Fall; Grades 11–12
Prerequisite: Algebra 2 and Trigonometry
Students examine the theory and applications of waves, sound, and optics. They use the theory of traveling and standing waves to study the properties of sound waves and their relationship to the Doppler effect and to musical instruments. Students explore the nature of light along with everyday examples of physical optics such as polarizing sunglasses and soap bubbles. They use the ray model of light, the foundation of geometrical optics, to explain the physics of mirrors and lenses. Labs involving quantitative data analysis are a significant component of this course; students work independently on research projects throughout the semester.