Mount Rainier Physics Portal

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Welcome to IB Higher Level Physics 1! Course at a Glance
IB Higher Level Physics 1 is the first year of a two year introductory, algebra-based course in college physics.  Many science-based majors in college require a course in physics and the Higher Level sequence is roughly equivalent in pace and scope.  Many students will find themselves only taking one year of physics, which is typical.  A few who show strong interest in college science fields or plan on majoring in physics or engineering will opt to take the course for both years.  The two year IB programs will prepare you for the IB Standard Level (SL) or Higher Level (HL) exams. 

The first year of the course encompasses a variety of topics ranging from classical Newtonian mechanics that includes kinematics, dynamics, gravitation, work, energy, and linear momentum during the first semester to heat, temperature, kinetic theory, waves and oscillations, electric forces, electric potential, and electric potential energy.  Students can expect a rigorous treatment on the theoretical concepts noted above along with ample opportunities to learn and utilize the techniques of experimental scientists through laboratory practicals allowing for experimental design, analysis, and evaluation.  Engineering principles will be touched upon through a number of projects, such as "catapult design", "destructive testing", "heating principles", "The Egg Drop", and "musical instrument design".

It is often the case that many students who are in the HL Physics program are also in the HL Math sequence.  Typically, a junior would then be in HL Math 3-4, calculus, as juniors.  Alternatively, a student in the SL Math sequence would be taking SL Math 1-2, pre-calculus, or may be in SL Math 3-4, calculus, as seniors.  Being enrolled in SL/HL Math 3-4, although highly recommended, is not a requirement.  Students in pre-calculus can still be successful but the mathematical problem-solving techniques may seem somewhat more difficult, but not impossible to master, with patience and practice.
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