We are really happy to announce that we will resume the live IPT next year. And the host for the tournament will be COLOMBIA!! The event will be at Universidad Industrial de Santander (UIS) in Bucaramanga, Santander. We wish the
You have, from the onset of their release, to work on seventeen open physics problems and prepare for the competition held in one of the world's premier academic institution. The rules are simple : challenge a team on a specific physics problem, they present their results, you oppose them and a third team reviews the battle. This is simply scientific research at undergraduate level !
I liked the opportunity to interact with future physicists from other countries, and the “physics fights” opened me up to more aspects of physics other than theories that I learn in class. Also, I’ve learned a lot about topics in physics that I won’t normally spend too much time in.
The best part of IPT is the people you meet. And when you talk about the problem you’ve worked on for a year, it’s really amazing.
While working on the “Candle Lighting Trick” problem, we realized we had to maximize the production and “volatileness” of the smoke as well as canalizing it with a tube. So we made an hardcore candle-like thing using liquid paraffin as wax and a very thick wick; the whole thing was making flames about 20cm high and a hell lot of smoke after being blown. Using tube to canalize that smoke, we tried to relight it higher and higher, up to 1m! We had a lot of fun looking at the flame traveling through the tube burning the smoke. We can’t say the same for the safety staff.
The problems of IPT are in itself quite interesting and engaging. That, coupled with a small budget makes all of it more fun! From borrowing glasses to using chairs and random stuff at home to make our experimental setup during the lockdown, we did it all while being miles away from our teammates. The experiments, late-night discussions, and discussions during the fights both in nationals as well as in the virtual tournament provided us with an overall enriching experience. Thanks to all the organizers for making everything happen so brilliantly this time despite the circumstances!
One time my teammate was testing a radio receiver she had built, while I was working with a tesla coil in the same lab. She was picking up a strange signal, with clear periods on several time-scales. We realised the receiver was picking up the noise of the tesla coil halfway across the room and was faithfully reproducing characteristic frequencies of the tesla circuit.
I think the lesson is: physical systems may couple in strange and surprising ways, which can both be a source of confusion and, with a bit of creativity, a source of new measurement techniques!
It’s a perfect way to exercise your creativity to solve problems and debate with peers. Plus, you get to know amazing people from all over the world.
I learned that there are many different ways to approach a problem, and by discussing them it’s possible to find a better solution to the problem.
Being able to be part of the tournament online and virtually interacting with physics enthusiasts around the world after being hit by a pandemic and being locked indoors was so much exciting and fun. As the pandemic struck, we lost all hopes for the tournament but with the announcement of the virtual tournament, we resumed the preparations with new energy and a chance of expressing our findings to other teams. The whole journey to the tournament and the kind of preparation we had to do, having been locked down and being miles apart from other team members, was extraordinary, exciting but most importantly, fun to be a part of.
I learned to communicate my findings to an audience, and also a lot of physics during the year, when solving the problems.
You are much more motivated to learn for the sake of solving a problem than passing an exam!
Best part of IPT?
Interacting with colleagues, exchanging ideas and point of views for look into solutions to the same problem, taking into account aspects that were not previously considered.
Would I recommend it?
Yes, definitely. In my country we do not have such experiences like the IPT so having a first hand experience like this open your perspective about how to look physics research and how physics is in your everyday life.