USAPhO Basic

USAPhO Basic course assumes knowledge of mechanics and teaches in-depth all other required USAPhO Semi-final topics. Subjects include thermodynamics (heat capacity, laws of thermodynamics, gaseous processes, heat transfer, entropy), electricity and magnetism (electric fields, potentials, circuitry, magnetic fields, Lorenz force law, Maxwell's equations, nature of light, magnetic induction), waves (wave equation, intensity, sound, Doppler shift), optics (refraction, lenses, mirrors, diffraction), relativity (Einstein's postulates, time dilation, length contraction, simultaneity, relativistic quantities).

Target Competitions

Target Grades


Who should Take This Course

  • Students who can solve around 17/25 questions on the F=ma in the time given
  • Students who have qualified for USAPhO Semi-final

Who should Skip This Course

  • Students who can solve around 3/6 questions on the USAPhO Semi-final in the time given

A scientific calculator is required and preferred over a graphing calculator.

Exam Weeks

Practice Exams will be given/solved.


There are weekly homework sets.


Lecture/Homework problems and solutions will be available on the learning management system (LMS).


Fall course is not required for the spring course, nor is the spring course required for the fall course. [table id=24 /]

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