Pure mathematics is an abstract field related solely to axions and theorems. Applied mathematics is the use of mathematics in other fields like engineering economics medicine natural science. Some fields like computer science are derived from applied mathematics.There are a lot of physics competitions held at the school and high level but the competitions at the college are more time consuming and are fewer in number since only a small number of school students study physics in high school.
Most of the major universities like MIT University of Pennsylvania in USA conduct competitions in physics and related technical subjects for students.
MIT Caltech are other tech schools usually have a robotic competition annually. The practical application of physics principles is tested. The problems at the International Physics Olympiad are usually from the syllabus prescribed and if a problem is from outside the syllabus sufficient information will be provided to the students.
All problems are set in SI units
Knowledge of mathematics is needed to study Physics. Mathematics is one of the main subjects taught in schools worldwide and covers almost every aspect of our life. It tries to understand patterns, use them to formulate theories and test them rigorously. In it simplest form mathematics involves using a set of rules called axioms to derive the results of following the rules – the theorems. Unlike science which describes the physical world and can be tested mathematics is abstract and can be checked only using logical rules.
The word mathematics is derived from the Greek word “”mathema”” for study or learning. In colloquial English it is called Math (American English) and Maths (rest of the world). Mathematics evolved as a series of abstractions over a period of time. The first abstraction was numbers.followed by arithmetic. Most early developments were related to commerce and taxation as it was necessary to calculate and track payments made and received accurately.
The selection of participants for international physics competitions is a long drawn process and involves state level and national level screen tests. At the state level, students from different schools have to sit for an examination which involves solving a few problems using the laws of physics. For some physics competitions students who form the top percentile qualify for the national level screening, in other competitions, cut off marks are specified and students who score more than cut off marks qualify for the national level tests. The qualifying state level students often are supported by the best state level teachers and receive additional coaching to help them excel at the national level.
For physics competitions at the national level, the questions are more difficult and test the students understanding of the basic principles of physics. In a state, most students have studied the same syllabus in school, but at the national level, there can be significant differences in the knowledge levels as well as learning methods used by the students. The competition duration is usually for two or three hours, with only a few problems to be solved. However, many of the questions are unconventional, and some amount of imagination is needed to visualize the problem before even attempting to solve it. Often there are multiple ways of solving the problem.Even if the participant does not arrive at the correct answer, they may be given marks for solving part of the question correctly.
Often the winners of national level physics competitions again receive intensive coaching from the most experienced and knowledgeable physics teachers in the country, before they participate in international physics competitions. The team size and participation in international physics competitions depends to some extent on the economic conditions prevalent, with large, developed countries participating in international level competitions but small undeveloped poor countries will not be able to participate.
The International Physics Olympiad is an annual competition for secondary school students
The 44th International Physics Olympiad will be held in Copenhagen, Denmark, 7th – 15th of July, 2013
Website : http://ipho2013.dk/
Website for all International Physics Olympiads
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The Official website of the British Physics Olympiad (BPhO) is
The British Physics Olympiad has been held for the past 25 years and the procedure for entering the British Physics Olympiad is described in detail at
In the first round, a student entering the competition usually has to pay a fee, but subsequent rounds are free. The most successful candidates are awarded books and certificates. Winners of the British Physics Olympiad represent the country in the International Physics Olympiad. The website is very comprehensive, well designed and includes earlier question papers which are available in PDF format for download by interested students and visitors.