High School Teams to Compete in Physics Olympics at Yale

Teams from Connecticut and New York high schools will compete Saturday, Oct.. 17, in the Yale Physics Olympics. The event, which will be held at Sloane Physics Laboratory, 217 Prospect St., is designed to stimulate interest in science and to provide support for physics teachers in the region. Reporters and photographers are invited.

“The goal is to have fun while learning and applying basic ideas from physics with practical experiments,” said Cornelius Beausang, assistant professor of physics. “The emphasis is on using common-sense ideas and team work to solve experimental problems.”

About 120 students are expected to attend the competition, which will begin at 10:30 a.m. and culminate with an awards ceremony at 3:45 p.m.

The Olympics will be in the form of a pentathlon, consisting of five competitions of 35 minutes each. Examples include demonstrating the Faraday force by deflecting a compass needle using two batteries, a piece of wire, four nails and a sheet of paper; estimating the horizontal distance between two objects using pegs, a piece of string and rulers; and simulating the motion of Mars around the sun, and the Martian moons Phobos and Deimos around Mars using a stopwatch and three pieces of rope.

There will be a prize for the winning four-member team and special prizes in various categories. The event will be held in cooperation with colleagues at Liverpool University in England, making this an international event. For more information, call the Olympics hotline at (203) 432-5179.

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