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Impressive performance by the German student team at the 51st International Physics Olympiad 2021, held for the first time online.

July 29th, 2021
Impressive performance by the German student team at the 51st International Physics Olympiad 2021, held for the first time online.

The German student team of the 51st IPhO 2021 at the IPN in Kiel. From left to right: Jonas Hübner (Silver), Anton Tizian Haas (Bronze), Théo Lequy (Silver), Andreas Feuerpfeil (Silver) und Seán Sdahl (Silver)

The five-member German national team for the International Physics Olympiad - IPhO for short - qualified for IPhO 2021 from among more than 940 students in a four-stage selection competition, the Physics Olympiad in Germany. The team members:

Andreas Feuerpfeil, Alexandrinum Gymnasium (Coburg)

Anton Tizian Haas, Max-Steenbeck High School (Cottbus)

Jonas Hübner, Friedrichsgymnasium (Kassel)

Théo Lequy, Werner-von-Siemens High School (Magdeburg)

Seán Sdahl, Paracelsus High School (Stuttgart)

They won 1 bronze and 4 silver medals, which they will receive in the mail in the coming weeks. The students' results are relatively close to each other and all five placed in the top third of all participants. Thus, the team achieved a very good 16th place in the ranking by points among a total of 75 participating nations.

Under the patronage of the President of Lithuania, IPhO 2021 was organized by the Ministry of Education, Science and Sports in Lithuania, the Lithuanian Centre of Non-Formal Youth Education and Vilnius University. It was with a heavy heart that the organizers decided to hold IPhO 2021 entirely online in May 2021 due to the Corona pandemic. An enormous logistical effort was put into sending experiment materials all over the world, designing virtual rooms and preparing online interactions.  This worked very well in the vast majority of cases and in the few cases where the experimental material did not arrive, solutions were found to conduct the experimental exam as a remote experiment. If possible, the participants were to come together at a location in their home country to take part in the 5-hour online exams together. In Germany, the choice fell on Kiel, and in addition to the online activities from Lithuania, from cultural highlights to a lecture by the Nobel Prize winner in physics Prof. Didier Queloz, the Olympians were able to gain experimental experience and test their strength in the high ropes park.

The experimental and theoretical exams are at the heart of the Physics Olympiad. This year, the experimental part dealt with capacitors at different temperatures and the electrical and thermal properties of light-emitting diodes (LEDs). In the theoretical exam, the first task was from the field of planetary physics and dealt with the mid-ocean ridge and seismic waves. The second assignment focused on electrostatic lenses, and the last assignment took up aspects of modern physics, such as the optical properties of molecules and Bose-Einstein condensation. All in all, the problems posed a real challenge and required a great deal of knowledge and skill in physics.

Former Physics Olympiad participants Axel Boeltzig (University of Naples) and Johannes Rothe (Technical University of Munich), who also came to Kiel as team leaders, and Dürken Quaas and Paul Tschisgale as supervisors from the Leibniz Institute for Science and Mathematics Education (IPN), which is responsible for the national selection competition, supported the students.

Lithuania courageously took up the challenge of holding IPhO 2021 for the first time in this format and across almost all time zones and mastered it with great success. We would like to thank all the organizers for the opportunity to bring the participants together again this year. The German team members and supervisors were very happy to have the opportunity to participate in the competition together in Kiel.

We would also like to thank all supporters of the national competition during the last competition year!

Contact:
Dr. Stefan Petersen
IPN an der Universität Kiel, Olshausenstrasse 62
24098 Kiel

Ph.: +49 (0)431 / 880-5120
E-Mail: [Email protection active, please enable JavaScript.]
Web: www.ipho.info

Caption: The German student team of the 51st IPhO 2021 at the IPN in Kiel. From left to right: Jonas Hübner (silver), Anton Tizian Haas (bronze), Théo Lequy (silver), Andreas Feuerpfeil (silver) and Seán Sdahl (silver).