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Electromag AP

Topics for Advanced Placement electromagnetism may include:

  • Chapter 16: Electric Charge and Electric Field
    • 16.1: Static Electricity: Electric Charge and Its Conservation
    • 16.2: Electric Charge in the Atom
    • 16.3: Insulators and Conductors
    • 16.4: Induced Charge; the Electroscope
    • 16.5: Coulomb’s Law
    • 16.6: Solving Problems Involving Coulomb’s Law and Vectors
    • 16.7: The Electric Field
    • 16.8: Electric Field Lines
    • 16.9: Electric Fields and Conductors
    • 16.10: Electric Forces in Molecular Biology: DNA Structure and Replication
    • 16.11: Photocopy Machines and Computer Printers Use Electrostatics
    • 16.12: Gauss’s Law
  • Chapter 17: Electric Potential
    • 17.1: Electric Potential Energy and Potential Difference
    • 17.2: Relation between Electric Potential and Electric Field
    • 17.3: Equipotential Lines and Surfaces
    • 17.4: The Electron Volt, a Unit of Energy
    • 17.5: Electric Potential Due to Point Charges
    • 17.6: Potential Due to Electric Dipole; Dipole Moment
    • 17.7: Capacitance
    • 17.8: Dielectrics
    • 17.9: Storage of Electric Energy
    • 17.10: Digital; Binary Numbers; Signal Voltage
    • 17.11: TV and Computer Monitors: CRT’s, Flat Screens
    • 17.12: Electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG)
  • Chapter 18: Electric Currents
    • 18.1: The Electric Battery
    • 18.2: Electric Current
    • 18.3: Ohm’s Law: Resistance and Resistors
    • 18.4: Resistivity
    • 18.5: Electric Power
    • 18.6: Power in Household Circuits
    • 18.7: Alternating Current
    • 18.8: Microscopic View of Electric Current
    • 18.9: Superconductivity
    • 18.10: Electrical Conduction in the Human Nervous System
  • Chapter 19: DC Circuits
    • 19.1: EMF and Terminal Voltage
    • 19.2: Resistors in Series and in Parallel
    • 19.3: Kirchhoff’s Rules
    • 19.4: EMF’s in Series and in Parallel; Charging a Battery
    • 19.5: Circuits Containing Capacitors in Series and in Parallel
    • 19.6: RC Circuits—Resistor and Capacitor in Series
    • 19.7: Electric Hazards
    • 19.8: Ammeters and Voltmeters—Measurement Affects the Quantity Being Measured
  • Chapter 20: Magnetism
    • 20.1: Magnets and Magnetic Fields
    • 20.2: Electric Currents Produce Magnetic Fields
    • 20.3: Force on an Electric Current in a Magnetic Field; Definition of B
    • 20.4: Force on an Electric Charge Moving in a Magnetic Field
    • 20.5: Magnetic Field Due to a Long Straight Wire
    • 20.6: Force between Two Parallel Wires
    • 20.7: Solenoids and Electromagnets
    • 20.8: Ampère’s Law
    • 20.9: Torque on a Current Loop; Magnetic Moment
    • 20.10: Applications: Motors, Loudspeakers, Galvanometers
    • 20.11: Mass Spectrometer
    • 20.12: Ferromagnetism: Domains and Hysteresis
  • Chapter 21: Electromagnetic Induction and Faraday’s Law
    • 21.1: Induced EMF
    • 21.2: Faraday’s Law of Induction; Lenz’s Law
    • 21.3: EMF Induced in a Moving Conductor
    • 21.4: Changing Magnetic Flux Produces an Electric Field (15)
    • 21.5: Electric Generators
    • 21.6: Back EMF and Counter Torque; Eddy Currents
    • 21.7: Transformers and Transmission of Power
    • 21.8: Information Storage: Magnetic and Semiconductor; Tape, Hard Drive, RAM
    • 21.9: Applications of Induction: Microphone, Seismograph, GFCI
    • 21.10: Inductance
    • 21.11: Energy Stored in a Magnetic Field
    • 21.12: LR Circuit
    • 21.13: AC Circuits and Reactance
    • 21.14: LRC Series AC Circuit
    • 21.15: Resonance in AC Circuits
  • Chapter 22: Electromagnetic waves
    • 22.1: Changing electric fields produce magnetic fields: Maxwell’s equations
    • 22.2: Production of electromagnetic waves
    • 22.3: Light as an EM wave and the EM spectrum
    • 22.4 Measuring the speed of light
    • 22.5 Energy in EM waves
    • 22.6 Momentum transfer and radiation pressure
    • 22.7 Radio and Television as EM waves: Wireless communication

Learning Standards

Massachusetts 2016 Science and Technology/Engineering (STE) Standards

HS-PS2-4. Use mathematical representations of Newton’s law of gravitation and Coulomb’s law to both qualitatively and quantitatively describe and predict the effects of gravitational and electrostatic forces between objects.
HS-PS2-5. Provide evidence that an electric current can produce a magnetic field and that a changing magnetic field can produce an electric current.
HS-PS2-9(MA). Evaluate simple series and parallel circuits to predict changes to voltage, current, or resistance when simple changes are made to a circuit
HS-PS3-1. Use algebraic expressions and the principle of energy conservation to calculate the change in energy of one component of a system… Identify any transformations from one form of energy to another, including thermal, kinetic, gravitational, magnetic, or electrical energy. {voltage drops shown as an analogy to water pressure drops.}
HS-PS3-2. Develop and use a model to illustrate that energy at the macroscopic scale can be accounted for as either motions of particles and objects or energy stored in fields [e.g. electric fields.]
HS-PS3-3. Design and evaluate a device that works within given constraints to convert one form of energy into another form of energy.{e.g. chemical energy in battery used to create KE of electrons flowing in a circuit, used to create light and heat from a bulb, or charging a capacitor.}
HS-PS3-5. Develop and use a model of magnetic or electric fields to illustrate the forces and changes in energy between two magnetically or electrically charged objects changing relative position in a magnetic or electric field, respectively.

Practices, Crosscutting Concepts, and Core Ideas


Electric forces and magnetic forces are different aspects of a single electromagnetic interaction. Such forces can be attractive or repulsive, depending on the relative sign of the electric charges involved, the direction of current flow, and the orientation of magnets. The forces’ magnitudes depend on the magnitudes of the charges, currents, and magnetic strengths as well as on the distances between the interacting objects. All objects with electrical charge or magnetization are sources of electric or magnetic fields and can be affected by the electric or magnetic fields of other such objects. Attraction and repulsion of electric charges at the atomic scale explain the structure, properties, and transformations of matter and the contact forces between material objects (link to PS1.A and PS1.B). Coulomb’s law provides the mathematical model to describe and predict the effects of electrostatic forces (relating to stationary electric charges or fields) between distant objects.

At the macroscopic scale, energy manifests itself in multiple phenomena, such as motion, light, sound, electrical and magnetic fields, and thermal energy. Historically, different units were introduced for the energy present in these different phenomena, and it took some time before the relationships among them were recognized. Energy is best understood at the microscopic scale, at which it can be modeled as either motions of particles or as stored in force fields (electric, magnetic, gravitational) that mediate interactions between particles. This last concept includes electromagnetic radiation, a phenomenon in which energy stored in fields moves across space (light, radio waves) with no supporting matter medium.

Electric and magnetic fields also contain energy; any change in the relative positions of charged objects (or in the positions or orientations of magnets) changes the fields between them and thus the amount of energy stored in those fields. When a particle in a molecule of solid matter vibrates, energy is continually being transformed back and forth between the energy of motion and the energy stored in the electric and magnetic fields within the matter. Matter in a stable form minimizes the stored energy in the electric and magnetic fields within it; this defines the equilibrium positions and spacing of the atomic nuclei in a molecule or an extended solid and the form of their combined electron charge distributions (e.g., chemical bonds, metals).

Electromagnetic radiation (such as light and X-rays) can be modeled as a wave of changing electric and magnetic fields. At the subatomic scale (i. e., in quantum theory), many phenomena involving electromagnetic radiation (e.g., photoelectric effect) are best modeled as a stream of particles called photons. Electromagnetic radiation from the sun is a major source of energy for life on Earth.

The idea that there are different forms of energy, such as thermal energy, mechanical energy, and chemical energy, is misleading, as it implies that the nature of the energy in each of these manifestations is distinct when in fact they all are ultimately, at the atomic scale, some mixture of kinetic energy, stored energy, and radiation. It is likewise misleading to call sound or light a form of energy; they are phenomena that, among their other properties, transfer energy from place to place and between objects.

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