Svetlana Mesyats took part at the 10th Young Physicists’ Tournament and the 1st IYPT on behalf of Physico-Mathematical School 542, Moscow. She soon entered the Moscow Engineering Physics Institute and graduated with a degree in quantum electronics. Svetlana learned ancient languages in the Yu. A. Shichalin’s Greek and Latin cabinet, and started her PhD studies at the Instite of Philosophy, Russian Academy of Sciences, defending her thesis on “Aristotelian physics in neo-Platonism. Proclus, Stoicheioses physike” in 1999. She is now a researcher at the Institute of Philosophy, Russian Academy of Sciences, working in the sector of philosophical problems of the history of science. Svetlana collaborates with the Center for the study of ancient philosophy and classical tradition, Novosibirsk State University, and gives lectures at the State University of Humanities on the history of ancient philosophy, metaphysics and ontology.
S.M. I was very pleased to hear from you that the Young Physicists’ Tournament, in which I took part long ago, has grown into an international event and it’s history is of interest.
I indeed was a participant of the 1st International Tournament in 1988 representing the team of Scholl 542 and took part in the “summary session”, but I could not recall any specific details. I don’t even remember if there were any European teams at all. Teams from Soviet republics, e.g. from Estonia, were certainly there, but I cannot say anything concerning Bulgaria, Hungary or Poland.
Unfortunately, I cannot even say if we were officially announced winners and were awarded with a diploma. Seemingly, that it because too much time passed by, I left physics aside and now work in a different area.
What remained, are several photos from the Tournaments (from the meetings held in the Moscow State University) and a general feeling of success from a first independently made scientific work (in which I had to determine why the Sun looks flattened at sunset.)
I.M. Can you please scan these photos?
S.M. Four of them are made at the Department of Physics, Moscow State University, where the competitions were held. They show a Fight between our school and School 710 (it was from Chernogolovka, if I am not mistaken.) On the photos, you can find Yury Yufryakov, Anton Kuzmin, Alexander Fokin, Lena Gubankova, Filipp Alpatov, Alexander Cheburkin, Zhanna Pak, me, and many other persons whose names I already don’t remember, unfortunately.
There is a date on the back of these photos, January 20, 1988.
Photo 1: In the left, near the blackboard, stands Anton Kuzmin. To the right is the team from School 710.
Photo 2: In the first row is Alexander Fokin. In the second row are Yury Yufryakov, Svetlana Mesyats, and Elena Gubankova. I don’t remember who is in the third row. In the fourth row, a young man in glasses is Filipp Alpatov, and a smiling girl is Zhanna Pak.
Photo 3: Near the blackboard with a briefcase is Anton Kuzmin. Near him, with hands on the table, is Alexander Cheburkin. By the way, the resuts of the competitions are seen on the blackboard.
Photo 4: Boys from School 710, our competitors.
One more photo, taken on a railway station, shows our team during a visit of friendship to Tallinn. We are on this photo with the boys from the Tallinn YPT team. We became so close friends during the International Competition that they invited us to their town. In the far right is Vladimir Alminderov, next to him is the team leader of the Tallinn team (I don’t remember his name), then four boys from Tallinn, an then are we, Yury Yuryakov (looks out from behind), Alexander Rodionov, me, Lena Gubankova, and then stands another boy from Tallinn.
The photo is dated April 30, 1988.