Two Indian Americans are among 20 high school students to be selected into the U.S. Physics Team by the American Association of Physics Teachers.
Swapnil Garg of San Jose, California and Gopal K. Goel of Portland, Oregon will participated in Physics Boot Camp at the University of Maryland in College Park, late May.
“I started learning physics in my freshman year of high school, as my school required physics for 9th graders, and I realized that I had a knack for the subject. Initially I did not think much about physics, but one thing I was amazed at was how an infinite charged sheet produced a uniform electric field. I didn’t believe my teacher, but when I put the integral into Mathematica, I was astounded to see that the value did not change for different heights above the sheet. Following in the footsteps of others in my school, I took AP Physics C in 10th grade, and it was there that I realized how interesting the subject really was, especially when I learned about Maxwell’s Equations in conjunction with my multivariable calculus class,” Garg said in his bio.
“It was a dream come true to be invited to the US Physics Team. My love for physics stemmed from my love for math. Homeschooling gave me the opportunity to explore the areas of study I loved, at my own pace and with freedom. By early middle school I had completed most of the high school math curriculum; and thanks to AoPS, I was able to do so without sacrificing rigor or creativity. Then as I struggled to find other interesting areas to explore, my dad introduced me to the amazing world of physics,” Goel said in his bio.
“I used to complement my study of physics with playing around with some equipment. I remember making a simple pendulum with my old lego technic pieces, and actually discovered that the time period remained the same for small angles, but changed as the angle increased. R&H has a great explanation for the small angle approximation, and also includes a discussion about higher order expansions of the period,” he added.
All 20 members of the 2018 U.S. Physics Team will prepare for the mentally grueling exams and lab tests they’ll face at the 49th International Physics Olympiad, and only five will make it to represent the United States.
“The competition for a position on the U.S. Physics Team is intense and each student who participated in the 2018 selection process is deserving of recognition. They are the future of America’s success in physics related fields. AAPT is honored to recognize the exceptional scholars who qualified for the team and to support their further participation in the International Physics Olympiad,” Dr. Beth A. Cunningham, executive officer of the AAPT, said in a statement.
The 49th International Physics Olympiad will be held in Lisbon, Portugal from July 21 to 29 where the five representatives will be up against student scholars from 133 nations who will all test their knowledge in physics.