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Dr. Stephen Hawking in the PLANCKS 2014 Opening Symposium


The Physics League Across Numerous Countries for Kick-ass Students (PLANCKS) was first held in the Netherlands by Studenten Physica in Nederland (SPIN). The first edition of PLANCKS took place in May 2014 in Utrecht and PLANCKS has been held every year since.

PLANCKS is a exam-based physics competition for bachelor’s and master’s students. It is a three-day event filled to the brim with numerous excursions and social activities, alongside an opening symposium and the contest itself. Participants are encouraged to discover the research environment and culture of the hosting country. PLANCKS enables physics students from all over the world the opportunity to connect with each other. The aim of this event is to increase international collaboration, host social activities and stimulate the personal development of individual contestants. By bringing physics students from all over the world together, PLANCKS creates the perfect setting for participants to challenge each other, and exchange ideas and experiences.

The competition

Participants of PLANCKS compete in teams consisting of three to four bachelor’s or master’s students. The teams are usually comprised of students from the same country. During the competition they will answer challenging physics questions, designed to both challenge and entertain the competitors. Each country can submit a limited number of teams. Some countries organise preliminaries and the winners of these preliminaries will participate in PLANCKS, whilst other countries select the interested participants at random. If you are interested in organising a preliminary in your country, please contact the organising committee of PLANCKS, who will provide you with all the information needed.

The problems are written by professors and cover different fields of physics. For example, questions about cradles, glaciers, particle physics, slinkies, graphene, beamsplitters, skyrmions, wind drift of icebergs, laser cooling, and oil and gas production have arisen in the previous editions, with even more areas of study being added to this years’ competition.

Source: Irene Haasnoot 2016 Eur. J. Phys. 37 014002


The general rules of PLANCKS can be found here.

The Terms and Conditions for IAPS events are there. In addition, the PLANCKS competition is regulated by Articles 10 and 12 of the IAPS Regulations.

Previous editions

PLANCKS 2022, Munich (hybrid)

PLANCKS 2021, Porto (online)

PLANCKS 2018, Zagreb

PLANCKS 2017, Graz

PLANCKS 2016, Bucharest

PLANCKS 2015, Leiden

PLANCKS 2014, Utrecht