The first round of the Physics Olympiad 2018/19 has started! Sign up now!

The first round is a 40 minute multiple-choice test. The test is open from August 20th to September 30th.

If you are participating with your class, you will get all the information from your physics teacher. If you would like to participate on your own, you can sign up here and solve the multiple-choice quiz online. You may sign up at any time but you must solve the test before September 30th.

Please give your students the opportunity to participate in class. Your students will take part in the competition individually (on paper or online). You will be able to see their results in October when they are published. You can find more information on the teacher site.

All participants can qualify for the second round in January. These students will also be invited to join us for a training camp in November.

EuPhO 2018: Results

The European Physics Olympiad 2018 (EuPhO) took place from 28. May to 1. June in Dolgoprudny near Moscow, Russia. The EuPhO was held for only the second time but this was the first time that Switzerland participated. Switzerland was represented by:

  • Namu Bae, from Morges/VD (Gymnase de Renens)
  • Matthias Bürgler, from Brunnen/SZ (Kantonsschule Schwyz)
  • Keanu Gleixner, from Dättwil/AG (Kantonsschule Baden)
  • Marco Rotschi, from Mönchaltorf/ZH (Kantonsschule Uster)
  • Severin Spörri, from Stein am Rhein/SH (Kantonsschule am Burggraben)

From left to right: Barbara Roos (Leader), Namu, Keanu, Matthias, Severin, Marco, Alfredo Mastrocola (Observer)

The competition consisted of two exams, each lasting five hours. In the experimental part, students had to examine a porous membrane with diffusion and optical methods. The theoretical part consisted of three problems that had to be solved using concepts from mechanics, magnetism, thermodynamics and calculus of variations. The problems required a lot of creativity and understanding of physics. The exam was very challenging which is reflected by the results that the students achieved: The best participant overall achieved 31.1 of 50 points. After the official corrections, the participants could do the moderation themselves. They could discuss unclear parts with the correctors.

In addition, the participants had the opportunity to visit Moscow and meet like-minded students from all over Europe.

Discovering Moscow

The results were announced during the final ceremony and Switzerland won an award. Namu Bae won an honorable mention! Congratulations!
Press release

Namu Bae with his honorable mention

All participants of EuPho 2018

© Pictures: Barbara Roos

Results Final 2018

Aarau - The final round of the Swiss Physics Olympiad took place at NKSA in Aarau on 24. and 25. March. The 24 participants who qualified at the second round in January, solved exams for over 6 hours. Their goal was to win a spot on one of the two teams that will represent Switzerland at the International Physics Olympiad (IPhO) and at the European Physics Olympiad (EuPhO).

The exams were a big challenge for the participants. The theoretical problems covered a wide range of topics such as magnetic dipoles, the spectrum of Saturn and the composition of the nucleus of an atom. In the experimental part, the practical skills of the participants were tested. First, the thickness of a tungsten wire had to be determined very precisely. Afterwards, the students were asked to calculate the temperature of the tungsten wire in the light bulb using measurements of voltage and current.

The final ranking of the SwissPhO 2017 is given as follows:

Rang Name Region Points (Max. 120) Medal Team Special Award
1 Julius Vering de 60.75 Gold SPG-Award 1
2 Arthur Jaques it 47.75 Gold IPhO SPG-Award 2
3 Ciril Humbel de 45.75 Gold IPhO
4 Tim Mosimann de 44.75 Gold IPhO
5 Hiro Josep Kaga fr 44.25 Gold IPhO
6 Tobias Hächler de 42.75 Silver IPhO
7 Keanu Gleixner de 40.75 Silver EuPhO
8 Namu Bae fr 38.75 Silver EuPhO
9 Severin Spörri de 38.00 Silver EuPhO
10 Bibin Muttappillil de 37.75 Silver
11 Erwan Serandour fr 37.50 Bronze
12 Marco Rotschi de 35.50 Bronze EuPhO
13 Matthias Bürgler de 34.00 Bronze EuPhO
14 Lennart Horn de 32.75 Bronze
15 Lucas Dodgson de 31.25 Bronze
16 Louis Linder de 29.75
17 Eric Ströher fr 28.25
18 Thoma Leisibach de 27.50
19 Ramon Buchenberger de 25.75
20 Jonas Raich de 24.75
21 Edouard Dufour de 24.25
22 Andreas Schneider de 21.75
23 Laura Nydegger de 21.00
Non-competitive (Liechtenstein):
Mario Wildhaber FL 18.75

1) Best swiss participant (Swiss Physical Society prize)
2) Second best swiss participant (Swiss Physical Society prize)

Congratulations to all participants. We encourage all participants to take part again next year. The experience you gained this year will definitely give you an advantage next year. Students who are no longer allowed to participate next year are welcome to get in touch with us, if they are interested in helping SwissPho organize future events.

Official press release: German, French, Italian.

A few pictures from the final round

Experimantal Exam1
Theoretical Exam1
Gold Medalists

© Bilder : Markus Meier

Experimental Camp 2018

Between the 16. and 18. February, the SwissPhO Experimental Camp 2018 took place on the EPFL campus in Lausanne. Sixteen highly motivated participants from every corner of Switzerland joined us for this restructured annual training camp to prepare themselves for the final round of the Swiss Physics Olympiad. Complementing the new theoretical camp in autumn, this event was centered around the second important part of physics: Experimentation.

Following some theoretical introductions to AC circuits, Metrology and Data evaluation, the students could put their hands on real hardware during two long experiment sessions. In the AC lab, they built and analyzed a High-Pass Filter and identified electrical components hidden in “Black Boxes”. On Saturday afternoon they worked on previous IPhO and SwissPhO experiments, covering phenomena such as Foucault currents, thermal conduction and a torsion pendulum. Additionally, a visit to the interdisciplinary center for electron microscopy (CIME) at EPFL gave them a glimpse of what research can look like at a technical university. Finally, they could extend their theoretical knowledge with a class on modern physics.

We hope they can use their newly acquired knowledge in future and wish them all the best for the final round in Aarau.

This event could not take place without the help of the EPFL. We would like to warmly thank the Physics section for their excellent support, the Study Programs Promotion Service for helping sending information about the Physics Olympiad to the physics teachers, as well as the School of Engineering for providing access to the electronics laboratory.

© Photos: Alexandre Pinazza, Nicolà Gantenbein und Thanh Phong Lê