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There are two AP Physics C courses — Physics C: Mechanics and Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism. According to surveys of comparable curricula at four-year colleges and universities, each of these courses corresponds to a one-semester introductory calculus-based college physics class. Physics C: Mechanics provides instruction in kinematics; Newton’s laws of motion; work, energy and power; systems of particles and linear momentum; circular motion and rotation; and oscillations and gravitation.

Topics covered on the exam include:

Kinematics (including vectors, vector algebra, components of vectors, coordinate systems, displacement, velocity and acceleration) (18%)

  • Motion in one dimension
  • Motion in two dimensions, including projectile motion

Newton’s laws of motion (20%)

  • Static equilibrium (first law)
  • Dynamics of a single particle (second law)
  • Systems of two or more objects (third law)

Work, energy, power (14%)

  • Work and work-energy theorem
  • Forces and potential energy
  • Conservation of energy
  • Power

Systems of particles, linear momentum (12%)

  • Center of mass
  • Impulse and momentum
  • Conservation of linear momentum, collisions

Circular motion and rotation (18%)

  • Uniform circular motion
  • Torque and rotational statics
  • Rotational kinematics and dynamics
  • Angular momentum and its conservation

Oscillations and gravitation (18%)

  • Simple harmonic motion (dynamics and energy relationships)
  • Mass on a spring
  • Pendulum and other oscillations
  • Newton’s law of gravity
  • Orbits of planets and satellites

Read the full course description and exam information with sample questions.