Physics Fight in Shrewsbury

My experience in the IYPT tournament

The international young physicists’ tournament is a world renowned event which focuses on the research and debate on a hand picked selection of open ended physics problems. Every country is invited to draft a team of five brightest pre-university students to compete on a international level. After undergoing competitions on both regional and national levels, I was fortunate enough to be selected into the New Zealand physics team.

My main topic of research was chaos theory; in particular, the application and phenomena of which within electrical circuits. The original problem as formulated in 2014 is quoted below:

It is known that some electrical circuits exhibit chaotic behaviour. Build a simple circuit with such a property, and investigate its behaviour

I distinctly remember the moment of being first presented with this unique problem. It was right after the five team members had been finalized. Every person had to decide on one additional problem that they wanted to take on, but nobody knew what the problems were going to be until they actually saw it. We drew lots to determine the order of problem selection: I ended up second-to-last. The problem descriptions were hand written on small pieces of paper, all face down on the table. When it was finally my turn to pick my poison, I was surprised to find two problems that seemed more interesting than the rest: one about chaotic circuits and the other about water balloons. I was truly intrigued by the apparent chaotic behavior that might occur in a seemingly deterministic circuit, so I took it after a moment of hesitation. Stanley, who was after me, picked the fun water balloon problem.


  • Write about the tournament itself
  • Write about its influence on me
  • Post pictures
  • And much more

Some links I will use

Written 2018/06/11