2020 Physics Olympics Questions -- Deadline: Nov 30 2019

  • 17 Nov 2019 8:18 AM
    Reply # 8125751 on 7875873

    Sorry, another omission concerning the rules for the Cartesian Diver Event:

    Rule A of competition and scoring should read " The team will have up to 10 (ten) minutes to complete the event".

    The allotted time will depend on the number of bottles (up to 3) containing Cartesian Divers that the team must retrieve.

  • 09 Dec 2019 3:37 PM
    Reply # 8227367 on 7875873

    I understand we are past the last date to ask questions, however, regarding the Cartesian Diver event: I was wondering if the maximum mass of the sinker could be specified. Thank you!

  • 10 Dec 2019 10:51 AM
    Reply # 8235426 on 7875873

    I do not know the mass yet.  I still need to construct them. In the past, I have used the top (bulb) of a plastic pipet (the inexpensive types used in chem classes) with metal wire and some washers as weights.

  • 13 Dec 2019 8:08 AM
    Reply # 8265048 on 7875873

    Thank you!

    Also, 1/2 inch tape is hard to find and 3/4 inch tape is the most readily available one in stores. Would it be acceptable for students to use the 3/4 inch tape for newspaper bridge and the boomerang events? Thanks in advance!

  • 14 Dec 2019 7:04 PM
    Reply # 8280000 on 7875873

    Yes, 3/4 inch tape is acceptable.

  • 16 Dec 2019 2:50 PM
    Reply # 8298250 on 7875873
    Deleted user

    2 Questions

    1) For the boomerang, it says the boomerang must fit within a 18 cm wide x 18 cm inches long x 5 cm height.
    I'm confused is this supposed to be in centimeters or inches?

    2) For the cartesian diver, do we need to concerned with picking up the sinker. Because the sinker's weight will change depending on how much water is put inside each time. 

  • 17 Dec 2019 1:48 PM
    Reply # 8307844 on 7875873

    The dimensions listed for the boomerang, are given in centimeters.  The dimensions give the maximum size of the boomerang.

    For the Cartesian diver, the hooked sinker is to be retrieved by the hooked cartesian diver.  The  hooked sinker will not be able to gain or lose water during the retrieval process.

  • 11 Jan 2020 5:15 PM
    Reply # 8546646 on 7875873

    We found an error with Event 6, The Pringles Package.  The team scoring guide in incorrect.  It should read: (Lowest Score / your score)  X 100

    The winning team's final score will be 100. All other teams will be less than100

    Please bring goggles for team members and instructors.  Goggles to be used for the paper bridge event.

  • 11 Jan 2020 5:27 PM
    Reply # 8546733 on 7875873

    The Annual Physics Olympics-North  is next Saturday, January 18th!  Let’s hope the weather cooperates!

    Here are a few things to think about / prepare for in advance:

    1.      We will have bagels/coffee etc. at registration.  If they wish to eat later, they can do this between events, or while the scores are being tabulated.  However, we do NOT provide lunch so, have students bring their lunch.   We will probably finish around 1:00-1:45, or so, (depending on the pace). If you order pizza (or food) for your teams, please remember to  take the boxes with you for disposal at your school.  Also, please take large refuse items back to your school for disposal.  Remember, we are guest of Monmouth Regional HS so we do not want to leave them a mess to clean.

    2.      Bring the items listed below for your teams – some are necessary for certain events, plus they are handy to have, in general:

    a.      Pencils/Pens

    b.      Sharpie or similar markers

    c.      Scissors – a couple of pairs per team

    d.      A geometry compass

    e.      30 cm of string

    3.      You and your teacher chaperones will be asked to judge the events. During the Fermi questions, you will be asked to select the event you want to judge. 

    4.      We will start at 9:00am. You and your teams need to sign in and get set up in the cafeteria. Coffee, doughnuts and bagels will be available through the day while supplies last.  The first event, Fermi Questions, will begin around 9:15 in the cafeteria.  The second event, Grab Bag, will also be in the cafeteria, after the Fermi event.  After that, students will go to the various locations to compete in the other 4 events. If there is a waiting line for a particular event, instruct your team to go to another event.  It is their responsibility to have all event completed by 12:45.  If you arrive after 9:00am before the Fermi or the Grab Bag events conclude, you may enter these events but you must still be done by 12:45.  If you arrive after, your team will forfeit these events.


    Please let me know if you have any questions.

    If you need to contact me on the morning of the competition, my cell # is 908 433 8096.

  • 14 Jan 2020 3:21 PM
    Reply # 8573273 on 7875873

    This message in intended for the Physics Olympics North event only.

    David Bandel has offered to judge the paper bridge event as described below.  This method will be easier that using a bucket of sand so, we will use this method to measure the breaking force of the bridge. 

    Rather than use a hanging bucket and sand, I use a PASCO force platform (essentially the equivalent of a bathroom scale).  I built an attachment for it that allows me to press downward on the crossbar and accurately obtain the maximum force value.  I have used this in past years for straw bridges, toothpick bridges, and newspaper bridges.  I offer it as the means by which the data is collected for the event this year.  I will bring it along with a couple Chromebooks to record the data.
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