Tournament of young physicists

    Physics is an interesting and fascinating science. How many unusual phenomena with its help can be explained. Usually scientists, professors, in short, people with higher education are engaged in the study of complex phenomena. But the tournament of young physicists (hereinafter TYUF) is an opportunity for high school students and not only to feel like real scientists and researchers.

    Still, what is the tournament of young physicists?
    The tournament of young physicists is one of the leading international team competitions of high school students in the ability to solve complex research problems, convincingly present their decisions, and defend them in scientific discussions.
    Alas, this definition does not reveal the entire tournament. Therefore, I will try in this article to tell about TUFE in full. Just want to clarify that there are many types of tournament, which among themselves are not particularly different. But in this article we will talk about the Siberian and All-Russian tournaments (since I only participated in them).

    Publishing tasks

    Everything begins with the publication on the website of the international tournament of young physicists of seventeen tasks in the middle of summer. Following is the translation of the tasks on the website of the All-Russian tournament, as well as the reference kit .

    It should be noted that the tasks are research, that is, they require a lot of experiments and experiments, physical substantiation, both qualitative and quantitative.

    Example task

    Верёвочная лестница состоит из деревянных перекладин, наклонённых поочерёдно в противоположные стороны. Подвесьте её вертикально и затем отпустите. Когда такая лестница падает на горизонтальную поверхность, её верхний конец движется вниз быстрее, чем это происходит при свободном падении. Объясните это явление и исследуйте, как оно зависит от подходящих параметров.

    Наблюдение явления

    In early September, ten of the seventeen tasks for the Siberian tournament , which runs two months before the All-Russian, namely in early February , are published . Next, the teams begin to prepare for the tournament.

    Preparing for the tournament

    At this point I will tell you how my team is preparing. At first we read together and superficially analyze the conditions of the tasks, then everyone chooses a task for himself (we have such a setup that everyone solves his own task, of course we advise between each other, but with such a setup, responsibility for his task cannot be passed to anyone) . Following we look for the theory and we carry out the first supervision.

    Examples of observations

    Визуализация плотности
    Шлирен-фотография часто используется для визуализации изменений плотности в газе. Постройте установку для шлирен-фотографии и исследуйте, насколько хорошо она может разрешить различия в плотности.

    Электрические соты

    Налейте немного масла на горизонтальную металлическую пластину и поместите над ним вертикальную металлическую иглу. При приложении между иглой и пластиной высокого напряжения на поверхности масла возникает ячеистая структура. Объясните и исследуйте это явление.

    Азимутально-радиальный маятник

    Прикрепите один конец горизонтального упругого стержня к жёсткому штативу. Зафиксируйте другой конец стержня на растянутой нити, чтобы избежать вертикального отклонения, и подвесьте грузик на ещё одной нити. В получившемся маятнике радиальные колебания (параллельные стержню) могут спонтанно превращаться в азимутальные (перпендикулярные к стержню) и наоборот. Исследуйте это явление.

    After observing the phenomena, we hypothesize, confirm or refute them by experiments and experiments. Then we find quantitative dependencies and derive a mathematical model; if the physics of the problem is complex, then we make a quantitative estimate.

    It should be emphasized that the mathematical calculations not supported by physics are, to put it mildly, a bad tone in a tournament.

    In general, a good report should contain the following points:

    • the phenomenon referred to in the statement of the problem is reproduced on experience;
    • its plausible qualitative explanation is suggested;
    • a theoretical model of the phenomenon is presented that allows predicting some quantitative dependencies;
    • these quantitative relationships were measured in the experiment;
    • The results of the experiment are compared with the predictions of the theory.

    It is also very important to properly structure the report, because what you have done in five months must be told in 10 minutes, so that you will be understood. Therefore, speech writing and rehearsal also need to be given a lot of time, although this is not always possible. Usually, in recent days, everyone is completing the experiments and including them in the presentation of the report.

    Physical combat structure

    Each physical battle can be divided into three rounds, in each of which the teams switch roles. By the way, about the roles. After the draw, teams assign roles to the speaker, opponent and reviewer. If the role of the speaker is clear, then what is the opponent and the reviewer doing?
    The opponent asks the Rapporteur clarifying questions, and then delivers his summary of the report. He reviews the problem solution presented by the Rapporteur, analyzes his achievements and shortcomings, and formulates the questions for discussion. The discussion discusses the solution presented by the Rapporteur and the basic physics of the problem. Opponent's speech should not turn into a representation of his own decision.
    The reviewer gives a brief assessment of the speeches of the Rapporteur and the Opponent,
    including the discussion between them. (At the All-Russian tournament the Reviewer participates in the general discussion and can ask questions both to the speaker and to the opponent)


    The discussion is an integral part of the tournament, since it is a direct dialogue between the participants of the tournament, which discusses the physics of the phenomenon. The task of the discussion is to bring different points of view on the phenomenon into one true one, but this is not always the case. There are such participants of the tournament who do not want to listen to any other point of view, do not even want to discuss it, but persistently impose their own, without explaining why their decision is right. Therefore, if you consider someone else’s vision of the physical processes of a task to be wrong, then justify why this is so, referring to physical laws. And try with your discussion partner to find the right solution. It should be noted that the discussion in the question-answer form is highly undesirable. There should be reasoning in the discussion, not brief questions and answers.

    Rules of the Siberian tournament of young physicists

    Opponent calls the speaker to the task (1 minute)
    Rapporteur accepts or rejects the call (1 minute)
    Rapporteur preparation (5 minutes)
    Presentation of the report (12 minutes)
    Opponent questions and Rapporteur answers (2 minutes)
    Opponent preparation (3 minutes)
    Opponent speech (maximum 4 minutes)
    and a discussion between the speaker and the opponent (14 minutes) The
    opponent summarizes the discussion (1 minute)
    Questions from the reviewer to the speaker and the opponent and answers to the questions (3 minutes)
    Preparation of the reviewer (2 minutes)
    Speech by the reviewer (4 minutes)
    Speaker's final word (2 minutes)
    Jury questions (5 minutes)

    International Tournament of Young Physicists

    At the end of the All-Russian tournament, a national team is created for an international TUV. It is worth noting the complexity of the international tournament. It consists primarily in the fact that all reports, discussions and discussions are conducted in English, and this directly affects the team scores.

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