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Midshipman in a physics lab
Two midshpmen in physics lab
Physics Student

USNA Physics

USNA Physics -- COVID-19 Response -- SP212 Spring 2020

Info for midshipmen registered for core physics SP212.  Course updates:

  1. The SP212 final exam will take place on Thursday, April 30th at 1330. The alternate final is at 0930 on Thursday May 7.
  2. The exam will be in the form of a 50 question pdf emailed to you at the start time. Topic coverage will be approximately 4 questions from each chapter with Chapters 31-32 (LC Oscillations/Maxwell's Equations) being a single chapter.
    1. You will let your instructor know you got the pdf and that you're starting
      before 1340.
    2. Work the exam on blank paper. Show all work for each problem and
      indicate which of the multiple choice answers you have selected.
    3. A Google form will be emailed out at around 1430 for your answers. This
      form must be submitted NLT 3 hours after you started the exam (so around
    4. Upon submitting the google form, immediately send your work electronically
      to your instructor according to the method they specify.
  3. There are two practice final exams to help you prepare on this page,
    two are enclosed: 2018 and 2019. Because of our abbreviated
    syllabus, you can ignore Problems 45-50 on the 2018 exam and 46-50 on
    the 2019 exam. Your instructor may have more finals for you. Keep in
    mind that we did not cover interference or diffraction this semester.
  4. Given the circumstances, the exam is open book/notes. You are on your honor
    to complete this exam by yourself with no assistance from another person.
  5. You can get access to the Halliday, Resnick and Walker textbook through
    WileyPlus. On the course page, you can find an HTML version of the book
    under the tab "Read/Study and Practice." Try to find it between now and
    the final so that you know where it is.
  6. Also, the final is designed so that you should have some level of
    familiarity from studying ahead of time. It may be hard to finish the
    exam if you have to look up every topic in the book.
  7. An equation sheet with notes might be a good way to organize your studies.
    Here is a new and more complete equation sheet drafted for use during your upcoming Final. Physics Department - sp212_spring2020_equations1.pdf



39th Michelson Lecture

Dr. Kip Thorne, Nobel Laureate in Physics

Probing the Warped Side of the Universe with Gravitational Waves: From the Big Bang to Black Holes

Michelson Lecture

On 11 February 2016, the LIGO and Virgo Scientific Collaboration announced they had made the first direct observation of gravitational waves. The gravitational waves originated from a pair of merging black holes and helped solidify the final major prediction of 20th century physics. Dr. Kip Thorne, winner of the 2017 Nobel Prize in physics, discussed this work in his lecture at the US Naval Academy, on Nov. 6, 2019. Above is pictured: Dr. Kip Thorne (Right) alongside Dr. Bill Phillips (Left) , winner of the 1997 Nobel Prize in physics, 2003 Michelson Lecturer and attendee at this year’s event. 

The Michelson Memorial Lecture series is endowed by the USNA Class of 1969 in honor of Albert A Michelson, USNA Class of 1873 who, in 1907, was the first American to win a Nobel Prize.

The United States Naval Academy (USNA) is a four year undergraduate institution with a mission to prepare midshipmen morally, mentally, and physically for commissioning as officers in the naval services. The institution:

  • Provides an accredited undergraduate education and officer accession program for the Nation
  • Is a historic national landmark with over one million visitors per year.
  • Is a host to national and international events, many of which are open to the public and attended by the highest representatives of Government.

In pursuit of academic excellence, the Naval Academy fosters an educational environment that supports and encourages midshipman learning and critical thinking through innovative teaching methods that address a variety of learning styles. Our goal is to provide a stimulating environment that instills a passion for lifelong learning and imbues our midshipmen with the intellectual curiosity and analytical rigor needed to be in the forefront of technological advances and global understanding in a rapidly changing and diverse world.


The above links all lead to articles published in the publication Physics Today, which is not affiliated with USNA. USNA and/or the Federal Government are not responsible for the content which may or may not reflect the opinions, standards, policy of the Naval Academy or the United States Government. USNA does not exercise any editorial control over the information you may find or the products and services provided on those pages, and the presence of these links does not qualify as endorsement by USNA.

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