IAPS 2022-2023 jIAPS

UK selection for the International Physicists’ Tournament

🇺🇦 🇬🇧 Anastasiia Vasylchenkova, IPT national representative in the UK

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Group photo of all participants and jurors in front of the UCL Portico

This year in the United Kingdom, we had the first-ever National Selection for the International Physicists’ Tournament in tournament style. In previous years, the participants just had to submit a written report for selection. This year, it has been quite inspiring to have a national selection, as teams could experience all the joy and fun of physics fights. 

The International Physicists’ Tournament (IPT) is a competition which gathers university student teams from all around the world for a unique process of solving challenging problems in teams and defending their solutions at Physics Fights. From this year, the IPT is a major event under the umbrella of IAPS. More information is available via

At the beginning of December, three teams arrived at the University College London (UCL) for the National Selection event. We had a University of Cambridge team, a UCL team and a joint team from UCL and Kings College London. 

The IPT is famous for thought-provoking problems for training research and debating skills of our participants. For example, the last report by the winning – Cambridge – team was about Dancing light problem. It states: “Put a membrane with a mirror over a speaker. Then project the reflection of a laser pointer over a screen. By driving the speaker with single or multiple frequencies you may observe lines and shapes projected on the screen. Given a closed trajectory in 2D of a single line, find the input on the speaker required to “paint” the line. Can you also “rotate” the line as you desire? Investigate the limitations.”

Other participants and jurors were pleased to watch experimental videos of the reporting team, listen to their hypotheses and outcomes, and have a discussion about different aspects of the physics behind the phenomena. 

We heartily appreciate the teams’ efforts in solving the IPT problems and dedicating their Sunday to participation in physics fights. We are also extremely grateful to our jury panel for working very hard in assessing teams’ performance. Last but not least, the IPT was supported by the Institute of Physics, in particular, London and South East Branch, and STEMM Global Scientific Society.

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The winners of the UK national selection (University of Cambridge)