Physics Cup is an online physics competition for high school and university students with short and challenging problems, intended to be more difficult than the problems of EuPhO, IPhO, and APhO. Meanwhile, each problem is tested to have a solution in a closed form. While typically, a full solution involves several tricks (ideas), in most cases it can be fit within one page, and sometimes even within a couple of lines. Each month, a new problem, and each week, a new hint is published; faster solvers get higher scores. For detailed regulations, see the “Participate” tab. In 2019, there were 400 registered participants, including many IPhO gold medal winners and students from the top universities.
The gold medalists of the Physics Cup-2019 among the university students:
Thomas Foster from the University of Oxford got an outstanding score of 17.4 points;
Johanes Suhardjo from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.
The gold medal winner of the Physics Cup-2019 among the high school students:
Oliver Lindström from Sweden.
For a full ranking list, see the old Physics Cup web page.
The first Physics Cup was held in 2011/2012, with 10 problems, as a warm-up competition before IPhO-2012, held in Tartu and Tallinn, Estonia. It received very positive feedback, and so the next one was held in 2013, as a part of the third World Physics Olympiad selection round, with five problems. The next one happened after several years, in 2017, as a warm-up competition before the first European Physics Olympiad In Estonia. Since the remaining time, until the EuPhO-2017 was short, it had only four problems. Since then, the Academic Committee of EuPhO has produced many problems which are too difficult for EuPhO, and it seemed wasteful not to make good use of these problems – that’s how the fourth Physics Cup came to be. The decision of making the Physics Cup an annual competition was made owing to the sponsorship of the Tallinn University of Technology.
Starting with 2019, Physics Cup is organized by Tallinn University of Technology. The academic head of the competition is Jaan Kalda, and the problems with no authors mentioned in the preamble are made by him. There are several problems authored by contributors from around the world, and the fraction of such problems is expected to increase in the future. While there is no guarantee that the problems are entirely new (there are too many problems in too many different sources published), at the moment of publication the organizers and the author have been unaware of the existence of identical (or very similar) published problems. Anyone who has invented a new and challenging problem is welcome to suggest it for Physics Cup by sending an e-mail.