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 will be posted here by January 18, 2022.