Physics-Beyond Mechanics


The materials in the first four content areas below were developed, tested, and revised from 2000-2003. They have been used in subsequent Modeling Instruction II workshops and continue to be revised. The “Other” materials are the result of Action Research projects by experienced modeling instructors.

Content Areas

  • Electricity & MagnetismThis approach is appropriate for honors or AP physics.
    1. Charge & Field
    2. Potential
    3. Circuits
    4. Magnetism
  • CASTLE electricityThese materials are a modeling-modified version of the original CASTLE materials.
    1. Closed Loop Model
    2. Charge Flow & Sources of Charge Model
    3. Resistance Model
    4. The Compressible Fluid Model
    5. What Determines Electric Pressure?
    6. Measuring & Quantifying Circuit Variables
    7. Energy & Power in Circuits
  • Models of Light
    1. Particle Model
    2. Wave Model
    3. Photon Model
  • Mechanical Waves
    1. Oscillating Particle Model
    2. Mechanical Waves in 1-dimension
    3. Sound
    4. Mechanical Waves in 2-dimensions
  • Other
    • Special Relativity
    • Rotational Motion
    • Fluids
    • Ideal Gas/Thermodynamics (for AP-B)
    • VPython for AP Physics-B


Sample materials (no tests or quizzes)

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10 thoughts on “Physics-Beyond Mechanics”

  1. Could someone direct me to the castle electricity modified materials. I would like to use these, but cannot seem to locate them. Thanks!

  2. According to the Teacher notes for Unit II there is suppose to be a worksheet 2 that “provides practice with articulating what happens during capacitor charging and discharging in terms of the air capacitor analogy” and yet they are not in the unit. Can someone direct me to worksheet 2 for this unit?

  3. For E&M users, I have a couple applets I developed that could help.

    (1) When I took the E&M workshop, we used a very old program called “EM Field” that was used to map electric fields and isopotential lines around point charges. I couldn’t get the program to run on new hardware/OS, so I developed a simple web applet that accomplishes mostly the same thing.

    (2) Also, as a supplement or possibly an alternative route for developing the Coulomb’s Law relationship with the video, here’s a simulation that models the force between two charged particles. Perhaps it might be useful for some.

  4. I cannot find the Waves Unit 2 Movies folder. I’m pretty sure I’ve seen it in the past, but I cannot find it now. Could someone please point me in the right direction?

  5. I have read through the Rotational Motion unit and in the overview the authors identify 5 activities that they cover in the scope and sequence. Unfortunately I cannot find any other descriptions of these activities. I see 5 worksheets, but these do not seem to be the same as the activities that are briefly mentioned. Does anyone know where these might be better described in the curriculum? Thanks.

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