Overview and Test Objectives
Field 019: Physics
|Format||Computer-based test (CBT)|
|Number of Questions||100 multiple-choice questions|
|Time||2 hours 30 minutes*|
*Does not include 15-minute CBT tutorial
|Subarea||Range of Objectives||Approximate Percentage of Questions on Test|
|I||Foundations of Scientific Inquiry||001–005||12%|
|III||Electricity and Magnetism||011–014||24%|
|IV||Waves, Acoustics, and Optics||015–018||20%|
|V||Nature of Matter, Thermodynamics, and Modern Physics||019–022||20%|
Subarea I—FOUNDATIONS OF SCIENTIFIC INQUIRY
Objective 001—Understand the principles and procedures of scientific inquiry.
- formulating research questions and investigations in physics
- developing valid experimental designs for collecting and analyzing data and testing hypotheses
- recognizing the need for controlled experiments
- understanding procedures for collecting and interpreting data to maintain objectivity
- recognizing independent and dependent variables, and analyzing the role of each in experimental design
- identifying an appropriate method (e.g., graph, table, equation) for presenting data for a given purpose
- applying mathematics to investigations in physics and the analysis of data
- interpreting results presented in different formats
- evaluating the validity of conclusions
- assessing the reliability of sources of information
Objective 002—Apply knowledge of methods and equipment used in scientific investigations.
- selecting and using appropriate measurement devices and methods for collecting data
- evaluating the accuracy and precision of measurement in a given situation
- identifying uncertainties in measurement
- identifying procedures and sources of information related to the safe use, storage, and disposal of materials and equipment related to physics investigations
- identifying hazards associated with laboratory practices and materials (e.g., projectiles, lasers, electricity, radioactive materials, liquid nitrogen)
- applying procedures for preventing accidents and dealing with emergencies
Objective 003—Understand the development of scientific thought and inquiry.
- demonstrating knowledge of the reliance of scientific investigations on empirical data, verifiable evidence, and logical reasoning
- recognizing the effect of researcher bias on scientific investigations and the interpretation of data
- demonstrating an awareness of the contributions made to physics by individuals of diverse backgrounds and from different time periods
- recognizing the dynamic nature of scientific knowledge, including ways in which scientific knowledge changes
Objective 004—Understand the relationships of physics to technological and societal issues, both contemporary and historical.
- recognizing the relationships between science and technology
- analyzing political and social factors that influence developments in physics, including current issues and controversies related to physics research and technology (e.g., energy sources and use, applications and effects of various types of radiation)
- evaluating the credibility of scientific claims made in various forums (e.g., the Internet, professional journals, advertising)
Objective 005—Understand interrelationships among the physical, life, and earth/space sciences.
- recognizing major unifying themes and concepts that are common to the various scientific disciplines (e.g., patterns, cause and effect, conservation of energy, entropy)
- describing the integration and interdependence of the sciences
- understanding the interdisciplinary connections among the sciences and their applications in real-world contexts
Objective 006—Analyze motion in one and two dimensions.
- analyzing information related to displacement, speed, velocity, and acceleration presented in one or more representations (e.g., graphs, tables, equations)
- solving problems involving constant acceleration (e.g., free fall)
- applying principles of trigonometry and properties of vectors to analyze motion in two dimensions (e.g., uniform circular motion, projectile motion)
- applying calculus to analyze motion in one dimension
Objective 007—Understand Newton's laws of motion and the law of universal gravitation.
- applying Newton's laws of motion, both descriptively and mathematically, in a variety of situations
- solving a variety of problems involving different types of forces (e.g., normal, tension, friction) in one and two dimensions
- analyzing the vector nature of force
- determining methods for measuring force and differentiating between mass and weight
- applying the law of universal gravitation and Kepler's laws in a variety of situations (e.g., satellite and planetary motion)
Objective 008—Understand conservation of energy and conservation of momentum.
- applying the concepts of work, energy, and power in a variety of situations (e.g., inclined planes, pulleys)
- analyzing the kinetic and potential energy of various systems (e.g., a simple pendulum, a spring that obeys Hooke's law, a satellite in orbit)
- applying the principles of conservation of energy and conservation of linear momentum to situations, including elastic and inelastic collisions
Objective 009—Understand torque, static equilibrium, and rotational dynamics.
- analyzing the forces and torques acting in a given situation
- applying the concepts of force, torque, and energy to analyze the operation of simple devices (e.g., wrench, beam on a pivot)
- applying the conservation of angular momentum
- analyzing the motion of a rigid body in terms of moment of inertia, rotational kinetic energy, and angular momentum
Objective 010—Understand the characteristics of oscillatory motion.
- analyzing models of simple harmonic motion (e.g., mass on a spring, simple pendulum)
- recognizing the relationship between the simple harmonic oscillator and uniform circular motion
- applying the law of conservation of energy to oscillating systems
- recognizing the effects of damping
Subarea III—ELECTRICITY AND MAGNETISM
Objective 011—Understand electric charge, electric fields, and electric potential.
- describing the nature of charge
- describing static charges in conductors and insulators
- applying Coulomb's law to determine forces and fields due to various charge distributions (e.g., electric dipole)
- applying the concepts of electrostatic potential energy, potential, and capacitance
Objective 012—Understand simple circuits.
- describing the properties of conductors, insulators, semiconductors, and superconductors
- applying Ohm's and Kirchhoff's laws to the analysis of series and parallel circuits
- properly using voltmeters and ammeters
- determining power dissipated by circuit elements
- analyzing energy transfer and conservation in electrical circuits
Objective 013—Understand magnetic fields.
- describing the properties of permanent magnets
- applying laws (e.g., Biot-Savart, Ampere's) to determine the orientation and strength of a magnetic field
- determining the effect of a magnetic field on moving charges
- explaining the role of magnetic force and torque in the operation of technological devices (e.g., solenoids, galvanometers, motors, loudspeakers)
Objective 014—Understand electromagnetic induction.
- finding the rate of change of magnetic flux through a surface
- analyzing factors that affect the magnitude of an induced emf
- determining the direction of an induced current or emf
- recognizing that magnetic energy is stored in an inductor
- describing alternators and the basic properties of alternating current
- using the principle of electromagnetic induction to explain the operation of technological devices (e.g., generators, transformers, dynamic microphones)
Subarea IV—WAVES, ACOUSTICS, AND OPTICS
Objective 015—Understand the characteristics of waves and wave motion.
- describing the transfer of momentum and energy by wave motion
- comparing longitudinal and transverse waves
- analyzing and relating the characteristics of waves (e.g., amplitude, wavelength, frequency, speed)
- explaining reflection, refraction, diffraction, and the Doppler effect
- applying the principle of superposition to investigate the properties of constructive and destructive interference
Objective 016—Understand the principles of sound and acoustics.
- explaining the production and propagation of sound waves
- applying the principles of standing waves to explain resonance and to analyze the production of musical sounds in vibrating strings and air columns
- analyzing the relationship between sound and human perception of sound
- describing and applying the Doppler effect
Objective 017—Understand electromagnetic waves and the electromagnetic spectrum.
- identifying the connection between Maxwell's equations and the generation and propagation of electromagnetic waves
- demonstrating knowledge of radiometry and photometry
- describing the electromagnetic spectrum in terms of wavelength, frequency, and energy
- describing how the wave theory of light is applied to a variety of phenomena (i.e., interference, diffraction, and polarization)
- analyzing applications of double-slit interference, diffraction gratings, and interferometers
Objective 018—Understand ray optics.
- applying the laws of reflection, total internal reflection, and refraction
- using ray diagrams with lenses and mirrors
- applying the thin lens and spherical mirror equations
- explaining the operation of optical instruments (e.g., microscope, telescope, fiber optic cable)
- describing the effect of limit resolution
Subarea V—NATURE OF MATTER, THERMODYNAMICS, AND MODERN PHYSICS
Objective 019—Understand the particulate nature of matter.
- recognizing basic characteristics of the states of matter
- describing how the Maxwell-Boltzmann theory applies to an ideal gas
- analyzing phase changes
- describing the properties of materials at low temperatures
Objective 020—Understand the laws of thermodynamics.
- differentiating between temperature, internal energy, and heat
- calculating heat loss or gain using specific heat
- identifying processes of thermal energy transfer (i.e., convection, conduction, radiation)
- applying the principles of enthalpy, internal energy, and thermodynamic work
- applying the law of conservation of energy
- analyzing the relationship between entropy and the availability of energy to perform work
Objective 021—Understand the basic ideas of quantum mechanics and relativity.
- explaining blackbody radiation and the photoelectric effect
- describing evidence of the dual nature of light and matter
- demonstrating a basic understanding of wave functions and the Schrödinger equation
- recognizing models of atomic structure and their relationship to spectroscopy
- describing the operation of lasers
- demonstrating a basic understanding of the theory of special relativity
Objective 022—Understand the basic ideas of nuclear physics.
- recognizing models of the nucleus
- describing properties of nuclei (e.g., magnetic moments) and their applications (e.g., nuclear magnetic resonance)
- relating nuclear structure and forces to radioactivity
- solving problems involving half-life
- differentiating between fission and fusion reactions and their applications
- calculating energy transformations in nuclear reactions
- demonstrating a basic understanding of the properties of quarks and the standard model of elementary particle physics