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Prof. Bruce Denardo



Prof. Kevin B. Smith

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Prof. Dragoslav Grbovic


Prof. Joseph Hooper

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Department of Physics
Spanagel Hall, Room 203
833 Dyer Road
Monterey, CA 93943-5216
(831) 656-2145
DSN: 756-2145

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Mission Statement

Bruce C. Denardo
Associate Professor of Physics
Ph.D. in Physics, UCLA, 1990

Prof. Denardo joined the tenure-track faculty of NPS in 1998.  He teaches a variety of physics courses at all university levels.  His main research interests are acoustics, nonlinear oscillations and waves, fluid dynamics, and educational physics.  His current research is on acoustic radiation forces, vortex ring bubbles, and fluidic and acoustic MEMS.  Prof. Denardo has advised 48 M.S. thesis students and 2 Ph.D. dissertation students.  He is a longstanding member of the American Association of Physics Teachers and the Acoustical Society of America.

Phone:  831-656-2952,  Email:

Bruce Denardo

Associate Professor
Mail Code:  PH/De
Department of Physics
Graduate School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
Monterey, CA  93943
Phone:  831-656-2952


•  Ph.D. in Physics - University of California at Los Angeles, 1990
•  B.S. in Physics and Applied Math - University of California at Berkeley
•  Physics, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University


•  Associate Professor of Physics, 1998-present
•  Research Assistant Professor of Physics, 1992-93
•  Postdoctoral Fellow of American Society for Engineering Education, 1990-92


Assistant Professor, Department of Physics and Astronomy, and Assistant Research Professor at the National Center for Physical Acoustics, University of Mississippi, 1993-98


My main teaching interests are in the “core” physics courses (mechanics, electromagnetism, thermodynamics, statistical physics, modern physics, quantum mechanics, and mathematical physics) at all levels (introductory, intermediate, and advanced).  I am equally interested in the teaching of acoustics, fluid mechanics, and nonlinear oscillations and waves.  I have extensive experience, which began with teaching at Santa Monica College and lecturing at UCLA as a graduate student, and continued at the University of Mississippi and currently the Naval Postgraduate School.  I believe in an active classroom environment in which students are encouraged to discuss physics.  To accomplish this, I teach with much enthusiasm, perform many demonstrations, and always strive to relate physics to common experiences and to occurrences in the news.  In addition to my teaching and research activities, I supervise the physics lecture demonstration laboratory at the Naval Postgraduate School.  I have written two mechanics laboratory manuals (one at Santa Monica College and one at UCLA), a lecture demonstrations manual, and a solutions manual to Goldstein’s Classical Mechanics.  I am in the process of writing a textbook entitled Nonlinear Oscillations and Waves:  An Introduction with Demonstrations.  


I engage in two types of research that often overlap.  One is forefront research in acoustics, nonlinear waves, and fluid dynamics.  The other is educational physics research especially in lecture demonstrations, but also in laboratory experiments, analytical theory, and computer simulations.  Previous research topics included nonlinear standing waves in a charged plasma, solitons on the surface of a liquid as well as in lattices and sandstone, a rotating U-tube, hysteresis of rubber, parametric excitation, variably nonuniform acoustic resonators, acoustic end correction, absorption of sound by high-amplitude noise, an acoustic analog of the Casimir effect, nonradiating wave sources, microwave radiation in sonoluminescence, electrical resistive networks, bubbles causing a floating body to sink, an acoustic radiometer, bubbles acting as a deterrent for underwater mines, multimodal wave systems, quasiperiodicity, maintained oscillations, and a water wave analog of the Casimir effect.  Previous simpler educational research included errors due to average velocities, a geometrical approach to sums of uniform random variables, an assortment of physical pendulums, projectile motion, raising a circular body over a step, a demonstration of the parallel-axis theorem, temperature of a light bulb filament, and a hanging-picture instability.  Current research includes fundamental and applied aspects of acoustic radiation forces, an interactive apparatus that generates vortex ring bubbles, and fluidic and acoustic MEMS.  


•  NPS Graduate School for Engineering and Applied Sciences Instructional Recognition Award, 2010.  NPS Excellence in Teaching Commendation from the Provost, 2005.  NPS Outstanding Instructional Performance Award, 2001.
•  Appeared in four science television documentaries as an expert on bubbles causing a floating body to sink.  I was interviewed by Pioneer Productions (United Kingdom) for a documentary that was first broadcast on the Discovery Channel in 2001.  “Inside the Bermuda Triangle,” by Fred Silverman Productions (Miami, Florida), was first broadcast in 2002 on the Discovery Channel.  The interview was conducted in my laboratory.  The two-hour BBC production “Dive to the Bermuda Triangle” was first broadcast in 2004 on the Discovery Channel.  I was videotaped at the location of filming, which was Bradenton Beach, Florida, in 2003.  I was interviewed in my laboratory by GRB Entertainment for a science documentary for The Learning Channel in 2003.  
•  Interviewed by the New Scientist regarding research on bubbles causing a floating body to sink.  The news story appeared as a feature article:  “Sunk Without Trace,” New Scientist, vol. 171, p. 12 (29 September 2001).  The story also appeared online: “Bubbling Seas Can Sink Ships,”, 26 September 2001.  I was also interviewed for a broadcast on Irish National Radio (RTE) in 2001.
•  Three articles in the American Journal of Physics were listed in the Editor’s Choice: Selected Papers, 1988-2001.  Refer to Robert Roemer, “Editor’s Choice,” American Journal of Physics, vol. 69, pp. 635-647 (2001).  An “editor’s choice” article has not appeared since the one in 2001.
•  Research at the University of Mississippi was featured with 11 other professors as part of the University Museum’s 1998 Sesquicentennial Exhibit on “Waves of the Future.”
•  Research in collaboration with Andrés Larraza (NPS) on an acoustic Casimir effect was recognized in news articles in Physics World (December 1998) and New Scientist (28 November 1998), and we published a selected research article in the Journal of the Acoustical Society of America.  In addition, on our research on absorption of sound by nonlinear noise, we wrote an invited article for the American Institute of Physics for its Physics News in 1996.


•  Bruce C. Denardo, Joshua J. Puda, and Andrés Larraza, “A water wave analog of the Casimir effect,” Am. J. Phys. 77, 1095-1101 (2009).  
•  Bruce Denardo and Timothy G. Simmons, “An acoustic radiometer,” Am. J. Phys. 72, 843-845 (2004).
•  Bruce Denardo, Leonard Pringle, Carl DeGrace, and Michael McGuire, “When do bubbles cause a floating body to sink?” Am. J. Phys. 69, 1064-1072 (2001).
•  Bruce Denardo, John Earwood, and Vera Sazonova, “Parametric instability of two coupled nonlinear oscillators,” Am. J. Phys. 67, 187-195 (1999).
•  Bruce Denardo, “Nonanalytic nonlinear oscillations:  Christiaan Huygens, quadratic Schrödinger equations, and solitary waves,” J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 104, 1289-1300 (1998).
•  Andrés Larraza, Bruce Denardo, and Anthony Atchley, “Absorption of sound by noise in one dimension,” J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 100, 3554-3560 (1996).
•  Bruce Denardo and Miguel Bernard, "Design and measurements of variably nonuniform acoustic resonators," Am. J. Phys. 64, 745-751 (1996).
•  Bruce Denardo and Richard Masada, "Rubber hysteresis experiment," Phys. Teach. 28, 489-491 (1990).
•  Bruce Denardo, William Wright, Seth Putterman, and Andrés Larraza, "Observation of a kink soliton on the surface of a liquid," Phys. Rev. Lett. 64, 1518-1521 (1990).

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