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The Olympiad is a nine-day international competition among pre-university students from more than 60 nations. — AAPT.ORG



Meet the Team

Photo of YuQing Xie

YuQing Xie

Traveling Team

Wilmington, DE

Charter School of Wilmington

Grade: Senior


Soccer, frisbee, ping pong, speed cubing, eating spicy food, violin.


Science Olympiad team, school math team, Lehigh Valley math team, varsity soccer team, physics club (founder and captain), fun math club (founder and captain).


Research Science Institute (2017), Regeneron Science Talent Search semifinalist (2018), USAPhO Gold (2016, 2017) Silver (2015), USAMO qualifier (2016-2018), USAJMO qualifier (2014), PUMaC - Div. B (1st place individual and team 2017), PUPC Gold Medal (2017), HMMT 5th place team (2018), ARML 9th place team (2016, 2017), National Science Olympiad (2016-2018), USNCO (1st place ACS Delaware Division, 2016-2017).


An eagle soars gracefully in the air, a perfect balance of lift and gravity. It dives towards the lake, snatching a fish with its talons as I imagine the circular waves, ripples, emanating from the point, reflecting off the edges to form beautiful patterns.

As the sun slowly sets, light of different wavelengths, scattered through a wider range of angles reaches us and the sky explodes in a myriad of color, from a deep ruby red to a brilliant violet.

Night comes and the stars shine, light from nuclear processes occurring thousands, millions, billions of years ago.

People have long observed such natural phenomena, driven by an innate curiosity to understand. Thus the sciences began, and through careful, meticulous study, through accidental observations, we have acquired knowledge about our universe. Physics, in particular, explores everything at the most fundamental level, yet somehow, almost all of that knowledge can be reduced to just a few equations written in the completely man made language of mathematics. I find this fascinating.

From a young age, I have been curious about how the world works. When I was around five, I remember wondering about heat. At that point, I knew our stove was usually cool when off and usually hot when on, however, does it cool down immediately after being turned off? I set out to find out. One day after my mom finished cooking and turned off the stove, I snuck into the kitchen and put a finger on the stove. Ouch!

Almost right after I learned to read, I would devour science books at the library, but was in middle school, after being entranced by the documentary “The Fabric of the Cosmos” did I realize that physics promised to satiate the root of my curiosity. I marveled at the ways physicists described the fundamental workings of the universe and became intrigued at the unresolved conflict between quantum mechanics and general relativity. Soon enough, I was poring over physics books, trying to comprehend the equations describing reality.

Enter my high school years, where my physics teacher Mr. Stover immediately recognized my passion and gave me many resources to pursue my studies. I began to appreciate the world more and more as I understood what was actually happening, from why golf balls sometimes spiral out of holes to the causes of rainbows. Physics became an addiction as I strived to hone my intuition, to explain things I never noticed before.

I reflect on how the flight of birds, ripples in water, the setting of sun, and the shining of stars, beautiful in their own right, all fall under the domain of physics. How physics can explain all with few. Indeed, physics is just simply beautiful.

I would like to thank my physics teacher Mr. Stover for providing so many resources to foster my passion. I would also like to thank my parents and friends for supporting me in my undertakings.

I cannot wait to discover more at camp and I look forward to meeting everyone.

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Contact Information

For more details and information about the US Physics Team, please contact AAPT's Programs department at 301-209-3340 or programs@aapt.org