AP Physics Chapter 1 Study Guide
The Science of Physics
Fundamental Units
SI Standard Units
Derived Unitscombination of fundamental units, for example velocity is meters/second.
yotta 
Y 

zetta 
Z 

exa 
E 

peta 
P 

tera 
T 

giga 
G 

mega 
M 

kilo 
k 

hecto 
h 

deka 
da 

deci 
d 

centi 
c 

milli 
m 

micro 
µ 

nano 
n 

pico 
p 

femto 
f 

atto 
a 

zepto 
z 

yocto 
y 
The prefix's in bold are the most common in Physics Class.
Changing Measurements (Factor Label Method)
Example 1
The research submersible vessel ALVIN is
diving at a speed of 36.5 fathoms per minute.
(a) Express this speed in meters per second. A fathom (fath) is precisely
6 ft.
(b) What is this speed in miles per hour?
Example 2
How many square meters are in an area of ?
Dimensional Analysis
Example 3
Show that is
dimensionally consistent. The quantities x and are
distances, is
a velocity, and a is an acceleration.
Four Fundamental Forces
Significant Digits
Rules for determining whether zeros are significant figures
1. Zeros between other nonzero digits are significant.
2. Zeros in front of nonzero digits are not significant.
3. Zeros that are at the end of a number and also to the right of the decimal point are significant.
4. Zeros at the end of a number but to the left of a decimal are significant if they have been measured or are the first estimated digit; otherwise, they are not significant.
Rules for calculating with significant figures
Mathematics in Physics
In Physics we use many different areas of mathematics, from simple addition and subtractions to derivatives and integrals. Most of the math starts with data and graphs.