Science

UQ to represent Australia at the ‘physics Olympics’

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A team of students from The University of Queensland will represent Australia at the International Physicists’ Tournament (IPT) in Lausanne, Switzerland in April 2019.

The event will pit UQ’s seven-member team against physicists from across the globe, as they solve complex physics problems and debate the world’s best.

Team leader Andrew Penton, from UQ’s Physics Club, is enjoying exploring the 17 set problems the team has to tackle.

“There are some fascinating questions, which range from modelling phenomena associated with jet exhausts, to finding a way to use a camera to measure the speed of light,” he said.

“They’re applied questions which really reveal how important fundamental science is, and how our understanding of physics has changed – and will change – our world.

“Once we’ve presented our answers to these tricky questions in Lausanne, other teams will then challenge us and apply scrutiny – it’s like debating, but with a whole lot of maths thrown in.”

Australia last participated in the five-day event in 2016, with another team from UQ.

UQ and Australia’s IPT 2019 team, featuring (L-R) Bailey Carthouser, Andrew Penton, Shaun McAnally, Brigid Wilson, Chris Chang, Tamera Summerill and Ahmad Mohit.

UQ and Australia’s IPT 2019 team, featuring (L-R) Bailey Carthouser, Andrew Penton, Shaun McAnally, Brigid Wilson, Chris Chang, Tamera Summerill and Ahmad Mohit.

“UQ has a long history of top-level research and teaching in physics and this event is our equivalent of the Olympics, so we must be on top of our game,” Mr Penton said.

“It’s a high calibre team, and I have the upmost faith that together we’ll do UQ and Australia proud.

“As far as winning goes, it’s hard to say at this stage, as a few of the European teams have been competing a lot longer than us and have some impressive resources at their disposal.

“They also won’t be jetlagged from a 30-hour journey.”

Mr Penton said the team was also looking forward to making connections with other up-and-coming physicists.

“Making contacts from 19 other countries is an incredible opportunity, especially for students nearing the end of their undergraduate years who are looking for collaboration and employment opportunities.

“But, to be honest, the best part is having the opportunity to represent our country, state and university – it will be incredibly rewarding, and the team and I are ready to go.”

Chris Chang will captain the team, which also includes Brigid Wilson, Ahmad Mohit, Tamera Summerill, Shaun McAnally and Bailey Carthouser.

IPT 2019 will run from 21-26 April 2019 at École Polytechnique Féderale Lausanne , with more information available on the event’s website.

Source: UQ

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