Studying for the AP Physics 1 exam? We’ve pulled together a list of study guides for every unit so you can focus your time on studying and not looking for resources!
All of these study guides were created by AP Physics 1 teachers and students who have passed the exam. They include everything you need to know to get a 5 on the exam.
We’re publishing more every day, so check back or send us a message with any immediate requests!
Please note! Due to the COVID outbreak, the 2020 exam only covers units 1-7. Find the 2020 exam schedule, learn tips & tricks, and get your frequently asked questions answered on Fiveable’s Guide to the 2020 AP Exam Updates.
⛸ Unit 1: Kinematics
Unit 1 is your first foray into physics! You’ll study kinematics, the study of the motion of matter. In this unit, you’re introduced to the fundamental quantities of kinematics and the equations relating them. First, one-dimensional kinematics is covered, but you’ll quickly learn that these topics apply to multiple dimensions as well.
🌀 Unit 2: Dynamics
After kinematics, we move onto dynamics, which is the study of forces and how motion changes over time. We will also be introduced to Newton’s Laws of Motion, which are the bread and butter of mechanics and also a lot of other physical concepts as well.
2.0 – Unit 2 Overview
2.1 – Systems
2.2 – The Gravitational Field
2.3 – Contact Forces
2.4 – Newton’s First Law
2.5 – Newton’s Third Law and Free-Body Diagrams
2.6 – Newton’s Second Law
2.7 – Applications of Newton’s Second Law
🚀 Unit 3: Circular Motion and Gravitation
We then move onto circular motion and gravitation, where an object moves around a central point or object. Gravitation is also an attractive field force, where one object attracts another, but these objects don’t have to be touching, unlike the forces you’ve learned in unit 2.
3.0 – Unit 3 Overview
3.1 – Vector Fields
3.2 – Fundamental Forces
3.3 – Gravitational and Electric Forces
3.4 – Gravitational Field and Acceleration due to Gravity on Different Planets
3.5 – Inertial vs. Gravitational Mass
3.6 – Centripetal Acceleration and Centripetal Force
3.7 – Free-Body Diagrams for Objects in Uniform Circular Motion
3.8 – Applications of Circular Motion and Gravitation
⚡ Unit 4: Energy
We then move on to discussing energy, which is the ability for an object to do work. We will talk about kinetic energy, the energy of an object in motion, and potential energy, the energy of an object due to its position.
⛳ Unit 5: Momentum
We will also talk about momentum, which can be said as how much motion an object has and is the product of mass and velocity. We’ll discuss how momentum can change due to an outside force and collisions.
🎸 Unit 6: Simple Harmonic Motion
In this unit, springs and pendulums are the name of the game as we discuss these two systems and what they have in common. Hint: they go back and forth and back and forth and, well you get the point.
🎡 Unit 7: Torque and Rotational Motion
After dealing with motion in x-y coordinates, we switch to rotational motion, where position is measured in terms of the angle rotated around a cent
💡 Unit 8: Electric Charges and Electric Force
We’re done with mechanics now! We now move onto the study of electricity, a world of protons and electrons and charges. Newton’s laws still apply here when we talk about attractive and repulsive forces, however.
🔋 Unit 9: DC Circuits
In Unit 8, we were mainly concerned with electrostatics which is when charge is stuck in place. In this unit, we have moving charge, which creates a current, and with current we have a circuit! This is a somewhat computationally intense unit, especially when we get to solving voltages and currents on a circuit.
9.0 – Unit 9 Overview
9.1 – Definition of a Circuit
9.2 – Resistivity
9.3 – Ohm’s Law, Kirchhoff’s Loop Rule (Resistors in Series and Parallel)
9.4 – Kirchhoff’s Junction Rule, Ohm’s Law (Resistors in Series and Parallel)
🌊 Unit 10: Mechanical Waves and Sound
We’re almost done with AP Physics 1 now! However, there’s still one last challenge, waves and sound. A wave is the transfer of energy through space and sometimes needs a medium. Through our study of wave motion, we will also learn about sound and how sound waves work too!