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Germany’s physics-talents meet for a battle of wits in Greifswald

30. January 2017
Germany’s physics-talents meet for a battle of wits in Greifswald

Contestants of the semifinal round for the 48th International Physics Olympiad

From January 23rd to 27, 2017, fifty-one young physics-talents met at the Max-Planck-Institute in Greifswald vying to join the German national team competing at the International Physics Olympiad (IPhO) in Yogykarta, Indonesia this year.

The Physics Olympiad aims to motivate and foster students particularly interested in physics, and to offer them the opportunity to network early on with likeminded fellows on a national and international level.

The IPN organizes the annual national contest in cooperation with the German federal state’s ministries of education. The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) provides further funding.

For the first time this year’s semifinals were organized and held in cooperation with three institutions in Greifswald: the Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics (IPP), the Greifswald University’s Institute of Physics, and the Leib­niz In­sti­tu­te for Plas­ma Sci­ence and Tech­no­lo­gy (INP). Out of 970 contestants nationwide, 51 of them between the ages of fifteen and eighteen had made it into the semifinals. The theoretical and practical aims and objectives of their assignments, were closely related to the research conducted at these Greifswald institutes. The assignments included subjects like magnetic fields, or the phenomenon of plasma inclusion as it occurs in lightning bolts. Another focus of the competition was to foster networking between the contestants and to introduce them to the work of the institutes hosting the event.

The award ceremony for the winners of this semifinal round of the competition was conducted by Dr Rolf-Dieter Heuer, president of the German Physics Association (DPG), Dr Sibylle Günter, Science Director of the IPP, Christina Nolte, national speaker of the young DPG (jDPG), as well as the competition’s manager Dr Stefan Petersen (IPN).

Germany’s fifteen best young physics-talents:

Place 1: Christian Schmidt, Martin-Andersen-Nexö-Gymnasium (Dresden)
Place 2: Markus Zetto, Leibniz-Gymnasium (Rottweil)
Place 3: Konstantin Schwark, Carl-Zeiss-Gymnasium (Jena)
Place 4: Maurice Zeuner, Carl-Zeiss-Gymnasium (Jena)
Place 5: Carlos Esparza-Sanchez, Oskar-Maria-Graf-Gymnasium (Neufahrn)
Place 6: Jonas Rohn, Albertus-Magnus-Gymnasium (Regensburg)
Place 7: Maximilian Kotz, Gymnasium Dresden-Cotta (Dresden)
Place 8: Maximilian Marienhagen, Albert-Schweitzer-Gymnasium (Erfurt)
Place 9: Marius Ising, Städtisches Gymnasium Erwitte (Erwitte)
Place 10: Leroy Schmidt, Herzog-Christoph-Gymnasium (Beilstein)
Place 11: Pascal Reeck, Wilhelm-Ostwald-Schule (Leipzig)
Place 12: Tim Graute, Helmholtz-Gymnasium (Essen)
Place 13: David Ventzke, Wilhelm-Ostwald-Schule (Leipzig)
Place 14: Daniel Schiller, Hebel-Gymnasium (Schwetzingen)
Place 15: Johannes Kerstan, Carl-Zeiss-Gymnasium (Jena)


The finals take place at the German Electron Synchrotron (DESY) in Hamburg in April. The five best students will be nominated for the German national team and will afterwards compete on international level. At the 48th IPhO in Yogyakarta this summer they will compete for Olympic medals against students from more than 80 nations.

But the students who did not make it into the finals also deserve praise for their hard work. For this reason the INP and the IPP offer three internships for particularly gifted participants. The DPG, the publishing house Spektrum, as well as the Casio Company, sponsored calculators and Natural Science Magazine subscriptions as prizes for the contestants. Four of the youngest participants received an invitation to a selection seminar for the team competition European Union Sciences Olympiad (EUSO), and the chance to compete for a ticket to go to this year’s EUSO in Copenhagen (Denmark).



Dr Stefan Petersen   
IPN - Leibniz Institute for Science
and Mathematics Education
at Kiel University

Olshausenstraße 62   
24098 Kiel   
Tel.    0431 880-5120   
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