The 2016 University Physics Competition
The seventh annual University Physics Competition started on Friday, November 11, 2016 at 6pm MST, when the following problems were posted:
Problem A Reactor Waste Disposal
The disposal of radioactive waste is a serious problem for the nuclear power industry. One solution that has been proposed is to launch the waste into space, with the idea of either destroying the waste by allowing it to fall into the sun, or simply having it take up an orbit in the asteroid belt where the radioactive waste products would eventually decay. Make a comparison of these two methods of waste disposal. Which method would be easier to implement? How long could the waste be safely stored in the asteroid belt?
Problem B Dinosaurs versus Mammals
The largest dinosaurs that walked the earth were approximately an order of magnitude (a factor of ten) more massive than the largest land mammals. It has been hypothesized that this may have been due to factors such as, but not limited to, the different levels of oxygen in the atmosphere, the difference in the effort required for giving birth to live young versus laying eggs, differences in metabolic rates, differences in the availability of food sources, or differences in ambient temperature. Develop a model to account for the differences in mass between the largest dinosaurs and the largest land mammals, and evaluate the effectiveness of this model using biological/paleontological data.
The following announcement of results was made on Sunday, January 15, 2017:
We are very pleased to announce the results of the
seventh annual University Physics Competition.
The University Physics Competition is an international contest for
undergraduate students, who worked in teams of up to three students at their
home colleges and universities all over the world, and spent 48 hours during the
weekend of November 11, 12, & 13, 2016, analyzing an applied scenario using
the principles of physics, and writing a formal paper describing their work.
In this year’s competition 197 teams submitted
papers for judging. 146 teams selected “Problem
A –Reactor Waste Disposal” and 51 teams selected “Problem B – Dinosaurs versus
For Problem A, the Gold Medal Winning Teams were:
Team 331: Andrey Boris Khesin & Dmitry Paramonov
Institution: University of Toronto
Faculty Sponsor: Andrew Meyertholen
Team 412: Marc Fuster Rullan, David Masip Bonet, & Marco
Institution: Autonomous University of
Faculty Sponsor: Marta Gonzalez
problem B, the Gold Medal Winning Team was:
Team 441: Daniel Salgado Rojo, Marc Rodà Llordés, &
Sergio Hilario Martínez Mateu
Institution: Autonomous University of Barcelona
Sponsor: Juan Camacho Castro
Of the 197 papers submitted in the 2016 University
Physics Competition, 3 teams (1.5%) were ranked as Gold Medal Winners, 34 teams
(17%) were ranked as Silver Medal Winners, 56 teams (28%) were ranked as Bronze
Medal Winners, and 102 teams (52%) were ranked as Accomplished Competitors.
We extend our sincerest congratulations to each of
the 197 competing teams for their excellent work and their enthusiasm for
Kelly S. Cline
Carroll College; Helena, MT
Director of the 2015 University Physics