Indian students excel at the International Physics Olympiad

• India tops country-wise medals tally, registers its best-ever performance in IPhO

Mumbai, July 31 2018  :  The Indian team performed excellently well in the 49th International Physics Olympiad (IPhO 2018)  held in Lisbon, Portugal from July 21 to 28, 2018. 396 of the brightest students from across the world, belonging to 86 countries, participated in this edition of IPhO. Five students from India participated, all of whom bagged gold medals. With this performance India topped the country-wise medals tally, jointly with China, the only other country with five gold medals. This is India’s best ever performance in the IPhO in 21 years of participation.

The IPhO competition consists of a theoretical and an experimental examination, each of five hours duration. Following the tradition of the Olympiads, this year’s examinations posed extraordinary challenges to the students. The theoretical examination had questions based on the LIGO detection of gravitational waves, the ATLAS instrument at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) and the physics of blood flow in living tissues and growth of tumours. The experiments focused on paper transistors and the phenomenon of viscoelasticity.

Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education (HBCSE), a national centre of the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) is the nodal centre in the country for all the Science Olympiads (Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Astronomy and Astrophysics and Junior Science) as well as the Mathematical Olympiad. The centre is responsible for the selection and training of the teams representing India at the International Olympiads. The selection of the team for IPhO was carried out through a three-stage procedure. The first stage consisted of a nationwide examination in Physics in which over 58,000 students appeared. This examination was conducted by the Indian Association of Physics Teachers (IAPT) in nearly 1,400 centres across the country. The remaining two stages consisted of a series of difficult selection tests, both theoretical and practical conducted by HBCSE. A similarly rigorous selection procedure is adopted for the other olympiads as well. The Olympiad effort is supported by Department of Atomic Energy (DAE), Department of Science and Technology (DST) and the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) of the Government of India.

The details of the team’s performance are as follows :

     Name                                                                Place                                                                  Medal

Bhaskar Gupta                                                  Mumbai                                                               GOLD

Lay Jain                                                              Kota                                                                      GOLD

NishantAbhangi                                                 Rajkot                                                                  GOLD

PawanGoyal                                                       Kota                                                                       GOLD

SiddharthTiwary                                               Kolkata                                                                GOLD

The team was accompanied by two leaders : Dr. Praveen Pathak (HBCSE, Mumbai), Prof. K. G. M. Nair (CMI, Chennai), and two scientific observers: Prof. Surajit Chakrabarti (Retd., M. M. Chandra College, Kolkata), Dr. Manish Kapoor (Christ Church College, Kanpur)

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