Physics FAQ

  • What is the difference between Physics 40 and Physics 41?
  • What is the difference between Physics 10 and Physical Science 11?
  • How do I get a prerequisite block removed?
  • Can I take Physics 4C and Physics 4D at the same time?
  • Do I have to take the lab?
  • Can I get AP credit?

 

What is the difference between Physics 40 and Physics 41?

Physics 40 and Physics 41 are designed for students who would like to take the physics 2 series or the physics 4 series, but have never had a physics class before, or would like a refresher course.  Both classes are transferable to the UC or CSU systems.  Typically students are encouraged to take physics 40 as preparation for the physics 2 series and physics 41 as preparation for the physics 4 series.  Physics 41 is generally taught at a higher math level and includes some reference to calculus. If you are planning on taking the Physics 4 series but cannot fit PHYC 41 in your schedule it would be appropriate to take PHYC 40.

What is the difference between Physics 10 and Physical Science 11?

Both classes are conceptual introductions to physics or physical science. Emphasis on topics that lead to a better understanding of our technological society and physical environment. Both Conceptual Physics and Conceptual Physical Science were developed by Paul Hewitt an emeritus professor of Physics at CCSF. Neither course has a math prerequisite although ratios and some simple algebra are used. Equations are used as guides for thinking and not for "plug and chug" exercises.

Conceptual Physics covers topics in physics including motion, forces, energy, heat, sound, light and nuclear physics. Conceptual Physical Science covers a shorter version of the physics topics in addition to topics in Chemistry, Earth Science, and Astronomy.

How do I get a prerequisite block removed?

If you received a message when you register that states that you have a pre-requisite block and you feel that it is an error, please contact the department chair.  This may happen if you have taken a course at a different school and you have not transferred the course to CCSF.  If that is the case, send a copy of your transcript, your CCSF student ID number, and the CCSF physics course that you would like to add to the department chair.  It can usually be cleared up within a day or two.

Can I take Physics 4C and Physics 4D at the same time?

Strong students may be allowed to take the last two semesters concurrently. The lab class is a co-requisite of its corresponding lecture and a required component for transfer in almost all cases.  Contact the department chair if you believe you may be an exception.

Do I have to take the lab?

Physics 10 and Physical Science 11 may be transferred without the corresponding lab class.

For the Physics 4 and Physics 2 series, lab classes are co-requisites of their corresponding lectures and a required component for transfer in almost all cases.  Contact the department chair if you believe you may be an exception.

Can I get AP credit?

The policy for AP tests is in the CCSF Catalog.

Physics B 3/4/5, 3 units, consult with the department chair.
Physics C Mechanics 3/4/5, 3 units, consult with the department chair.
Physics C Electricity and Magnetism 3/4/5, consult with the department chair.

The reason for the consultation with the department chair is that AP test policy varies widely for different 4 year institutions. As of Fall 2011 these are examples of different policies:

SFSU requires a 3 or better on the Physics B test for the equivalent of Physics 2A at CCSF, or a 4 or better on the Physics C Mechanics test for the equivalent of Physics 4A at CCSF, note that neither of these include the labs at CCSF.

UC Berkeley requires Physics C, both tests: Sum of scores 9 or higher for the equivalent of Physics 4A and 4AL at CCSF.

    SJSU requires a 3 or better on the Physics B for the equivalent of Physics 2A and 2AL at CCSF, or a 3 or better on the Physics B Mechanics for the equivalent of Physics 4A and 4AL, a 3 or better on the Physics C for the equivalent of Physics 4B and 4BL.