Welcome to Physics and Physics Advanced Studies!

Physics is a course that cover the first year of an introductory, conceptual and mathematical course in high school physics.  It is designed for the student that has a good grasp of mathematics.  The course also caters to those that do not have a strong background in mathematics but wish to study the many interesting concepts of the field.  Many students will find themselves only taking one year of physics, which is typical.  A few who show strong interest in the subject or plan on majoring in physics or engineering will opt to take the course for both years and will serve as a great conceptual introduction for those who wish to pursue a professional career after further mathematical preparation. 

The first year of all physics curricula at Mount Rainier High School encompasses the study of basic mechanics, condensed matter and thermal physics, waves and electromagnetism.  As the course progresses we will be discussing how these fields became known to us and the context by which they pertain to the laws of motion, force and energy.   The world of mechanics includes the fields of kinematics, dynamics and energy.  Condensed matter and thermal physics will deal with the three main states of matter and the Laws of Thermodynamics.  The conclusion of the first year will involve a thorough study of wave interactions in the context of energy transfer in mechanical systems followed by detailed analysis of electromagnetic phenomena, including but not exclusive to static charge, force fields, electric circuits, magnetism and electromagnetic induction.

The second year of all physics curricula at Mount Rainier High School begins with the applications of electromagnetism within the field of optics, including ideas behind image formation in lenses and mirrors, polarization of light and interferometry followed by common topics in modern physical theory such as, the principle of relativity, quantum theory, the properties of the atom and nucleus, and radiation.  Supplemental topics include the application of physics in the areas of power production, energy resources and their effect on global climate, digital technology involving the ideas behind analog and digital signals as applied to current and past forms of communication, the broad field of astrophysics including stellar, galactic and cosmological evolution AND the applications of electromagnetism, optics, atomic and nuclear physics as they relate to the principles of medical physics.