Published on: Friday, January 22, 2021
Back in November 2020 nine of our Upper Sixth physicists were entered into the British Physics Olympiad, a competition designed to test the most able young physicists in the country and ultimately is used to select the British Physics Team.
The competition consists of a very challenging 2 hour 45 minute exam, with questions based on the A level syllabus. However, the demand of the questions is far higher, with each one posed to challenge pupils' understanding of a different aspect of the universe, requiring them to have a separate perspective in order to have a chance of answering it.
This year’s paper included: coming up with a mathematical expression for the true position of a star by modelling the Earth’s atmosphere as a large number of layers where the speed of light decreases as you approach the Earth’s surface; and predicting the mass ratio of a binary star pair that would become unbound following one of the stars having a supernova explosion using Newton’s model of gravity.
Just to be entered for this competition is a real achievement, and Mr Speyer is delighted with the outcome from Cambridge: four bronze awards, and five commendations.
Tommy R-J, George G, Jamie G and Wang Tsang were the four pupils awarded bronze, with Abigail H, Kent Tsui, Finn K, Jeri W, and Rachel Y awarded a commendation.