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.


To download a printable pdf award certificate for your team, set your browser to:  http://www.uphysicsc.com/certificates2021/*.pdf

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

Faculty Sponsor: Ma Yan

 

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

Institution: Qingdao University, China

Faculty Sponsor: Yanqiang Li

 

For problem B, the Gold Medal Winning Teams were:

 

Team 216B: Lucien Tsai & Kevin Kim

Institution: Harvey Mudd College, United States

Faculty Sponsor: Theresa Lynn

 

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

Institution: National University of Defense Technology, China

Faculty Sponsor: Yu Tong Pu

 

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

Institution: University of Warsaw, Poland

Faculty Sponsor: Paweł Sidorczak

 

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

Institution: University of Warsaw, Poland

Faculty Sponsor: Paweł Sidorczak

 

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 Winners

Team 216B: Lucien Tsai & Kevin Kim

Institution: Harvey Mudd College, United States

Faculty Sponsor: Theresa Lynn

Above, 2021 Gold Medal Winners

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

Institution: Qingdao University, China

Faculty Sponsor: Yanqiang Li

Above, 2021 Gold Medal Winners

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

Institution: National University of Defense Technology, China

Faculty Sponsor: Yu Tong Pu

Above, 2021 Gold Medal Winners

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

Institution: University of Warsaw, Poland

Faculty Sponsor: Paweł Sidorczak