Got a question idea?

Pitch your question ideas to us.

The Australian physics community is invited to contribute questions, or question ideas, for use in the Asian Physics Olympiad (APhO) exams.

We are really interested in questions and ideas showcasing Australian physics research.

Why contribute a question idea?

  • Accept the challenge of writing a tactical question that will test (and be tested by) hundreds of exceptional students.
  • Receive international acknowledgement from fellow physicists and educators.
  • Showcase your research in a question.
  • Enjoy a creative outlet for physics problem construction where the sky is the limit (quirky questions that package physics in a unique way can become quite well known, and the students don’t forget the questions in a hurry).
  • If your question is chosen we may ask you work with the committee on its development and you will be acknowledged to the APhO International Board and its publications. You will also be invited to attend events and celebrations during APhO 2019 in Adelaide.

Your contribution can be either a question idea which can be further developed by our academic committee, or a more detailed sketch of a question including suggested solutions.

Are there examples of questions?

At the most recent APhO held in Vietnam, the experimental exam tasked students with investigating sensor applications of giant magnetoresistance, while the theory exam consisted of three questions exploring optical trapping, a hypothetical carbon fibre space elevator, and thermoelectric effects.

Need some ideas to get you started? Take a look at some sample past questions below.

APhO2006 Experimental exam question

APhO2017 Experimental exam question

APhO2010 Theoretical exam question

APhO2014 Theoretical exam question

What are the guidelines?

Experimental questions:

  • Experimental questions should primarily test experimental design and skill rather than containing significant theoretical components.
  • Experiments based on interesting materials or modern phenomena of current interest and/or Australian research are encouraged.
  • Experimental questions should be able to be performed with relatively simple equipment with the possible exception of samples with specific properties; if you would be in a position to help with supply of any suggested samples please inform us.
  • Keep in mind that around 200 students will be doing the experimental exam, so it must be compact and able to be scaled up to this number. However, your submissions does not need to explore this in detail.

Theory questions:

  • Questions should not require knowledge beyond the Asian Physics Olympiad syllabus.
  • Theoretical questions should provide scope for students to explore an interesting piece of physics, rather than just perform mathematical manipulations – textbook questions are not what we are after.
  • Questions showcasing Australian physics research are encouraged.

How do I submit my question?

All questions submitted are to be copyright‐free and available for non‐commercial use.

Please email your question ideas to close 22 September 2018. Please make sure your contact details are included in this email.

Australian Science Innovations
Department of Industry, Innovation and Science The University of Adelaide Flinders University University of South Australia

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