Polish solutions from 24th, 18th, 17th, 16th IYPTs

2003, 2004, 2005, 2011, Historical IYPT documents — ilyamartch @ 1:42 pm

A collection of IYPT projects is being shared by the Polish team members and team leaders in 2003, 2004, 2005, and 2011. The complete collection of slides and videos is indexed to be included into the IYPT Archive.

Indexed solutions

16th IYPT (2003)

3. Transparent film (Poland, IYPT slides, 2003) [pdf]

11. Light scattering (Poland, IYPT slides, 2003) [pdf]

12. Boiled egg (Poland, IYPT slides, 2003) [pdf]

17th IYPT (2004)

6. Seebeck effect (Poland, IYPT slides, 2004) [pdf]

14. Fountain (Poland, IYPT slides, 2004) [pdf]

15. Brazil Nut Effect (Poland, IYPT slides, 2004) [pdf]

16. Small fields (Poland, IYPT slides, 2004) [pdf]

17. Digeridoo (Poland, IYPT slides, 2004) [pdf]

18th IYPT (2005)

5. Mirage (Poland, IYPT slides, 2005) [pdf] [pdf] [avi 1] [avi 2]

7. Bouncing plug (Poland, IYPT slides, 2005) [pdf] [avi 1] [avi 2]

11. Water droplets (Poland, IYPT slides, 2005) [pdf] [avi 1] [avi 2] [avi 3] [avi 4] [avi 5] [avi 6] [avi 7]

12. Ball spin (Poland, IYPT slides, 2005) [pdf] [avi]

24th IYPT (2011)

3. Bouncing flame (Poland, IYPT slides, 2011) [pdf]

7. Cup drum (Poland, IYPT slides, 2011) [pdf]

8. Domino amplifier (Poland, IYPT slides, 2011) [pdf]

10. Faraday heaping (Poland, IYPT slides, 2011) [pdf]

11. Fingerprints (Poland, IYPT slides, 2011) [pdf]

12. Levitating spinner (Poland, IYPT slides, 2011) [pdf]

13. Light bulb (Poland, IYPT slides, 2011) [pdf]

14. Moving cylinder (Poland, IYPT slides, 2011) [pdf]

15. Slow descent (Poland, IYPT slides, 2011) [pdf]

17. Vikings (Poland, IYPT slides, 2011) [pdf]

Multimedia presentation on the 12th IYPT (1999)

1999, Historical IYPT documents — ilyamartch @ 10:46 pm

Multimedia presentation focusing on the 12th IYPT (1999) is now online.

Download: the presentation in the original PowerPoint format and in the converted pdf; also front cover and back cover of the CR-ROM.

The PowerPoint presentation, completed by a team of Austrian volunteers on April 19, 2000, was released on home-made CD-ROM disks and circulated within a narrow community.

The presentation included the results, ranking tables, original problems, the information on teams, a few photos, and welcome speeches by the guests of honor at the competition.

Solutions of the problems at the 12th IYPT constituted the major part of the presentation. These included the scanned pages prom the book 12th IYPT: Reports of Georgian Team (Tbilisi, 1999), and a number of slides and written reports shared by the teams of Austria I, Austria II, Belarus, Finland, Germany, and Uzbekistan.


  • Mag. Dr. Brigitte Pagana-Hammer
  • Cornelia Deiss
  • Christoph Eichhorn
  • Artur Golczewski
  • Birgit Schiller


  • Paul Pöltner
  • Martin Satzl
  • Simon Horvath (music)

Music by:

  • Dr. Gerhard Deiss

Martina Schäfer shares the proceedings book for the 11th IYPT (1998)

Martina Schäfer with a help from her mother, her brother, and co-editor Hendrik Hoeth, recovers the original pdf file for 11th IYPT: Remarks and selected reports (1998.) Coordinated distantly via Skype, this three-evening effort ended up with retrieving the file from a CD burnt under Linux 13 years ago.

Martina Schäfer earned a PhD in Earth Science and glaciology in 2007 from Université Joseph Fourier, Grenoble (France), and is now a postdoctoral fellow at Arctic Centre, Rovaniemi (Finland.)

Download: 11th International Young Physicists’ Tournament. June 1–5, 1998. Donaueschingen, Germany. Remarks and selected reports (eds. Hendrik Hoeth, Martina Schäffer, Jan Theofel.) Stiftung für Bildung und Behindertenförderung (Stuttgart, 1998) [pdf]

May 18, 2011; 16h56-18h08 CET

I. M. [...] A year ago, I traced the printed book “11th IYPT: Remarks and selected reports” that you have co-edited, prepared and typeset in ca. 1998. Would it be kindly possible to ask you to share the original pdf of this book? The “Imprint” section says the book has been already available online at www.stiftung-sbb.de, but the file is no longer available. Thank you so much!

M. S. Funny to be asked about this book after such a long time! I think I still have some paper copies somewhere in a box on the attic :-) . What an effort to put already all this info together. How did you manage to scan the whole book of this/our IYPT book?

I. M. Hm, the scanning itself was a little painstaking effort, but much more tough and time-consuming was to (a) determine that the book existed as such, (b) find where to get a copy, and (c) to get this copy into the hands. [The copy was found at the] Württembergischen Landesbibliothek Stuttgart. [...]

We so badly missed the information about the early IYPTs, especially those held before 1998 as no websites existed, no publications were known, and no people could immediately suggest where to find a particular record or detail… Finding the accounts from the Soviet time was especially exciting, and now I will be slowly translating the key documents into English. :-)

M. S. Sure, I’ll search for the original files. I certainly have it somewhere, at least the tex-source files or a ps-file. But give me some time to dig it out (I have moved of course several times since then…) and manage to read the CD. Now when I think about it … it’s a long time ago that we did this: linux computers without any graphics, only terminals and then we had a ps file and some troubles to get a pdf out of it for printing … pdf was something “new” or “special” at that time :-) . Well, a lot of souvenirs :-) . Anyway, I’ll search and let you know.

If you have questions about the German participation/teams/tournaments, don’t hesitate to ask!

I. M. I will certainly not hesitate to contact you if I have questions about the 11th IYPT (but: given your outstanding work and efforts in 1998, most of the questions are simply answered in the book) :-) [From what I know, Rudolph Lehn] took part in an IYPT-related seminar in October 1994, and then brought a German team in 1995. However, the first West German participation was at the 2nd IYPT, when the West German (not DDR!) team ended up as gold winners in April 1989 :-)

May 18, 2011; 18h53 CET

M. S. The CD is located. It is at home in Germany at my parent’s place. But it’s formatted under linux, so they can’t read it (they have only windows). So I have first to get it here (or try to explain them how to read ext-filesystems under windows) and then I’ll be able to tell you, if the CD is still ok…

I. M. These are really great news!

May 20, 2011; 21h23-22h53 CET

M. S. Here are very good news: You can get a download link for the pdf [...].

Thanks to my mother for searching the CD, to my brother to copy/put online it for me with a live-linux cd under my skype-help and finally to Hendrik (the other author, which you had also contacted) for some linux help how to deal with this old CD! Anyway here it is! Hendrik had been searching but not found the CD, but he is happy now, too, to have the files again in his archives! With my brother we had nearly give up the CD as dammaged at least 3 or 4 times, but finally we were wrong and I’m happy about it :-) .

I. M. Many thanks to everybody in your family and to Hendrik! I am feeling really indebted for such rapid and motivated efforts! Thank you for arranging everything, involving so many people, and spending so much of your precious time!

[...] It would be such a huge disappointment if your long and dedicated efforts back in 1998 would be lost only because of a damaged CD :P !)

M. S. Yes, I’m happy also that we could recover all the sourcefiles, not only the pdf! It would have been a pity to know all that lost for ever.

How did it come that you have this email adress from me and not the one indicated in the book?

I. M. In such cases (when I look for people) I try to google for names, and it very often helps. For example, when I found the first-ever non-Soviet participants at the 1st IYPT (1988), it was a combination of attentive google search and coincidence. Although there was zero information about the teams or team members in 1988, I found a source giving the names of all participants in 1989. I was contacting different people, and the two Bulgarians happened to be on the team in both 1988 and 1989.

Just once or twice this method failed: I was contacting a Hungarian participant in 1989 and found someone with a same name, same age, a mathematician, and working at a university in Hungary. However, when this person replied, he occurred to be a different guy :-)

M. S. Sure, I’m doing that also when I try to find somebody. I was just surprised since my personal email is given in the book and it still works!

Btw, my mother told me (I had forgotten about this) that apparently my father was filming during that IYPT, probably during the finals. [...] Before I ask my father if he can dig out the film, I’d like to ask you if you are also interested in that kind of material or if you would like to limit you to the more “descriptive” data about teams, rankings, solution of the problems, etc?

I. M. Certainly, we are very interested in the video recordings!

(They give a look-and-feel of the competitions, that has changed quite significantly from those days! — I was a participant myself at the 14th IYPT when the teams still used printed transparencies etc.) We now have a video taken by the Ukrainian team in 1998 (avi 1, avi 2.)

The earliest (currently available) video is from 1996 (from a selective Ukrainian competition), and the earliest video from IYPT as such is from the 10th IYPT (avi 1, avi 2.)

Meantime, the French delegation reported in 1991 that there was the Soviet television filming at the 4th IYPT, and I am now (yet unsuccessfully) attempting to find a way to get this video from the Russian state archives for television and radio… :-)

[...] Overall, it would be such an amazing contribution if you succeed one day to digitize your video!

I have been receiving so much warm feedback for collecting not only “descriptive” details, but also the photos and videos, as they show everything: starting from people themselves, to the atmosphere and environment at a competition, how the stages looked like etc.. :-) Thank you so much again for this information! We would be so happy to have this recording!

M. S. On the CD was nothing beside the book, just some original documents that we used to extract info from (ranking of the teams or team members lists and that kind of things). And there is folder “unknown country”, so we seam to have had some documents that we could not connect to any team :-) .

I. M. Great details! I would frankly say that it would be so nice to include these additional documents to the IYPT Archive! (also: because it is quite probable that one day we can identify these “unknown” people! if everyone is identified at the 2nd IYPT hosted in the Soviet Union, then the 11th IYPT wouldn’t be much more difficult.)

M. S. I can send the stuff later to you, but I’m not quite sure if it’s really useful. Looks also a bit like fragments of solutions only and we had spent quite some detective work on it at the time of making the book.

I. M. If you have the ranking tables as scanned documents, they would also perfectly fit to the Archive, because this would be a “genuine”, authentic primary source :-)

M. S. No, it’s all some working-word documents, so no “historical” value, sorry.

May 21, 2011; before 17h34 CET

M. S. My father is quite busy currently [...]. Then I can ask him for the video :-) .

I have also paper pictures at home, I could search and scan them next time I’m home, probably at Christmas. But Alex [Urban] and Rudolf [Lehn] must have quite some pictures from this IYPT – they gave me at least paper copies of them afterwards. Naturally I don’t have many own pictures since I participated…

I should have pictures also from the IYPT in Vienna (the year after or before, I think after, Donaueschingen). Some of us Germans were there to assist in the organisation [...] I think I’ll never forget this Vienna IYPT [...]

I. M. Am I right that you were receiving the solutions by post? Did you start this work after the IYPT, or you have had planned everything in advance and were asking people for submissions just in Donaueschingen?

M. S. In my memory the idea came up during/at the end of the tournament and we collected everything as papercopy or on disks with a big effort in a big hurry when everybody was getting ready to leave. So it was not planed beforehand, more like a sudden “inspiration”. I don’t beleave that we got much afterwards by email or mail; but I may be wrong. I’m just sure that most of the material was collected on the spot and that no plan has existed in advance.

I. M. Do you remember, by chance, any announcement that Gunnar Tibell and Andrzej Nadolny were established as President and Secretary? If was just at the 11th IYPT when these two positions were formally introduced, and we were wondering if this happened after the event, or before the event?

M. S. Alexander Urban or Rudolf [Lehn] could know that; if it’s not written somewhere in the book (now you should be able to make search in the pdf) than I don’t know. The name Nadolny sounds familiar to me.

I. M. Could you recall any books or articles related to the IYPT that you saw, or wrote, or heard of? Any detail would help: either the name of the author, or the name of the journal etc. (slowly, but persistently, I will try to find everything :-)

M. S. I know only “my” book and some stuff from Rudolf Lehn. Nothing quite official, but the German-internal documents to make the tournament known. Somehow – at least at that time and for Germany – the competition was not very international, in the sens that every team/country lived it’s own thing and not a lot of contacts were established after the tournament. I remember having kept 2 email adresses for a while (don’t ask me for them now :-) ), but after writing once or twice it was over.

I. M. Thank you so much.

Documents on IYPT Brasil 2010, 2011 from Barbara Cruvinel Santiago

Historical IYPT documents — ilyamartch @ 10:49 am

Two detailed booklets with IYPT-related accounts and selected slides are shared by Barbara Cruvinel Santiago.

B. C. S. I was browsing the iypt archive site and wonder if I could help anyway, ’cause I’m fascinated about the IYPT and thought it was an amazing idea to collect everything in just one place.

I have participated last year in the regional phase of Brazil and will participate next week in this year’s one. Because of it, I have some pictures, reports in Portuguese, a certificate and a medal from the national competition. Even though it’s almost nothing comparing to what you have in that website (and it’s archive from recent competitions), I was thinking if the data I have would be useful for something…

I found the data [...]. I’m sending you some pictures and the booklet of the Brazilian phase of 2010, a digitized copy of a cetificate (I erased the name), 2 of our reports and a slide.

[+] IYPT Brasil 2010 (10-12 de Setembro 2010, Sao Paolo, Brasil) [booklet] [pdf]

[+] IYPT Brasil 2011 (13 a 15 de maio 2011, Sao Paolo, Brasil) [booklet] [pdf]

[+] 6. Ice (Gelo, IYPT Brasil, report, 2010) [pdf]

[+] 14. Magnetic spring (Mola Magnetica, IYPT Brasil, slides, report, 2010)

[+] Photos from IYPT Brasil 2010 [jpg 1] [jpg 2] [jpg 3]

[+] Diploma from IYPT Brasil 2010 [jpg]

Interview with Akos Csilling and Andras Czirok on the 3rd IYPT (1990)

Akos Csilling and Andras Czirok, the Hungarian participants at the IYPT 1990, clarify further details of the event.

Akos Csilling earned a PhD in Particle Physics from Eotvos University in 2000. After working at University College London and at CERN, he is now Senior Systems Engineer at Creative Electronic Systems, Switzerland.

Andras Czirok earned a PhD in Biological Physics from Eotvos University in 2000. He is now Assistant Professor at University of Kansas Medical Center.

Download: Lajos Skrapits. Palyazati felhivas nemzetkozi fizikaversenyre. KoMaL, 12, 478-480 (1989).

I. M. There are some recently traced photographs from IYPT organizer Evgeny Yunosov. Can you suggest if anyone can be identified on the picture with the Hungarian team, taken presumably in 1990?

A. Cz. The gentleman in the left is Dr Skrapits, the young guy in the center is Akos Csilling, who worked in the CERN for a while but after that I lost contact with him. I do not recognize the guy at the right (that’s why I belive this was not my team :-)

I. M. There is a list of Hungarian participants, preserved by Peter Fedorcsak. Can you suggest if everything is correct, as for 1990?

A. Cz. Your list of participants is interesting… indeed it can be correct! Well that guy on the photo is certainly Akos, and I completely forgot Akos Domotor and Istvan Nemeth, so one of them could be the guy on the right. I am surprised that Peter Falus was not in our team, but that is after all, possible.

A. Cs. I found back my diploma of the event. It lists the participants of our team. Here’s the scanned document with the best possible resolution (pdf and tif.)

I. M. This diploma provides full evidence that the logo we now widely use as a scanned image, first appeared exactly in 1990. (The horses and knights looked differently in 1989 and earlier, while all the sources after 1990 had the drawing exactly as preserved on your diploma.) At a certain moment in mid-1990s someone scanned the image. What is now used at almost any IYPT-related event is a low-res scanned picture. We also now know who was the Jury Chair (a special LOC position) in 1990.

A little question: what does the huge letter “F” means? I saw similar letters, like “JU” on the other diplomas. Can it be a mark for the degree of the diploma? (gold, silver, bronze?)

A. Cs. I can also confirm that the F on the front of the diploma refers to the results. I’m sure the first team had T, the second JU, and I think the third also JU, and 4-6 got F, so that all together T-JU-F was covered.

I. M. There are quite conflicting accounts on the number of Soviet and International teams in 1990. Do you possibly recollect what teams were there, in 1990?

A. Cz. I remember very little about the participating teams. I certainly remember the Dutch team (I guess they won?), but very little else — I am sorry.

A. Cs. I am pretty sure there were six teams in total, two of them from the Soviet Union.

They were pretty well prepared, probably gone through a selection process of several levels of similar competitions.

Foreign teams had much less preparation, I was told the team from Holland received the problems on the spot.

I. M. A very important issue that I would prefer to double-check, is the number of the Soviet-based teams at the 3rd IYPT. There may be, I now suspect, serious chances that several participants, who believed they have been at the 3rd IYPT in June 1990, simply misinterpreted the event with similar Tournaments, such as with the 3rd all-Soviet YPT where a UK team was reportedly present.

A. Cs. I’m positively sure there were 2 Soviet teams.

I can imagine quite easily that people confuse events,  which may be quite similar. So this is a logical explanation. I also participated at many events around the same time, but for me, the ITYP was quite different from the others, so I do remember some details clearly.

I. M. Were there any articles or reports about the 3rd IYPT in Hungarian journals?

A. Cz. The problems were advertised in the hungarian monthly “KOMAL” of which I must have an archive somewhere in Hungary. I just checked that its electronic web archive is not (yet?) functional. So, within a year (huhh) I believe I may be able to dig up the problems and some photos.

A. Cs. The problems were published in Komal – a Hungarian magazine for students on maths and physics. I think they have the old issues available online – I’ll check. Students were asked to submit solutions, and these were used to select the team.

I also found a link to the scanned pages of Komal with the problems (No. 12, 1989, pages: 478, 479, 480.)

The introduction states that the competition was to be held in Kladno, Czechoslovakia, that the first team from Hungary participated in 1989, and that the problems were translated from Kvant 1989/8.

I. M. Were there any restrictions on the number of problems left for challenge at particular Physics Fights? Were there any unexpected problems, intended to be solved immediately?

A. Cs. All the problems discussed were published in advance. I do not remember any tie-breaker.

On the other hand, I think there were some introductory questions, at a visit to the (Lomonosov?) University, which were used to establish the initial role of the teams.

A set of 4 problems was allocated to each session, and I think the presenting team could choose which of the four to present. There were three teams in each parallel session, so one of the problems was not discussed, and there were a total of six teams.

I. M. Do you have any information on when the 3rd IYPT was re-scheduled and diverted from Kladno, Czechoslovakia?

A. Cs. I only had some very vague information that the competition was foreseen for Czechoslovakia, but already then I did not have any details.

I. M. What were your overall impressions of the event?

A. Cs. I still remember the event quite clearly. Besides the obvious interesting Physics, it was my only visit to the Soviet Union, my first management experience, and a great opportunity to practice languages. The problems were very different from what we usually did in Hungary: less claculations, more practical, and more open-ended. I only regret that we did not mix with the other teams.

I. M. Thank you for all the information.

A. Cz. It is very nice to think back to these times, and indeed that event was a lot of fun!

The interview with Andras Czirok was taken on November 19, 2009. The interview with Akos Csilling was taken between October 29 and November 9, 2010, with updates on March 17, 2011 and May 11, 2011.

UPD (July 12, 2012): A. Cz. I found your draft detailed report on the early iypt tournaments.

A minor correction: You give most names for the 1990 Hungarian team. You mention Mihaly Fazekas – this is not a competitor, but the name of a school, named after a writer who lived 200 years ago :)

I can tell you that there was one translator who spoke English and Russian, and each participant could choose to present in English or Russian, with simultaneous translation to the other language.

When we were against the two Russian-speaking teams, we bypassed the translator, and I was translating for our team. There was also a case when our team member could not speak well enough any of the two
official languages, so I had to translate.

I remember a case when I was presenting in one language, and switched to the other without noticing. It was quite confusing for everyone…

Belarusian team shares their solutions for the 22nd IYPT (2009)

Historical IYPT documents — ilyamartch @ 12:01 am

The collection of IYPT projects is shared by members of the Belarusian team at the 22nd IYPT (2009.) The complete collection of slides and videos is indexed to be included into the IYPT Archive.

The team of Belarus comprised in 2009 captain Stanisłaŭ Piatruša with members Andrej Ačapoŭski, Sergei Gluchko, Aliaksandr Mamoika and Irina Sugako, and was led by Ivan Antsipaŭ and Gena Koltun.

Left to right: Sergei Gluchko, Irina Sugako, Stanisłaŭ Piatruša, Ivan Antsipaŭ, Aliaksandr Mamoika, Andrej Ačapoŭski, and Gena Koltun.

Indexed solutions

1. Stearin engine (Stanisłaŭ Piatruša, Belarus, IYPT slides, 2009) [ppt] [pdf] [avi 1] [avi 2] [avi 3] [avi 4] [avi 5] [avi 6]

2. Coupled compasses (Andrej Ačapoŭski, Belarus, IYPT slides, 2009) [ppt] [pdf] [avi 1] [avi 2] [avi 3] [avi 4] [avi 5] [avi 6] [avi 7]

3. Resonating modes (Stanisłaŭ Piatruša, Belarus, IYPT slides, 2009) [ppt] [pdf]

4. Ghostly images (Sergei Gluchko, Aliaksandr Mamoika, Belarus, IYPT slides, 2009) [ppt] [pdf]

6. Roundabout (Aliaksandr Mamoika, Belarus, IYPT slides, 2009) [ppt] [pdf] [avi 1] [avi 2] [avi 3] [avi 4]

7. Skateboarder (Sergei Gluchko, Belarus, IYPT slides, 2009) [ppt] [pdf] [avi 1] [avi 2] [avi 3] [avi 4] [avi 5] [avi 6] [avi 7]

8. Air pocket (Irina Sugako, Belarus, IYPT slides, 2009) [ppt] [pdf] [avi 1] [avi 2] [avi 3] [avi 4] [avi 5] [avi 6]

9. Drying (Sergei Gluchko, Belarus, IYPT slides, 2009) [ppt] [pdf] [avi]

10. Optical tube (Stanisłaŭ Piatruša, Andrej Ačapoŭski, Belarus, IYPT slides, 2009) [ppt] [pdf] [avi]

11. Transformers (Irina Sugako, Stanisłaŭ Piatruša, Belarus, IYPT slides, 2009) [ppt] [pdf] [avi 1] [avi 2] [avi 3] [avi 4] [avi 5] [avi 6]

14. Bouncing drop (Sergei Gluchko, Belarus, IYPT slides, 2009) [ppt] [pdf]

15. Electro-oscillator (Andrej Ačapoŭski, Belarus, IYPT slides, 2009) [ppt] [pdf] [avi]

16. Electromagnetic motor (Aliaksandr Mamoika, Belarus, IYPT slides, 2009) [ppt] [pdf] [avi 1] [avi 2] [avi 3] [avi 4] [avi 5]

17. Corrugation (Irina Sugako, Belarus, IYPT slides, 2009) [ppt] [pdf] [avi]

Physics Fight regulations at the 1st IYPT (1988)

1988, Historical IYPT documents — ilyamartch @ 4:42 pm

Regulations of a Physics Fight, as they were accepted before the 1st IYPT (1988), were published in a booklet provided to participants (pp. 13-16.) These Regulations are now translated from the Russian.

Download: the original Russian text, in the booklet Young Physicists’ Tournament: regulations and problems for 10th Moscow, the all-Soviet and the International Young Physicists’ Tournaments (Moscow, 1988), preserved by Bulgarian participant Rumen Bachev (pdf.)

The Physics Fight regulations

The Physics Fight is carried out according to the “Reporter–Opponent–Reviewer” system in 6 stages under the following scheme:

The stage regulations:

a) Presentation of the Reporter 5 min
b) Discussion of the report
- individual performances in the discussion
1 min
c) Presentation of the Opponent 3 min
d) Presentation of the Reviewer 2 min
e) Concluding discussion
- individual performances in the discussion
1 min
f) the Jury takes the floor (concluding remarks) 4 min

The Challenge

The Opponent may challenge the Reporter on any problem offered in the given Physics Fight. The Reporter may reject the challenge (without explaining the motivation, e.g. for tactical considerations); if so, a new challenge is carried out. A team may reject the challenge only twice during a single Physics Fight.

The team performance

The Reporter (a single or a few team members) present the essence of the solution to the problem, attracting the attention of the audience to the main physical ideas and conclusions. It is preferable to show drawings, posters, [framed] slides [for a slide projector], photographs (all prepared in advance), and to demonstrate experiments if the problem is an experimental one.

In the polemics, the solution presented by the Reporter is discussed. The Opposing team has a priority in the sequence of performances. The Reporter answers to the questions from the audience.

The Opponent in his performance presents critical remarks about the report, pointing to inaccuracies and errors in the understanding of the problem and in the solution. The performance of the Opponent should not become a presentation of his own solution.

The Reviewer presents an estimation of the presentations of Reporter and Opponent.

In the concluding polemics, the presentations of the Opponent and the Reviewer may be discussed. The Opponent and the Reviewer may present their own solutions, at the discretion of the Jury.

Limitations of the number of presentations

No member of a team may take the floor as Reporter, Opponent or Reviewer more than twice during one Physics Fight, and only once in the role of the Reporter.

Additional performances in the discussion are without limitations.

The Jury of a Physics Fight

The chairperson of a Physics Fight monitors that the Regulations are complied, gives the floor to the participants (or deprives them of the floor), and coordinates the actions of the teams.

The Jury of the Physics Fight grades the presentations of the Reporter, the Opponent and the Reviewer and all additional performances, and summarizes in their concluding remarks the discussion of the problem, pointing to the advantages and the drawbacks of the solution.

The grading of the team performance is carried out according to an extended school grading scale. “5+” and ”2” are exceptional marks and may be put only with a compulsory explanation of the reason.

The marks are transformed into grades according to the following table:

The grading of the additional performances is carried out according to the school grading scale, and the marks are transformed into grades according to the following table:

Invitation letter to the 1st IYPT (1988)

1988, Historical IYPT documents — ilyamartch @ 8:22 pm

The formal invitation letter to the 1st IYPT (1988), published in a booklet sent to international participants, is translated from the Russian by Alexei Shekochikhin. The document announces the expected schedule of the event and provides rationale of why the International Young Physicists’ Tournament was to be launched.

Download: the original Russian letter, in the booklet Young Physicists’ Tournament: regulations and problems for 10th Moscow, the all-Soviet and the International Young Physicists’ Tournaments (Moscow, 1988), preserved by Bulgarian participant Rumen Bachev (pdf.)

Dear comrades,

Since 1979, Moscow Young Physicists’ Tournament is annually held in the Soviet Union for the students from secondary schools of the country of grades 8-10 (11) .

During these years, the Tournament turned into one of the important forms of work with gifted youth and gained wide popularity in the USSR.

M. V. Lomonosov Moscow State University is the organizer of the Tournament.  The Organizing Committee and the Jury are formed of scientists and students of the University.

The main difference of the Tournament from the Physics Olympiads is in the fact that its tasks are the physical problems, which students are to solve collectively during a long time (1-2 months.) Discussion and defense of the proposed solutions have a format of scientific discussion.

Moscow State University with the support of the Central Committee of All-Union Leninist Young Communist League (CK VLKSM) is taking an initiative to organize the International Young Physicists’ Tournaments. We address you with an offer to participate in the 1st International Tournament for the students from socialist countries, which is to take place in Moscow at the CK VLKSM’s Olympiets International Youth Center from March 28 to April 2, 1988.

We suppose every country to be represented by a delegation of 7 persons:

1. Team of students prepared for participating at the Tournament – 5 persons. (The knowledge of Russian language is preferred, but not compulsory.)

2. Team leaders – 2 persons

As it is expected during the Young Physicists’ Tournament to carry out an extensive exchange of experiences in work with talented youth and to discuss the question of establishing the Tournament’s International Organizing Committee, it is appropriate, in our opinion, for both team leaders to have an experience of work with students (in Physics Olympiads or in other forms.) One of them may be a university student.

All costs, except for return journey to Moscow, are covered by the host country (USSR.)

For you to have an opportunity to get acquainted in more detail with the idea of carrying a Young Physicists’ Tournament, we forward you the approximate schedule, regulations,  and problems of the forthcoming Tournament, and the booklet with problems from the Tournaments of past years.

We will be grateful if you inform us about your opinion on participating in the Tournament, and also about possible wishes and suggestions, before March 1, 1988 at the address USSR, 119899, GSP, Moscow, MSU, Department of Physics, Young Physics Tournament Organizing Committee.

We hope that holding the International Tournament will contribute to the further development of creative contacts and the friendship among the youth of our countries.

Rector of MSU, vice-president of the USSR’s Academy of Sciences, A. A. Logunov

Secretary of CK VLKSM, L. I. Shvetsova

Interview with Grigory Kopelevich, Vasily Shabat, and Alexander Yablonskiy on 2nd IYPT; documents on 2nd, 5th IYPTs from Grigory Kopelevich

Grigory Kopelevich, Vasily Shabat, and Alexander Yablonskiy, members of the silver-winning Soviet team from Moscow School 710 at the 2nd IYPT, confirm several details of the event. Valuable original records of 2nd and 5th IYPTs are shared by Grigory Kopelevich.

Grigory Kopelevich is now the Moscow Office Head at Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Vasily Shabat is now CEO of Tilbi, a Russian startup IT company. Alexander Yablonskiy is now a theoretical researcher in semiconductor nanosctructures at the General Physics Institute of Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow.

Download: official Decree, with attachments, On the results of the 2nd International and all-Soviet Young Physicists’ Tournament, 1989, No. 440, issued by USSR’s State Committee on Public Education on May 29, 1989, signed by First Deputy Head, USSR’s Minister V. D. Shadrikov (pdf, also as separate images: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.)

Download: four-page English text of the problems for the 5th IYPT (1992), prepared by Russian organizing committee in 1992, and preserved by G. K. as a LOC activist (pdf, also as separate images: 1, 2, 3, 4.)

I. M. There are ongoing doubts about the problems for 1989. What published in Kvant in Summer 1988, differs seriously from the later problem sets, where 9 out of 17 problems are fully replaced. Can you possibly shed more light on the problems used at the final rounds in 1989?

G. K. I agree that in 1989, the Kvant problems were not the ultimate ones. What is published in Czech language looks correct – I reported personally problems on Clock and Rainbow, that are missing in Kvant.

V. Sh. I am affraid I did not preserve any of original records. What I remember are several problems that our team was solving (but I do not remember what was solved for the Finals, and what for the selective Moscow rounds.)

  1. Does the Noon match with the moment when the Sun is at a highest point above the Horizon, and if no, what is the time lag?
  2. What should be the properties of a board fence so that objects behind the fence are visible from a car driving nearby?
  3. How to measure the speed of a metro train in an arbitrary point between the stations Universitet and Prospekt Vernadskogo?
  4. How much information does a color map of the World contain?

A. Ya. I am still in contact with my teammates and competitors, e.g. with Alexander Dunaevsky, who now resides and works in Germany, so I should ask them if they have preserved anything. The only thing I can say for sure, is that I was solving this problem No. 313, Electron.

G. K. Possibly, some additional materials might have been kept at our School 710, but the team of physics teachers changed much since that time.

I. M. There is a source reporting that the second place, or silver, was awarded to an unidentified Soviet team. Do you possibly remember, if that was your team, or Odessa?

V. Sh. As far as I remember, it was us. Actually, we won the Soviet pre-selection (when competing to Moscow School 18 and MEPhI’s school 542) and then passed to the International Finals that were, by the way, far less tense and passionate than the Soviet finals.

G. K. As far as I remember, our Experimental Secondary School 710 of the USSR’s Academy of Pedagogical Sciences was awarded with some sort of a Cup, for the victory at the all-Soviet YPT. It is actually correct that our team was ranked second at the International part of the Tournament (while the 1st place was taken by Bulgaria, as I suspect.)

You possibly know that the most successful participants of YPT-1989 were allowed to join any science- or technology-oriented university in USSR (an institute or a university proper) without inscription examinations. There was a list of people who got this right.

I. M. If I am not mistaken, the International Finals in 1989 were hosted in Russian, but the West German team had special interpreters.

V. Sh. Everything was positively held in Russian only. I do not remember who, and in what way, provided interpretation.

I. M. Did you possibly preserve any original materials from the event?

G. K. The diploma was taken back by the head of YPT, Evgeny Nikolaevich Yunosov. It was necessary to issue an ID to be enrolled to Moscow State University without examinations, and I never saw it again.

I attach all YPT-related materials I found at my place. I just noticed in your blog that you have already seen the badge and the cover for the diplomas.

For an unknown reason, I have preserved the problems for the 5th International YPT – I remember that as a university student I was assisting Yunosov in arranging at least two YPTs, and possibly the 5th IYPT was among them.

I. M. Were these problems published in a booklet, or are just a separate handout?

G. K. Problems for the 5th IYPT, as they are in my copy, are printed from both sides on a single sheet of paper. I don’t have the book itself (I was participating then as an organizer or volunteer.) I recall also that I was promoting the problem on the Hopfield Model to be included into the set (but I am not the author of the problem as such.)

I will let you know if I find anything else. Thank you for an unexpected message and the interest in the YPT history.

I. M. Many thanks.

The interview and the exchange of materials were undergone on December 3-6, 2010.

Interview with Sergey Romanchuk and Dmitri Salov on 3rd IYPT, 4th IYPT, 4th all-Soviet YPT

Sergey Romanchuk and Dmitri Salov speak on results, highlights, and organization of 3rd IYPT, 4th IYPT, 4th all-Soviet YPT in Odessa, and on their experience in 1990-1991.

Sergey Romanchuk graduated ca. 1997 from Moscow State University. He is now deputy head of Treasury and head of FX&MM at Metallinvestbank, Moscow, and the President of ACI Russia, a financial markets association.

Dmitri Salov graduated in 1997 from Moscow State University. He is now deputy head of Investment and Brokerage at Metallinvestbank, Moscow.

Download: five-page Russian text of the problems for IYPT 1991, from a printed booklet prepared by the Soviet organizing committee in 1991, preserved by Sergey Romanchuk (pdf, also as separate images: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.)

S. R. There are indeed many photographs and diplomas remaining from these Tournaments, including all-Soviet and International ones.

In 1990, our team with Eldar Sadykhov (Physico-Mathematical School 18, Eldar Sadykhov as team captain) participated in both all-Soviet Tournament (I guess, in Protvino) and in the International Tournament.

At the all-Soviet stages, PMS 18 ranked 2nd, while PMS 542 ranked 1st, and both could join the International competition because according to the regulations of those days, the USSR was represented with two teams. It was held in the Youth Center Olympiets near Moscow.

In 1991, there were also two teams from USSR, the ours (PMS 18-SUNC MGU), which ended 1st at the all-Soviet Tournament in Odessa, and the Combined team of USSR which included the strongest students from other teams.

I can give you contacts of two more participants of International YPT of 1991, Alexei Echkalo from Zaporozhye and Combined Soviet team and Dmitri Salov (PMS 18-SUNC MGU), who both work now at our bank. They can possibly offer you some additional materials.

I. M. Do you have information on any other Soviet participants at the IYPT 1990? There have been reliable information on a team from Riga, and also reports of a Soviet Combined team. Do you possibly remember what were the results of your team, and what team ended as a winner?

S. R. I do not remember anything about Riga.

The winner at the International Tournament of 1990 was Physico-Mathematical School 542, while we ended 3rd or 4th, I do not remember exactly. But I will have a look at the diplomas.

D. S. I can add that Sergey himself was the team captain of PMS 18 (SUNC MGU) at all Tournaments of 1991 (he did not mention that.) The International Tournament was also held in Olympiets. That year, besides our team and the Combined team, I certainly remember Poles (because we drank Porto together), Czechs (we had a Fight where I opposed them.)

All the rest is obscure, including our final results in the ranking table.

I positively have some photographs, and possibly lomography pictures from that Tournament and possibly more, as I need to look for it.

Yes, Sergei Dmitrievich Varlamov was our teamleader. Those years, the entire Tournament was maintained by the efforts of Evgeny Nikolaevich Yunosov and Varlamov. In fact, they were initiators of the game and, I think, they must have kept materials from that time, and they are, above all, the first-hand factual sources of information. From my point of view, Yunosov (and probably Varlamov) are the authors of the idea behind the Tournament. If you dig into the history of the Tournament, I advise to contact them directly. Sergei Nikolaevich Sergeev should also be able to help you, as he was also much involved into the Tournament (starting from maybe 1991.)

I. M. Participant Boris Baryshnikov, from the Soviet combined team in 1991,  commented “I have also an arbitrary amount of information in my head about the YPT problems, with no structured memories of when they have been discussed. These include estimation of brightnesses for illuminated and non-illuminated sides of the Moon, edges of clouds,  estimates for a best possible record in 100-meter-sprint, something on television scan technology, and “bonfire theories.”

D. S. These are all problems from 1991.

The “bonfire theory” is however already an anecdote. During the Finals of the Union-wide tournament, held in Odessa, we were provided with access to the library of Odessa University, a very beautiful building, by the way. In our team (Physico-Mathematical School 18) there was a Physics Figher, Ilya Romanov.

We achieved Finals and were provided with new problems and a couple of days to work on them, kind of impromptu work. Ilya got a problem, if I remember that correctly, about the dependence of flame height on width and height of firewoods placed into a bonfire.

So we, altogether as a team of PMS 18 (also very proud of ourselves), come to the library of Odessa University, a University that was deeply provincial for our taste. We were keeping in mind that only 150 years ago there were special people in Odessa who made money on carrying pedestrians between two sides of a street through otherwise impassable mud.

So we come at a Reading Room. Serega Sharakin orders a book on Navier-Stokes equations (he got a problem about a suspended plate with water, to estimate damping of oscillations etc.) I take a textbook on surface tension of water (I got a problem on evaporation of a condensate spot “breathed” on a cold glass.) I am not sure what Serega took, but in fact were all are so smart, as smart as Harry Pottter, and then Ilya in all his seriousness (because he had to work on the bonfire problem) asks the librarian: “Do you have anything on the “bonfire theory?” :-) ) It was just the time to hire a special person and carry us to the other side.

S. R. It was my problem about a plate! I reported it in the Finals as well. This can be seen on the photos from Odessa. Laughing out loud about the “bonfire theory”! I almost forgot about it.

I. M. Do you recognize someone on the photo from Belarusian participant Sergei Katsev, taken in Odessa at the 4th all-Soviet YPT?

S. R. I do not recognize anyone from our group, but I have also preserved some photos from Odessa, as well as the problems. In the Finals, the participants were SUNC MGU (1st place), Novgorod (with Boris Baryshnikov as captain) and Zaporozhye (Alexei Echkalo.)

[At the IYPT 1991], the second place was taken by Hungrary, however Wiki says they were at first place. I hope that Alexei kept his winner’s diploma, as he was in the combined USSR team.

D. S. I would like to recommend you to contact a priceless eyewitness of past times, Boris Baryshnikov, captain of combined USSR team in 1991. If I am not mistaken, he also took part in the Tounaments of 1990. I need to report with much regret that my archive of photographs is inferior to the Sergey’s and I simply do not remember other photos beyond those that Sergey has sent.

Sergey Romanchuk’s collection of photos and documents

4th all-Soviet YPT

Odessa, April 1991

4th IYPT

Olympiets, Moscow, June 1991

S. R. The event was held in Olympiets International Center, however the finals were at the Department of Physics, Moscow State University.

Officially, everyone of us represented a combined USSR team (see the document), but in reality there were two teams: SUNC MGU (Kolmogorov Physico-Mathematical School 18), which ended first at the all-Soviet YPT in Odessa in 1991, and the actual combined team, including the best boys from other teams,

The SUNC MGU team (with me as the captain) got the 3rd position in the finals (see the diploma), and the combined USSR team, the first. I do not remember, who ended second.

The SUNC MGU team:

  • Pavel Enin (graduated from Physics Department, Moscow State University, works in Moscow)
  • Dmitri Salov (graduated from Physics Department, Moscow State University, works at Metallinvestbank in Moscow)
  • Vladimir Onishchuk (graduated from Physics Department, Moscow State University, works in Moscow)
  • Ilya Romanov (graduated from Physics Department, Moscow State University)
  • Sergey Romanchuk (graduated from Physics Department, Moscow State University, works at Metallinvestbank in Moscow)
  • Sergey Sharakin (graduated from Physics Department, Moscow State University.)

The combined USSR team:

  • Boris Baryshnikov (graduated from Physics Department, Moscow State University, works at Microsoft in the US)
  • Dmitry Butrin (graduated from Physics Department, Moscow State University, works as head of economical politics section at Kommersant, a Russian business newspaper)
  • Alexey Echkalo (graduated from Physics Department, Moscow State University, works at Metallinvestbank in Moscow)
  • Alexander Osyka,
  • Irina Shcherbachenko..

S. R. Romanchuk at Moscow State University.

S. R. Team of SUNC MGU in the Central Physical Lecture Hall of Physics Department, Moscow State University: Varlamov (team leader), Salov, Onishchuk, Sharakin, Romanov, Enin.

S. R. Team of SUNC MGU near the entrance to Olympiets.

S. R. Participants of the YPT on the staircase of Physics Department, after the Finals.

S. R. Participants of the YPT on the staircase of Physics Department, after the Finals.

S. R. Romanchuk, Enin, French team captain, Sharakin.

I. M. I have forwarded the photo to the French team leader, Jeanne Stoliaroff, who wrote a detailed account on the event.

S. R. Nikolai Koblyakov (captain of the YPT team from Physico-Mathematical School 18 in 1989) with girls from the English team, on the staircase of the Physics Department.

S. R. I do not remember what is this team :) .

S. R. Teams from SUNC MGU and England near Olympiets before departing to attend the Finals: Romanchuk, Onishchuk, an English boy, an English girl, Koblyakov, Salov.

I. M. Many thanks for this very important information.

S. R. Thanks should go to you for such a painstaking work.

The interview was primarily taken on March 22, 2010. Further discussions and fact checking spanned between October 8 and October 29, 2010, with documents and photos traced and scanned by Sergey Romanchuk on October 12 and on October 14, 2010.

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