2016 U.S. Physics Team Scores Two Gold and Three Silver Medals

2016 Physics Team medal results

L-R: Vincent Liu - Silver, Jimmy Qin - Silver, Abijith Krishnan - Gold, Srijon Mukherjee - Silver, Jason Lu - Gold

Contact: David Wolfe
E-mail: dwolfe@aapt.org
Phone: (301) 209-3327


College Park, MD, July 17, 2016—The United States Physics Team ranked fifth place in the point count and seventh place in the medal count at the 47th International Physics Olympiad that was held in Zürich, Switzerland and Liechtenstein, July 10-18, 2016. The nine day competition among the world's top high school physics students consisted of three theory questions on mechanics, nonlinear circuits, and subatomic particle detection and two experimental questions which dealt with a four point resistance measurement of thin films and bifurcation behavior of excited poppy seeds. The team also experienced several cultural outgoings and visits that included tours of CERN, Liechtenstein, the Paul Scherer Institute, Mount Rigi in Lucerne, and the Zurich waterworks.

China, Taiwan, and Korea each received five gold medals; Russia four; India and Japan three. USA, Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore, Romania got two gold medals. A number of countries got one. The top scoring female was from Vietnam, the same female who scored top last year, Thao Thi Huong Dinh.

The participants representing the 2016 U.S. Physics Team were:

Abijith Krishnan, BASIS Scottsdale , Scottsdale, AZ, Gold

Jason Lu, Adlai Stevenson High School, Lincolnshire IL, Gold

Vincent Liu, State College Area High School, State College, PA, Silver

Jimmy Qin , Seminole High School, Sanford, FL, Silver

Srijon Mukherjee, Amity International School, Noida, Noida UP, Silver

The U.S. Team was led by Paul Stanley of Beloit College and David Fallest of North Carolina State University. 

The United States team trains for ten days at the University of Maryland in late May. This year the five U.S. competitors traveled to Latvia in late June to train with the Latvian Physics Olympiad team.

"AAPT is proud to lead the selection process that identifies such exceptional student scholars. Their outstanding performance in this international competition is a reflection of the work of their coaches, the entire 2016 Physics Team, the support of their families, and the best of physics education," said Dr. Beth A. Cunningham, Executive Officer of the American Association of Physics Teachers.

U.S. Physics Team Selection
AAPT is responsible for recruiting, selecting and training the U.S. Physics Team each year to compete in the IPHO Competition. This selection process begins in early January when high schools register their students to participate in the Fnet=ma exam. Approximately 300 top scorers on this first test will advance to the Semifinal round of competition. A second exam is used as the basis for selection of the 20 members of the U.S. Physics Team. In May these students traveled from schools all over the United States, to the University of Maryland-College Park for the U.S. Physics Team Training Camp, held at the University of Maryland. There, they engaged in nine days of intense studying, mystery lab, daily exams, and problem solving. At the end of that training camp, five students and an alternate were selected as the "Traveling Team" to represent the United States at the IPhO.

Funding and Sponsorship
The U.S. Physics Olympiad Program was started in 1986 by AAPT to promote and demonstrate academic excellence. It continues to be supported as a joint initiative between AAPT, AIP, and the member societies of the American Institute of Physics:

Acoustical Society of America
American Association of Physicists in Medicine
American Association of Physics Teachers
American Astronomical Society American Crystallographic Association
American Meteorological Society
American Institute for Physics
American Physical Society
AVS: Science &Technology of Materials, Interfaces, and Processing
Optical Society of America
The Society of Rheology

Hosting Universities
University of Maryland

Corporate Sponsors
Beloit College
Cambridge University Press
D.E. Shaw Group & Company
Ellington Management Group
Macmillan Higher Education
Pearson Education

Funding for the U.S. Physics Team also depends on donations from concerned individuals and organizations. Contributions are entirely used to support the selection, training, and travel of the team. Donations to the U.S. Physics Team are accepted at www.aapt.org/physicsteam/2016/donations.cfm.

More on the Web
Main website of the U.S. Physics Team: http://www.aapt.org/physicsteam/2016/
History of the physics team, including past winners: http://www.aapt.org/physicsteam/2016/program.cfm
47th International Physics Olympiad: http://ipho2016.org/

About the International Physics Olympiad
The Science Olympiads have their roots in Central European school competitions. Once UNESCO and several other pioneers became involved, the number of participants and professions represented in the fields of science increased. The first International Physics Olympiad was held in 1967. AAPT began the program in 1986 to promote and demonstrate academic excellence. The International Physics Olympiad (IPHO) is a nine-day competition among pre-university students from more than 90 nations. The 2016 Olympiad was held in Zürich, Switzerland in conjunction with Liechtenstein July 10-18, 2016.

About AAPT
AAPT (www.aapt.org) is the premier national organization and authority on physics and physical science education —with members around the word. Our mission is to advance the greater good through physics education. To this end, AAPT provides our members with numerous opportunities for professional development, communication, and student enrichment.