Physics Course Online: Physics Part 2: Waves

"Now my son see waves everywhere in nature. Very practical course." -- Mary S

Course Overview

Physics Part 2: Waves is a continuation of Intro to Physics (Part 1). Unless you already have some physics background, we suggest taking that course first before moving on to Physics Part 2.

Physics Part 2: Waves has an entirely new set of 5 topics relating to waves and flow. We’ll be discussing a lot about how liquids and gasses move, and how moving solids might not be as solid as you think! We’ll investigate the physics of lots of common, everyday examples like flowing water, springs, heat, light, electromagnetic radiation (EM waves), the weather, and, of course, ocean waves and tides.

How to Join This Live Class?

Step 1. Check the Schedule

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Course Data

Videos Included: The video solutions for the worksheets include 25 videos (2.5 hours total).

Materials Included:  The course has 12 printable pdf files including worksheets, answer keys and class notes.

Time commitment: Learners typically spend 1.5-2.5 hours per week, which includes combined live in-class time and out-of-class time.

Course duration: Semester length (half school year) or summer session.

Instructor Support Included: Dr. Scott teaches the live class personally. He is available for questions and evaluates worksheets by email. There are grades and a certificate of completion at the end. 

Who It's For

– middle/high school students with previous physics experience
– younger learners with an advanced interest in science
– adults looking for a science education
– teachers seeking a fresh perspective on physics

Learning Outcomes

Learners completing Physics Part 2: Waves will be able to:

  1. Analyze wave motions
  2. Understand frequency, period, and scale
  3. Plot sinusoidal waves on a computer
  4. Draw diagrams showing heat flow
  5. Connect classroom physics to the environment
  6. Manipulate satellite and ocean-based data sets
  7. Confidently approach science

Course Topics

Lesson 1: EM Waves

The first lesson is about electromagnetic radiation, commonly called EM waves. We focus on the use of EM waves in spectrometers for chemical analysis. We access satellite data sets and plot imagery taken from remote sensing (space based) spectrometers in the infrared (IR), visible (Vis), and ultraviolet (UV) bands.

Lesson 2: Waves and Tides

We study ocean waves, tides, and the connection to gravity. We consider the effects of the sun and the moon on the ocean tides. We access data sets from ocean buoys tracking the tides and weather, and we plot the tides on a computer.

Lesson 3: Springs and Vibrations

We use spring motion to understand the larger idea of sinusoidal waves. We use a computer to plot spring motion given the period and frequency of a spring. We connect the idea of spring-like motion to vibrations for solid objects.

Lesson 4: Heat Flow

We learn about heat energy and how heat flows from hot to cold. We learn about the 3 modes of heat transfer, known as radiation, conduction, and convection. We discuss ideal heat flow in solids and fluids, and we connect the idea to the formation of real-world coastal weather patterns such as the sea breeze, which is driven by solar heating. We access and plot real world atmospheric temperature data.

Lesson 5: Weather Patterns

We study the pressure waves moving around the globe to explain the weather. We access and plot real world atmospheric pressure data sets and learn about weather maps.

Course Sequence

Physics Part 2: Waves is a continuation course from Intro to Physics (Part 1). Take Part 1 first, unless you’ve already studied Newton’s Laws of Motion.

Physics Part 1 is followed by Physics Part 2: Waves. Advanced physics courses include Physics Part 3: Electricity and Circuits and Physics Part 4: Gasses.

Meet Your Instructor

Hi, I’m Dr. Scott, the course instructor and author of the digital materials that you get with the course.

As a former college professor, engineer, and scientist, I think it’s really strange that most learners don’t get much physics until about their last year of high school, if at all. Physics is all around us. And it really doesn’t take tons of annoying math to appreciate it.

The focus of my courses is a practical physics education, and we’ll strategically avoid most of the complicated equations, weird math, and long calculations that plague the typical physics classroom.