Physics B: Waves, Sound & Optics

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Fall semester

After students observe actual waves in water in ripple tanks, the principles of waves will be investigated in sound. Human hearing, interference, the Doppler shift, the science of music, and the speed of sound will be investigated through demonstrations and experimentation. Mirrors and lenses will be introduced through geometric ray optics, and the operation of many optical instruments will be investigated. The wave nature of light will be investigated, with interference being used to measure the wavelength of light.


Unit Essential Questions Content Skills and Processes Assessment Resources
Physics B Fall Semester

How do Waves Behave?
How do we investigate phenomena we can't observe directly?
How can we explain the properties of sound and light?
What are the similarities and differences between various wave types?
How do optical devices work?

Waves in water (observed in ripple tanks)
Waves in strings and springs
Sound (including physics of music)
Ray Optics
Wave properties of light

Problem solving
Constructing Ray Diagrams
Written communication of results and solutions


Lab Reports

Powerpoint presentations
Extensive experrimentation
Demonstration equipment