What exactly is PLANCKS?
The Physics League Across Numerous Countries for Kick-ass Students (PLANCKS) was first held in the Netherlands by Studenten Physica in Nederland (SPIN), the Dutch umbrella association for physics study associations, as they decided to organize this international competition with the help of the International Association of Physics Students (IAPS). The first edition of PLANCKS took place in May 2014 in Utrecht, and since then PLANCKS is held annually in May.
Opening symposium at PLANCKS 2014 in Utrecht, the Netherlands. Lecture given by Professor Stephen Hawking.
PLANCKS is a theoretical physics competition for bachelor and master students. It is a three-day event containing an opening symposium, the contest itself, and filled to the brim with numerous excursions and social activities, where the participants are encouraged to discover the research environment and culture of the hosting country. It provides physics students from all over the world with the opportunity to get in touch with each other. The intention is to increase international collaboration, host social activities and stimulate the personal development of individual contestants. By bringing physics students from various parts of the world together, a setting to exchange ideas and experiences, and to challenge each other, is created.
Participants of PLANCKS compete in teams consisting of three to four bachelor or master students. The teams will, preferably, be comprised of students from the same country. During the competition they will answer challenging theoretical physics questions, designed to both challenge and entertain the competitors. Each country can submit a limited number of teams. Some countries organise preliminaries, and the winners of these preliminaries will participate in PLANCKS, while other countries select the interested participants at random. If you are interested in organising a preliminary in your country, please contact the organising committee of PLANCKS, and we will provide you with all the information needed.
The problems are written by professors and cover different fields of physics. For example, questions about cradles, glaciers, particle physics, slinkies, graphene, beamsplitters, skyrmions, wind drift of icebergs, laser cooling, and oil and gas production have arisen in the previous editions, with even more areas of study being added to this years’ competition.
Picture from the opening symposium at PLANCKS 2014 in Utrecht, the Netherlands. Lecture given by Professor Stephen Hawking.
2020 is a special year not only due to PLANCKS being in London, it marks the 100th anniversary of the IOP. As part of our celebrations we invited six members of the IOP to give their personal view of their discipline across the last hundred years; the physicists who inspired them and the discoveries and innovations that have helped shape our lives. You can experience this 100 incredible years of physics and the IOP on the website which will be updated throughout the year as we continue our celebrations.
PLANCKS 2020 will be hosted primarily at the newely built IOP HQ in London. Travel information can be found on the IOP website. The competition itself will be held at a local venue, with all the talks taking place at the IOP. Evening activities have been arranged an around London (including on the river!), the locations of which can be found at the bottom of the schedule page. Accommodation will be at Generator London hostel, located at Kings Cross.
The general rules of PLANCKS can be found here.
PLANCKS is governed by Article 12 of the IAPS Regulations.
PLANCKS wouldn't be the same without the national preliminaries. A number of countries have started to prepare theirs, if your's not listed contact us for help to create one!
NC Finland (8th Nov)
NC Netherlands (Amsterdam, 22nd Feb)
LC Singapore (NTU Singapore, March)
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