This course ordinarily forms the second part of the college sequence that serves as the foundation in physics for students majoring in the physical sciences or engineering. The sequence is parallel to or preceded by mathematics courses that include calculus. Methods of calculus are used wherever appropriate in formulating physical principles and in applying them to physical problems. Strong emphasis is placed on solving a variety of challenging problems, some requiring calculus. While the subject matter of the AP Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism course is principally electricity and magnetism, some colleges and universities include additional topics such as wave motion, thermal physics, optics, alternating current circuits, or special relativity in this type of second semester course. 

Please note: Although fewer topics are covered in Physics C than in Physics 1 and/or Physics 2, they are covered in greater depth and with greater analytical and mathematical sophistication, including calculus applications.

The Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism course covers the following topics:

  1. Electricity and Magnetism
    1. Electrostatics (30%)
    2. Conductors, capacitors, dielectrics (14%)
    3. Electric circuits (20%)
    4. Magnetic Fields (20%)
    5. Electromagnetism (16%)

For more detail on the topics covered in Physics C courses and the differences from Physics 1 and/or Physics 2, see the Course Description.

Lab Notebooks and College Credit

Colleges may require students to present their laboratory materials from AP science courses before granting college credit for laboratory, so students are encouraged to retain their laboratory notebooks, reports, and other materials.

Links to More AP Pages

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