The University Physics Competition

The 2021 University Physics Competition

The 2021 University Physics Competition began on Friday, November 5, 2021, at 6pm MDT (Mountain Daylight Time), which was Saturday, November 6, 2021, 1am GMT/UTC, when the contest problems below were posted.

Problem A:  A Thicker Martian Atmosphere

Suppose that we could increase the atmospheric pressure on the surface of Mars to 0.2 bar, by vaporizing the polar caps and subsurface ice.  This atmosphere would then likely decrease over time, as a result of several processes, such as escape into space, and erosion by the solar wind.  How would the surface pressure decrease as a function of time?  How much time would it take until the pressure is only 0.1 bar?

Problem B:  Asteroid Ocean Impact

Consider the impact of an asteroid in the ocean, 1,000 km from a coastal city.  What is the minimum mass the asteroid would require in order to cause substantial damage to this city?
Problem A:  A Thicker Martian Atmosphere
Suppose that we could increase the atmospheric pressure on the surface of Mars to 0.2 bar, by vaporizing the polar caps and subsurface ice.  This atmosphere would then likely decrease over time, as a result of several processes, such as escape into space, and erosion by the solar wind.  How would the surface pressure decrease as a function of time?  How much time would it take until the pressure is only 0.1 bar?
Problem A:  A Thicker Martian Atmosphere

Suppose that we could increase the atmospheric pressure on the surface of Mars to 0.2 bar, by vaporizing the polar caps and subsurface ice.  This atmosphere would then likely decrease over time, as a result of several processes, such as escape into space, and erosion by the solar wind.  How would the surface pressure decrease as a function of time?  How much time would it take until the pressure is only 0.1 bar?

Problem B:  Asteroid Ocean Impact

Consider the impact of an asteroid in the ocean, 1,000 km from a coastal city.  What is the minimum mass the asteroid would require in order to cause substantial damage to this

Problem B:  Asteroid Ocean Impact

Consider the impact of an asteroid in the ocean, 1,000 km from a coastal city.  What is the minimum mass the asteroid would require in order to cause substantial damage to this city?

Results of the 2021 University Physics Competition were posted on January 13, 2022.

Here * is your team number.  For example if your team number is 200, this is:  http://www.uphysicsc.com/certificates2021/200.pdf

Full results announcement and complete listing of all medals in the 2021 University Physics Competition

We are very pleased to announce the results of the twelfth annual University Physics Competition. The University Physics Competition is an international contest for undergraduate students, who worked in teams of up to three students at their home colleges and universities all over the world, and spent 48 hours during the weekend of November 5, 6, & 7, 2021, analyzing a scenario using the principles of physics, and writing a formal paper describing their work.

In this year’s competition 324 teams submitted papers for judging. 127 teams selected “Problem A – A Thicker Martian Atmosphere” and 197 teams selected “Problem B – Asteroid Ocean Impact.”

For Problem A, the Gold Medal Winning Teams were:

Team 200: Wang Hanlin, Zhang Zeyu, & Liu Shiqiang

Institution: Tongji University, China

Team 200's 2021 Problem A Gold Medal Winning Paper

Team 349: Zonghan Wen, Hongyan Shi, & Shikun Zhou

Institution: Qingdao University, China

For problem B, the Gold Medal Winning Teams were:

Team 216B: Lucien Tsai & Kevin Kim

Institution: Harvey Mudd College, United States

Team 216's 2021 Problem B Gold Medal Winning Paper

Team 385: Tang Jierong, Li Ying, & Li Yaqin

Institution: National University of Defense Technology, China

Team 385's 2021 Problem B Gold Medal Winning Paper

Team 442: Sara Łukasik, Szymon Michniak, & Zuzanna Jezierska

Institution: University of Warsaw, Poland

Team 442's 2021 Problem B Gold Medal Winning Paper

Team 445: Jan Nowosielski, Mateusz Kapusta, & Antoni Skoczypiec

Institution: University of Warsaw, Poland

Team 445's 2021 Problem B Gold Medal Winning Paper

Of the 324 papers submitted in this year’s University Physics Competition, 6 teams (1.9%) were ranked as Gold Medal Winners, 60 teams (19%) were ranked as Silver Medal Winners, 85 teams (26%) were ranked as Bronze Medal Winners, and 173 teams (53%) were ranked as Accomplished Competitors.

We extend our sincerest congratulations to each of the competing teams for their excellent work and their enthusiasm for physics!

Kelly S. Cline

Carroll College; Helena, MT

Director of the University Physics Competition

www.uphysicsc.com

 Above, 2021 Gold Medal WinnersTeam 200: Wang Hanlin, Zhang Zeyu, & Liu ShiqiangInstitution: Tongji University, ChinaFaculty Sponsor: Ma Yan
 Above, 2021 Gold Medal WinnersTeam 216B: Lucien Tsai & Kevin KimInstitution: Harvey Mudd College, United StatesFaculty Sponsor: Theresa Lynn
 Above, 2021 Gold Medal WinnersTeam 349: Hongyan Shi, Zonghan Wen, & Shikun Zhou Institution: Qingdao University, China Faculty Sponsor: Yanqiang Li
 Above, 2021 Gold Medal WinnersTeam 385: Tang Jierong, Li Ying, & Li Yaqin Institution: National University of Defense Technology, China Faculty Sponsor: Yu Tong Pu
 Above, 2021 Gold Medal WinnersTeam 442: Sara Łukasik, Zuzanna Jezierska, & Szymon MichniakInstitution: University of Warsaw, PolandFaculty Sponsor: Paweł Sidorczak