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Natural Science: Physics

Content Knowledge
• Concepts of energy such as:
o The relationship between heat and temperature for example:
 Heat energy consists of the random motion and vibrations of atoms, molecules and ions
 The higher the temperature, the greater the atomic or molecular motion
o The First and Second Laws of Thermodynamics – the conservation of energy and concept of entropy
o The distinction between kinetic and potential energy
o How energy can be transferred from one form to another
o The basic principles of optics
o The basic principles of electricity and magnetism
o Series and parallel circuits
• Concepts and principles that explain motion such as:
o Newton’s law as a classical description of motion for example:
 A force is required to alter an object’s motion
 The absence or balance of force no change in motion is observed
 How forces are additive and the motion of an object is determined by the cumulative effect
o The characteristic properties of sound and electromagnetic waves that have energy, transfer energy when the interact with matter,
and have properties that include:
 Wavelength, frequency, amplitude, speed, absorption, reflection and refraction
o The range of the electromagnetic spectrum (e.g., radio waves, microwaves, infrared radiation, visible light, ultraviolet radiation, x-
rays, and gamma rays)
o The electromagnetic waves result when a charged object is accelerated and that the energy of electromagnetic waves is carried in
wave packets whose energy is inversely proportional to the wavelength
• Concepts of force such as:
o The general concept of gravitational force
o How materials that contain equal amounts of positive and negative charges are electrically neutral, but that a very small excess or
deficit of negative charges in material produces noticeable electrical forces
o The relationship between magnetic and electric fields can be thought of as different aspects of a single electromagnetic field
• Concepts of modern physics such as:
o Special relativity for example:
 In contrast to moving objects, the speed of light is the same for all observers, no matter how they or the light source
happen to be moving
 That nothing can travel faster than the speed of light
o How constituent particles make up atoms and how a general understanding of physical locations of each

Content Knowledge
• Concepts of matter and its properties such as:
o The difference between mass, weight, and inertia
o The meaning of density
o The physical properties of matter and waves with scalar and vector qualities
o Specific heat, thermal and electrical conductivity
• Basic laws of physics such as:
o The conservation laws of energy, mass and momentum
o The laws governing electrical and mechanical forces
The relationship between electrical currents and magnetic fields
Standards for Success (S4S)
Natural Science: Physics
Successful students:
A. Understand concepts of energy
B. Understand motion and the principles that explain motion
C. Know the kinds of forces that exist between objects
D. Understand concepts related to modern physics
E. Understand concepts related to matter and its properties
F. Understand basic laws