in momentum.

Waves
Essential Understanding #9:
Waves and Sound: Waves are nature’s way of transferring energy without transferring matter. There are a variety of wave types and classifications. Waves have predictable characteristics and behaviors.

Essential Understanding #10:
Light and Color & Quantum Theory & Optics: Light is a phenomena that has both wave and particle behaviors.

Electricity & Magnetism
Essential Understanding #11:
Electrostatics and Electric Fields: An electric force is a universal force that exists between any two charged objects. All charged objects have electric fields.

Essential Understanding #12:
Current Electricity: Electric current is the result of moving charged particles.

Essential Understanding #13:
Magnetism & Electromagnetic Induction: Moving electric charges produce magnetic fields, and moving magnets produce electric forces.

Modern
Essential Understanding #14:
Nuclear Physics: The strong-nuclear force holds the atom together.

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