2021 SYPT Schedule

SYPT 2021 is open for registration here.

19 Sep 2020 (9 am - 1.30 pm) - SYPT 2021 e-Briefing

Click here for the briefing slides

Programme

  • Overview of SYPT 2021 

  • Sharing by Teacher Mentor and Student Participant

  • Analysis of Category A and B problems (in concurrent sessions)

Important Dates

30 Sep 2020  - Indicate interest here by 30 Sep to receive reference materials

20 Nov 2020 [revised] - Registration Deadline (confirmation of teams)

16 Jan 2021 [change to format] - Category B online Shortlisting: 20 min given per team. Schedule sent by email on 18 Dec. Refer to SYPT 2021 Format page for details.

23 Jan 2021 [change to format] - Category A online Shortlisting: 20 min given per team. Schedule sent by email on 18 Dec. Refer to SYPT 2021 Format page for details.

6 Mar 2021* [now held online] - Category B Finals (Full day)

13 Mar 2021* [now held online]  - Category A Finals (Full day)

Refer to SYPT 2021 Format page for further details.

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Category A - for participants in JC1 / IP5 / PU1 (or equivalent) and below, as of 2020;

Category B - for participants in Sec 3 / IP3 (or equivalent) and below, as of 2020.

 

2021 SYPT Problems

bead dynamics image_white background.PNG

Category A

1. Invent Yourself

Design a boat that moves only due to the periodical mechanical movements of its internal parts and which only interacts with the environment (air, water) through its stiff hull. Optimise the parameters of your boat for maximum speed.

 

2. Wind Speed

Let an electric current flow through a coil. When cold air flows over the coil, the coil’s temperature will decrease. Investigate how the temperature drop depends on the wind speed. What is the accuracy of this method of measuring the wind speed?

 

3. Synchronised Candles

Oscillatory flames can be observed when several candles burn next to each other. Two such oscillators can couple with each other, resulting in in-phase or anti-phase synchronisation (depending on the distance between the sets of candles). Explain and investigate this phenomenon.

 

4. Bead Dynamics

A circular hoop rotates about a vertical diameter. A small bead is allowed to roll in a groove on the inside of the hoop. Investigate the relevant parameters affecting the dynamics of the bead.

 

 

 

 

 

5. Light Whiskers

When a laser beam enters a soap film at a small angle, a rapidly changing pattern of thin, branching light tracks may appear inside the film. Explain and investigate this phenomenon.

 

6. Spin Drift

When a ring is set to roll in a parabolic bowl, interesting motion patterns may arise. Investigate this phenomenon.

 

7. Wilberforce Pendulum

A Wilberforce pendulum consists of a mass hanging from a vertically oriented helical spring. The mass can both move up and down on the spring and rotate about its vertical axis. Investigate the behaviour of such a pendulum and how it depends on relevant parameters.

 

8. Dynamic Hydrophobicity

When a drop of liquid impacts on a horizontally moving surface, the droplet may be reflected or not, depending on the speed of the surface. Investigate the interaction between a moving surface and a liquid drop.

 

9. Ultrasonic Pump

A capillary immersed in an ultrasonic bath works like a pump that can lift water to a considerable height. Explain and investigate this phenomenon.

 

Category B

1. Invent Yourself

Design a boat that moves only due to the periodical mechanical movements of its internal parts and which only interacts with the environment (air, water) through its stiff hull. Optimise the parameters of your boat for maximum speed.

 

2. Circling Magnets

Button magnets with different diameters are attached to each end of a cylindrical battery. When placed on an aluminium foil the object starts to circle. Investigate how the motion depends on relevant parameters.

 

3. Proximity Sensor

A simple passive inductive sensor can detect ferromagnetic objects moving through its magnetic field. Construct such a passive sensor and investigate its characteristics such as sensing range.

 

4. Irreversible Cartesian Diver

A simple Cartesian diver (e.g. an inverted test tube partially filled with water) is placed in a long vertical tube filled with water. Increasing the pressure in the tube forces the Cartesian diver to sink. When it reaches a certain depth, it never returns to the surface even if the pressure is changed back to its initial value. Investigate this phenomenon and how it depends on relevant parameters.

 

5. Fuses

A short length of wire can act as an electrical fuse. Determine how various parameters affect the time taken for the fuse to 'blow'.

 

6. Guitar String

A periodic force is applied to a steel guitar string using an electromagnet. Investigate the motion of the guitar string around its resonance frequency.

 

7. Sponge

A sponge will soak up water at a rate and in a quantity determined by various parameters. Investigate how effective a sponge is at drying a wet surface.

 

8. Rebounding Capsule

A spherical ball dropped onto a hard surface will never rebound to the release height, even if it has an initial spin. A capsule-shaped object (i.e. Tic Tac mint) on the other hand may exceed the initial height. Investigate this phenomenon.

 

9. Hand Helicopter

A simple hand helicopter can be made by attaching rotor blades to one end of a vertical stick. The helicopter moves upwards when the stick is twisted at a high enough speed and then let go. Investigate how the relevant parameters affect the lift-off and the maximum height.

The problems and image for Bead Dynamics are from "Problems for the 34th IYPT 2021" by the IYPT IOC and used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Some general Tips for the problems:

  1. Model the theories mathematically beyond qualitative observations, predict and tally predictions with observations.

  2. Check the source of information/equations for accuracy to ensure the accuracy of basic concepts e.g. direction of refracted rays, use of appropriate equations

  3. Appropriate fitting of line e.g. checking the physical appropriateness of  y-intercept. A line fit may only be useful if there is a comparison with a mathematical model. Otherwise, observing a general trend of the data points may be sufficient.

  4. Use experimental data to verify if theory is valid instead of relating different parameters without further investigation into the related physical insights

Useful resources to get started!