AP Physics B (with Lab)
Master Teacher: Michael Kucks, PhD
Michael Kucks, PhD
PhD, Lehigh University
Dr. Michael Kucks received his BS degree in Physics from Bucknell University in 1980 and began working at Litton Electron Tube Division in Williamsport Pennsylvania immediately thereafter. That position was in the radar tube (magnetron) R & D department designing military and commercial magnetrons and analyzing older models for failure modes. He then moved to Wavetek Rockland in northern New Jersey in their commercial frequency synthesizer design department. His work involved the development of a low noise voltage-controlled-oscillator for a broad band microwave synthesizer. That experience led him to KDI electronics in Whippany, New Jersey, where he continued to work developing military communications systems at microwave frequencies. In 1988, as the Cold War ended, he returned to graduate school to study Physics and begin a career in education. In 1994 he received his PhD in physics from Lehigh University with a specialization in polymer physics.
Since then, he has taught physics, chemistry, and math in a variety of venues, including a private school in Annapolis, Maryland; Franklin & Marshall College; and Lehigh University. He has also developed an industrial electronics course and presented it to industry professionals around the country. Since arriving at Patrick Henry College in 2006, he has taught the core Physics course (including laboratory), Euclidean Geometry, and Statistics. Dr. Kucks finds that his industrial experience has been extremely beneficial in developing his teaching style and he enjoys looking for innovative ways to present challenging technical and scientific principles to students.
Duration: Yearlong course offered in fall/spring (32 weeks)
Please Note: Scheduled, real-time sessions in the online classroom are not the only form of instruction available in a PHC Prep Academy course, but are offered in addition to lectures or other instructional materials that students are able to access online at their convenience. All sessions will also be recorded for later viewing. Registered students will be notified of any changes to the live session schedule.
NOTE: PHC Prep requests that all students take the Math Pre-Test to determine their readiness for this course before registering. Please see the bottom of this page for more details.
Books and Materials
Three powerful tools will form the foundation of this course: logic, mathematics, and experimentation. Logical thinking is part of the image of God in man, and mathematics is one of the most powerful applications of logical thought. But without the third tool of experimentation, logic and mathematics would not be capable of producing the many technological advances we have witnessed during the last generation. Experiment is truly the foundation of every advance in scientific knowledge.
This course is not calculus-based; however, students will become very familiar with the concepts that form the foundation of Newton’s calculus—the integral (area) and the derivative (slope). It is assumed that students will already have familiarity with algebra and geometry and will have access to Microsoft Excel. Students will also need to become familiar with the technology tools used in this course, including Geometry Explorer software and Pearson’s Mastering Physics.
AP Physics B (with lab) will cover the following major fields of physics: math, mechanics, thermal physics, electricity and magnetism, optics, and quantum physics. By the end of the course, students will be able to:
AP Physics B Labs
Students in PHC Prep’s AP Physics B course will complete a combination of virtual and hands-on lab assignments throughout the year. To find out what you will need for hands-on labs, click to view or download the AP Physics B Lab Materials List.
Am I Ready for This AP Course?
This is a rigorous, college-level course. PHC Prep recommends that students have a strong background in mathematics before enrolling, preferably having completed courses in Algebra II and Geometry. To ensure that you have the math skills you will need, please download and take the following Math Pre-Test before registering. Then, download the Answer Key and use your score on the test to assess your readiness for the course.
Please visit the College Board’s AP Physics B page for more information about the material and skills students will study and need to master for the AP exam in this subject. Please be aware that, to fulfill course requirements, students will need access to Microsoft Excel (2003 version or later) and to a computer able to both receive and transmit audio.
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