The International Physicists’ Tournament was born in Ukraine in 2009 as a continuation of a long tradition of physics competitions in USSR. Switzerland started to compete for the first time in 2011, during the third edition, where two teams from EPFL were invited to the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology. One team made it to the final, ending 3rd, and the other team reached the 6th place
In 2012, four teams from EPFL competed to gain the right to represent Switzerland during the international competition, once again held in the Moscow Institude of Physics and Technology. The team from EPFL ended 2nd ex-aequo.
Following these strong performances, and having enjoyed the competition, swiss participants from the previous editions decided to organize the international competition at EPFL for two years. In 2013, the IPT and was won by the local EPFL team, highlighting the strong and complete formation offered to the swiss students. In 2014 however, the swiss team failed to reiterate the performance from the previous year and finished with a modest 9th place. In 2015, the tournament moved to Warsaw University, and Switzerland was represented by students from the University of Fribourg, who ended with the 9th place.
In 2016, the tournament was held in Paris. That year, two teams from University of Fribourg and EPFL participated in a Swiss National Selection. The EPFL team won, with the support of the EPFL physics section that integrated the preparation of the IPT in their bachelor degree. In the international competition, they finished at the 8th place amongst 15 participating teams.
Over the years, more and more students, teachers and institutions are aware of the tournament and acknowledge its benefits on the students’ formation. The national selection for the 2017 edition is supported by the Swiss Physical Society and the University of Fribourg that organizes the Swiss National Selection.
The IPT gathers students from all over the world who challenge their competences, improve their skills in science and technology and establish professional contacts. IPT is an extraordinary platform for revealing the true problem solvers that technology oriented enterprises and start-ups are looking to hire. A good education results not only in technical knowledge, but also creativity, the ability to discuss ideas and to work as a team. At the IPT, the young people experience all the phases of research: intensive literature searches, conversations with experts from research institutes and industry, development of theoretical models, computer simulations and testing by means of experimentation.
Prof. Jean-Philippe Ansermet, Director of the Physics Section of EPFL