AP Physics 2

AP Physics 2 is an algebra-based, college-level physics course that delves into more advanced topics than AT Physics / AP Physics 1. It explores fluid statics and dynamics, thermodynamics, electrostatics, electrical circuits with capacitors, magnetic fields, electromagnetism, physical and geometric optics quantum, atomic and nuclear physics.

What are the major projects you will complete in this course?

At the end of the year, we do a project after the AP exam involving electric circuits and fluids.

Advanced Placement exam is available for this course.

Advanced Placement (AP) exams are available for this course. For more information on Advanced Placement, click here

Course Details

Ian Page

"You should take this course if you want a broader background in physics. It is a great course that provides a solid physics background for future pre-med, geology, and life sciences students. There is overlap between Physics 2 and AP Physics C E&M. However, typically AP Physics C E&M course is more difficult since it incorporates calculus. AP Physics 2 follows as a second physics course after a regular physics course or AT Computational Physics."

AP Physics 2

ID: 44033 Grade: 11-12 Length: Year
Credit: Physical Science
Prerequisite: Semester I grade of B or higher in AP Physics 1 or AT Computational Physics; or Semester I grade of B+ or higher in Physics, plus completion of Chemistry, completion of Accelerated Chemistry, or concurrent enrollment in Accelerated Chemistry
Note: This course has a grade point weighting of 0.5.

AP Physics 2 is equivalent to a second-semester college course in algebra-based physics. The course covers fluid mechanics, thermodynamics, electricity and magnetism, waves and optics, and modern (atomic, nuclear and quantum) physics. Similar to Physics and AT Computational Physics, , this course will allow students to achieve an in-depth understanding of the above additional topics using hands-on explorations of physics content and inquiry-based instructional strategies. In AP Physics 2, they will build on their existing understandings by using multiple representations of physical processes, solving multi-step problems, and designing investigations. The course is based on six Big Ideas, which encompasses core scientific principles, theories, and processes that cut across traditional boundaries and provide a broad way of thinking about the physical world. Students will be prepared for and strongly encouraged to sit for the AP exam in May.

What Our Students Say


The AP Physics 2 curriculum covers a lot of interesting topics from fluids dynamics, to modern quantum and atomic physics, to electricity. It completes the picture that the AP 1/AT curriculum left unfinished, and gives me a more comprehensive view of physics as a field of study. Compared to other Physics classes offered at SAS, it is slightly more conceptual and less mathematical. But that doesn’t mean prospective mathematicians and engineers shouldn’t select it: Physics 2 is an interesting class, and it gives you an early opportunity to solve mathematically simpler versions of the calculus based problems you’ll be solving in college.”

Raymon Yue,
Class of 2019


The AP Physics 2 course was a very exciting and enjoyable course for me. I particularly enjoyed the labs, and the flexibility they allowed us to explore scientific equipment, and design our own procedures. I would suggest that students sign up for this course if they want to gain a deep understanding of advanced physics concepts (like heat, fluids, and electromagnetism) in continuation to AP Physics 1, which are very useful for those who want to pursue Physics/Engineering. This course does involve a rigorous curriculum with homework that could get challenging at times. My advice for students is to be regular with homework, as practice is very helpful in keeping up with the curriculum.”

Shivastu Kartik,

Results that Matter


Advanced Placement (AP) courses and exams


of 3's, 4's, and 5's received in AP exams in 2018


Advanced Topics (AT) courses


of the Class of 2018 graduates were awarded cum laude commendations

What Our Alumni Say


I would recommend AP Physics 2 to any student who enjoyed AP Physics 1 and wants to extend their physics knowledge to a new set of topics. The course is challenging, but is also fun because the class is filled with students who have a physics background and are passionate about continuing to deepen their knowledge in the science. Learning to puzzle your way through experiments and abstract conceptual topics is a good way to prepare yourself for university level thinking.

Caitlin Loi, Class of 2016