Virtual Virginia

4574 Advanced Placement Physics 2

Field of Study

Physics is the study of matter and energy, focusing on their behaviors and interactions.

Material Covered

The course covers Electric Force, Field and Potential, Electric Circuits, Magnetism and Electromagnetic Induction, Thermodynamics, Fluids, Geometric and Physical Optics, and Quantum, Atomic and Nuclear Physics. The content for the course is based on six big ideas:

  • Big Idea 1 – Objects and systems have properties such as mass and charge. Systems may have internal structure.
  • Big Idea 2 – Fields existing in space can be used to explain interactions.
  • Big Idea 3 – The interactions of an object with other objects can be described by forces.
  • Big Idea 4 – Interactions between systems can result in changes in those systems.
  • Big Idea 5 – Changes that occur as a result of interactions are constrained by conservation laws.
  • Big Idea 6 – Waves can transfer energy and momentum from one location to another without the permanent transfer of mass and serve as a mathematical model for the description of other phenomena.

Student Expectations

Students will complete a variety of assignments throughout the course. They will participate in discussion boards, interact with simulations, work practice problems, and perform hands-on and virtual labs that meet the laboratory objectives for Advanced Placement Physics as required by the College Board. Student work will be required outside of class time.

Additional Information

AP Physics 2 is an Algebra-Based course equivalent to a second-semester college course in algebra-based physics, but designed to be taught over a full academic year to enable AP students to develop deep understanding of the content and to focus on applying their knowledge through inquiry labs.

Related Requirements

At the end of this course, students will be prepared to take the Advanced Placement Physics 2 test, and are expected, but not required, to do so.


  • Successful completion of AP Physics 1, Algebra II.

Course Texts and Materials


  • College Physics for AP Courses from OpenStax, ISBN 1938168932,


  • Cutnell and Johnson Physics 10th AP Edition by John D. Cutnell, Kenneth W. Johnson, David Young, Shane Stadler, ISBN: 978-1-118-48689-4, Publisher: Wiley, (800)225-5945


  • An AP Review Book. Two good examples are
    • 5 Steps to a 5 AP Physics 2 by Christopher Bruhn, ISBN: 978-1259863219, McGraw Hill Education
    • AP Physics 2 Essentials by Dan Fullerton, ISBN: 978-0990724315, Silly Beagle Productions
  • Any edition or even a different review book would work. Just be sure it is for the new AP Physics 2 course and not AP Physics B