IPhO 2012 : Results

Estonia hosted the 43rd International Physics Olympiad (IPhO) which took place in two locations: The exams were written in the University town Tartu where the participants were also accommodated. The team leaders on the other hand stayed in the capital Tallinn.

The five-hour long theoretical exam covered topics from various areas of physics. One problem addressed the different stages during the formation of a star, considering different thermodynamical properties. Other questions asked about the working principle of the Kelvin generator or were related to the formation of water droplets on the wing of an aircraft.

The participants also had to face an experimental exam. During the first experiment, they measured the permeability of water by submersing a magnet in it. The change of the water surface was observed using a laser. The second, and arguably harder, experiment was concerned with the properties of a black box which contained an unknown, non-linear electrical circuit.

The following five candidates represented Switzerland (left to right):

  • Dominic Schwarz,
    from Teufen (Kantonsschule Trogen, AR)
  • Sebastian Käser,
    from Gurzelen (Gymn. Thun Schadau, BE)
  • Christoph Schildknecht,
    from Meggen (Kantonsschule Musegg, LU)
  • Laura Gremion,
    from La Tour-de-Trême (Collège du Sud, FR)
  • Thanh Phong Lê,
    from Crissier (Gymnase du Bugnon, site de Sévelin, VD) [not in the photo as he had already travelled to the International Chemistry Olympiad in the US]

Laura Gremion and Dominic Schwarz were both awarded with an honourable mention, Sebastian Käser and Thanh Phong Lê took a bronze medal zurück, and Christoph Schildknecht won both a silver medal and the special prize for best solution of an experimental problem!

Congratulations to the team for the extraordinary performance!