Physics Regents

APPENDIX B - Standard 4 Process Skills Checklist
APPENDIX D - Performance Indicator Correlation Matrix


The student will be able to:


  • construct and interpret graphs of position, velocity, or acceleration versus time

  • determine and interpret slopes and areas of motion graphs

  • determine the acceleration due to gravity near the surface of Earth


  • Vector - Direction Scalar - Magnitude Only

  • A projectile's time of flight is dependent upon the vertical components of its motion.

  • The horizontal displacement of a projectile is dependent upon the horizontal component of its motion and its time of flight.


  • determine the resultant of two or more vectors graphically or algebraically

  • draw scaled force diagram using a ruler and protractor

  • resolve a vector into perpendicular components: both graphically and algebraically


  • sketch the theoretical path of a projectile

  • use vector diagrams to analyze mechanical systems (equilibrium and non-equilibrium)

  • verify Newton’s Second Law for linear motion

  • determine the coefficient of friction for two surfaces

  • verify Newton’s Second Law for uniform circular motion


  • The inertia of an object is directly proportional to its mass. An object remains at rest or moves with constant velocity, unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.

  • When the net force on a system is zero, the system is in equilibrium. velocity constant and a = 0

  • an unbalanced force causes a mass to accelerate.

  • Weight is the gravitational force with which a planet attracts a mass.

  • The mass of an object is independent of the gravitational field in which it is located.

  • Kinetic friction is a force that opposes motion

  • Static friction is a force that opposes the motion of an object at rest

  • In uniform circular motion, the centripetal force and centripetal acceleration is directed toward the center of the circular path and is perpendicular to the tangential velocity.

  • When one object exerts a force on a second, the second exerts a force on the first that is equal in magnitude and opposite in direction.

  • The inverse square law applies to electrical and gravitational fields produced by point sources.


total momentum before an interaction equals total momentum after an interaction


  • Momentum is conserved in a closed system. (Total Momentum before = Total Momentum After)

  • Objects that begin at rest and are pushed apart M1V1 = M2V2


The student will be able to:

Work & Energy

  • describe and explain the exchange between potential energy, kinetic energy, and internal energy for simple mechanical systems, such as a pendulum, a roller coaster, a spring, a freely falling object

  • predict velocities, heights, and spring compressions based on energy conservation

  • determine the energy stored in a spring

  • determine a spring constant

  • determine the factors that affect the period of a pendulum

  • observe and explain energy conversions in real-world situations

  • recognize and describe conversions among different forms of energy in real or hypothetical devices such as a motor, a generator, a photocell, a battery


  • When work is done on or by a system, there is a change in the total energy of the system.

  • Work done against friction results in an increase in the internal energy of the system.

  • Power is the time-rate at which work is done or energy is expended.

  • All energy transfers are governed by the law of conservation of energy.

  • Energy may be converted among mechanical, electromagnetic, nuclear, and thermal forms.

  • Potential energy is the energy an object possesses by virtue of its position or condition. Types of potential energy are gravitational and elastic.

  • Kinetic energy is the energy an object possesses by virtue of its motion.

  • In an ideal mechanical system, the sum of the macroscopic kinetic and potential energies (mechanical energy) is constant.

  • In a nonideal mechanical system, as mechanical energy decreases there is a corresponding increase in other energies such as internal energy.


  • compare the power developed when the same work is done at different rates

Electricity and Magnetism

The student will be able to:

Static Electricity

  • Opposites attracts and likes repel

Electric Current

  • measure and compare the resistance of conductors of various lengths and cross-sectional areas

  • measure current and voltage in a circuit

  • use measurements to determine the resistance of a circuit element

  • interpret graphs of voltage versus current

  • construct simple series and parallel circuits

  • draw and interpret circuit diagrams which include voltmeters and ammeters

  • predict the behavior of light bulbs in series and parallel circuits

Magnetism and Electromagnetic Induction

map the magnetic field of a permanent magnet, indicating the direction of the field between the N (north-seeking) and S (south-seeking) poles


  • The inverse square law applies to electrical and gravitational fields produced by point sources.

  • The factors affecting resistance in a conductor are length, cross-sectional area, temperature, and resistivity.

  • All materials display a range of conductivity. At constant temperature, common metallic conductors obey Ohm’s Law.

  • Moving electric charges produce magnetic fields. The relative motion between a conductor and a magnetic field may produce a potential difference in the conductor.


The student will be able to:

  • compare the characteristics of two transverse waves such as amplitude, frequency, wavelength, speed, period, and phase

  • draw wave forms with various characteristics

  • identify nodes and antinodes in standing waves

  • differentiate between transverse and longitudinal waves

  • determine the speed of sound in air

  • predict the superposition of two waves interfering constructively and destructively (indicating nodes, antinodes, and standing waves)

  • observe, sketch, and interpret the behavior of wave fronts as they reflect, refract, and diffract

  • draw ray diagrams to represent the reflection and refraction of waves

  • determine empirically the index of refraction of a transparent medium


  • An oscillating system produces waves. The nature of the system determines the type of wave produced.

  • Waves carry energy and information without transferring mass. This energy may be carried by pulses or periodic waves.

  • Waves are categorized by the direction in which particles in a medium vibrate about an equilibrium position relative to the direction of propagation of the wave such as transverse and longitudinal waves.

  • Mechanical waves require a material medium through which to travel.

  • The model of a wave incorporates the characteristics of amplitude, wavelength , frequency , period , wave speed , and phase.

  • Electromagnetic radiation exhibits wave characteristics.

  • Electromagnetic waves can propagate through a vacuum. (sound can't)

  • All frequencies of electromagnetic radiation travel at the same speed in a vacuum.

  • When a wave strikes a boundary between two media, reflection , transmission, and absorption occur. A transmitted wave may be refracted.

  • When a wave moves from one medium into another, the wave may refract due to a change in speed. The angle of refraction (measured with respect to the normal) depends on the angle of incidence and the properties of the media (indices of refraction).

  • The absolute index of refraction is inversely proportional to the speed of a wave.

  • When waves of a similar nature meet, the resulting interference may be explained using the principle of superposition.

  • Standing waves are a special case of interference.

  • Resonance occurs when energy is transferred to a system at its natural frequency.

  • Diffraction occurs when waves pass by obstacles or through openings. The wavelength of the incident wave and the size of the obstacle or opening affect how the wave spreads out.

  • When a wave source and an observer are in relative motion, the observed frequency of the waves traveling between them is shifted (Doppler effect).

Modern Physics

The student will be able to:

  • interpret energy-level diagrams

  • correlate spectral lines with an energy-level diagram


  • States of matter and energy are restricted to discrete values (quantized).

  • Charge is quantized on two levels. On the atomic level, charge is restricted to the elementary charge (charge an electron or proton). On the subnuclear level charge appears as fractional values of the elementary charge (quarks).

  • On the atomic level, energy is emitted or absorbed in discrete packets called photons.

  • The energy of a photon is proportional to its frequency.

  • On the atomic level, energy and matter exhibit the characteristics of both waves and particles.

  • Among other things, mass-energy and charge are conserved at all levels (from subnuclear to cosmic).

  • The Standard Model of Particle Physics has evolved from previous attempts to explain the nature of the atom and states that:

  • 1. Atomic particles are composed of subnuclear particles.

  • 2. The nucleus is a conglomeration of quarks which manifest themselves as protons and neutrons.

  • 3. Each elementary particle has a corresponding antiparticle.

  • Behaviors and characteristics of matter, from the microscopic to the cosmic levels, are manifestations of its atomic structure. The macroscopic characteristics matter, such as electrical and optical properties, are the result of microscopic interactions.

  • The total of the fundamental interactions is responsible for the appearance and behavior of the objects in the universe.

  • The fundamental source of all energy in the universe is the conversion of mass into energy.